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The Unconscious Suffragists

"They who have no voice nor vote in the electing of representatives do not enjoy liberty, but are absolutely enslaved to those who have votes."—Benjamin Franklin.

"No such phrase as virtual representation was ever known in law or constitution."—James Otis.

"But these great cities, says my honorable friend, are virtually, though not directly represented. Are not the wishes of Manchester, he asks, as much consulted as those of any other town which sends members to Parliament? Now, sir, I do not understand how a power which is salutary when exercised virtually can be noxious when exercised directly. If the wishes of Manchester have as much weight with us as they would have under a system which gives representatives to Manchester, how can there be any danger in giving representatives to Manchester?"—Lord Macaulay's Speech on the Reform Bill.

"Universal suffrage prolongs in the United States the effect of universal education: for it stimulates all citizens throughout their lives to reflect on problems outside the narrow circle of their private interests and occupations: to read about public questions; to discuss public characters and to hold themselves ready in some degree to give a rational account of their political faith."—Dr. Charles Eliot.

"But liberty is not the chief and constant object of their (the American people) desires: equality is their idol; they make rapid and sudden efforts to obtain liberty and if they miss their aim, resign themselves to their disappointment; but nothing can satisfy them without equality, and they would rather perish than lose it."—De Tocqueville: Democracy in America, 1835.

"A government is for the benefit of all the people. We believe that this benefit is best accomplished by popular government because in the long run each class of individuals is apt to secure better provision for themselves through their own voice in government than through the altruistic interest of others, however intelligent or philanthropic."—William H. Taft in Special Message.

"I have listened to some very honest and eloquent orators whose sentiments were noteworthy for this: that when they spoke of the people, they were not thinking of themselves, they were thinking of somebody whom they were commissioned to take care of. And I have seen them shiver when it was suggested that they arrange to have something done by the people for themselves."—The New Freedom, by Woodrow Wilson.