"One of the best ways to get yourself a reputation
as a dangerous citizen these days
is to go about repeating the very phrases
which our founding fathers used
in the great struggle for independence."
by:
Charles Austin Beard
(1874-1948) Professor at Columbia University
Date:
1935
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Reader comments about this quote:
I believe this to be true.If the ideologies of patriotism and the values that shaped this country are today considered to be radical and a threat to the United States,then this is not the United States I want to live in.But I love the country this used to be so I will become part of the solution to the problem of a country gone astray from it's Founding Principles.If Thomas Jefferson,Thomas Paine and the other Founding Fathers were here today,we would be close associates.
 -- KS., Somewhere,USA.     
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    In today's terms, our founding fathers were "terrorists". Beware the Patriot Act.
     -- Joe, Rochester, MI     
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    This quote sounds as if Mr. Beard were quoting it today--this very day! I agree with both "KS" and "Joe", and if you think The Patriot Act is bad, have you read The Patriot Act II which is before Congree right now? It's time to take this Nation back, and give it back to We The People, the people it was intended for in the first place. When I talk about tyranny and those that tread on our blessed Constitutional Rights, some people look at me as if I am the Anti-Christ!
     -- James, Carterville     
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    Why is the religious right so paranoid? Their Poster Child, George II, is convinced that only he and those like him can "save" America. We don't need t be saved! What really is scary is that if you stand up against them, you too may end up in a miltary gulag in Cuba.
     -- Rev. Len Ripley, Folly Beach, SC     
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    And it is a shame that such a true and valid quote can be so quickly reduced to a religious struggle. Way to go, Len Ripley of Folly Beach, SC. Way to go.
     -- Joshua, Dallas     
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    It makes me incredibly sad about how true this quote is! The United States has lost exactly what made us great. And I totally agree with Joshua. Len, as much as everyone harps on and on about how our country is "banning" christianity from everywhere. IT ISN'T TRUE! How many times have you heard, not seen on TV, actually heard from a friend about people trying to ban religion? On TV? Maybe 3-4 times. We aren't paranoid. Today just about everything is the norm. Does anyone even take a second glance when there is a school shooting? When 5 people die from a serial killer? NO! We've become to used to everything, nobody gets shaken up about anything anymore... unless it actually happens to them.
     -- Matthew Puccio, Alvarado, TX     
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     -- Anonymous      
    Sad but true. I put this and a couple other quotes like it from this site up on a board here at my college. Within 24 hours they were all riped down and replaced with the kids of quotes you see all over 'tolerance' posters and in leftist propaganda. The ignorant masses at my school of 'higher education' annihilated quotes from both our founding fathers and others and replaced it with 'new age' ideology and socialism. Woe to those of us living in a dying county,
     -- Marshall Spruill, Duluth, Ga     
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    Too true! I'm not a terrorist http://beyondbabylon.blogspot.com/2009/05/im-not-terrorist.html
     -- David Ben-Ariel, Toledo     
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    With the anointed despot Obamunist on the sacred throne I don't even know what I could say to give this quote the accolades it deserves. And, all you right wing racist terrorists know who you are ;-)
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Saying those words today will at least get you on the list of potential domestic terrorists and once the law states that those words incite domestic terrorism the arrests will follow. There is nothing new under the sun.
     -- Anon     
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    This is a 5 Star quote - and I agree with most of the others on this page. A quick check of Beard and his wife Mary tells us that Charles was liberal supporter of FDR's "New Deal" - and Mary's "interests lay in feminism and the labor union movement ". Another great quote for me to use during my Saturday morning radio program in NH which can be heard everywhere by going to wezs.com/advocates 8:05-Noon Eastern. bnyoung@metrocast.net
     -- Niel Young, Laconia,NH     
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    Freedom of speech is about done in the USA. Mustn't say anything that might offend anyone, especially a lefty.
     -- jim k, austin     
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    This is so true it's scary. Wondering what it will be like in 4 years in this country is even frightening.
     -- T A Wade, Medford Lakes     
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    The Declaration was aimed at and predicated upon the fact that the colonies were ruled by a Kingdom of Tyranny. We are now a free and active democracy. The words do not apply to overthrowing a free and active democracy. Once "they" stop counting our votes or stealing elections then we can again invoke the Declaration. Jim K your amd Mike's very statements defies its own meaning. I guess it is therefore an oxymoron. In saying that freedom of speech is done you are exercising the full extent of freedom of speech. Forgive them for they know not what they say! Overthrowing a king or dictator or declaring independence from them is a whole lot different than overthrowing a freely and democratically elected government and society. Sadly some of y'all don't know the difference!
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    "The words do not apply to overthrowing a free and active democracy." Waffler, wake up...we are no longer a free and active society. There are so many levels of government contol and compliance in place that we can hardly be called "free".
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    Wake up Waffler. You got a fascist in the White House. I suppose you will just think it appropriate when only your opinion will be allowed. It will not be long before people that disagree with you could be looking at prosecution. Just take a look at what is going through the congress right now. It’s coming. The ball is rolling to nationalize every thing in this country and they have already started to push through the legislation that will support criminalizing your speech just on the basis that someone has decided it to be offensive. Our freely elected government managed to get into control by making sure that the voters no longer have enough knowledge of history or our constitution to know better than to vote for someone that promises "redistributive rights", “economic justice", and to "rebuild America on a new foundation". I suppose you might think that sounds good, but that would only prove to be ignorant. Our fearless misleader is now about to select a Supreme Court justice. He has stated that he believes that the court needs to be less concerned about the constraints of the constitution and more concerned about "redistributive rights". Heaven help us if we are told that the constitution protects the theft of property because someone deems it to be "fair".
     -- warren, olathe     
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    Waffler has already threatened to report folks on this site for stating that they would use arms to defend themselves against a runaway government no longer constraining themselves to the powers authorized by the Constitution. The words of the Declaration of Independence are alive today and for all people who would embrace them -- it is the stand we take when we say 'enough!' to those that have laid claim to our property and our labors. We are not a democracy, and never have been no matter how many times Waffler repeats it -- a lie does not become truth simply because enough people believe it. We are free and independent humans whose only obligation to others is to respect their rights as one would have others respect ours. There is no morality without voluntary choice to be charitable, kind, helpful, and respectful -- yes, all that is necessary for a free nation, and no amount of legislation or largess from the treasury can force it.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    The Declaration was a specific document written for a specific purpose. Its preamble has a timeless and universal appeal to it but the rest of the document is a detailed listing of the usurpations, indignities etcetera enacted upon the colonies by the King of England. If you all want to declare independence form someone I suggest you write a new Declaration and take up your arms. Lots of luck to all would be traitors. (I am of course being facetious about the luck part, I hope all traitors go to hell!) A traitor to me is someone who takes up arms against a freely elected government of the majority of the people. Small insurrections come and go and will be dealt with. I see little difference between your attitudes towards our majority governments (be they conservative, liberal, Democrat or Republican) and those of the Taliban and Al Qaeda against the majorities in their countries.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    And you Waffler, to me, are the traitor. You totally ignore the intent of the forefathers and continue on with your perverted definitions and analysis of our form of government with not a bit of common sense behind what you say. I'm also willing to bet my life on who's going to hell too.
     -- Anon     
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    Blah, blah. Make your Declaration sign your John Hancocks, take up your arms, I will prepare the gallows. To compare yourselves to the courageous founders is an outrage!
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    2010 we are reliving this exact scenario. Those speaking out for limited constitutional government are called dangerous radicals. Deja Vu All Over Again (another favorite quote) Long live what Jefferson called the spirit of resistance.
     -- T Lappas, Silver Spring, Md.     
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    The way Ron Paul has been treated by his own party and by the media will certainly validate this truth.
     -- Clay, DeSoto County, Mississippi     
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    Very well stated and true.
     -- James, Crossville     
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    Waffler would have been a Tory during the Revolution. His allegiance is to the IRS from whom he gets his pension. If that day does come Waffler when arms are taken up against a rogue government, I believe IRS employees will be primary targets -- so keep it up.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Wafflers of the world unite and collectively ask "where is this damn forest you're talking about? These doggone trees are blocking my view." Simply put, there are none so blind then those who WILL NOT see.
    Like others of their kind through history the enablers and useful idiots will eventually find themselves at the end of the same bayonet that they helped forge.

    "Democracy will soon degenerate into an anarchy; such an anarchy that every man will do what is right in his own eyes and no man's life or property or reputation or liberty will be secure, and every one of these will soon mould itself into a system of subordination of all the moral virtues and intellectual abilities, all the powers of wealth, beauty, wit, and science, to the wanton pleasures, the capricious will, and the execrable cruelty of one or a very few." -- John Adams, An Essay on Man's Lust for Power (1763)
     -- Mike, Pleasant Hill     
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    Waffle iron, freely elected government does not make it good. Have you forgotten FDR, LBJ, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton? ????
     -- cal, Lewisville, TX     
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    Even ( no, particularly ! ) the left will assail with every available tool, then invent some nasty and new ones. Think IRS, NSA, various Democrat congress persons. his is not exclusively true, but facts, truth, compassion, nearly all the good qualities, when they remain in our government are most likely found on the right.
     -- Bob, Charlotte     
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    This experiment , and the undertaking of It. To exercise and execute Moral Responsibility within a Free Republic and its governing representatives, bound duly so. President Washington spoke dearly so, of an hidden force this nation trust and waits upon. My righteousness is near; my salvation is gone forth, and my arms shall judge the people; the ( isles) shall wait upon me and on mine arm shall they trust. Hearken unto me, you that know righteousness,( the people in whose heart is my law); fear you not the reproach of men, neither be afraid of their revilings. For the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat then like wool: but my righteousness shall be forever, and my salvation from generation to generation. Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the Lord; awake as in the ancient days." Liberty and Freedom has made the depths of the sea a way for the ransomed to pass over. We have feared continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor. He fears his bread should fail. As Waffler also being his confidant. God pleadeth the cause of his people. The Lord of hosts is our God. Sense before the great Revolution, watchmen, have been called to lift up the voice, that Patriots may see eye to eye. As Washington and others new very well, the time would come when God would make bare his holy ( separate ) arm in the eyes of all the nations. This we wait upon ! Who hath believed our report ? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed ? I have heard a rumour from the Lord, and an ambassador is sent unto the people, saying, Gather ye together, and rise up to the battle. Behold he shall come up and fly as the eagle. Within the republican party are the core fundamentals and principals, but to draw them out when the water is so muddy ? I agree Bob," most likely are found on the right " ! This is not just any old time in time.
     -- Ronw13, Yachats Or     
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