The idea expressed by the above quote is often accepted as axiomatic when any discussion comparing soft vs hard Aikido is undertaken. So the purpose of this thread is to question and examine the underlying assumption, namely that the ability to express benevolence must necessarily be predicated upon the ability to inflict pain and punishment, as it relates to Aikido.
I don't want to derail your thread, Ron, but the question that you're posing does not follow from the quote that you started the thread with. The essence of that quote is simple: if you do not have the power to do something, you are not refraining
from doing it, you are simply incapable of doing it. Your argument is completely different, but in this context, it's a strawman: I don't see anyone arguing that ability to express X is predicated upon ability to do Y, merely that ability to do X is necessary in order to refrain from doing X. If you can simply set that quote aside, I think you've got the start of a good discussion, but if you want to argue against that quote, I think that argument is simply and conclusively dismissed.