John C. CalhounJohn C. Calhoun, (1782-1850) American statesman

John C. Calhoun Quote

“Government has within it a tendency to abuse its powers.”

John C. CalhounJohn C. Calhoun
~ John C. Calhoun

Ratings and Comments

Mike, Norwalk

We hold this truth to be self evident.

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Anon    3/2/09

It's not the government that has the tendency, it's men that control government that abuse its powers by the evil within them.

jim k, austin

To prove this quote, just observe what goes on in D.C.

Anonymous, Reston, VA, US

"Government" is run by people, it is people who tend to abuse their power, not government...

Waffler, Smith

Reston is so sharp and is right on here. In addition people in industry and private endeavors abuse power and common sense constanly in all types of matters including environmental digradation for example. All people and org. have audits performed and oversight to keep people straight. Calhoun played the simpleton and political hack here in this statement.

Mike, Norwalk

A from Reston, you are absolutely right, It is a certain type people (power, hate, etc. mongers) that gravitate to such titled organizations (government) to where abuse, the breaking of the Laws of Nature and Nature's God, and the perfecting of injustice can be maximized like no other circumstance, organization, or place.

Logan, Memphis, TN

Reston's comments are gibberish and contradict each other. What is the "government", other than a collection of individuals (the vast majority of which are non-elected bureaucrats)? How can people abuse THEIR power, and the government, which is run by people, not abuse ITS power? Waffler's comments are just as stupid. How do oversight committees and organizations possibly keep government from over-reaching its power more than the police and government organizations possibly keep the people from over-reaching their power? Your argument is built on too many fallacies to merit any further direct response. How can all the Obama supporters in this blog possibly bitch and moan as much as they have about the corruption and lost liberties of the previous admin and then possibly say that government doesn't now abuse its power? Talk about short-sightedness and short-term memory. I guess all Obama's walking on water, breaking the loaves and fishes, and making this high places low and the low places high has totally lambasted your memory in the short period of a month... Hypocrites all! What committee, group, or organization kept the Bush Admin from abusing its powers? Sure, watchdog groups bitched and moaned just as much as you and maybe slowed down the warp-speed abuse going on by the Bush Admin, but the Patriot Act 1 and 2, Military Commissions Act, and several other damning and freedom destroying "laws" haven't been repealed or removed. Common people, don't be stupid. As corrupt as people are in society with all the boundaries and curbs set by government law enforcement agencies through certain "laws", government officials are just as corrupt in abusing their powers with all the government agencies established to keep them honest and non-abusive. There is no morality or honesty pill that politicians and/or government workers swallow when taking their job that prohibits abuse. Against, don't be stupid.

Mike, Norwalk

Logan, welcome back, very well said! You know I'm still smiling almost to the volume of a giggle.

Logan, Memphis, TN

Against hope, don't be stupid.*

Waffler, Smith

The Homeland Security Department was created so that various law enforcement agencies could communicate with each other. Before that the various agencies were prohibited. This lack of interaction gave criminals, enemies, and illegals an upper hand. Government is basically benign and gets involved in problems after the fact.

Logan, Memphis, TN

Why is it that most people who post as "Anonymous" usually say the dumbest things? Sure, if all that was done was the creation of Homeland Security and the sharing of communication between government entities (which, I see nothing wrong with sharing information, but I do see a Constitutional problem with the conglomeration of every type of governmental institution) there would be few things wrong (so long as you did it Constitutionally). However, Anonymous presents us with a red herring; the problem with the Patriot Act 1 and 2, Military Commissions Act, and other damning and freedom destroying legislation passed through by the Bush Admin has nothing to do with the criteria as presented by Anonymous.

Logan, Memphis, TN

Ah, it was Waffler that posted under Anonymous... makes sense now concerning the fallacy.

Patrick Henry, Red Hill

Government under the control not of Virtue informed, Principle constrained, Sovereign Individuals but of they for whom government is an idol have not only a tendency but a morbid disposition to abuse power.

E Archer, NYC

The entire premise of a republican form of government is to breakdown the various jurisdictions into numerous small pieces -- counties with a representative local government. A republican government does not regulate the citizens that chartered it. It facilitates the due process of Common Law which places no duties or obligations upon the individual. The counties form states and the states form a confederation. The president of the nation does not command the States or the state citizens. A republican form of government distributes power -- why? Because there are still people with the desire to rule -- it does not end. Government is the game of power, and the Constitutions place limits on what the government's powers may be used for.

It's about power - money, fuel, food, knowledge, transport, communications, arms -- and God. Yes, people are either serving God or playing God. The power of God is no less the goal of the power-hungry. Every SJW is playing God. Every army fighting the heathens are playing God. Everybody trying to 'save' us from ourselves is playing God. And yet, that is how civilization has come about. ;-)


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