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America has to be good to be great

Letter to the editor

In 1830, the government of France sent a well-respected judge, Alexis de Toaqueville, to study the society, the beliefs and the prisons of the United States to find out why there was so little crime and so few prisons.

After several years of study, he wrote a celebrated book called “The Democracy of the United States” in 1840. Alexis de Tocqueville wrote about the reason for America’s greatness as a nation and the real reason for her low crime rate at that time:

“I sought for the greatness of the United States in her commodious harbors, her ample rivers, her fertile fields, and boundless forests — and it was not there. I sought for it in her rich mines, her vast world commerce, her public school system and in her institutions of higher learning — and it was not there. I looked in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution — and it was not there. Not until I went to the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with rightesouness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great!”

“If we ever forget that we’re one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.” — President Ronald Reagan.

DANIEL DEL VECCHIO

Albany

Comments

Nous_Defions 11 months ago

Yes, de Tocqueville also had other opinions about America, here are some of my favorites:

"The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."

"A democratic government is the only one in which those who vote for a tax can escape the obligation to pay it."

"There are many men of principle in both parties in America, but there is no party of principle."

And my most favorite:

"All those who seek to destroy the liberties of a democratic nation ought to know that war is the surest and shortest means to accomplish it."

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Abytaxpayer 11 months ago

“If we ever forget that we’re one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.” — President Ronald Reagan.

Amen

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