The American Walk
Hey, It's Just My Opinion!
A pure democracy is a society consisting of a small number of citizens, who assemble and administer the government in person.
Do not separate text from historical background. If you do, you will have perverted and subverted the Constitution, which can only end in a distorted, bastardized form of illegitimate government.
James Matison (1751 - 1836) was the Fourth President of the United States (1809 - 1817).
Born in 1751, Madison was brought up in Orange County, Virginia, and attended Princeton (then called the College of New Jersey). A student of history and government, well-read in law, he participated in the framing of the Virginia Constitution in 1776, served in the Continental Congress, and was a leader in the Virginia Assembly.
When delegates to the Constitutional Convention assembled at Philadelphia, the 36-year-old Madison took frequent and emphatic part in the debates.
Madison made a major contribution to the ratification of the Constitution by writing, with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay, the Federalist essays. In later years, when he was referred to as the "Father of the Constitution," Madison protested that the document was not "the off-spring of a single brain," but "the work of many heads and many hands."
In Congress, he helped frame the Bill of Rights and enact the first revenue legislation. Out of his leadership in opposition to Hamilton's financial proposals, which he felt would unduly bestow wealth and power upon northern financiers, came the development of the Republican, or Jeffersonian, Party.
Theodore Roosevelt (1858 -1919) Twenty-Sixth President of the United States (1901-1909)
"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."
Theodore Roosevelt 1907
With the assassination of President McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, not quite 43, became the youngest President in the Nation's history. He brought new excitement and power to the Presidency, as he vigorously led Congress and the American public toward progressive reforms and a strong foreign policy.
He took the view that the President as a "steward of the people" should take whatever action necessary for the public good unless expressly forbidden by law or the Constitution.”
During the Spanish-American War, Roosevelt was lieutenant colonel of the Rough Rider Regiment, which he led on a charge at the battle of San Juan. He was one of the most conspicuous heroes of the war.
As President, Roosevelt held the ideal that the Government should be the great arbiter of the conflicting economic forces in the Nation, especially between capital and labor, guaranteeing justice to each and dispensing favors to none.
He liked to quote a favorite proverb, "Speak softly and carry a big stick. . . .”
Some of Theodore Roosevelt's most effective achievements were in conservation. He added enormously to the national forests in the West, reserved lands for public use, and fostered great irrigation projects.
On January 20, 1981, Reagan took office. Only 69 days later he was shot by a would-be assassin, but quickly recovered and returned to duty. His grace and wit during the dangerous incident caused his popularity to soar.
Dealing skillfully with Congress, Reagan obtained legislation to stimulate economic growth, curb inflation, increase employment, and strengthen national defense. He embarked upon a course of cutting taxes and Government expenditures, refusing to deviate from it when the strengthening of defense forces led to a large deficit.
In 1986 Reagan obtained an overhaul of the income tax code, which eliminated many deductions and exempted millions of people with low incomes. At the end of his administration, the Nation was enjoying its longest recorded period of peacetime prosperity without recession or depression.
In foreign policy, Reagan sought to achieve "peace through strength." During his two terms he increased defense spending 35 percent, but sought to improve relations with the Soviet Union. In dramatic meetings with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, he negotiated a treaty that would eliminate intermediate-range nuclear missiles. Reagan declared war against international terrorism, sending American bombers against Libya after evidence came out that Libya was involved in an attack on American soldiers in a West Berlin nightclub.
At the end of his two terms in office, Ronald Reagan viewed with satisfaction the achievements of his innovative program known as the Reagan Revolution, which aimed to reinvigorate the American people and reduce their reliance upon Government. He felt he had fulfilled his campaign pledge of 1980 to restore "the great, confident roar of American progress and growth and optimism."
Overall, the Reagan years saw a restoration of prosperity, and the goal of peace through strength seemed to be within grasp.
Ronald Reagan (1911 - 2004 was the Fortieth President 1981-1989
Any man worth his salt will stick up for what he believes right, but it takes a slightly better man to acknowledge instantly and without reservation that he is in error.
As long as our government is administered for the good of the people, and is regulated by their will; as long as it secures to us the rights of persons and of property, liberty of conscience and of the press, it will be worth defending.
Every good citizen makes his country's honor his own, and cherishes it not only as precious but as sacred. He is willing to risk his life in its defense and its conscious that he gains protection while he gives it.
It is to be regretted that the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their own selfish purposes.
It was settled by the Constitution, the laws, and the whole practice of the government that the entire executive power is vested in the President of the United States
Andrew Jackson (1767-1845) was the Seventh President (1829-1837)
Born in a backwoods settlement in the Carolinas in 1767, he received sporadic education. But in his late teens he read law for about two years, and he became an outstanding young lawyer in Tennessee. Fiercely jealous of his honor, he engaged in brawls, and in a duel killed a man who cast an unjustified slur on his wife Rachel.
In 1824 some state political factions rallied around Jackson; by 1828 enough had joined "Old Hickory" to win numerous state elections and control of the Federal administration in Washington.
In his first Annual Message to Congress, Jackson recommended eliminating the Electoral College. He also tried to democratize Federal office holding. Already state machines were being built on patronage, and a New York Senator openly proclaimed "that to the victors belong the spoils. . . .”
In January of 1832, while the President was dining with friends at the White House, someone whispered to him that the Senate had rejected the nomination of Martin Van Buren as Minister to England. Jackson jumped to his feet and exclaimed, "By the Eternal! I'll smash them!” So he did. His favorite, Van Buren, became Vice President, and succeeded to the Presidency when "Old Hickory" retired to the Hermitage, where he died in June 1845.
"Here’s my strategy on the Cold War: We win, they lose."
"The most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I’m here to help."
"Of the four wars in my lifetime none came about because the U.S. was too strong."
"Government is like a baby: An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other."
"It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first.
"Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed there are many rewards, if you disgrace yourself you can always write a book."
"No arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women."
Don't worry over what the newspapers say. I don't. Why should anyone else? I told the truth to the newspaper correspondents - but when you tell the truth to them they are at sea.
Next to the right of liberty, the right of property is the most important individual right guaranteed by the Constitution and the one which, united with that of personal liberty, has contributed more to the growth of civilization than any other institution established by the human race.
Politics, when I am in it, it makes me sick.
Socialism proposes no adequate substitute for the motive of enlightened selfishness that to-day is at the basis of all human labor and effort, enterprise and new activity.
Distinguished jurist, effective administrator, but poor politician, William Howard Taft spent four uncomfortable years in the White House. Large, jovial, conscientious, he was caught in the intense battles between Progressives and conservatives, and got scant credit for the achievements of his administration.
William Howard Taft(1857-1930)
27th US President (1909 - 1913)
I may be president of the United States, but my private life is nobody's damned business.
Since I came here I have learned that Chester A. Arthur is one man and the President of the United States is another.
I don't think we had better go into the minute secrets of the campaign, so far as I know them, because I see the reporters are present, who are taking it all down.
Chester Allen Arthur
Chester Allen Arthur (1830-1886) 21st US President (1881-1885), VP (20th)
Historians view the Chester Arthur presidency as an important surprise, one that no one would have expected. Put simply, he performed well in office, defying his state-based reputation as a slick machine politician. Despite his poor health, he attempted to govern competently, and he succeeded to a degree that was never acknowledged by his fellow politicians, the press, or the great mass of Americans.
Although Arthur preferred efficient partisan government service to one selected by competitive examinations, he nevertheless showed tremendous flexibility and a willingness to embrace reform. By struggling with the tariff issue (especially being willing to question the protectionist doctrines of the Republican Party) and supporting the modernization of the American Navy, Arthur stands as an important transitional figure in the reunification of the nation after the bitter turmoil of the Civil War and Reconstruction. No party hack, Arthur demonstrated how the office of President could bring out the very best in its occupants.