American power in the world relies on these ideals of openness and critical debate.
It is the nature of truth in general, as of some ores in particular, to be richest when most superficial.
Stupidity is a talent for misconception.
But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain – that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist.
Justice is the object of government, and those who support the government, must be agreed as to the justice to be executed by it, or they cannot rightfully unite in maintaining the government itself.
The trial by jury might safely be introduced into a despotic government, if the jury were to exercise no right of judging of the law, or the justice of the law.
There is something in the unselfish and self-sacrificing love of a brute, which goes directly to the heart of him who has had frequent occasion to test the paltry friendship and gossamer fidelity of mere Man.
For a government to declare a vice to be a crime, and to punish it as such, is an attempt to falsify the very nature of things. It is as absurd as it would be to declare truth to be falsehood, or falsehood truth.
The single despot stands out in the face of all men, and says: I am the State: My will is law: I am your master: I take the responsibility of my acts: The only arbiter I acknowledge is the sword: If any one denies my right, let him try conclusions with me.
The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?