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Declining Competence

To put it bluntly, it would be impossible in America today to assemble a group of people with anything near the combined experience, learning and wisdom that the 55 authors of the Constitution took with them to Philadelphia in the summer of 1787.
- Professor Forrest McDonald, National Endowment for Humanities' Jefferson Lecture, 1987, quoted by Sam Roberts in Forrest McDonald, Historian Who Punctured Liberal Notions, Dies at 89, NYT, Jan. 22, 2016


British workmen in the nineteenth century, undiverted by mass media, often read deeply and thoughtfully.
- William Manchester, The Last Lion, Sphere Books, 1984, p. 108.


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