Monthly Archives: November 2008

Election Day 2008

Wow. Has it really been TWO MONTHS since last I posted here? What have I been doing in all that time?

Today we choose a new President, and no matter who wins, this is an unprecented moment in the history of our young country. We will have either the first ever African American president or the first female Vice President. Exciting times to be alive!

Speaking of history, Reformation Day was celebrated on October 31. Did anyone happen to catch this video? It’s kind of cute.

It’s much too beautiful of an Indian Summer Day to while the time away on the keyboard, so I will close with someone else’s sentiments. I have been reading some writings by the famous Scottish moral philosopher Adam Smith. Here is what he had to say about the proper roles of political leaders and government:

The man of system, on the contrary, is apt to be very wise in his own conceit, and is often so enamoured with the supposed beauty of his own ideal plan of government, that he cannot suffer the smallest deviation from any part of it. He goes on to establish it completely and in all its parts, without any regard either to the great interests or the strong prejudices which may oppose it: he seems to imagine that he can arrange the different members of a great society with as much ease as the hand arranges the different pieces upon a chess-board; he does not consider that the pieces upon the chess-board have no other principle of motion besides that which the hand impresses upon them; but that, in the great chess-board of human society, every single piece has a principle of motion of its own, altogether different from that which the legislature might choose to impress upon it. If those two principles coincide and act in the same direction, the game of human society will go on earily and harmoniously, and is very likely to be happy and successful. If they are opposite or different, the game will go on miserably, and the society must be at all times in the highest degree of disorder.

Some general, and even systematical, idea of the perfection of policy and law, may no doubt be necessary for directing the views of the statesman. But to insist upon establishing, and upon establishing all at once, and in spite of all opposition, everything which that idea may seem to require, must often be the highest degree of arrogance. It is to erect his own judgment into the supreme standard of right and wrong. It is to fancy himself the only wise and worthy man in the commonwealth, and that his fellow-citizens should accommodate themselves to him, and not he to them. It is upon this account that of all political speculators sovereign princes are by far the most dangerous.

                      from The Theory of Moral Sentiments, Part VI, Section II, Chapter 2

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