On Standards


The law alone cannot establish standards, that must be done by the people themselves. If all honor is to be given to wealth and place, there is bound to be an unending clash of interests. But if service be made the standard, if men are judged not by what they have, but by what they are, if they will cease putting all the emphasis on what they are going to get and more of it on what they ought to do, if they will refrain from giving the entire attention to the material side of life and live more in accord with their intellectual, social, and moral nature, if they will apply the teachings of religion, the discord and discontent will give place to harmony. No one has ever proposed any other practical remedy [to our political problems].

— Calvin Coolidge, excerpt of speech before Presbyterian General Assembly, May 21, 1922

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