John Quincy Adams on Values vs. Interests

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I don’t agree with Judah’s specific sentiment below that the Bush administration has seen the “worst erosion of our own democratic traditions” (WWII was much worse, for example), but I do agree with the general sentiment that liberty at home can be endangered by crusading abroad. John Quincy Adams, the first son of a president to himself become president, did too. His oft-cited July 4, 1821, speech to the U.S. House of Representatives, when he was serving as Secretary of State, is worth revisiting in this context. Here’s an excerpt: Wherever the standard of freedom and Independence has been or […]


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