Quote Book – [30] – Society & Government

Everything that makes man’s life worthwhile – family, work, education, a place to rear one’s children, and a place to rest one’s head – all this depends on decisions of government; all can be swept away by a government which does not heed the demands of its people.  Therefore, the essential humanity of men can be protected and preserved only where government must answer – not just to the wealthy, not just to those of a particular religion, or a particular race, but to all of its people.
There are hazards in debating American policy in the pace of a stern and dangerous enemy.  But that hazard is the essence of our democracy.  Democracy is no easy form of government.  Few nations have been able to sustain it.  For it requires that we take the chances of freedom; that the liberating play of reason be brought to bear in events filled with passion; that dissent be allowed to make its appeal for acceptance; that men chance error in their search for the truth…
The constitution protects wisdom and ignorance, compassion and selfishness alike.  But that dissent which consists simply of sporadic and dramatic acts sustained by neither continuing labour or research – that dissent which seeks to demolish while lacking both the desire and direction for rebuilding, that dissent which, contemptuously or out of laziness, casts aside the practical weapons and instruments of change and progress – that  kind of dissent is merely self-indulgence.  It is satisfying, perhaps, only to those who make it

Make gentle the life of this world

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