From the department of “the more things change, the more they stay the same”

I’m reading the collected writings of Ben Franklin from the Library of America (yes, all 1600 or so pages of it), and I ran across the following passage:

It is remarkable that soldiers by profession, men truly and unquestionably brave, seldom advise war but in cases of extream [sic] necessity.  While mere rhetoricians, tongue-pads and scribes, timid by nature, or from their little bodily exercise deficient in those spirits that give real courage, are ever bawling for war on the most trifling occasions, and seem the most blood-thirsty of mankind.

That was written almost 240 years ago and yet is a perfect description of the op-ed writers in today’s papers (e.g., George Will, Charles Krauthammer, etc.).  I would say that Franklin’s prescient, but since people don’t ever change, I’ll settle for ‘keen observer.’

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