Wednesday, August 24, 2016

One cannot help but to notice.....

................that, while history may not repeat itself, it certainly has a circular pattern.  The words quoted below were written in 1833.

     Besides, there was the great temptation to do nothing and let the people suffer the consequences of their electoral folly.  Let them now endure what the "madness of a lawless Military Chieftain" had brought.  When it comes to conduction public affairs, Clay declared, there is a simple principle worth noting: "when we do not see a very plainly marked way, to do nothing."  And considering how he had been treated by both pro- and antitariff parties, he thought he ought to "leave them to fight it out was well as they can."   We have no future, he despaired in a moment of weakness.  "After 44 years of existance under the present Constitution what single principle is fixed?  The Bank?  No.  Internal Improvements?  No.  The Tariff?  No.  Who is to interpret the Constitution?  No.  We are as much afloat at sea as the day when the Constitution went into operation.  There is nothing certain but that the will of Andw. Jackson is to govern; and that will fluctuates with the change of every pen which gives expression to it."
     Thus, if Clay did nothing, a mad tyrant would set the nation's agenda and provoke havoc and bloody civil war.  Jackson "has marked out two victims," Clay declared, "So. Carolina, and the Tariff and the only question with him is which shall be first immolated."
     Ultimately Clay shook off this despair and self-pity.  He could not allow his disappointments and bitterness to determine his behavior and actions.  As he said, "lingering hopes of my country prevail over these feelings of a just resentment, and my judgment tells me that disregarding them I ought to the last endeavor to do what I can to preserve its molestations and reestablish confidence and discord.  I shall act in conformity with this judgment."

-Robert V. Remini,  Henry Clay:  Statesman for the Union

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