This is why I led off with the John Adams quote. ‘Moral and religious people’ will continue to be ‘moral and religious’ whatever freedoms or restrictions are placed on them by the government. I might say: “Libertarianism was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the [government] of any other.” There are any number of forms of government that can work with a ‘moral and religious people.’ For an amoral or immoral or anti-moral or non-religious or anti-religious people, no kind of government is going to work for the long haul.
From Dorothy Sayer’s lecture titled, “Are Women Human?” 1938.
To oppose one class perpetually to another- young against old, manual labour against brain-worker, rich against poor, woman against man- is to split the foundations of the State; and if the cleavage runs too deep, there remains no remedy but force and dictatorship. If you wish to preserve a free democracy, you must base it- not on classes and categories, for this will land you in the totalitarian State, where no one may act or think except as the member of a category. You must base it upon the individual Tom, Dick and Harry, and the individual Jack and Jill- in fact, upon you and me.
I’m pretty sure that the founders of this country had a similar view. They wouldn’t recognize the bloated thing we have today. One can guess what they’d say or do. (I have some guesses). Let us just assume that no one even tries anymore to have good, moral, proper, principled reasons for passing legislation any more. That has been abandoned. In its place are just two basic principles: 1. Will the legislation make money for the government (or those donating to officials)? 2. Will it extend the government’s reach?
But it is the nature of the human beast that after enough time has passed- 20 years will do, but in today’s media saturated 24/7 news cycle apparently 20 minutes will do, as well- the things of the past are just that, the things of the past. “Those things won’t happen again.” “Things are different today.” “We’d never let that happen again.” “We are smarter today.”
This, I’m afraid, is all wishful thinking. Very dangerous wishful thinking. Under the cover of this mentality the principles of old are allowed ever deeper reach into the operations of free societies. But God cannot be mocked. If you plant a corn seed you will get a corn plant. If you plant these principles you will reap their fruit. You may delay it a little while or change its expression, that’s all.