Not Yours to Give, from The Life of David Crockett
A number of things are striking about this story:
- Crockett actually listened to and respected the opinions of his constituents. He knew he could be easily replaced if he lost the peoples' trust.
- His constituents are literate and informed, in spite of living in the "backwoods" of Tennessee. They keep an eye on what their representatives are doing in Washington. They care about the way they are governed. They have read the Constitution and understand the limits it places on Congress. Can we say as much about ourselves?
- Crockett realized he was wrong and admitted it. When was the last time you caught a politician doing that?
- Crockett came to understand his responsibility with regards to taxpayer money. He realized that he was only a steward and did not have the freedom to distribute money at will from the public treasury. He clearly makes the distinction between private charity and government aid.