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Friday, June 27, 2014

Thought for the Day from John Quincy Adams

John Quincy Adams, our sixth president and son of the second, was an amazing individual. As a young teenager (14) he participated as secretary to a delegation to Russia to seek recognition of the newly-formed United States. He was fluent in several languages and was a Greek scholar. His grasp of foreign affairs was extensive (unlike our current clueless administration). He left behind a 50-volume diary that provides one of the most comprehensive pictures of the period, one that historians often cite. He passionately defended American interests and was certainly no empire builder. He noted positively that the U.S. "has abstained from interference in the concerns of others, even when conflict has been for principles to which she clings." Certainly, he did not see our country as policeman to the world. Instead, he noted:
Wherever the standard of freedom and Independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.....She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom.
Ah...for the wisdom of a John Quincy Adams today. We would not be bogged down int he Middle East swamp and we would have far fewer of our men and women serving all over the globe in harms way. I wonder how different our country would be if her people would study the past, particularly the wisdom of so many of our founders. Reading a biography of John Quincy Adams would be a good place to start.

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