Charles Mackay, 1858: “A corrupt republic is tainted in its blood, and bears the seeds of death in every pulsation.”

"When this is corrupted, and the people become venal, there is a canker at the root of the tree of liberty which will cause it to wither and to die."

O beautiful for pilgrim feet 

Whose stern impassioned stress

A thoroughfare of freedom beat 

Across the wilderness!

America! America! 

God mend thine every flaw,

Confirm thy soul in self-control, 

Thy liberty in law!

Posted by MizzE at August 1, 2011 4:14 AM

It is amazing to what degree the intellectualoid mind-parasites have controlled what people think, and so what they can even think about. Calvin Coolidge and James Buchanan, long ago buried as cretins, were two of the most accomplished men to ever reach the Presidency. The final proof is that they were examples of men who had firm ideas of their own limitations, and the limitations of their office. Coolidge was the last of them. As Molbug said, we're all communist now.

Posted by james wilson at August 1, 2011 8:00 AM

He quotes James "Nancy Boy" Buchanan, the worst President ever (the country literally fell apart on his watch) on virtue. Better he should have quoted random drunks from the Bowery.

Posted by Fat Man at August 1, 2011 8:06 AM

In 1858 you go to print with the president you have.

Posted by vanderleun at August 1, 2011 12:38 PM

Fat Man, your criticism of James Buchanan is unjust.

Was he the greatest president we've ever had? No. But we've had worse..... oh yes, we've had worse.

As for the country falling apart on his watch, exactly what, pray tell, could he have done to stop it, between the stresses that had building up in the country over the issue of slavery, and the constitutional limits on the power of the President? Damned little, and the Southern states had every right to leave. Yes, they chose the worst possible reason to leave the Union. But even to this day secession is not forbidden to the states, which means it's permitted per the Tenth Amendment, the Rodney Dangerfield of the Bill of Rights.

We are fortunate that the fire-eaters of the South overplayed their hand: firing on Fort Sumter gave President Lincoln the pretext he needed to wage war on the Confederate States, and to ultimately restore the Union. Without that, we'd be stuck in the nightmare world portrayed in Harry Turtledove's books about an alternate history in which the South won the war-- imagine Imperial Germany in 1945, under a Kaiser Wilhelm III, armed with atomic bombs.

More to the point of the blog post (sorry, Gerard, for my rambling), the country is in better shape than Mackay would have believed, could he have foreseen the sort of world we live in today. It's not the money or the wealth, per se, that's the problem. It's the delusion, fostered for century now by the Progressives and their successors, that we can leave everything to the experts, because-- by golly!-- things have just gotten too complicated for the little people to understand.

Republics like ours only work when the "little people" get involved, and (one hopes) tosses all those poisonous little parasites (like Joe Biden) out of office on their effete, ineffectual backsides, and then hold their successors acountable, like our great-grandparents knew how to do.

Posted by Hale Adams at August 1, 2011 7:39 PM

the nightmare world portrayed in Harry Turtledove's books about an alternate history in which the South won the war-- imagine Imperial Germany in 1945, under a Kaiser Wilhelm III, armed with atomic bombs

Sold. When can I take delivery?

Posted by Robert Oculus III at November 18, 2012 8:46 PM

The worst president the country ever had is sitting in the chair right now.

Posted by Lorne at November 19, 2012 3:15 PM