On Observance and Action


…[T]he other thing we need to remember is the observance of the law. That ought to be fundamental, though I am afraid it is not in all respects. It is the only safeguard we have for our rights and for our liberties. I say the observance of the law. If we could secure that, almost all of the vexatious questions that face us at the present time would fade away with tomorrow’s sun.

So let us preach, insofar as we can, an observance of the law, not for the benefit of any supposed class, but again for the benefit of all the public and in order that we may bring about the greatest condition of prosperity and happiness to all our people. 

And an observance of the law means a government…not of men, but of laws. It means no dictation by one man, whatever his position may be, and it means no dictation by a million men, whatever position they may hold. 

It means always action under and according to the Constitution. And if we can establish that condition, then we Americans can maintain the authority of the law, and we can maintain the freedom of action that come from it, and we can carry our nation forward and ever forward into a better condition than ever before existed. 

— Calvin Coolidge, excerpt of an Address to the Home Market Club, May 14, 1920

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