A Quote Which Should Be Famous: “Our most dangerous tendency is to expect too much of government..”

The next sentences are:

We contemplate the immediate task of putting our public household in order. We need a rigid and yet sane economy, combined with fiscal justice, and it must be attended by individual prudence and thrift, which are so essential to this trying hour and reassuring for the future.


(My emphasis above.)

They were written by a man spurned as a political disaster. He was mocked as a blowhard whose prose rambled incomprehensibly.

Judge for yourself:

Discouraging indebtedness confronts us… and these obligations must be provided for. No civilization can survive repudiation (of debt).
We can reduce the abnormal expenditures, and we will. We can strike at (excessive) taxation, and we must. We must face the grim necessity, with full knowledge that the task is to be solved, and we must proceed with a full realization that no statute enacted by man can repeal the inexorable laws of nature.

(My emphasis above.)

Inexorable laws of nature, such as “Nothing is free,” the First Principle of Economics, which is violated daily by the geniuses now in charge, and have been violated by assorted previous geniuses, Democrat and Republican.

Consider more of his economic advice:

I pray for sober thinking in behalf of the future of America. No worthwhile republic ever went the tragic way to destruction, which did not begin the downward course through luxury of life and extravagance of living. More, the simple living and thrifty people will be the first to recover … Herein is greater opportunity than lies in alliance, compact or supergovernment. It is America’s chance to lead in example and prove to the world the reign of reason in representative popular government where people think who assume to rule.

(My emphasis above.)

The man writing the lines which I am quoting was no genius: he believed himself to be a typical American, hard-working with specific talents which he developed as well as he could. Certainly, like all of us, he was not perfect, and made mistakes in politics.

Yet he won his last election with 60% of the popular vote!

He could be politically courageous, and had his own ideas on “fairness” which the present character in the White House might heed. Congress had passed an increase in veterans’ benefits by wide margins right before a mid-term election: he vetoed the bill because it would have been unfair to increase taxes on the rest of America at that time.

The people agreed! When he died, the press estimated that national mourning was greater than it had been for McKinley, and approached the level seen for Lincoln.

A final clue:

America’s present need is not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration; not agitation, but adjustment; not surgery, but serenity; not the dramatic, but the dispassionate; not experiment, but equipoise; not submergence in internationality, but sustainment in triumphant nationality. It is one thing to battle successfully against world domination by military autocracy, because the infinite God never intended such a program, but it is quite another thing to revise human nature and suspend the fundamental laws of life and all of life’s acquirements.

(My emphasis above.)

“…sustainment in triumphant nationality.” Such a phrase, with or without its neologism, would never be spoken today by Democrats and even some Republicans!

I offer these quotes as advice to the moral mice in the Republican Party now squeaking nationally and shivering in fear about stopping the Leviathans of Socialism and Surrender unleashed by the Democrats.

This man ended a national recession – one equal to ours, if not worse according to some historians – by insisting that Congress slash taxes AND government spending, along with its interference in the business world. However, he was not completely blind to capitalism’s problems, and did favor protective tariffs (within limits), “pump-priming” public works projects to stimulate the economy (within limits), and opposed child labor so much that he was willing to work for a constitutional amendment against it. He also opposed Southern racism as seen in the KKK, and opposed his predecessor’s overt national racism, who had fired Afro-Americans in certain government positions and replaced them with white Democrats.

To be sure, some of his appointees were corrupt, and after his death, the left-wing press – aided by Republican silence! – used their scandals (Teapot Dome was “small potatoes” according to one historian) to create a myth persisting to this day, i.e. that this man’s short presidency was the worst 2 years in American History.

When you read the speeches, the original documents, and the newspapers from the 1920′s, you wonder how Warren Harding could end up with such a legacy.

I would advise the Harvard graduate now in the White House to read how Warren Harding attacked the recession in the post-World-War-I era. However, I fear that FACTS – as they were for The New Republic and other leftist rags of the 1920′s attacking Harding after his death – are irrelevant to our “most intelligent president ever.”

Check these websites for the speeches (the 1921 Inaugural Address and the “Return to Normalcy” speech) and further analysis:




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