[quoting someone else] the American constitution is a document designed by geniuses to be eventually interpreted by idiots
Lincoln once said that America was founded on a proposition that was written by Jefferson in 1776. We are really founded on an argument about what that proposition means.
Even in the best of lives, mistakes are made.
Chronology, so the saying goes, is the last refuge of the feeble-minded and the only resort for historians.
Men make history, but they can never know the history they are making.
I'm one of those people that believes you should start writing before you think you're ready.
Grand visions, even those as prescient as Washington's, must nevertheless negotiate the damnable particularities that history in the short run tosses up before history in the long run arrives to validate the vision.
...the very notion that a candidate should openly solicit votes violated the principled presumption that such behavior itself represented a confession of unworthiness for national office.
Washington's task was to transform the improbable into the inevitable.
Because he could not afford to fail, he could not afford to trust.
I deeply regret having let stand and later confirming the assumption that I went to Vietnam. For this and any other distortions about my personal life, I want to apologize to my family, friends, colleagues and students. Beyond that circle, however, I shall have no further comment.
I would say readers can trust my work more than anyone else's.
And the only thing to do with a sin is to confess, do penance and then, after some kind of decent interval, ask for forgiveness.
To my three sons, Peter, Scott, and Alexander who pulled me from the 18th Century and back into the present on a regular basis and therefore made me a better person, thank you. And to my wife, who sits at the table there. Who is right about almost everything.
Some models of self-control are able to achieve their serenity easily because the soul fires never burn brightly to begin with.
I believe I am an honorable man.
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