It is a principle of liberal social legislation that a program for the poor is a poor program. I believe that today, as has been the case for 100 years, and as will be the case for the foreseeable future, the American political argument is an argument between two Princetonians: James Madison of the class of 1771, and Thomas Woodrow Wilson of the class of 1879. I firmly believe that the most important decision taken anywhere in the 20th century was the decision where to locate the Princeton graduate college. Woodrow Wilson, then Princeton's president, wanted it located on the campus, others wanted it located, where it in fact is, up on the golf course away from campus. When Wilson lost that, he had one of his characteristic tantrums, went into politics, and ruined the 20th century. I'm simplifying a bit. Madison asserted that politics should take its bearings from human nature and from the natural rights with which we are endowed, and which preexist government. Woodrow Wilson, like all people steeped in the 19th century discovery that history is a proper noun - History - with a mind and a life of its own, argued that human nature is as malleable and changeable as history itself, and that it's the job of the state to regulate and guide the evolution of human nature and the changeable nature of the rights we are owed by the government that - in his view - dispenses rights. Madison said rights pre-exist government. Wilson said government exists to dispense whatever agenda of rights suits its fancy, and to annihilate, regulate, attenuate, or dilute others. Madison said the rights we are owed are those necessary for the individual pursuit of happiness. Wilson and the Progressives said the rights you deserve are those that will deliver material happiness to you, and spare you the strain and terror of striving. There are reasons to be downcast at the moment. Certain recent elections have not gone so well. Let me remind you, however, of something, again going back to 1964. In 1964 the liberal candidate got 90 percent of the electoral votes. Eight years later the liberal candidate got 3 percent of the electoral votes. This is a very changeable country.
Z: Please, God.
Here is an email I got this morning from my friend who sent me the article above. I had asked her last night via email "what do YOU think of it?" My friend is a black American woman and she responds:
Didn't bore ME, did it bore YOU, geeeZ readers? :-)