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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

NUMBER: 1018
AUTHOR: James Truslow Adams (1878–1949)
QUOTATION: As we look over the list of the early leaders of the republic, Washington, John Adams, Hamilton, and others, we discern that they were all men who insisted upon being themselves and who refused to truckle to the people. With each succeeding generation, the growing demand of the people that its elective officials shall not lead but merely register the popular will has steadily undermined the independence of those who derive their power from popular election. The persistent refusal of the Adamses to sacrifice the integrity of their own intellectual and moral standards and values for the sake of winning public office or popular favor is another of the measuring rods by which we may measure the divergence of American life from its starting point.
ATTRIBUTION: JAMES TRUSLOW ADAMS, The Adams Family, p. 95 (1930).
SUBJECTS: Leadership