Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites, — in proportion as their love to justice is above their rapacity, — in proportion as their soundness and sobriety of understanding is above their vanity and presumption, — in proportion as they are more disposed to listen to the counsels of the wise and good, in preference to the flattery of knaves. Society cannot exist, unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere; and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.Like de Toqueville two generations later, Burke repays re-reading, even two hundred and more years later.
It's also Rush Limbaugh's birthday. Vilified on the left, Limbaugh has become the spokesman for the common-sense, Middle America, small business, Main Street conservative -- men, not incidentally, like my own father, men who get agitated when they hear self-appointed elites from coastal metropolises tell them that they know better what's good for them. The people who vilify Limbaugh don't listen to him, and likely have never listened to him, but simply take it on faith that what he says is evil and vicious. It's not. Limbaugh is consistently funny, humane, and wise -- you couldn't be anything else and survive for twenty plus years talking to people for three hours a day. Rush is 59.