"We declare it to be an unwritten law of this republic that no man shall be eligible for a third term of the Presidential office." This from "the Democratic national platform of 1896" was the basis on which "Joseph Ferreira, a New Bedford attorney, petitioned the Supreme Judicial Court for a restraining order to bar the name of President Roosevelt from the ballot in Massachusetts". In his brief, he claimed that it would violate the "unwritten law", the established "usages and customs of the American people".
The President, a great humanitarian, desirous of bringing about 'orderly processes everywhere', is unconsciously preparing the way for a dictator. He doesn't know he wants to be a dictator, nor do most of us know he is. It is a question if Mussolini meant to be. But that is unimportant. The way of the transgressor is hard. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, Dr. Johnson told us. My Presbyterian forbears taught me the pavement was skulls of innocents.
And Webster reminds us, "Good intentions do really sometimes exist when constitutional restraints are disregarded. There are men in all ages who mean to exercise power usefully; but who mean to exercise it. They mean to govern well; but they mean to govern. They promise to be kind masters; but they mean to be masters. They think there need be little restraint upon themselves. Their notion of the public interest is apt to be quite closely connected with their own exercise of authority. They may not always understand their own motives."(1)
What with shifting our frontier from The Channel to Dong Dang and points west and east, what with 'dedicating' the long finished,