"Nip the shoots of arbitrary power in the bud,
is the only maxim which can ever preserve
the liberties of any people."
John Adams
(1735-1826) Founding Father, 2nd US President
'Novanglus', 'Boston Gazette' 06 Feb 1775
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Reader comments about this quote:
For anyone concerned about their life and liberty, the happiness of their family and the future of their country this quotation states the task as succinctly as ever was. Adams was a very good man and his words ring true today.
 -- Rodney Porter, Springfield     
  • 1
    This quote is a great resource for anyone who studies John Adams. It is extremly helpful.
     -- Klacee Klaver, Carl junction MO.     
     -- Mike, Norwalk      
    John Adams was far from ordinary among his peers. He was a nut. (But remember what Billy Joel said about that.) If John were alive today, you can be sure he would take some decisive action, since the government we have today, including all three branches, is worse than that of King George lll of 1775.
     -- David L. Rosenthal     
    Arbitrary power is a term that we accept, but it is a kind of oxymoron, for when it is employed it is never arbitray in the minds of those who wield it. Sadly I would say that today we have moved far beyond arbitray power so nipping it in the bud is no longer an option.
     -- EGL, LA     
    No longer able to nip arbitrary power in the bud, I think we need to shoot the field of flowering weeds.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    O, for a John Adams in our day.
     -- Mike, Mount Holly, NC     
    David, so anyone willing to take decisive action is a nut? Mike, I agree, it's time to use weed killer in our gardens. "The tree of liberty could not grow were it not watered with the blood of tyrants." LOL
     -- Joe, Rochester, MI     
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US      
    Every encroachment becomes a precedent for another and another. When we are ready to stand up to arbitrary power and embrace the responsibilities that the government is trying to assume for us, then we have a chance at pruning the overgrown garden.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    Well, Joe, to be fair, I have never known anyone who was not crazy. Adams was generally impatient of wishy-washiness. He was a far-sighted analyst of the political situation. He was a conspirator against an empire. It takes a nut.
     -- David L. Rosenthal     
    If you want to see arbitary power look at either the EU or China, in Europe the Corpus jurus has taken over and becuase of the Lisbon Treaty EU police (europol) now have right to operate in Britain and "are immune from prosecution" not only this they can operate in Britain and can charge me with a differnet crime once in custody. Lisbon treaty page 18 article 9 defines the EU as three unelected politburos one of which is the European commision which has officals convicted for fraud. page 17 8b-4 “Not less than one million citizens who are nationals of many Member States may take the initiative of inviting the European Commission, within the framework of its powers, to submit any appropriate proposal on matters where citizens consider that a legal act of the Union is required for the purpose of implementing the Treaties.” In plain English you are only allowed to petition the commision (who are unelected and corrupt) for laws which agree with the existing treaties which gives the state more power. Page 13, 3A-3, end: “The Member States shall facilitate the achievement of the Union's tasks and refrain from any measure which could jeopardise the attainment of the Union's objectives." You are not allowed to resist the EU! now if i had a gun I would feel safer but that is illegal in britain so If any one of the people here knows how I get a gun anyway I would be much obliged.
     -- Matthew, police state of EU     
     -- Matthew, police state of EU      
    Great quote. Wish we had one of him today!
     -- Ardel, Wayne County, MA     
  • 1
    One of the best and certainly appropriate now.
     -- jm doslobos, washington ut     
     -- HUNTER, S.C.     
     -- madi      
    The hacks that we have in Washington today, couldn't even carry Adams lunch pail.
     -- jim k, austin tx     
  • 1
    Surprisingc coming from a federalist.
     -- cal, Lewisville, tx     
    Many kingdoms small and large, whether an individual or in concert have neglected their responsibility of maintaining the garden. Socialism can be liken to running vines and thorny underbrush chocking out the plants we cherish so much. Weak minds, uneducated, weak backs, lack of morals, are never up to the job. But yet the aged have need of such services in their own gardens who wish for those buds to be nipped and uprooted. Counsel for the weak mind, example, by way of action for those lacking morals, nippers and bullets for those called for the job ! A strong Constitution to stand on.
     -- Ronw13, Yachats Or     
     -- jim k, Austin      
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