"I am here because I want to redefine the meaning of citizenship in America... If you’re asked in school ‘What does it mean to be a good citizen?’ I want the answer to be, ‘Well, to be a good citizen, you have to obey the law, you’ve got to go to work or be in school, you’ve got to pay your taxes and, oh, yes, you have to serve in your community to help make it a better place.’"
Bill Clinton
[William Jefferson Blythe III] (1946- ), 42nd US President
Presidents' Summit for America's Future, Philadelphia, April 27-29, 1997
Bookmark and Share  
Reader comments about this quote:
Words of the Best President sense FDR.
 -- Leo W. Livingston, Daytona Beach     
    On its face, I'm in complete accord with the statement starting at "If Your're asked". I could have written the exact same statement. It is the redefining of meanings that I am vehemently apposed to. I believe in the original meanings such as,obeying and sustaining natural law with all its harmonious codes, ordinances, regulations, rules, statutes, etc., NOT man's tyrannical edicts (that he calls law) that he enforces as though it / they were law. The here term 'work' would not include any unconstitutional positions or any anti-law professions such as most of government. AND, most taxes enforced upon the statist theocracy's helots, serfs, and otherwise slaves are not included in "your taxes". My taxes do not include involuntary servitude, loss of value by funny money or confiscation of a sovereign's property.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    What does he think Americans have been doing since the beginning?! America was built by communities - people _voluntarily_ working together, yes, even serving each other, to achieve a Land of the Free.
     -- Grace, Norfolk, VA     
    I agree with Leo but don't think it is a great quote. The term citizen denotes relationship with others within a georgraphic region or community. That relationship requires responsibilty towards each other and towards all.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
    At least he didn't say you have to have sex with an intern in the oval office. This is a good quote from one of the slimiest characters to ever occupy the White House.
     -- jim k, Austin,Tx     
    All the scandals he and Hillary shared-this quote is only words.
     -- cal, lewisville, tx     
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA, US      
    I have no respect for a man who wants to "redefine" the meaning of American citizenship. Our founding fathers provided that meaning to us and they did so exquisitely. Clinton, a man with the morals of an alley cat, is basically saying do as you're told and you will be a good citizen. What a bunch of absolute hogwash. America was built by people of free spirit and innovative drive. And "pay your taxes" is a ridiculous premise. What he means is you should be compliant to supporting insane government spending policies through a system of extortion at gun point. They're not "my taxes", they are a fee imposed by a despotic organization that sees us a sheep to be fleeced at will. End the Fed.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
    I don't think this is a bad quote, but taken piece by piece, the dems are running as fast as they can in the other direction. First obey the law.....what about they illegals they are protecting from prosecution and providing services for. Second, go to work or be in school....what about all the welfare handouts, food stamps, and medical care to people who can work but would rather sit and collect. Third.....you've got to pay your taxes.......look at the percentage at this point of people who pay no taxes at all....who are usually the recipients of the services listed above. Last, you've got to serve your community.......as in (gasp) churches who regularly help others? Lots of us Christians do this but are vilified anyway. My problem is, he said this, but I don't think he believes it, and Obama certainly doesn't.
     -- Robin, Spokane     
    Spoken like the good statist that he is. Clinton thinks that serving the state is the highest purpose of the individual. Interesting how this type of totalitarian thought has given us a President whose primary credentials for office are a history of being a "community activist." In a free society, the good of the individual trumps the good of the state, and the individual is free to determine for him or herself what constitutes good. If anyone wonders just where the individual freedom that Americans have assumed would always be there for us, this quote illustrates the thought process that began the decline.
     -- Legalize Freedom, Sarasota     
    From the guy who said, "It all depends on what the meaning of 'is' is." Clinton is a master of twisting words, but let's break it down: "redefine ... citizenship" "obey" "work" "pay" "serve". These are the ends, but by what means? Instead, what if the American student was taught that he/she was a sovereign citizen, whose freedom is founded upon his responsibility to defend it for himself and his fellow citizens, that to be HONEST and generous is its own reward, that the 'law' cannot tell people what to do, it can only define the limits imposed by the rights of others -- state compulsion to be a good citizen would certainly be a redefinition -- and has been tried by the likes of Hitler, Stalin, Lenin, Mao, Castro, and every totalitarian state. Clinton is/was a LIAR, a cheat, and a disgrace to the country for his behavior in office -- he is hardly an example for good citizenship.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    P.T. Barnum( alias Bill Clinton) came into the presidency as a somewhat wealthy individual and now his wealth is reported to be over $100 million. PT would have been proud, the rest of the country with the exception of Bill's buddies, fleeced as JC described.
     -- gtheo, portage,michigan     
     -- rearden, Burr Ridge IL      
    gtheo: It is curious how rich leftist liberals never seem to get their wealth "redistributed." From tax cheat Charlie Wrangle to tax cheat Tim Geithner, the whole string of them seem to have the magical (D) behind their names.
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
    I think Clinton is a 'fraud.' He and his wife are big time Progressive Socialists and I, for one am glad he cannot run for President again.
     -- Rhonda, Clarksville     
    Rate this quote!
    How many stars?

    What do YOU think?
    Your name:
    Your town:

    More Quotations
    Get a Quote-A-Day! Free!
    Liberty Quotes sent to your mail box.
    RSS Subscribe
    Quotes & Quotations - Send This Quote to a Friend

    © 1998-2024 Liberty-Tree.ca