Quotation by Rutherford Birchard Hayes

The real grounds of difference upon important political questions no longer correspond with party lines.... Politics is no longer the topic of this country. Its important questions are settled... Great minds hereafter are to be employed on other matters.... Government no longer has its ancient importance.... The people's progress, progress of every sort, no longer depends on government. But enough of politics. Henceforth I am out more than ever.
Rutherford Birchard Hayes (1822–1893), U.S. president. Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes: Nineteenth President of the United States, vol. I, p. 422, ed. Charles Richard Williams, The Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society, 5 vols. (1922-1926), Diary (September 24, 1852).

Written during the presidential campaign in which he took little interest since both parties viewed the slavery issue as settled by the Compromise of 1850. "The truth is," he remarked on October 17, 1852, "there is no principle at stake in the election."
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