Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt.
While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue then will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader.
Update: "There are many men of principle in both parties in America, but there is no party of principle." - Toqueville
UpUpdate: "All who have ever written on government are unanimous, that among people generally corrupt, liberty cannot long exist." - Edmund Burke
Up3date: "Good government generally begins in the family, and if the moral character of a people once degenerate, their political character must soon follow." - Elias Boudinot
Wise men, though all laws were abolished, would lead the same lives. - Aristophanes
How can we live in harmony? First we need to know we are all madly in love with the same God. - Aquinas