Quote of the Day: Common Sense

 

Today’s quote is again from the movie musical 1776. It comes at the point in the story where John Adams and Ben Franklin, desperately looking for a way to delay a vote on independence that they know they will lose, propose the writing of a Declaration of the colonist’s intent. Pressed by the other delegates for an explanation of why the Declaration is necessary, Adams and Franklin are foundering, unable to come up with a satisfactory answer, until Thomas Jefferson steps up and saves them, saying:

“To place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm as to command their assent.”

I want to be able to write like that. When I’ve written about politics here at Ricochet, that was the effect I was hoping to achieve, but it never works out that way. I’m not sure if I’ve ever changed a single mind on a single subject.

Why can’t you people see how right I am?

Anyway, that’s why I mostly just write the light and fluffy stuff. I decided to go with Ben Franklin. (In the song where he is pressed by Adams to be the one to write the Declaration.)

Mr. Adams, but, Mr. Adams.
The things I write are only light extemporanea.
I won’t put politics on paper… it’s a mania.
So, I refuse to use the pen in Pennsylvania.

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There are 13 comments.

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  1. Matt Balzer Member
    Matt Balzer
    @MattBalzer

    Judge Mental:I’m not sure if I’ve ever changed a single mind on a single subject.

    Why can’t you people see how right I am?

    I do see how right you are, but you’re already saying things I agree with, so you’re not going to change my mind.

    • #1
  2. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Judge Mental: “To place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm as to command their assent.”

    Too bad they blamed it all on King George when the problems were actually out of Parliament. George III was pretty much the opposite of a tyrant or despot. Still, “the buck stops here.” It was just as Trump will be blamed for everything Congress does or doesn’t do under his watch.

    Thanks for the conversation starter, Judge. This is part of the Quote of the Day Series. If you would like to share a favorite quote, we still have five openings this month, and you can sign up here.

    • #2
  3. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    “Consider yourselves fortunate you have John Adams to abuse, for no sane man would tolerate it!”

    • #3
  4. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Judge Mental:Mr. Adams, but, Mr. Adams.

    The things I write are only light extemporanea.

    I won’t put politics on paper… it’s a mania.

    So, I refuse to use the pen in Pennsylvania.

    Pennsylvania! Pennsylvania!….

    Love that movie. Keep ’em coming.

    • #4
  5. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    How do you know you don’t change minds? After all, if we’re not yelling at you, we must be agreeing with you! I always love to hear from the founders. The Jefferson quote–so easy to understand, yet common sense, in these days, seems difficult to find. Thanks, Judge.

    • #5
  6. Nanda Panjandrum Member
    Nanda Panjandrum
    @

    Matt Balzer (View Comment):
    I do see how right you are, but you’re already saying things I agree with, so you’re not going to change my mind.

    And that, JM, is the heart of it…Most of the time, we’re certain we couldn’t have said it better ourselves. :-)

    • #6
  7. Rick Poach Inactive
    Rick Poach
    @RickPoach

    Since we’re still talking 1776, and if we’re talking great Ben Franklin scenes, here’s my favorite.

    • #7
  8. aardo vozz Member
    aardo vozz
    @aardovozz

    Ben Franklin:”Mr. Dickinson, must you start talking? How is a man to sleep?”

    John Dickinson: “Mr. Franklin, must you start talking? How is a man to stay awake?”

    Fun movie!

    • #8
  9. aardo vozz Member
    aardo vozz
    @aardovozz

    And, as ever:

    John Adams:  “THE EAGLE!!!!”

    • #9
  10. aardo vozz Member
    aardo vozz
    @aardovozz

    And while we’re talking about the movie “1776”, IMHO, the song “Cool, Cool, Conservative Men” applies to far too many Republicans in the U.S. Congress and Senate.

    • #10
  11. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Rick Poach (View Comment):

    How can you pick just one??

    • #11
  12. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    I do believe You’ve laid a curse on North America
    A curse we now here rehearse in Philadelphia
    A second flood, a simple famine, plagues of locusts everywhere
    Or a cataclysmic earthquake, I’d accept with some despair
    But no, You sent us Congress
    Good God, sir, was that fair?

    I played in the orchestra for 1776 in 1976. I have most of it memorized.

    • #12
  13. Trink Coolidge
    Trink
    @Trink

    Judge Mental: Why can’t you people see how right I am?

    I’ve seen the light.  Thank you :)

    • #13
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