Like a gift of providence, author Ron Chernow and playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda have reawakened Americans to the wisdom of Alexander Hamilton. Their efforts arrive at a time when the civic charge of one of our greatest statesmen must again be understood and heeded:
To … [monitor] the progress of such endeavors [despotism] is the office of the free press. To give us early alarm and put us on our guard against encroachments of power. This then is a right of utmost importance, one for which, instead of yielding it up, we ought rather to spill our blood.
~ as quoted by Ron Chernow in Alexander Hamilton, p. 670
The experience of past ages may inform us that when the circumstances of a people render them distressed, their rulers generally recur to severe, cruel, and oppressive measures. Instead of endeavoring to establish their authority in the affection of their subjects, they think they have no security but in their fear. They do not aim at gaining their fidelity and obedience by making them flourishing, prosperous, and happy, but by rendering them abject and dispirited. They think it necessary to intimidate and awe them to make every accession to their own power, and to impair the peoples as much as possible.”
~ “The Farmer Refuted,” Feb. 5, 1775