QOTD: Calvin Coolidge and the Declaration of Independence

 

Calvin Coolidge, born on July 4, 1872, was known as “Silent Cal,” but wasn’t afraid to speak out about his Conservative values. He clearly rejected the revisionist approach to the Declaration of Independence and demonstrated his beliefs in an exemplary way. In fact, he believed that changing the meaning of the Declaration was not progress, but a step backward in our understanding of the Founders, and the values that we hold.

How unfortunate that the Progressives of today don’t realize they are trying to take us back to more primitive, tribal times when people insisted they were superior to others, based on their intellect, education and the color of their skin. They clearly do not believe that we are created equal (since Conservatives are a different species), that the wishes of the governed should direct the work of the government (since the government knows best), and the more government, the better (which ensures the massive growth of the administrative state). After all, the government and its elites are quite prepared to tell us how to do everything: how to live our lives, what to invest in, and what to believe.

Thank goodness many of us are pushing back: their country is not my country.

Calvin Coolidge, at the 150th anniversary of the American Revolution in Philadelphia, July 1926

About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful. It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning cannot be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction cannot lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers.

 

 

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There are 9 comments.

  1. Percival Thatcher

    Cal may not have said much, but when he did hold forth, it was worth listening to.

    • #1
    • July 12, 2019, at 6:52 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  2. Stad Thatcher

    Susan Quinn: If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people.

    Of course, the left ignores all truths, especially when said by a dead white male . . .

    • #2
    • July 12, 2019, at 7:36 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  3. Rodin Member

    The “Progressive” Mission Statement: “[P] roceed … backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people.”

    • #3
    • July 12, 2019, at 8:30 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  4. tigerlily Member

    Thanks Susan. I love this quote by Cal – I think he nailed it.

    • #4
    • July 12, 2019, at 9:42 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  5. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    tigerlily (View Comment):

    Thanks Susan. I love this quote by Cal – I think he nailed it.

    I agree! I’d never seen the Declaration or the Progressives in that light before. They really are fighting for a more primitive treatment of human nature, not a “progressive” one.

    • #5
    • July 12, 2019, at 9:46 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  6. Tennessee Patriot Member

    I read this every 4th. Beautiful and insightful. I wish a modern President would give the speech again on the 4th! And every newspaper print it, like many print “Yes Matilda, Their Is A Santa Claus” at Christmas. Or something like that.

    • #6
    • July 12, 2019, at 11:44 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  7. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    This. And you’d think that self-evident truths would be more widespread as well. 

    • #7
    • July 12, 2019, at 3:24 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  8. Stad Thatcher

    TBA (View Comment):

    This. And you’d think that self-evident truths would be more widespread as well.

    The left doesn’t believe in self-evident truths. The truth is what they say it is . . .

    • #8
    • July 13, 2019, at 7:24 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  9. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    Stad (View Comment):

    TBA (View Comment):

    This. And you’d think that self-evident truths would be more widespread as well.

    The left doesn’t believe in self-evident truths. The truth is what they say it is . . .

    Ain’t that the truth. 

    • #9
    • July 13, 2019, at 9:19 AM PDT
    • 4 likes