If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, [no] controls on government would be necessary.
In framing a system, which we wish to last for ages, we should not lose sight of the changes which ages will produce.
The means of defense against foreign danger historically have become the instruments of tyranny at home. [can you say Homeland Security?]
Wherever the real power in a Government lies, there is the danger of oppression.
Crisis is the rallying cry of the tyrant.
If man is not fit to govern himself, how can he be fit to govern someone else?
The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse.
–James Madison, 1751 – 1836
This was one smart, insightful human being.