[I]t's not enough to be right. I think you have to be generous. It's not enough to be logical. You have to be virtuous...[Y]our demeanor will carry your message, perhaps, even further than your words will...[P]eople don't just disagree with us. Many of them genuinely think that we are evil, and when people think you're evil, I don't think they listen very carefully to your words. They search your manner. They look for the slightest excuse to ignore all your impregnable arguments, all of your carefully-marshaled facts, and that's why we must never be mean-spirited or angry or petulant, or dismissive of the interest of others. I believe rudeness and arrogance, they would drive people away, that would only confirm their own prejudices. It's the excuse they're desperate for to walk away smug and happy and say 'these people are just small-minded angry bigots.' Our opponents don't recognize our good faith, but -and this is a hard thing- I think we must try our best to recognize their good faith...You can't expect them to recognize our good intentions unless we are willing to recognize theirs.
I have observed that gentlemen suppose that the general legislature will do every thing mischievous they possibly can, and that they will omit to do every thing good which they are authorized to do. If this were a reasonable supposition, their objections would be good. I consider it reasonable to conclude that they will as readily do their duty as deviate from it; nor do I go on the grounds mentioned by gentlemen on the other side — that we are to place unlimited confidence in them, and expect nothing but the most exalted integrity and sublime virtue. But I go on this great republican principle, that the people will have virtue and intelligence to select men of virtue and wisdom. Is there no virtue among us? If there be not, we are in a wretched situation. No theoretical checks, no form of government, can render us secure. To suppose that any form of government will secure liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people, is a chimerical idea. If there be sufficient virtue and intelligence in the community, it will be exercised in the selection of these men; so that we do not depend on their virtue, or put confidence in our rulers, but in the people who are to choose them.” James Madison (speech at the Virginia Ratifying Convention, 20 June 1788)