"...authority over everybody and being responsible to nobody..."
American Minute with Bill Federer
MAY 15 - Did Coolidge predict Gov't abuse? - 'having authority over everybody and being responsible to nobody'
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On MAY 15, 1926, President Calvin Coolidge warned in a speech given in Williamsburg, Virginia at the College of William and Mary:
"But there is another...recent development... the greatly disproportionate influence of organized minorities.
Artificial propaganda, paid agitators, selfish interests, all impinge
upon members of legislative bodies to force them to represent special
elements rather than the great body of their constituency.
When they are successful, minority rule is established..."
result is an extravagance on the part of the Government which is
ruinous to the people and a multiplicity of regulations and restrictions
for the conduct of all kinds of necessary business, which becomes
little less than oppressive..."
"No plan of centralization has ever been adopted which did not result in bureaucracy, tyranny, inflexibility, reaction, and decline.
Of all forms of government, those administered by bureaus are about the
least satisfactory to an enlightened and progressive people.
Being irresponsible they become autocratic..."
Coolidge warned further:
"Unless bureaucracy is constantly resisted it breaks down representative government and overwhelms democracy.
It is the one element in our institutions that sets up the pretense of having authority over everybody and being responsible to nobody..."
"We must also recognize that the national administration is not and cannot be adjusted to the needs of local government...
The States should not be induced by coercion or by favor to surrender the management of their own affairs.
The Federal Government ought to resist the tendency to be loaded up with duties which the States should perform.
It does not follow that because something ought to be done the National Government ought to do it...
want to see the policy adopted by the States of discharging their
public functions so faithfully that instead of an extension on the part
of the Federal Government there can be a contraction..."