Daniel WebsterDaniel Webster, (1782-1852) US Senator

Daniel Webster Quote

“The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions.”

Daniel WebsterDaniel Webster
~ Daniel Webster

Ratings and Comments

E Archer, NYC

The Constitution is the rule book for strictly limiting the powers of men and women in public office because, quite simply, they cannot be trusted.

John-Douglas, Nassau

Not only that, but bad intentions as well.

Ramon A. del Gallego, Manila

Sometimes people become too idealistic in their pursuit of their personal beliefs that they fail to see the errors found in thier ideals. Hence the Constitution should aim to safeguard against rash judgments done by idealistic people in their pursuit of what they think is seemingly good.

Ken, Allyn, WA

Human nature is such that if anyone is given power, they will eventually abuse it, no matter how good their original intent. Human beings are not altruistic or benevolent, and they are certainly not Rousseau's "noble savage". They are naturally mean and greedy busy-bodies, who want to control others for their own benefit. It is only the power of the social fabric (including traditions, religion, and customs) that holds people to a higher standard. When these break down, the end is near.

  • Reply
    Anonymous    5/6/06


    • Reply
      Ray    5/17/09

      I don't know, Ken. Humans have the ability to reason things out. True, power often corrupts, but it doesn't necessarily have to. It is possible for people to logically figure out what is moral and what is immoral, so couldn't we eventually overcome this innate nature you speak of?

      AH, TX
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      AH, TX    10/24/09

      To Ken- The problem with relying on this social fabric you speak of is that the vast and expanding cultural and religious spectrum eventually begins to turn inward on itself, resulting in similar effects as a corrupt govt. or worse a ridiculous surmounting set of over-accommodating laws to try and please everyone. Something like what is starting now. like a president who says one thing and does another, who has a homosexual preacher giving the prayer at a presidential speech while claiming to be a christian. Wide-spread culture is not the answer to corruption, rather it breeds weakness and unrest in our leadership, causing them to become corrupt for the sake of societal peace.

      bruski, naples FL

      "We're from the government and we are here to help you."

      Our Founders were very afraid of government powers.


      jim k, Austin

      Right on target.

      Mary MI
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      Mary MI    12/3/14

      Excellent quote. We have too many federal bureaucracies ... most of them unlawful and running counter to the U.S. Constitution that are doling out and robbing the peoples fruits of their labor for so-called "good intentions" ... i.e., "Special Interests."

      Frederic Bastiat referred to it as "Legalized Plunder."


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