“Many of us are proud, and are frequently disappointed that office confers neither respect or difference. No man of merit can ever be disgraced by office.
A rogue in office may be feared in some governments—he will be respected in none. After all, what we call respect and difference only arise from contrast of situation, as most of our ideas come by comparison and relation.
Where the people are free there can be no great contrast or distinction among honest citizens in or out of office. In proportion as the people lose their freedom, every gradation of distinction, between the Governors and governed obtains, until the former become masters, and the latter become slaves. In all governments virtue will command reverence.”
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– John Francis Mercer (A [Maryland] Farmer), Anti-Federalist No. 3, “New Constitution Creates a National Government, Will not Abate Foreign Influence, Dangers of Civil War and Despotism,” March 7, 1788