"It is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren, till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst and provide for it."
by:
Patrick Henry
(1736-1799) US Founding Father
Source:
Patrick Henry, Speech at the Second Virginia Convention at St. John's Church in Richmond, Virginia (23 March 1775); first published in Life and Character of Patrick Henry (1817) by William Wirt
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Reader comments about this quote:
The last statist theocracy's patron aspiring to the position of head executive despot, ran on hope, counting on the indulging illusions of the dummied down blind and deaf - they existing outside liberty's loving embrace. Man's temporal salvation is now left to a great, arduous and painful struggle for liberty. I too, am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst and provide for it.
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Despite what our self serving politicians may think, we are not beasts. Take out the trash in November.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    As to "illusions of hope", we got a dose of "hope" with Obama, but hope is just delayed dissapointment in this case.
     -- jim k, Austin,Tx     
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    And how did Patrick Henry know so well then and of what we are enduring now? He and all the Founders braved this new land to ensure they would never again live under the oppressive government from which they came. They knew freedom is only preserved with enduring vigilance and a sure purpose to secure by writ the rights given by God to all men.
     -- Carol, Georgia     
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    O what words do hold their own With little sight to gather sown Yet, we forge forward in the dark And listen not for all's a lark. What temper is for holding fast we easily lose until the last. RBE
     -- RBESRQ     
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    Saturday Senator Saxby Chambliss said "we are now making a situation whereby future generations will have to pay higher taxes". What he gutlessly failed to say is that "we should be paying higher taxes NOW and thus be responsible for our present and future". That kind of statement would be in keeping with the realism expressed in this quote. P. Henry did not leave the fight for freedom only to the future but took it up himself. If all Fed spending stopped at midnight tonight we would still be 13 trillion in debt (most of that from Bush) it is time for the American people to stand up to our responsibilities on this debt and thus Honor the realism of Patrick Henry.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    Most of that from Bush? Ummm Wrong Waffler. Your Kenyan deity tripled the debt after Bush, in keeping with his agenda of destroying the USA completely. And why do you zealots of the far left keep bring up Bush? he's gone! get it? Gone! The patient is dying on the floor and you people want to argue about who assaulted her. How completely moronic and inneffective...but that's the Liberal way isn't it?
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    As usual Carleton cares nothing about facts. His attitude is why we are and we will remain forever in debt. Regardless of who is President or what party is in power the debt is ours. We need to stand up like Patrick Henry and take responsiblity NOW. The debt rounded to the nearest trillion was as follows from 9/30/2000 to 9/30/2009 Clinton/s last year 6, Bushes 8 years in went 6, 6, 7, 7, 8, 8, 9, 10, Obamas 1 1/2 year in went 11, 13. Clinton was the only man in modern times to have balanced budgets and guys like Carleton want us to return to polcies like Bushes go figure. Carleton please explain how going from 10 to 13 is a tripling of anything.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    Is this the part of wise men? Yes it was and is, the fight for liberty. Mr Henry then quotes KJ exsplaining he does have ears that can hear, and eyes that can see but that his foes can not. Then goes to the apostle Paul for his comparison of temporal salvation. Willing to pay the price to know the whole truth.
     -- Ron, s     
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    Thank you Patrick Henry, I could not have said it better myself!
     -- Abigail, Newport     
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    Do you make this up as you go Waffler? No worries, at least you don't disappoint. You're on track as a communist and all is well in Waffler's world. BUT! You folks are going to be taken out with the trash in November. So get ready...and keep waving your little "hopey" flags.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    The illusion of hope is exactly how Obama duped the intellectuals and the ignorant masses. And when the economic future loooks bleak, who doesn't want change? It is frightening to watch how easily the Marxists are able to manipulate public opinion. It didn't happen overnight though. They've been preparing the public for this "change" since Woodrow Wilson and FDR.
     -- l. Carroll, Durham     
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    Let us stand up like Patirck Henry and demand taxes sufficient to pay our debt. They sacrificed in 1776 can not we do the same today.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    When debt is incurred through a false balance there is no justice or equity, but only continued enslavement. Many people now know over inflation. For the sake of profiterring and the cuff money it provides. Usery in any form upon your childrens beds is consent to enslavement. A city or nation to itself under our foundational rules must not enact usery upon its children but upon the stranger. There by keeping liberty and freedom alive for our posterity. The rights to person and property not taxed away, Porperty tax must stop, over inflated value must stop. Direct tax upon the childrens wages must be stoped. Tax must be upon money spent upon concent of the inhabatents of said city or county. But never direct upon his home or wage. For in doing so you take away his liberty and his freedom and rights to heritage by God. Look at our planet now at its unbridled consumpion of resources by the industialist and the perpetuating unsistainable life stiles of city life.We have regressed to Roman rule of law and life stile. Corruption at its best.
     -- Ron, Salem     
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    For goodness sakes, Waffler, I am constantly amazed at how you ever try to twist an opposite meaning out of the intent of the speaker. How you can use this classic quote for realizing the tyranny that bound the early Americans into a call for more taxation is beyond me. Why not address the fact that America has been bankrupted to the funny-money-system that guarantees a massive unpayable debt. Taxes pay for nothing when Congress can extend themselves currency backed by nothing but more promises to pay when there is absolutely no way to pay. The debt can simply be forgiven, Waffler -- it has been forced upon us, we are not signatory to it. The system of banking in this country (and now around the world) has intentionally broken our economy (and all the other economies) and the debt is still there. We treat 'promises' as if the real thing and when we don't get anything promised, we simply promise again. An economy based on promises and not substance is speculative at best -- it is a form of gambling adding to the natural risks of life instead of protecting us further. Wake up, Waffler's of the world, and see that LIES are not REALITY. I suggest you pay more taxes Waffler, or even just sign over your Social Security and pension to the government and let them take care of you entirely. Let the rest of us manage to live by our own wits without your interference.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    The utterances of a man of towering character and intelligence.

    So much for the Theory of Evolution.

    From a generation of colossi to a generation of homunculi(with rare exceptions) in 240 years.

    Virtue makes the defining difference.
     -- Patrick Henry, Red Hill     
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    Holy shit, that's a good one. Very Shakespearean.
     -- Howard, Bangkok     
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    To all my dear friends on Liberty-Tree, Wishing you all a Very Happy New Year.
     -- Robert, Somewhere in America     
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    To the Degree hope resides, Charity ENDURES ALL. Works Are Manifest among men,There by, you "know" where their faith resides. This is the fruit desired !
    Semper FI. God Bless and a Very Merry Christmas.
    " All are architects of Fate, Working in these walls of Time; some with massive deeds and great, Some with ornaments of rhyme."
    The Builders, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
     -- Ronw13, Oregon     
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