|Edmund S. Morgan|
This collection of essays on the Puritans, Quakers, and Founding Fathers has some interesting observations:
- From an essay written in 1959:
Libraries will remain the nurseries of heresy and independence of thought. They will, in fact, preserve that freedom which is a far more important part of our life than any ideology or orthodoxy.
I’ve been wondering about the Internet’s effect on this concept; it’s easier to access “heresy”, but it’s also easier to surround yourself with only those who agree with you.
Our representative government is a fiction: it is impossible for a representative to exactly represent the beliefs and desires of thousands of others. Their job rather is to work for the good of the country instead of just their constituency.
Washington refused to endorse political candidates to avoid, in his words, “interfering directly or indirectly with...the choice of their representatives”. In the same spirit, he also refused to veto many bills that he personally disagreed with.