"And so, my fellow Americans:
Ask not what your country can do for you --
ask what you can do for your country.
My fellow citizens of the world:
Ask not what America will do for you,
but what together we can do for the freedom of man."
John F. Kennedy
(1917-1963) 35th US President
Inaugural address, January 20, 1961
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Reader comments about this quote:
Ask not what your country will do for you but ask what they will do to you if you fail to waive your rights on tax returns or file a truthful return, saying that you received no substance measured in dollard. The dollar was permanently fixed as a measure of silver in the coinage act of 1792 and has never been repealed or rescinded. See: www.morpix.biz/dc www.morpix.biz/mj
 -- Dave Wilber     
  • 3
    Socialists have used the first part of this quote to promote their anti-freedom campaign by misinterpreting it for this generation and the one coming into believing J.F.K. believed in socialistic programs. Though I believe Kennedy didn't think it necessary I think he should have added to this half what he ended the second half with. "Ask what you can do for your country"....."for the freedom of man." The second part has to be kept low key because people might then ask why we are bailing out foreign nations with our tax debt. I know the question has been asked and answered with typical socialistic rhetoric that all ultimately boils down to the same thing which is "for the good of America". And as our leaders tell us under such "extrordinary circumstances" we have "no choice" but to further bankrupt our country to rescue it from bankruptcy. E Archer, you're the economic expert here. What do you say? Am I close?
     -- Anon     
  • 3
     -- Mike, Norwalk      
     -- jim k, austin      
    I have often had mixed feelings about this well worn phraseology of JFK's. I think the first part simply relates to the idea of Union, together we stand, divided we fall. Those who only think of profits, greed, self in effect and have no capacity to think of us, community, nation, is what he is talking about. In the same vain he is telling the nations of the world not to look to the USA selfishly but as a partner. And obviously in 2009 the world is freer and people have more freedom worldwide, need I comment on the fall of the Soviet Union or the somewhat new economic freedom of China etc. Because of my mixed feelings and the triteness and overworn use of this quote I give it only a three.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
  • 2 1
    Future historians may see his speech that day as a high point for the ideals the United States once aspired to. We have fallen very far from the tree.
     -- A.WOODS, Gloucester     
  • 3
    Seems apropos given the current trend to 'bail out' everybody. I think the one thing that patriotic Americans can do for their country is to stop treating it like an unlimited credit line. I think we should perfect Liberty in this country first before spreading our form of 'Freedom' in foreign lands -- what we are instituting in other countries like Iraq is NOT the form of government our Founders instituted for us!
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 3
    JFK was way ahead of his time - and we still don't get it!
     -- RBESRQ     
  • 3
     -- Anonymous      
     -- Anonymous      
    i think hes a boss
     -- anonymous, san diego     
  • 2
    A Sovereign Individual, by virtue of his or her Virtue, necessarily lives to act in his or her own, and the nation's, best interests.
     -- Patrick Henry, Red Hill     
  • 2
    The modern democrat party would throw him out on his butt for suggesting people should not ask the government for more.
     -- Tony L., Maryland     
  • 2
    When's the last you heard a leftist dem quote THOSE words of wisdom? My how pendulum has shifted. The democrats of the 60s are the far right of today!
     -- Jim Kelly, Derry     
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