The duties of a Congressman require a clearer head than I have practiced in the past. Maria suggested this journal could help adjust. The men who surround me in the halls of Congress all had proper upbringings, and take to desks and speeches as if it were their second nature. They are very smug, this new nobility. In their home countries they were criminals, radicals, and zealots. Here they all itch to carve out their own fiefdom in the new world. But if we are to truly stop fiefdoms and build lasting republican institutions, we must both embolden and splinter government institutions. In order for just law to be served, the government's mechanisms to exert control over the populace must be powerful and adaptable, yet fractured to the point where no one faction or party could use the mechanisms to oppress the others. That is what the wise M. Jefferson and M. Madison claim our constitution does, and yet still the black man is in chains and the red man runs from the guns of the colonist. My fear is that we have fallen too far on the side factional power, where in the diffusion of power, the inertia of an evil may easily prevail. Of course, these are discussions that would have me out on my ass were I to voice them on the floor of the House of Representatives.
Richard P. Bessett, United States Congressman for Pennsylvania