Timeless Wisdoom from Robert Louis Dabney (1820 – 1898)

“American conservatism is merely the shadow that follows Radicalism as it moves forward towards perdition. It remains behind it, but never retards it, and always advances near its leader. The pretended salt hath utterly lost its savor: wherewith shall it be salted? Its impotency is not hard, indeed, to explain. It is worthless because it is the conservatism of expediency only, and not of sturdy principle. It intends to risk nothing for the sake of truth, and has no idea of being guilty of the folly of martyrdom. It always—when about to enter a protest—very blandly informs the wild beast whose path it essays to stop, that its ‘bark is worse than its bite,’ and that it only means to save its manners by enacting its decent role of resistance.”

“In this day innovations march with rapid strides. The fantastic suggestions of yesterday, entertained only by a few fanatics, and then only mentioned by the sober to be ridiculed, is today the audacious reform, and will be tomorrow the recognized usage. Novelties are so numerous and so wild and rash, that even in conservative minds the sensibility of wonder is exhausted and the instinct of righteous resistance fatigued.”

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