The quotable Coolidge

Walter Lippmann said about Coolidge’s perceived inclination to inactivity, it “is far from being indolent inactivity. It is a grim, determined, alert inactivity.”

While Lippmann probably did not intend this as a compliment, from a laissez-faire, libertarian point of view an inactive chief executive is the best type of chief executive. And for Coolidge, this truly was a matter of principle – he stated his very modest view of the role the government ought to have in people’s lives as follows:

“If the federal government should go out of existence, the common run of people would not detect the difference in the affairs of their daily life for a considerable length of time.”