Updating Quotes – Thoreau

1967 U.S. postage stamp honoring Henry David T...

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Following the lead of those who decided to severely paraphrase a quote on the MLK Memorial in Washington (to make him sound like an egomaniac), it seems appropriate at this point to amend a few other famous quotes.

Start today with Henry David Thoreau. I’m sure he won’t mind just a bit of remodeling to the little cabin on Walden (but spare him the KitchenAid appliances). His quote originally stated:

That government is best which governs least.

It’s often attributed to others, but it is indeed his. (“Civil Disobedience”)

It deserves a bit of updating. He never anticipated iPads or computerized stock markets or 100,000-seat college football stadiums or “Desperate Housewives.” So, let’s help our old friend along. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind.

That government is best which governs least; unless, of course, we really feel strongly about something, then we’re OK with the government taking charge, overfunding, eliminating or reducing rights, and creating a slew of civil service jobs (many redundant and unnecessary); but we’d rather not pay more taxes to fund it, so find a way to borrow from something else in a way that we don’t immediately notice; but we strenuously object to the same being done for people we don’t like or don’t know, especially dirty people, or people who look dirty; In God We Trust.

Ah, a refreshing remodel.

He might want some of the syntax massaged a bit, but, otherwise, I think he’d be thrilled. Don’t you?