Famous Quotations / Quotes
Famous Quotes about Liberty
 

 
Famous quotes, quotations, sayings, phrases, idioms, proverbs, and axioms about Liberty and the Responsibility that comes with it. 
 


The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations

A classic since 1953 with over 20,000 quotes from over 3,000 authors.


Famous Last Words

Apt Observations, Pleas, Curses, Benedictions, Sour Notes, Bons Mots, and Insights from People on the Brink of Departure


Stretch Your Wings

Famous Black Quotations for the Young


American Quotations

An exhaustive collection of profound quotes from the founding fathers, presidents, statesmen, scientists, constitutions, court decisions


The Oxford Dictionary of Humorous Quotations


Last Words of Saints and Sinners

700 Final Quotes from the Famous, the Infamous, and the Inspiring Figures of History


America's God and Country: Encyclopedia of Quotations

Contains over 2,100 profound quotations from founding fathers, presidents, constitutions, court decisions and more


The Law

This 1850 classic is an absolute must read for anyone interested in law, justice, truth, or liberty. A most compelling and revolutionary look at The Law.


Bartlett's Familiar Quotations

A Collection of Passages, Phrases, and Proverbs Traced to Their Sources in Ancient and Modern Literature (17th Edition)


The Stupidest Things Ever Said by Politicians

Rise up, America -- and laugh out loud at the greatest gaffes that no spin doctor could possibly fix!


The 776 Even Stupider Things Ever Said

Another great collection of stupidity


Quotable Quotes

Wit and Wisdom for All Occasions from America's Most Popular Magazine


The Most Brilliant Thoughts of All Time

You don't have to be a genius to sound like one. Here's a collection of the most profound and provocative wit and wisdom in the English language in two lines or less.


2,715 One-Line Quotations for Speakers, Writers & Raconteurs

Invaluable sampler of witticisms, epigrams, sayings, bon mots, platitudes and insights chosen for their brevity and pithiness.


Phillips' Book of Great Thoughts Funny Sayings

A stupendous collection of quotes, quips, epigrams, witticisms, and humorous comments for personal enjoyment and ready reference.


Quick Quips and Quotes; 532 Things I Wish I Had Said

Quick Quips and Quotes is the Ultimate Collection of one liners.


Bartlett's Book of Anecdotes

The ultimate anthology of anecdotes, now revised with over 700 new entries.


Quotations for Public Speakers

A Historical, Literary, and Political Anthology


Liberty - The American Revolution

This compelling series traces the events leading up to the war and America's fight for freedom.


Founding Fathers

The story of how these disparate characters fomented rebellion in the colonies, formed the Continental Congress, fought the Revolutionary War, and wrote the Constitution


Libertarianism: A Primer

David Boaz, director of the Cato Institute, has written a simple introduction to Libertarianism inteneded to appeal to disgruntled Democrats and Republicans everywhere.


The Libertarian Reader

Classic and Contemporary Writings from Lao-Tzu to Milton Friedman


Thomas Paine: Collected Writings

All the classics: Common Sense / The Crisis / Rights of Man / The Age of Reason / Pamphlets, Articles, and Letters

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Lord ActonI cannot accept, your canon that we are to judge pope and king unlike other men, with a favorable presumption that they do no wrong. If there is any presumption, it is the other way against holders of power ... Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
John AdamsAll the perplexities, confusion and distress in America arise not from defects in their Constitution or Confederation, nor from want of honor or virtue, so much as downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit, and circulation.
John AdamsThe priesthood have, in all ancient nations, nearly monopolized learning.... And, even since the Reformation, when or where has existed a Protestant or dissenting sect who would tolerate A FREE INQUIRY? The blackest billingsgate, the most ungentlemanly insolence, the most yahooish brutality is patiently endured, countenanced, propagated, and applauded. But touch a solemn truth in collision with a dogma of a sect, though capable of the clearest proof, and you will soon find you have disturbed a nest, and the hornets will swarm about your legs and hands, and fly into your face and eyes.
John AdamsBe not intimidated... nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your liberties by any pretense of politeness, delicacy, or decency. These, as they are often used, are but three different names for hypocrisy, chicanery and cowardice.
John AdamsThe jaws of power are always open to devour, and her arm is always stretched out, if possible, to destroy the freedom of thinking, speaking, and writing.
John AdamsWe think ourselves possessed, or, at least, we boast that we are so, of liberty of conscience on all subjects, and of the right of free inquiry and private judgment in all cases, and yet how far are we from these exalted privileges in fact! There exists, I believe, throughout the whole Christian world, a law which makes it blasphemy to deny or doubt the divine inspiration of all the books of the Old and New Testaments, from Genesis to Revelations. In most countries of Europe it is punished by fire at the stake, or the rack, or the wheel. In England itself it is punished by boring through the tongue with a red-hot poker. In America it is not better; even in our own Massachusetts, which I believe, upon the whole, is as temperate and moderate in religious zeal as most of the States, a law was made in the latter end of the last century, repealing the cruel punishments of the former laws, but substituting fine and imprisonment upon all those blasphemers upon any book of the Old Testament or New. Now, what free inquiry, when a writer must surely encounter the risk of fine or imprisonment for adducing any argument for investigating into the divine authority of those books? Who would run the risk of translating Dupuis? But I cannot enlarge upon this subject, though I have it much at heart. I think such laws a great embarrassment, great obstructions to the improvement of the human mind. Books that cannot bear examination, certainly ought not to be established as divine inspiration by penal laws. It is true, few persons appear desirous to put such laws in execution, and it is also true that some few persons are hardy enough to venture to depart from them. But as long as they continue in force as laws, the human mind must make an awkward and clumsy progress in its investigations. I wish they were repealed. The substance and essence of Christianity, as I understand it, is eternal and unchangeable, and will bear examination forever, but it has been mixed with extraneous ingredients, which I think will not bear examination, and they ought to be separated. Adieu.
John AdamsNip the shoots of arbitrary power in the bud, is the only maxim which can ever preserve the liberties of any people.
John AdamsLiberty, according to my metaphysics, is an intellectual quality, an attribute that belongs not to fate nor chance. Neither possesses it, neither is capable of it. There is nothing moral or immoral in the idea of it. The definition of it is a self-determining power in an intellectual agent. It implies thought and choice and power; it can elect between objects, indifferent in point of morality, neither morally good nor morally evil.
John AdamsThere is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty.
John AdamsA question arises whether all the powers of government, legislative, executive, and judicial, shall be left in this body? I think a people cannot be long free, nor ever happy, whose government is in one Assembly.
John AdamsObjects of the most stupendous magnitude, and measure in which the lives and liberties of millions yet unborn are intimately interested, are now before us. We are in the very midst of a revolution the most complete, unexpected and remarkable of any in the history of nations.
John AdamsStatesmen, my dear Sir, may plan and speculate for liberty, but it is religion and morality alone, which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand. The only foundation of a free Constitution is pure virtue, and if this cannot be inspired into our People in a greater Measure than they have it now, they may change their rulers and the forms of government, but they will not obtain a lasting liberty.
John Adams[You have Rights] antecedent to all earthly governments:
Rights, that cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws;
Rights, derived from the Great Legislator of the universe.
John AdamsWe should be unfaithful to ourselves if we should ever lose sight of the danger to our liberties if anything partial or extraneous should infect the purity of our free, fair, virtuous, and independent elections.
John AdamsWhen I went home to my family in May, 1770, from the town meeting in Boston, which was the first I had ever attended, and where I had been chosen in my absence, without any solicitation, one of their representatives, I said to my wife, "I have accepted a seat in the House of Representatives, and thereby have consented to my own ruin, to your ruin, and to the ruin of our children. I give you this warning, that you may prepare your mind for your fate." She burst into tears, but instantly cried out in a transport of magnanimity, "Well, I am willing in this cause to run all risks with you, and be ruined with you, if you are ruined." These were times, my friend, in Boston, which tried women's souls as well as men's.
John AdamsWe have no government armed in power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our Constitution was made only for a religious and moral people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other.
John AdamsI Said to my Wife, I have accepted a Seat in the House of Representatives and thereby have consented to my own Ruin to your Ruin and the Ruin of our Children. I give you this Warning that you may prepare your Mind for your Fate.
John AdamsThe poor people, it is true, have been much less successful than the great. They have seldom found either leisure or opportunity to form a union and exert their strength; ignorant as they were of arts and letters, they have seldom been able to frame and support a regular opposition. This, however, has been known by the great to be the temper of mankind; and they have accordingly labored, in all ages, to wrest from the populace, as they are contemptuously called, the knowledge of their rights and wrongs, and the power to assert the former or redress the latter. I say RIGHTS, for such they have, undoubtedly, antecedent to all earthly government, Rights, that cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws, Rights, derived from the great Legislator of the universe.
John AdamsTwenty times in the course of my late reading have I been on the point of breaking out, "This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it!!!" But in this exclamation I would have been as fanatical as Bryant or Cleverly. Without religion this world would be something not fit to be mentioned in polite company, I mean hell.
John Quincy AdamsAlways vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.
Walter BagehotA democratic despotism is like a theocracy: it assumes its own correctness.
Paul BegalaStroke of the pen. Law of the land. Kinda cool.
Justice Louis D. BrandeisDecency, security, and liberty alike demand that government officials shall be subjected to the same rules of conduct that are commands to the citizen... If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy.
David BroderAnybody that wants
the Presidency so much
that he'll spend two years
organizing and campaigning for it
is not to be trusted
with the office.
James BuchananI like the noise of democracy.
James BuchananWhat is right and what is practicable are two different things.
James BurghAll lawful authority, legislative, and executive, originates from the people.
George Herbert Walker Bush[The war in Iraq is] a rare opportunity to move toward an historic period of cooperation. Out of these troubled times...a new world order can emerge.
George Herbert Walker BushYou know what's interesting about Washington? It's the kind of place where second-guessing has become second nature.
George Herbert Walker BushFreedom and the power to choose should not be the privilege of wealth. They are the birthright of every American.
George Herbert Walker BushIt was just one year ago that the world saw this new, invigorated United Nations in action as this Council stood fast against aggression and stood for the sacred principles enshrined in the U.N. Charter. And now it's time to step forward again, make the internal reforms, accelerate the revitalization, accept the responsibilities necessary for a vigorous and effective United Nations. I want to assure the members of this Council and the Secretary-General, the United Nations can count on our full support in this task.
George Herbert Walker BushMy vision of a 'new world order' foresees a United Nations with a revitalized peacekeeping function.
George Herbert Walker BushIt is the sacred principles enshrined in the UN Charter to which we will henceforth pledge our allegiance.
George Herbert Walker BushIf the people were to ever find out what we have done, we would be chased down the streets and lynched.
George W. BushWe must take the battle to the enemy, disrupt his plans,
and confront the worst threats before they emerge.
George W. BushWe have every reason to assume the worst.
George W. BushToday the Justice Department did issue a blanket alert. It was in recognition of a general threat we received. This is not the first time the Justice Department have acted like this. I hope it is the last. But given the attitude of the evildoers, it may not be.
George W. BushI don’t give a goddamn. I’m the President
and the Commander-in-Chief. Do it my way. ...
Stop throwing the Constitution in my face.
It’s just a goddamned piece of paper!
George W. BushWe will fight with full force and might of the United States military.
George W. BushSaddam Hussein's regime is a gray and gathering danger.
George W. BushWe need an energy bill that encourages consumption.
George W. BushI want him [Saddam Hussein]. I want -- I want justice.
There is an old poster seen out west.
As I recall, it said, Wanted Dead or Alive.
George W. BushThe liberation of Iraq is a crucial advance
in the campaign against terror.
We've removed an ally of al Qaeda.
George W. BushThere is no telling how many wars it will take to secure freedom in the homeland.
George W. BushThe choice is his [Saddam Hussein's],
and if he does not disarm,
the United States of America will lead a coalition
and disarm him in the name of Peace.
George W. BushI'm a war president. I make decisions here in the Oval Office and foreign policy matters with war on my mind.
George W. BushAnd our security will require all Americans
to be forward-looking and resolute,
to be ready for pre-emptive action.
George W. BushThere will be no going back to the era before September 11th, 2001, to false comfort in a dangerous world.
George W. BushThere are some who feel like that, you know, the conditions are such that they can attack us there [in Iraq]. My answer is, 'Bring 'em on.'
George W. BushWe've had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with the September 11th.
George W. BushEither you are with us or you are with the terrorists.
George W. BushOur enemies are a radical network of terrorists --
and every government that supports them.
George W. BushThey misunderestimated me.
George W. BushWe're too great a nation to allow the evildoers to affect our soul.
John C. CalhounTo maintain the ascendancy of the Constitution over the lawmaking majority is the great and essential point on which the success of the [American] system must depend; unless that ascendancy can be preserved, the necessary consequence must be that the laws will supersede the Constitution; and, finally, the will of the Executive, by influence of its patronage, will supersede the laws ...
Jimmy CarterThe law is not the private property of lawyers, nor is justice the exclusive province of judges and juries. In the final analysis, true justice is not a matter of courts and law books, but of a commitment in each of us to liberty and mutual respect.
Jimmy CarterThe decision to attack the entire nation [of Yugoslavia] has been counterproductive, and our destruction of civilian life has now become senseless and excessively brutal. ... The United States' insistence on the use of cluster bombs, designed to kill or maim humans, is condemned almost universally and brings discredit on our nation (as does our refusal to support a ban on land mines). Even for the world's only superpower, the ends don't always justify the means.
Jimmy CarterAmerica did not invent human rights. In a very real sense, it is the other way around. Human rights invented America.
William Ellery ChanningThe cry has been that when war is declared, all opposition should therefore be hushed. A sentiment more unworthy of a free country could hardly be propagated. If the doctrine be admitted, rulers have only to declare war and they are screened at once from scrutiny.
Sir Winston ChurchillThe power of the Executive to cast a man into prison without formulating any charge known to the law, and particularly to deny him the judgment of his peers, is in the highest degree odious and is the foundation of all totalitarian government whether Nazi or Communist.
Grover ClevelandI can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution, and I do not believe that the power and duty of the general government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering which is in no manner properly related to the public service or benefit. Federal aid in such cases encourages the expectation of paternal care on the part of the government and weakens the sturdiness of our national character, while it prevents the indulgence among our people of that kindly sentiment and conduct which strengthens the bonds of a common brotherhood.
Grover ClevelandI feel obliged to withhold my approval of the plan to indulge in benevolent and charitable sentiment through the appropriation of public funds... I find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution.
Grover ClevelandI can find no warrant for such appropriation in the Constitution.
Grover ClevelandHonor lies in honest toil.
Grover ClevelandThe best results in the operation of a government wherein every citizen has a share largely depend upon a proper limitation of the purely partisan zeal and effort and a correct appreciation of the time when the heat of the partisan should be merged in the patriotism of the citizen. ... At this hour the animosities of political strife, the bitterness of partisan defeat, and the exultation of partisan triumph should be supplanted by an ungrudging acquiescence in the popular will and a sober, conscientious concern for the general weal. ... Public extravagance begets extravagance among the people.
Grover ClevelandA truly American sentiment recognizes the dignity of labor and the fact that honor lies in honest toil.
Grover ClevelandWhen more of the people's sustenance is exacted through the form of taxation than is necessary to meet the just obligations of government, such exaction becomes ruthless extortion and a violation of the fundamental principles of a free government.
Bill ClintonThere is no reason for anyone in this country -- anyone except a police officer or military person -- to buy, to own, to have, to use a handgun. The only way to control handgun use in this country is to prohibit the guns.
Bill ClintonThe purpose of government is to rein in the rights of the people.
Bill ClintonEvery time Bush talks about trust it makes chills run up and down my spine. The way he has trampled on the truth is a travesty of the American political system.
Bill ClintonIf the personal freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution
inhibit the government's ability to govern the people,
we should look to limit those guarantees.
Bill ClintonWe can't be so fixated on our desire to preserve the rights of ordinary Americans...
Bill ClintonYou know, by the time you become the leader of a country, someone else makes all the decisions. ... You may find you can get away with virtual presidents, virtual prime ministers, virtual everything.
Bill ClintonThe other thing we have to do is to take seriously the role in this problem of...older men who prey on underage women...There are consequences to decisions and...one way or the other, people always wind up being held accountable.
Bill ClintonWe can't be so fixated on our desire to preserve the rights of ordinary Americans...
Hillary ClintonI'm not going to have some reporters pawing through our papers. We are the president.
William ColbyThe Latin American drug cartels have stretched their tentacles much deeper into our lives than most people believe. It’s possible they are calling the shots at all levels of government.
Calvin CoolidgeI sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis upon the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement.
Calvin CoolidgeThe collection of taxes which are not absolutely required, which do not beyond reasonable doubt contribute to the public welfare, is only a species of legalized larceny. The wise and correct course to follow in taxation is not to destroy those who have already secured success, but to create conditions under which everyone will have a better chance to be successful.
Calvin CoolidgeNo matter what anyone may say about making the rich and the corporations pay taxes, in the end they come out of the people who toil.
Calvin CoolidgeWhen more and more people are thrown out of work, unemployment results.
Calvin CoolidgeLiberty is not collective, it is personal. All liberty is individual liberty.
Calvin CoolidgeNature is inexorable. If men do not follow the truth they cannot live.
Calvin CoolidgeAs I went about with my father, when he collected taxes, I knew that when taxes were laid someone had to work hard to earn the money to pay them.
Calvin CoolidgeCollecting more taxes than is absolutely necessary is legalized robbery.
Calvin CoolidgeAfter all, the chief business of the American people is business. They are profoundly concerned with producing, buying, selling, investing and prospering in the world.
Calvin CoolidgeA wholesome regard for the memory of the great men of long ago is the best assurance to a people of a continuation of great men to come, who shall be able to instruct, to lead, and to inspire. A people who worship at the shrine of true greatness will themselves be truly great.
Calvin CoolidgeNo person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.
Alan CorenkDemocracy consists of choosing your dictators, after they've told you what you think it is you want to hear.
Council on Foreign Relations[A] possible further difficulty is cited, namely, that arising from the Constitutional provision that only Congress may declare war. This argument is countered with the contention that a treaty will override this barrier, let alone the fact that our participation in such police action as might be recommended by the international security organization need not necessarily be construed as war.
Tench CoxeAs our president bears no resemblance to a king so we shall see the Senate has no similitude to nobles. First, not being hereditary, their collective knowledge, wisdom, and virtue are not precarious. For by these qualities alone are they to obtain their offices, and they will have none of the peculiar qualities and vices of those men who possess power merely because their father held it before them.
Clarence S. DarrowWhen I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I'm beginning to believe it.
Justice David DavisThe Constitution of the United States is a law for rulers and people,
equally in war and in peace, and covers with the shield of its protection
all classes of men, at all times, and under all circumstances.
No doctrine, involving more pernicious consequences,
was ever invented by the wit of man than
that any of its provisions can be suspended
during any of the great exigencies of government.
Such a doctrine leads directly to anarchy or despotism,
but the theory of necessity on which it is based is false;
for the government, within the Constitution, has all the powers granted to it,
which are necessary to preserve its existence;
as has been happily proved by the result
of the great effort to throw off its just authority.
Frederick DouglassI know no class of my fellowmen, however just, enlightened, and humane, which can be wisely and safely trusted absolutely with the liberties of any other class.
John DrydenWar is the trade of Kings.
Dwight D. EisenhowerA people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.
Dwight D. EisenhowerDon’t join the book burners. Don’t think you are going to conceal faults by concealing evidence that they ever existed.
Dwight D. EisenhowerIt is an ancient truth that freedom cannot be legislated into existence, so it is no less obvious that freedom cannot be censored into existence. And any who act as if freedom’s defenses are found in suppression and suspicion and fear confess a doctrine that is alien to America.
Dwight D. EisenhowerWhy are we proud [to be American]? We are proud, first of all, because from the beginning of this Nation, a man can walk upright, no matter who he is, or who she is. He can walk upright and meet his friend -- or his enemy; and he does not fear that because that enemy may be in a position of great power that he can be suddenly thrown in jail to rot there without charges and with no recourse to justice. We have the habeas corpus act, and we respect it.
Dwight D. EisenhowerAll of us have heard this term "preventive war" since the earliest days of Hitler. ... A preventive war, to my mind, is an impossibility today. How could you have one if one of its features would be several cities lying in ruins, several cities where many, many thousands of people would be dead and injured and mangled, the transportation systems destroyed, sanitation implements and systems all gone? That isn't preventive war; that is war. ... I don't believe there is such a thing; and, frankly, I wouldn't even listen to anyone seriously that came in and talked about such a thing.
Dwight D. EisenhowerThey [the founders] proclaimed to all the world the revolutionary doctrine of the divine rights of the common man. That doctrine has ever since been the heart of the American faith.
Dwight D. EisenhowerHere in America we are descended in spirit from revolutionaries and rebels -- men and women who dare to dissent from accepted doctrine.
Dwight D. EisenhowerThings are more like they are now than they ever were before.
Dwight D. EisenhowerAmericans, indeed all freemen, remember that in the final choice, a soldier's pack is not so heavy a burden as a prisoner's chains.
Dwight D. EisenhowerAny time we deny any citizen the full exercise of his constitutional rights, we are weakening our own claim to them.
Dwight D. EisenhowerHere in America we are descended in blood and in spirit from revolutionists and rebels -- men and women who dare to dissent from accepted doctrine. As their heirs, we may never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion.
Dwight D. EisenhowerWe are going to have peace even if we have to fight for it.
Millard FillmoreLet us remember that revolutions do not always establish freedom. Our own free institutions were not the offspring of our revolution. They existed before.
Kevin FreelsIsn't it wonderful to live in a country where anyone can grow up to sleep with the President?
James A. GarfieldBe fit for more than the thing you are now doing. Let every one know that you have a reserve in yourself; that you have more power than you are now using. If you are not too large for the place you occupy, you are too small for it.
James A. GarfieldNext in importance to freedom and justice is popular education, without which neither freedom nor justice can be permanently maintained.
James A. GarfieldWhoever controls the volume of money in any country is absolute master of all industry and commerce.
Edward GibbonThe principles of a free constitution are irrevocably lost when the legislative power is dominated by the executive.
Hermann GoeringWhy of course the people don't want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally the common people don't want war neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.
Ulysses S. GrantI have never advocated war except as a means of peace.
Ulysses S. GrantThe right of revolution is an inherent one. When people are oppressed by their government, it is a natural right they enjoy to relieve themselves of the oppression, if they are strong enough, either by withdrawal from it, or by overthrowing it and substituting a government more acceptable.
Ulysses S. GrantIf we are to have another contest in the near future of our national existence, I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon's but between patriotism and intelligence on the one side, and superstition, ambition and ignorance on the other.
Ulysses S. GrantI know of no method to secure the repeal of bad or obnoxious laws so effective as their stringent execution.
Judge Joyce Hens GreenAlthough this nation unquestionably must take strong action under the leadership of the commander in chief to protect itself against enormous and unprecedented threats, that necessity cannot negate the existence of the most basic fundamental rights for which the people of this country have fought and died for well over two hundred years... In sum, there can be no question that the Fifth Amendment right asserted by the Guantanamo detainees in this litigation -- the right not to be deprived of liberty without due process of law -- is one of the most fundamental rights recognized by the U.S. Constitution.
Alexander HamiltonIn this distribution of powers the wisdom of our constitution is manifested. It is the province and duty of the Executive to preserve to the Nation the blessings of peace. The Legislature alone can interrupt those blessings, by placing the Nation in a state of War.
Alexander HamiltonA feeble executive implies a feeble execution of the government. A feeble execution is but another phrase for a bad execution; and a government ill executed, whatever may be its theory, must be, in practice, a bad government.
Alexander HamiltonThe President of the United States would be liable to be impeached, tried, and upon conviction of treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors, removed from office; and would afterwards be liable to prosecution and punishment in the ordinary course of law. The person of the King of Great Britain is sacred and inviolable: There is no constitutional tribunal to which he is amenable, no punishment to which he can be subjected without involving the crisis of a national revolution.
Alexander HamiltonThe President is to be commander-in-chief of the army and navy of the United States. In this respect his authority would be nominally the same with that of the king of Great Britain, but in substance much inferior to it. It would amount to nothing more than the supreme command and direction of the land and naval forces, as first general and admiral ... while that of the British king extends to the declaring of war and to the raising and regulating of fleets and armies -- all which, by the Constitution under consideration, would appertain to the legislature.
Benjamin HarrisonWe Americans have no commission from God to police the world
William Henry HarrisonThe plea of necessity, that eternal argument of all conspirators.
Vaclav HavelI really do inhabit a system in which words are capable of shaking the entire structure of government, where words can probe mightier than ten military divisions.
Adolf HitlerWithout law and order our nation cannot survive.
Gen. Joseph P. HoarIn their great wisdom, our Founding Fathers, gathered in Philadelphia to draft the new U.S. Constitution, gave the sole authority to declare war to the U.S. Congress. ... our Founders understood that it was essential, to secure a representative form of republican self-government, that the power to declare war must be in the hands of Congress, and not in the Executive Branch. ...
Nothing has transpired in the intervening centuries to justify any alteration in their wise decision. Under our Federal Constitution, only the Congress has the power to declare war, and that must remain a cardinal principle. In recent decades, we have seen an erosion of that Constitutional principle, and I fully concur that this erosion must be halted and reverse.
Herbert HooverHonest difference of views and honest debate are not disunity.
They are the vital process of policy among free men.
Herbert HooverIt [freedom] is a thing of the spirit. Men must be free to worship, to think, to hold opinions, to speak without fear. They must be free to challenge wrong and oppression with the surety of justice.
Herbert HooverFreedom conceives that the mind and spirit of man can be free only if he is free to pattern his own life, to develop his own talents, free to earn, to spend, to save, to acquire property as the security of his old age and his family.
Hubert H. HumphreyFreedom is the most contagious virus known to man.
Hubert H. HumphreyThere are incalculable resources in the human spirit, once it has been set free.
Hubert H. HumphreyFreedom is hammered out on the anvil of discussion, dissent and debate.
Hubert H. HumphreyNone of us would trade freedom of expression for the narrowness of the public censor. America is a free market for people who have something to say, and need not fear to say it.
Andrew JacksonIt is to be regretted that the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their selfish purposes.
Andrew JacksonAs long as our government is administered for the good of the people, and is regulated by their will; as long as it secures to us the rights of persons and of property, liberty of conscience and of the press, it will be worth defending.
Andrew JacksonThe bold effort the present (central) bank had made to control the government ... are but premonitions of the fate that await the American people should they be deluded into a perpetuation of this institution or the establishment of another like it.
Andrew JacksonThe Bible is the rock on which our Republic rests.
Andrew JacksonThe brave man inattentive to his duty, is worth little more to his country than the coward who deserts her in the hour of danger.
John JayThe jury has the right to judge both the law as well as the fact in controversy.
John JayProvidence has given our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as privilege and interest, of a Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.
John JayThe people who own the country ought to govern it.
Thomas JeffersonChoice by the people themselves is not generally distinguished for its wisdom.
Thomas JeffersonI have often thought that nothing would do more extensive good at small expense than the establishment of a small circulating library in every county, to consist of a few well-chosen books, to be lent to the people of the country under regulations as would secure their safe return in due time.
Thomas JeffersonGovernment can do something for the people only in proportion as it can do something to the people.
Thomas JeffersonThe democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.
Thomas Jefferson[The People] are the ultimate, guardians of their own liberty.
Thomas JeffersonThere is no act, however virtuous, for which ingenuity may not find some bad motive.
Thomas JeffersonWhen the government fears the people there is liberty; when the people fear the government there is tyranny.
Thomas JeffersonThe price of freedom is eternal vigilance.
Thomas JeffersonThe whole art of government consists in the art of being honest.
Thomas JeffersonWe shall have our follies without doubt. Some one or more of them will always be afloat. But ours will be the follies of enthusiasm, not of bigotry, not of Jesuitism. Bigotry is the disease of ignorance, of morbid minds; enthusiasm of the free and buoyant. Education and free discussion are the antidotes of both.
Thomas JeffersonI tolerate with utmost latitude the right of others to differ with me in opinion without imputing to them criminality. I know too well all the weaknesses and uncertainty of human reason to wonder at its different results.
Thomas JeffersonA wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement.
Thomas JeffersonI believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Already they have raised up a moneyed aristocracy that has set the Government at defiance. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people to whom it properly belongs.
Thomas JeffersonOn every question of construction [of the Constitution] let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or intended against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.
Thomas JeffersonAgriculture, manufacturers, commerce, and navigation, the four pillars of our prosperity, are then most thriving when left most free to individual enterprise.
Thomas JeffersonThe natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.
Thomas JeffersonFor a people who are free, and who mean to remain so, a well organized and armed militia is their best security.
Thomas JeffersonI agree with you that it is the duty of every good citizen to use all the opportunities, which occur to him, for preserving documents relating to the history of our country.
Thomas JeffersonWhere the press is free and every man able to read, all is safe.
Thomas JeffersonI consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground: That 'all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States or to the people' (10th Amendment). To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specifically drawn around the powers of Congress, is to take possession of a boundless field of power, no longer susceptible to any definition.
Thomas JeffersonThe will of the people is the only legitimate foundation of any government, and to protect its free expression should be our first object.
Thomas JeffersonI cannot live without books.
Thomas JeffersonEvery citizen should be a soldier. This was the case with the Greeks and Romans, and must be that of every free state.
Thomas JeffersonAdvertisements contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper.
Thomas JeffersonIf a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.
Thomas JeffersonSingle acts of tyranny may be ascribed to the accidental opinion of the day; but a series of oppressions, begun at a distinguished period, and pursued unalterably through every change of ministers (adminstrators) too plainly proves a deliberate, systematic plan of reducing us to slavery.
Thomas JeffersonIt is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.
Thomas JeffersonOur legislators are not sufficiently apprized of the rightful limits of their power; that their true office is to declare and enforce only our natural rights and duties, and to take none of them from us. No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another; and this is all from which the laws ought to restrain him; every man is under the natural duty of contributing to the necessities of the society; and this is all the laws should enforce on him; and, no man having a natural right to be the judge between himself and another, it is his natural duty to submit to the umpirage of an impartial third. When the laws have declared and enforced all this, they have fulfilled their functions, and the idea is quite unfounded, that on entering into society we give up any natural right.
Thomas JeffersonI am not among those who fear the people. They, and not the rich, are our dependence for continued freedom. And to preserve their independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debts, as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessities and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our calling and our creeds, as the people of England are, our people, like them, must come to labor sixteen hours in the twenty-four, give the earnings of fifteen of these to the government for their debts and daily expenses; and the sixteenth being insufficient to afford us bread, we must live, as they now do, on oatmeal and potatoes; have no time to think, no means of calling the mismanagers to account; but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow suffers. Our land-holders, too, like theirs, retaining indeed the title and stewardship of estates called theirs but held really in trust for the treasury, must wander, like theirs, in foreign countries, and be contented with penury, obscurity, exile, and the glory of the nation. This example reads to us the salutary lesson, that private fortunes are destroyed by public as well as by private extravagances. And this is the tendency of all human governments. A departure from principle in one instance becomes a precedent for the second; that second for a third; and so on, till the bulk of the society is reduced to mere automatons of misery, to have no sensibilities left but for sinning and suffering. Then begins, indeed, the bellum omnium in omnia, which some philosophers observing to be so general in this world, have mistaken for the natural, instead of the abusive state of man. And the fore horse on this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression.
Thomas JeffersonReason and free inquiry are the only effective agents against error. Give a loose to them, they will support the true religion by bringing every false one to their tribunal, to the test of their investigation. They are the natural enemies of error and error only. Had not the Roman government permitted free inquiry, Christianity could never have been introduced. Had not free inquiry been indulged at the era of the Reformation, the corruption of Christianity could not have been purged away.
Thomas JeffersonForce (is) the vital principle and immediate parent of despotism.
Thomas JeffersonYet the hour of emancipation is advancing ... this enterprise is for the young; for those who can follow it up, and bear it through to it's consummation. It shall have all my prayers, and these are the only weapons of an old man.
Thomas JeffersonNo free man shall ever be de-barred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain their right to keep and bear arms is as a last resort to protect themselves against tyranny in government.
Thomas JeffersonThe way to have good and safe government is not to trust it all to one, but to divide it among the many, distributing to everyone exactly the functions in which he is competent ...
It is by dividing and subdividing these Republics from the great national one down through all its subordinations until it ends in the administration of everyman's farm by himself, by placing under everyone what his own eye may superintend, that all will be done for the best.
Thomas JeffersonQuestion with boldness even the existence of a God;
because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason,
than that of blind-folded fear...
Do not be frightened from this inquiry
from any fear of its consequences.
If it ends in the belief that there is no God,
you will find incitements to virtue
in the comfort and pleasantness you feel in its exercise...
Thomas JeffersonWhen angry, count ten before you speak; if very angry, an hundred.
Thomas JeffersonWe are not to expect to be translated from despotism to liberty in a feather-bed.
Thomas JeffersonI am for a government rigorously frugal and simple. Were we directed from Washington when to sow, when to reap, we should soon want bread.
Thomas JeffersonBotany I rank
with the most
valuable sciences.
Thomas JeffersonThe legislative powers of the government reach actions only, and not opinions.
Thomas JeffersonI would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.
Thomas JeffersonIf the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their money, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them (around the banks), will deprive the people of their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.
Thomas JeffersonI... [proposed] three distinct grades of education, reaching all classes.
1. Elementary schools for all children generally, rich and poor.
2. Colleges for a middle degree of instruction, calculated for the
common purposes of life and such as should be desirable for all who were
in easy circumstances.
And 3d. an ultimate grade for teaching the sciences generally and in
their highest degree...
The expenses of [the elementary] schools should be borne by the
inhabitants of the county, every one in proportion to his general
tax-rate. This would throw on wealth the education of the poor.
Thomas JeffersonI own I am not a friend to a very energetic government. It is always oppressive.
Thomas JeffersonCultivators of the earth
are the most
valuable citizens.
Thomas JeffersonMay [the Declaration of Independence] be to the world, what I believe it will be (to some parts sooner, to others later, but finally to all), the signal of arousing men to burst the chains under which monkish ignorance and superstition had persuaded them to bind themselves, and to assume the blessings and security of self-government. That form which we have substituted, restores the free right to the unbounded exercise of reason and freedom of opinion. All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man.
Thomas JeffersonAn elective despotism was not the government we fought for, but one which should not only be founded on true free principles, but in which the powers of government should be so divided and balanced among general bodies of magistracy, as that no one could transcend their legal limits without being effectually checked and restrained by the others.
Thomas JeffersonTo compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical.
Thomas JeffersonNothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle.
Thomas JeffersonIt is a great importance to set a resolution, not to be shaken, never to tell an untruth. There is no vice so mean, so pitiful, so contemptible and he who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and third time, till at length it becomes habitual, he tells lies without attending to it, and truths without the world's believing him. This falsehood of the tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time depraves all it's good dispositions.
Thomas Jefferson
Thomas JeffersonBear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression.
Thomas JeffersonA strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball, and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be the constant companion of your walks.
Thomas JeffersonError of opinion may be tolerated when reason is left free to combat it.
Thomas JeffersonWhat a stupendous, what an incomprehensible machine is man! Who can endure toil, famine, stripes, imprisonment & death itself in vindication of his own liberty, and the next moment ... inflict on his fellow men a bondage, one hour of which is fraught with more misery than ages of that which he rose in rebellion to oppose.
Thomas JeffersonWhenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government; whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied upon to set them to rights.
Thomas JeffersonWere we directed from Washington when to sow and when to reap, we should soon want bread.
Thomas JeffersonBelieving with you that religion is a matter which lies solely
between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for
his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government
reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign
reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that
their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment
of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus
building a wall of separation between church and State.
Thomas JeffersonExperience has already shown that the impeachment the Constitution has provided is not even a scarecrow.
Thomas JeffersonIt is the great parent of science & of virtue: and that a nation will be great in both, always in proportion as it is free.
Thomas JeffersonWhat country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms.
Thomas JeffersonThe greatest service which can be rendered any country is to add a useful plant to its culture.
Thomas JeffersonWhere a new invention promises to be useful, it ought to be tried.
Thomas JeffersonAn equal application of law to every condition of man is fundamental.
Thomas Jefferson...truth is great and will prevail if left to herself; that she is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict unless by human interposition disarmed of her natural weapons, free argument and debate, errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them.
Thomas JeffersonI could think of no worse example for nations abroad, who for the first time were trying to put free electoral procedures into effect, than that of the United States wrangling over the results of our presidential election, and even suggesting that the presidency itself could be stolen by thievery at the ballot box.
Thomas JeffersonWhen a man assumes a public trust, he should consider himself as public property.
Thomas JeffersonI am really mortified to be told that, in the United States of America, a fact like this can become a subject of inquiry, and of criminal inquiry too, as an offence against religion; that a question about the sale of a book can be carried before the civil magistrate. Is this then our freedom of religion? and are we to have a censor whose imprimatur shall say what books may be sold, and what we may buy? And who is thus to dogmatize religious opinions for our citizens? Whose foot is to be the measure to which ours are all to be cut or stretched? Is a priest to be our inquisitor, or shall a layman, simple as ourselves, set up his reason as the rule for what we are to read, and what we must believe? It is an insult to our citizens to question whether they are rational beings or not, and blasphemy against religion to suppose it cannot stand the test of truth and reason.
Thomas JeffersonGod forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. ... And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.
Thomas JeffersonThe legitimate powers of government extend to such acts as are only injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.
Thomas JeffersonTobacco is a culture
productive of
infinite wretchedness.
Thomas JeffersonWhy suspend the habeas corpus in insurrections and rebellions?
Examine the history of England. See how few of the cases of the
suspension of the habeas corpus law have been worthy of that
suspension. They have been either real treasons, wherein the parties
might as well have been charged at once, or sham plots, where it was
shameful they should ever have been suspected. Yet for the few cases
wherein the suspension of the habeas corpus has done real good, that
operation is now become habitual and the minds of the nation almost
prepared to live under its constant suspension.
Thomas JeffersonOur particular principles of religion are a subject of accountability to our god alone. I enquire after no man's and trouble none with mine; nor is it given to us in this life to know whether yours or mine, our friend's or our foe's, are exactly the right.
Thomas JeffersonI discharge every person under punishment or prosecution under the Sedition Law, because I considered, and now consider, that law to be a nullity as absolute and palpable as if Congress had ordered us to fall down and worship a golden image.
Thomas JeffersonWhat country before ever existed a century and a half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.
Thomas JeffersonThe day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as his Father, in the womb of a virgin will be classified with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. But we may hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with this artificial scaffolding and restore to us the primitive and genuine doctrines of this most venerated Reformer of human errors.
Thomas JeffersonCongress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated.
Thomas JeffersonAnd I sincerely believe, with you, that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies; and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale.
Thomas JeffersonWe must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debt, as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our calling and our creeds...[we will] have no time to think, no means of calling our miss-managers to account but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers... And this is the tendency of all human governments. A departure from principle in one instance becomes a precedent for[ another]... till the bulk of society is reduced to be mere automatons of misery... And the fore-horse of this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression.
Thomas JeffersonEvery government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves, therefore, are its only safe depositories.
Thomas JeffersonThe system of banking we have both equally and ever reprobated. I contemplate it as a blot left in all our constitutions, which, if not covered, will end in their destruction, which is already hit by the gamblers in corruption, and is sweeping away in its progress the fortunes and morals of our citizens. Funding I consider as limited, rightfully, to a redemption of the debt within the lives of a majority of the generation contracting it; every generation coming equally, by the laws of the Creator of the world, to the free possession of the earth he made for their subsistence, unincumbered by their predecessors, who, like them, were but tenants for life.
Thomas JeffersonAn honest man can feel no pleasure in the exercise of power over his fellow citizens.
Thomas JeffersonI do believe that General Washington had not a firm confidence in the durability of our government. He was naturally distrustful of men, and inclined to gloomy apprehensions; and I was ever persuaded that a belief that we must at length end in something like a British constitution, had some weight in his adoption of the ceremonies of levees, birthdays, pompous meetings with Congress, and other forms of the same character, calculated to prepare us gradually for a change which he believed possible, and to let it come on with as little shock as might be to the public mind.
Thomas JeffersonTo preserve the freedom
of the human mind then
and freedom of the press,
every spirit should be ready
to devote itself to martyrdom.
Thomas JeffersonAn individual, thinking himself injured, makes more noise than a State.
Thomas JeffersonThat this privilege of giving or of withholding our monies is an important
barrier against the undue exertion of prerogative, which
if left altogether without control may be exercised to our great oppression;
and all history shews how efficacious is its intercession
for redress of grievances and re-establishment of rights,
and how improvident would be the surrender of so powerful a mediator
Thomas JeffersonThe spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong but better so than not to be exercised at all. I like a little rebellion now and then. It is like a storm in the atmosphere.
Thomas JeffersonI think we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious.
Thomas JeffersonA wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicity.
Thomas Jefferson[I]f we can but prevent the government
from wasting the labours of the people,
under the pretence of taking care of them,
they must become happy.
Thomas JeffersonA government is republican in proportion as every member composing it has his equal voice in the direction of its concerns, not indeed in person, which would be impracticable beyond the limits of a city or small township, but by representatives chosen by himself and responsible to him at short periods.
Thomas JeffersonIn every country and every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own. It is easier to acquire wealth and power by this combination than by deserving them, and to effect this, they have perverted the purest religion ever preached to man into mystery and jargon, unintelligible to all mankind, and therefore the safer for their purposes.
Thomas JeffersonI consider trial by jury as the only anchor yet devised by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution.
Thomas JeffersonIt is in our lives and not our words that our religion must be read.
Thomas JeffersonWe hold these truths to be sacred and undeniable, that all men are created equal and independent, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent and inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, and liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Thomas JeffersonWhenever the people are well informed, they can be trusted with their own government; that whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them to rights.
Thomas JeffersonThe basis of our government being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate for a moment to prefer the latter.
Thomas JeffersonNature intended me for the tranquil pursuits of science, by rendering them my supreme delight. But the enormities of the times in which I have lived have forced me to commit myself on the boisterous ocean of political passions.
Thomas Jefferson[F]alsehood of the tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time depraves all its good dispositions.
Thomas JeffersonThe sword of the law should never fall but on those whose guilt is so apparent as to be pronounced by their friends as well as foes.
Thomas JeffersonThe two principles on which our conduct towards the Indians should be founded, are justice and fear. After the injuries we have done them, they cannot love us ...
Thomas JeffersonGod who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure if we have removed their only firm basis: a conviction in the minds of men that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.
Thomas JeffersonHistory, in general, only informs us what bad government is.
Thomas JeffersonThe concentrating [of powers] in the same hands is precisely the definition of despotic government. It will be no alleviation that these powers will be exercised by a plurality of hands, and not by a single one.
Thomas JeffersonThe happiness and prosperity of our citizens is the only legitimate object of government.
Thomas JeffersonI am for freedom of religion, and against all maneuvers to bring about a legal ascendancy of one sect over another.
Thomas JeffersonThat government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves.
Thomas JeffersonNo freeman shall be debarred the use of arms [within his own lands].
Thomas JeffersonHe who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and third time, till at length it becomes habitual; he tells lies without attending to it, and truths without the world´s believing him.
Thomas JeffersonIt is more dangerous that even a guilty person should be punished without the forms of law than that he should escape.
Thomas Jefferson
Thomas JeffersonLiberty is to the collective body, what health is to every individual body. Without health no pleasure can be tasted by man; without liberty, no happiness can be enjoyed by society.
Thomas JeffersonIt had become an universal and almost uncontroverted position in the several States, that the purposes of society do not require a surrender of all our rights to our ordinary governors; that there are certain portions of right not necessary to enable them to carry on an effective government, and which experience has nevertheless proved they will be constantly encroaching on, if submitted to them; that there are also certain fences which experience has proved peculiarly efficacious against wrong, and rarely obstructive of right, which yet the governing powers have ever shown a disposition to weaken and remove. Of the first kind, for instance, is freedom of religion; of the second, trial by jury, habeas corpus laws, free presses.
Thomas JeffersonI know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion.
Thomas JeffersonThe system of banking [is] a blot left in all our Constitutions, which, if not covered, will end in their destruction... I sincerely believe that banking institutions are more dangerous than standing armies; and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity... is but swindling futurity on a large scale.
Thomas JeffersonOur civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry.
Thomas JeffersonI, however, place economy among the first and most important republican virtues, and public debt as the greatest of the dangers to be feared.
Thomas JeffersonA morsel of genuine history is a thing so rare as to be always valuable.
Thomas JeffersonI had rather be shut up in a very modest cottage with my books, my family and a few old friends, dining on simple bacon, and letting the world roll on as it liked, than to occupy the most splendid post, which any human power can give.
Thomas JeffersonExperience hath shewn, that even under the best forms [of government] those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.
Thomas Jefferson...Enlightened by a benign religion, professed, indeed, and practiced in various forms, yet all of them inculcating honesty, truth, temperance, gratitude, and the love of man, acknowledging and adoring an overruling Providence, which by all its dispensations proves that it delights in the happiness of man here and his greater happiness hereafter -- with all these blessings, what more is necessary to make us a happy and a prosperous people? Still one thing more.. .a wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities.
Thomas JeffersonIt behooves every man who values liberty of conscience for himself, to resist invasions of it in the case of others.
Thomas JeffersonIs uniformity attainable? Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites.
Thomas JeffersonIf a Nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.... If we are to guard against ignorance and remain free, it is the responsibility of every American to be informed.
Thomas JeffersonThe mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately, by the grace of God.
Thomas JeffersonI do not find in orthodox Christianity one redeeming feature.
Thomas JeffersonThe care of human life and happiness and not their destruction is the first and only legitimate object of good government.
Thomas Jefferson[The] Bank of the United States... is one of the most deadly hostility existing, against the principles and form of our Constitution... An institution like this, penetrating by its branches every part of the Union, acting by command and in phalanx, may, in a critical moment, upset the government. I deem no government safe which is under the vassalage of any self-constituted authorities, or any other authority than that of the nation, or its regular functionaries. What an obstruction could not this bank of the United States, with all its branch banks, be in time of war! It might dictate to us the peace we should accept, or withdraw its aids. Ought we then to give further growth to an institution so powerful, so hostile?
Thomas JeffersonThe issue today is the same as it has been throughout all history, whether man shall be allowed to govern himself or be ruled by a small elite.
Thomas JeffersonIt is not only vain, but wicked, in a legislature to frame laws in opposition to the laws of nature, and to arm them with the terrors of death. This is truly creating crimes in order to punish them.
Thomas JeffersonLet us, then, fellow citizens, unite with one heart and one mind. Let us restore to social intercourse that harmony and affection without which liberty and even life itself are but dreary things. And let us reflect that having banished from our land that religious intolerance under which mankind so long bled, we have yet gained little if we counternance a political intolerance as despotic, as wicked, and capable of a bitter and bloody persecutions.
Thomas JeffersonYes, we did produce a near-perfect republic. But will they keep it? Or will they, in the enjoyment of plenty, lose the memory of freedom? Material abundance without character is the path of destruction.
Thomas JeffersonIt is part of the American character to consider nothing as desperate.
Thomas JeffersonRightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law,' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.
Thomas JeffersonAnd, finally, that truth is great and will prevail if left to herself; that she is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict unless by human interposition disarmed of her natural weapons, free argument and debate, errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them.
Thomas JeffersonTo lay taxes to provide for the general welfare of the United States, that is to say, 'to lay taxes for the purpose of providing for the general welfare.' For the laying of taxes is the power, and the general welfare the purpose for which the power is to be exercised. They are not to lay taxes ad libitum for any purpose they please; but only to pay the debts or provide for the welfare of the Union.
Thomas JeffersonA bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular, and what no just government should to rest on inference.
Thomas JeffersonI have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.
Thomas JeffersonMoney and not morality is the principle of commerce and commercial nations.
Thomas JeffersonI have no fear that the result of our experiment will be that men may be trusted to govern themselves without a master.
Thomas JeffersonIn questions of power, then, let no more be said of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.
Thomas JeffersonDelay is preferable to error.
Thomas JeffersonWe hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.
Thomas JeffersonAbove all things I hope the education of the common people will be attended to, convinced that on their good sense we may rely with the most security for the preservation of a due degree of liberty.
Thomas JeffersonBy a declaration of rights, I mean one which shall stipulate freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom of commerce against monopolies, trial by juries in all cases, no suspensions of the habeas corpus, no standing armies. These are fetters against doing evil which no honest government should decline.
Thomas JeffersonFreedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom of person under the protection of habeas corpus; and trial by juries impartially selected – these principles form the bright constellation which has gone before us.
Thomas JeffersonOur liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.
Thomas JeffersonNo man will ever bring out of the Presidency the reputation which carries him into it.
Andrew JohnsonOutside of the Constitution we have no legal authority more than private citizens, and within it we have only so much as that instrument gives us. This broad principle limits all our functions and applies to all subjects.
Lyndon B. JohnsonFree speech, free press, free religion, the right of free assembly, yes, the right of petition... well, they are still radical ideas.
Lyndon B. JohnsonBooks and ideas are the most effective weapons against intolerance and ignorance.
Lyndon B. JohnsonYou do not examine legislation in the light of the benefits it will convey if properly administered, but in the light of the wrongs it would do and the harm it would cause if improperly administered.
Lyndon B. JohnsonEvery man should know that his conversations, his correspondence, and his personal life are private.
Donald KennedyAcademic freedom really means freedom of inquiry. To be able to probe according to one’s own interest, knowledge and conscience is the most important freedom the scholar has, and part of that process is to state its results.
John F. KennedyIf we make peaceful revolution impossible, we make violent revolution inevitable.
John F. KennedyI believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute -- where no Catholic prelate would tell the president (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishoners for whom to vote -- where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference -- and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the president who might appoint him or the people who might elect him.
John F. KennedyThere is little value in insuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it. And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment.
John F. KennedyThe wave of the future is not the conquest of the world by a single dogmatic creed but the liberation of the diverse energies of free nations and free men.
John F. KennedyThe wave of the future is not the conquest of the world by a single dogmatic creed but the liberation of the diverse energies of free nations and free men.
John F. KennedyConformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.
John F. KennedyEvery time that we try to lift a problem from our own shoulders, and shift that problem to the hands of the government, to the same extent we are sacrificing the liberties of our people.
John F. KennedyWe are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.
John F. KennedyWhen we got into office, the thing that surprised me most was to find that things were just as bad as we'd been saying they were.
John F. KennedyTolerance implies no lack of commitment to one’s own beliefs. Rather it condemns the oppression or persecution of others.
John F. KennedyAnd 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. KennedyThe high office of the President has been used to foment a plot to destroy the American's freedom and before I leave office, I must inform the citizen of this plight.
John F. KennedyIf we cannot end our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity.
John F. Kennedy
John F. KennedyA man does what he must -- in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers -- and this is the basis of all human morality.
William LangerHaving so pledged myself, and having been elected to my senatorship upon such pledge, and not having been elected to create an organization to which we would give a promise, either express or implied, that it would have the authority to send our boys all over the Earth, I cannot support the Charter. I believe it is fraught with danger to the American people and to American institutions.
Xavier LermaPresident Vladimir Putin could never have imagined anyone so ignorant or so willing to destroy their people like Obama much less seeing millions vote for someone like Obama. They read history in America don't they? Alas, the schools in the U.S. were conquered by the Communists long ago and history was revised thus paving the way for their Communist presidents.
Robert A. LevyThe fundamental principle is this: No matter how worthwhile an end may be, if there is no constitutional authority to pursue it, then the federal government must step aside and leave the matter to the states or to private parties. The president and Congress can proceed only from constitutional authority, not from good intentions alone. If Congress thinks it necessary to expand its powers, the Framers crafted an amendment process for that purpose. But too often, rather than follow that process, Congress has disregarded the limits set by the Constitution and gutted our frontline defense against overweening federal government.
Abraham LincolnKings had always been involving and impoverishing their people in wars, pretending generally, if not always, that the good of the people was the object.
Abraham LincolnCharacter is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.
Abraham LincolnAs I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master.
This expresses my idea of democracy.
Abraham LincolnA prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded.
Abraham LincolnI have been told I was on the road to hell, but I had no idea it was just a mile down the road with a Dome on it.
Abraham LincolnAmerica will never be destroyed from the outside.
If we falter and lose our freedoms,
it will be because we destroyed ourselves.
Abraham LincolnBallots are the rightful, and peaceful, successors of bullets; and that when ballots have fairly, and constitutionally, decided, there can be no successful appeal, back to bullets; that there can be no successful appeal, except to ballots themselves, at succeeding elections.
Abraham LincolnStand with anybody that stands right. Stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong.
Abraham LincolnProhibition goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man's appetite by legislation, and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes.
Abraham LincolnThe Shepherd drives the wolf from the sheep's throat, for which the sheep thanks the shephard as a liberator, while the wolf denounces him for the same act as a destroyer of liberty. Plainly, the sheep and the wolf are not agreed upon a definition of liberty.
Abraham LincolnNearly all men can withstand adversity; if you want to test a man's character, give him power.
Abraham LincolnThe Bible is not my Book and Christianity is not my religion. I could never give assent to the long complicated statements of Christian dogma.
Abraham LincolnMy paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause.
Abraham LincolnThis is a world of compensations; and he who would be no slave must consent to have no slave. Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.
Abraham LincolnThat this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
Abraham LincolnThe government should create, issue, and circulate all the currency and credits needed to satisfy the spending power of the government and the buying power of consumers. By adoption of these principles, the taxpayers will be saved immense sums of interest. Money will cease to be master and become the servant of humanity.
Abraham LincolnIf by the mere force of numbers a majority should deprive a minority of any clearly written constitutional right, it might, in a moral point of view, justify revolution.
Abraham LincolnMilitary glory -- the attractive rainbow that rises in showers of blood.
Abraham LincolnHow many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it a leg.
Abraham LincolnWhat you do speaks so loud I cannot hear what you say.
Abraham LincolnI see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country; corporations have been enthroned, an era of corruption in High Places will follow, and the Money Power of the Country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the People, until the wealth is aggregated in a few hands, and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war
Abraham LincolnTo sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.
Abraham LincolnShall we expect some transatlantic military giant, to step over the ocean, and crush us at a blow? Never! -- All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Bonaparte for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a Thousand years. At what point, then, is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.
Abraham LincolnWhenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.
Abraham LincolnOur progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except Negroes and foreigners and Catholics." When it comes to this, I shall prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy hypocrisy.
Abraham LincolnIf you once forfeit the confidence of your fellow citizens, you can never regain their respect and esteem. It is true that you may fool all the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all of the time; but you can't fool all of the people all the time.
Abraham LincolnWith malice towards none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right.
Abraham LincolnIt has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues.
Abraham LincolnLet us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith let us to the end dare to do our duty as we understand it.
Abraham LincolnIt is the eternal struggle between these two principles - right and wrong - throughout the world. They are the two principles that have stood face to face from the beginning of time...
Abraham LincolnWe have forgotten the gracious hand which has preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and have vainly imagined in the deceitfulness of our hearts that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving Grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.
Abraham LincolnI have never had a feeling, politically, that did not spring from ... the Declaration of Independence ... that all should have an equal chance. This is the sentiment embodied in the Declaration of Independence ... I would rather be assassinated on this spot than surrender it.
Abraham LincolnDiscourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser - in fees, expenses, and waste of time. As a peacemaker the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough.
Abraham LincolnNo man has a good enough memory to make a successful liar.
Charles A. Lindbergh, Sr.This Act (the Federal Reserve Act, Dec. 23rd 1913) establishes the most gigantic trust on earth. When the President signs this bill, the invisible government by the Monetary Power will be legalized. The people may not know it immediately, but the day of reckoning is only a few years removed. The trusts will soon realize that they have gone too far even for their own good. The people must make a declaration of independence to relieve themselves from the Monetary Power. This they will be able to do by taking control of Congress. Wall Streeters could not cheat us if you Senators and Representatives did not make a humbug of Congress... The greatest crime of Congress is its currency system. The worst legislative crime of the ages is perpetrated by this banking bill. The caucus and the party bosses have again operated and prevented the people from getting the benefit of their own government.
Charles A. Lindbergh, Sr.This Act (the Federal Reserve Act, Dec. 23rd 1913) establishes the most gigantic trust on earth. When the President (Woodrow Wilson) signs the Bill, the invisible government of the Monetary Power will be legalised... The worst legislative crime of the ages is perpetrated by this banking and currency Bill.
John LockeAny single man must judge for himself whether circumstances warrant obedience or resistance to the commands of the civil magistrate; we are all qualified, entitled, and morally obliged to evaluate the conduct of our rulers. This political judgment, moreover, is not simply or primarily a right, but like self-preservation, a duty to God. As such it is a judgment that men cannot part with according to the God of Nature. It is the first and foremost of our inalienable rights without which we can preserve no other.
James MadisonPerhaps it is a universal truth that the loss of liberty at home is to be charged to the provisions against danger, real or pretended, from abroad.
James MadisonWhilst we assert a freedom to embrace, to profess, and to observe the Religion which we believe to be of divine origin, we cannot deny an equal freedom to choose minds who have not yet yielded to the evidence which has convinced us.
James MadisonWe hold it for a fundamental and undeniable truth, that religion, or the duty we owe our Creator and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence. The religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate. This right is in its nature an unalienable right.
James MadisonLandholders ought to have a share in the government to support these invaluable interests and check the other many. They ought to be so constituted as to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority.
James MadisonIf Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.
James MadisonSince the general civilization of mankind, I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of freedoms of the people by gradual and silent encroachment of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.
James MadisonThe highest number to which a standing army can be carried in any country does not exceed one hundredth part of the souls, or one twenty-fifth part of the number able to bear arms.  This portion would not yield, in the United States, an army of more than twenty-five or thirty thousand men. To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence. It may well be doubted whether a militia thus circumstanced could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops. ... Besides the advantage of being armed, ... the existence of subordinate governments ... forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. ... [The governments of Europe] are afraid to trust the people with arms. ... Let us not insult the free and gallant citizens of America with the suspicion that they would be less able to defend the rights of which they would be in actual possession than the debased subjects of arbitrary power would be to rescue theirs from the hands of their oppressors.
James MadisonWe have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future ...upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to sustain ourselves, according to the Ten Commandments of God.
James MadisonIf Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare, and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare, they may take the care of religion into their own hands; they may appoint teachers in every State, county and parish and pay them out of their public treasury; they may take into their own hands the education of children, establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union; they may assume the provision of the poor; they may undertake the regulation of all roads other than post-roads; in short, every thing, from the highest object of state legislation down to the most minute object of police, would be thrown under the power of Congress... Were the power of Congress to be established in the latitude contended for, it would subvert the very foundations, and transmute the very nature of the limited Government established by the people of America.
James MadisonThe aim of every political constitution is, or ought to be, first to obtain for rulers men who possess most wisdom to discern, and most virtue to pursue, the common good of the society; and in the next place, to take the most effectual precautions for keeping them virtuous whilst they continue to hold their public trust.
James MadisonDuring almost fifteen centuries the legal establishment of Christianity has been upon trial. What has been its fruits? More or less, in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity, in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution.
James Madison[A]ll power is originally vested in, and consequently derived from, the people. That government is instituted and ought to be exercised for the benefit of the people; which consists in the enjoyment of life and liberty and the right of acquiring property, and generally of pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety. That the people have an indubitable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to reform or change their government whenever it be found adverse or inadequate to the purpose of its institution.
James MadisonA standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence against foreign danger have been always the instruments of tyranny at home.
James MadisonThe strongest passions and most dangerous weaknesses of the human breast; ambition, avarice, vanity, the honorable or venal love of fame, are all in conspiracy against the desire and duty of peace.
James MadisonDemocracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their death.
James MadisonOne hundred and seventy-three despots would surely be as oppressive as one.
James MadisonAmericans need never fear their government because of the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation.
James Madison... large and permanent military establishments ... are forbidden by the principles of free government, and against the necessity of which the militia were meant to be a constitutional bulwark.
James MadisonIn a society under the forms of which the stronger faction can readily unite and oppress the weaker, anarchy may as truly be said to reign as in a state of nature.
James MadisonWhat becomes of the surplus of human life? It is either, 1st destroyed by infanticide, as among the Chinese and Lacedemonians; or 2nd it is stifled or starved, as among other nations whose population is commensurate to its food; or 3rd it is consumed by wars and endemic diseases; or 4th it overflows, by emigration, to places where a surplus of food is attainable.
James MadisonWar is in fact the true nurse of executive aggrandizement.
James MadisonEach State, in ratifying the Constitution, is considered as a sovereign body, independent of all others, and only to be bound by its own voluntary act. In this relation, then, the new Constitution will, if established, be a FEDERAL, and not a NATIONAL constitution
James MadisonIn framing a government, which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed, and in the next place, oblige it to control itself.
James MadisonAn efficient militia is authorized and contemplated by the Constitution and required by the spirit and safety of free government.
James MadisonIt is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties. We hold this prudent jealousy to be the first duty of citizens, and one of the noblest characteristics of the late Revolution. The freeman of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise, and entangled the question in precedents. They saw all the consequences in the principle, and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle.
James MadisonWith respect to the words general welfare, I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.
James MadisonThere is no maxim, in my opinion, which is more liable to be misapplied, and which, therefore, more needs elucidation, than the current, that the interest of the majority is the political standard of right and wrong.
James MadisonFreedom arises from a multiplicity of sects, which pervades America, and is the best and only security for religious liberty in America.
James MadisonThe essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse.
James MadisonThe Constitution supposes, what the history of all governments demonstrates, that the executive is the branch of government most interested in war, and most prone to it. It has accordingly with studied care, vested the question of war in the legislature.
James MadisonLearned institutions ought to be favorite objects with every free people. They throw that light over the public mind which is the best security against crafty and dangerous encroachments on public liberty.
James MadisonI cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on the objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.
James MadisonThe people shall not be deprived or abridged of their right to speak, or to publish their sentiments; and the freedom of the press, as one of the great bulwarks of liberty, shall be inviolable.
James Madison[T]he delegation of the government, in [a republic], to a small number of citizens elected by the rest . . . [is] to refine and enlarge the public views by passing them through the medium of a chosen body of citizens, whose wisdom may best discern the true interest of their country and whose patriotism and love of justice will be least likely to sacrifice it to temporary or partial considerations.
Charles S. MaierFascist intellectuals, such as Ugo Spirito, made the round of conferences preaching the virtues of postcapitalism fascism and in fact tried to nudge the structure in a 'leftist' direction by calling for more collective control and even corporative ownership of the economy. Mussolini looked abroad to find that Franklin Roosevelt was merely seeking to emulate Italy's innovations.
William McKinleyWe could not leave them to themselves -- they were unfit for self-government -- and they would soon have anarchy and misrule over there worse than Spain's was ... there was nothing left for us to do but to take them all, and to educate the Filipinos, and uplift and civilize and Christianize them.
H. L. MenckenA Galileo could no more be elected president of the United States than he could be elected Pope of Rome. Both high posts are reserved for men favored by God with an extraordinary genius for swathing the bitter facts of life in bandages of self-illusion.
H. L. Mencken[T]he only thing wrong with Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address was that it was the South, not the North, that was fighting for a government of the people, by the people and for the people.
James Monroe[In a republic,] it is not the people themselves who make the decisions, but the people they themselves choose to stand in their places.
James MonroeLet us by wise and constitutional measures promote intelligence among the people as the best means of preserving our liberties.
James MonroeIt is only when the people become ignorant and corrupt, when they degenerate into a populace, that they are incapable of exercising their sovereignty. Usurpation is then an easy attainment, and an usurper soon found. The people themselves become the willing instruments of their own debasement and ruin.
James MonroeOf the liberty of conscience in matters of religious faith, of speech and of the press; of the trial by jury of the vicinage in civil and criminal cases; of the benefit of the writ of habeas corpus; of the right to keep and bear arms.... If these rights are well defined, and secured against encroachment, it is impossible that government should ever degenerate into tyranny.
Richard M. NixonThe Constitution supposes what the history of all governments demonstrates, that the executive is the branch of power most interested in war and most prone to it. It has accordingly with studied care, vested the question of war in the legislature. [If a president is successful in bypassing the Congress] it is evident that the people are cheated out of the best ingredients in the government, the safeguards of peace which is the greatest of their blessings.
Richard M. NixonSure there are dishonest men in local government. But there are dishonest men in national government too.
Richard M. NixonIf you think the United States has stood still, who built the largest shopping center in the world?
Richard M. NixonIt is necessary for me to establish a winner image. Therefore, I have to beat somebody.
Albert Jay NockMany now believe that with the rise of the totalitarian State the world has entered upon a new era of barbarism. It has not. The totalitarian State is only the State; the kind of thing it does is only what the State has always done with unfailing regularity, if it had the power to do it, wherever and whenever its own aggrandizement made that kind of thing expedient. Give any State like power hereafter, and put it in like circumstances, and it will do precisely the same kind of thing. The State will unfailingly aggrandize itself, if only it has the power, first at the expense of its own citizens, and then at the expense of anyone else in sight. It has always done so, and always will.
Albert Jay NockHere is the Golden Rule of sound citizenship, the first and greatest lesson in the study of politics: You get the same order of criminality from any State to which you give power to exercise it; and whatever power you give the State to do things FOR you carries with it the equivalent power to do things TO you.
Albert Jay Nock[T]he State's criminality is nothing new and nothing to be wondered at. It began when the first predatory group of men clustered together and formed the State, and it will continue as long as the State exists in the world, because the State is fundamentally an anti-social institution, fundamentally criminal. The idea that the State originated to serve any kind of social purpose is completely unhistorical. It originated in conquest and confiscation -- that is to say, in crime. It originated for the purpose of maintaining the division of society into an owning-and-exploiting class and a propertyless dependent class -- that is, for a criminal purpose. No State known to history originated in any other manner, or for any other purpose. Like all predatory or parasitic institutions, its first instinct is that of self-preservation. All its enterprises are directed first towards preserving its own life, and, second, towards increasing its own power and enlarging the scope of its own activity. For the sake of this it will, and regularly does, commit any crime which circumstances make expedient.
Lyn NofzigerThese things I believe: That government should butt out. That freedom is our most precious commodity and if we are not eternally vigilant, government will take it all away. That individual freedom demands individual responsibility. That government is not a necessary good but an unavoidable evil. That the executive branch has grown too strong, the judicial branch too arrogant and the legislative branch too stupid. That political parties have become close to meaningless. That government should work to insure the rights of the individual, not plot to take them away. That government should provide for the national defense and work to insure domestic tranquillity. That foreign trade should be fair rather than free. That America should be wary of foreign entanglements. That the tree of liberty needs to be watered from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. That guns do more than protect us from criminals; more importantly, they protect us from the ongoing threat of government. That states are the bulwark of our freedom. That states should have the right to secede from the Union. That once a year we should hang someone in government as an example to his fellows.
P. J. O'RourkeThe Tenth Commandment sends a message to socialists, to egalitarians, to people obsessed with fairness, to American presidential candidates in the year 2000 -- to everyone who believes that wealth should be redistributed. And that message is clear and concise: Go to Hell.
Barack Hussein Obama[J]ust because you have an individual right does not mean that the state or local government can't constrain the exercise of that right...
Barack Hussein ObamaThe problem is that the way [President] Bush has done it over the last eight years is to take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children, driving up our national debt from $5 trillion dollars for the first 42 presidents -- number 43 added $4 trillion dollars by his lonesome -- so that we now have over $9 trillion dollars of debt that we are going to have to pay back. [That's] $30,000 for every man, woman and child. That's irresponsible. It's unpatriotic.
Barack Hussein ObamaConsistent with section 202(d) of the National
Emergencies Act, 50 U.S.C. 1622(d), I am continuing for
1 year the national emergency previously declared on
September 14, 2001, in Proclamation 7463, with respect
to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the
continuing and immediate threat of further attacks on
the United States.
Because the terrorist threat continues, the national
emergency declared on September 14, 2001, and the
powers and authorities adopted to deal with that
emergency must continue in effect beyond September 14, 2010.
Dr. Ron PaulThe obligations of our representatives in Washington are to protect our liberty, not coddle the world, precipitating no-win wars, while bringing bankruptcy and economic turmoil to our people.
Peace March Signs[Transcription of some of the signs in Washington during the peace march January 18, 2003]
Franklin PierceThe dangers of a concentration of all power in the general government of a confederacy so vast as ours are too obvious to be disregarded.
PlatoThe people have always some champion whom they set over them and nurse into greatness… This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs, when he first appears he is a protector.
PlatoWhen the tyrant has disposed of foreign enemies by conquest or treaty, and there is nothing more to fear from them, then he is always stirring up some war or other, in order that the people may require a leader.
Bruce D. PorterThroughout the history of the United States, war has been the primary impetus behind the growth and development of the central state. It has been the lever by which presidents and other national officials have bolstered the power of the state in the face of tenacious popular resistance.
General Colin PowellOver the years, the United States has sent many of its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom beyond our borders. The only amount of land we have ever asked for in return is enough to bury those that did not return.
General Colin PowellSo our record of living our values and letting our values be an inspiration to others I think is clear.
And I don't think I have anything to be ashamed of or apologize for with respect to what America has done for the world.
We have gone forth from our shores repeatedly over the last hundred years and we've done this as recently as the last year in Afghanistan and put wonderful young men and women at risk, many of whom have lost their lives, and we have asked for nothing except enough ground to bury them in, and otherwise we have returned home ... to live our own lives in peace.
Dan QuayleI believe we are on
an irreversible trend toward
more freedom and democracy.
But that will change.
Ronald ReaganOur natural, inalienable rights are now considered to be a dispensation from government, and freedom has never been so fragile, so close to slipping from our grasp as it is at this moment.
Ronald ReaganThere is no limit to what you can accomplish if you don't care who gets the credit.
Ronald ReaganMan is not free unless government is limited.... As government expands, liberty contracts.
Ronald ReaganI hope we have once again reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited. There’s a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: as government expands, liberty contracts.
Ronald ReaganOur coins bear the words 'In God We Trust'. We take the oath of office asking His help in keeping that oath. And we proclaim that we are a nation under God when we pledge allegiance to the flag. But we can't mention His name in a public school or even sing religious hymns that are nondenominational. Christmas can be celebrated in the school room with pine trees, tinsel and reindeers, but there must be no mention of the man whose birthday is being celebrated. One wonders how a teacher would answer if a student asked why it was called Christmas.
Ronald ReaganPolitics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.
Ronald ReaganOurs was the first revolution in the history of mankind that truly reversed the course of government, and with three little words: 'We the people.' 'We the people' tell the government what to do, it doesn't tell us. 'We the people' are the driver, the government is the car. And we decide where it should go, and by what route, and how fast. Almost all the world's constitutions are documents in which governments tell the people what their privileges are. Our Constitution is a document in which 'We the people' tell the government what it is allowed to do. 'We the people' are free. This belief has been the underlying basis for everything I've tried to do these past eight years.
Ronald ReaganWe developed at the local school district level probably the best public school system in the world. Or it was until the Federal government added Federal interference to Federal financial aid and eroded educational quality in the process.
Ronald ReaganWe need true tax reform that will at least make a start toward restoring for our children the American Dream that wealth is denied to no one, that each individual has the right to fly as high as his strength and ability will take him. . . . But we cannot have such reform while our tax policy is engineered by people who view the tax as a means of achieving changes in our social structure.
Ronald ReaganFreedom is the recognition that no single person, no single authority or government has a monopoly on the truth, but that every individual life is infinitely precious, that every one of us put in this world has been put there for a reason and has something to offer. It´s so hard for government planners, no matter how sophisticated, to ever substitute for millions of individuals working night and day to make their dreams come true. The fact is, bureaucracies are a problem around the world.
Ronald ReaganThe taxpayer; that's someone who works for the federal government, but doesn´t have to take a civil service examination.
Ronald ReaganGovernment is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.
Ronald ReaganHow do you tell a Communist? Well, it's someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It's someone who understands Marx and Lenin.
Ronald ReaganNo government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!
Ronald ReaganThe years ahead will be great ones for our country, for the cause of freedom and the spread of civilization. The West will not contain Communism, it will transcend Communism. We will not bother to denounce it, we'll dismiss it as a sad, bizarre chapter in human history whose last pages are even now being written.
Ronald ReaganIt is the Soviet Union that runs against the tide of history.... [It is] the march of freedom and democracy which will leave Marxism- Leninism on the ash heap of history as it has left other tyrannies which stifle the freedom and muzzle the self-expression of the people.
Ronald ReaganCommon sense told us that to preserve the peace, we'd have to become strong again after years of weakness and confusion. So, we rebuilt our defenses, and this New Year we toasted the new peacefulness around the globe. Not only have the superpowers actually begun to reduce their stockpiles of nuclear weapons...but the regional conflicts that rack the globe are also beginning to cease.
Ronald ReaganIn an ironic sense, Karl Marx was right. We are witnessing today a great revolutionary crisis -- a crisis where the demands of the economic order are colliding directly with those of the political order. But the crisis is happening not in the free, non-Marxist West, but in the home of Marxism-Leninism, the Soviet Union.... [Communism will be] left on the ash heap of history.
Ronald ReaganPolitics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.
Ronald ReaganAs we celebrate Thanksgiving ... we should ask what we can do as individuals to demonstrate our gratitude to God for all He has done. Such reflection can only add to the significance of this precious day of remembrance. Let us recommit ourselves to that devotion to God and family that has played such an important role in making this a great Nation, and which will be needed as a source of strength if we are to remain a great people.
Ronald ReaganAre you entitled to the fruits of your labor or does government have some presumptive right to spend and spend and spend?
Ronald ReaganYou and I are told we must choose between a left or right, but I suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down. Up to man's age-old dream -- the maximum of individual freedom consistent with order -- or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. Regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would sacrifice freedom for security have embarked on this downward path. Plutarch warned, 'The real destroyer of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations and benefits.'
Ronald ReaganFreedom is the right to question and change the established way of doing things. It is the continuous revolution of the marketplace. It is the understanding that allows us to recognize shortcomings and seek solutions.
Ronald ReaganWhen you start talking about government as 'we' instead of 'they,' you have been in office too long.
Ronald ReaganThere are some who've forgotten why we have a military. It's not to promote war; it's to be prepared for peace.
Ronald ReaganHave we the courage and the will to face up to the immorality and discrimination of the progressive tax, and demand a return to traditional proportionate taxation? ... Today in our country the tax collector's share is 37 cents of every dollar earned. Freedom has never been so fragile, so close to slipping from our grasp.
Ronald ReaganWelfare's purpose should be to eliminate, as far as possible, the need for its own existence.
Ronald ReaganGovernment does not tax to get the money it needs; government always finds a need for the money it gets.
Ronald ReaganPolitics is not a bad profession. If you succeed there are many rewards, if you disgrace yourself you can always write a book.
Ronald ReaganMr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!
Ronald ReaganOne definition of an economist is somebody who sees something happen in practice and wonders if it will work in theory.
Ronald ReaganNations crumble from within when the citizenry asks of government those things which the citizenry might better provide for itself. ... [I] hope we have once again reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited. There's a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: As government expands, liberty contracts.
Ronald ReaganI think the best possible social program is a job.
Ronald ReaganIt would seem that not only is religion lacking in the schools -- so is common sense. I wonder what a teacher is supposed to say if a kid asks about those four words on a dime -- 'In God We Trust.' Or maybe that's why they aren't being taught how to read these days.
Ronald ReaganFor too long, the world was paralyzed by the argument that terrorism could not be stopped until the grievances of terrorists were addressed. The complicated and heartrending issues that perplex mankind are no excuse for violent, inhumane attacks, nor do they excuse not taking aggressive action against those who deliberately slaughter innocent people.
Ronald ReaganTyranny, like fog in the well known poem, often creeps in silently 'on little cat feet.'
Ronald ReaganThe federal government has taken too much tax money from the people, too much authority from the states, and too much liberty with the Constitution.
Ronald ReaganHistory teaches that wars begin when governments believe the price of aggression is cheap.
Ronald ReaganGovernment's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases:
If it moves, tax it.  If it keeps moving, regulate it.  And if it stops moving, subsidize it.
Ronald ReaganIt is not my intention to do away with government. It is, rather, to make it work -- work with us, not over us; to stand by our side, not ride on our back. Government can and must provide opportunity, not smother it; foster productivity, not stifle it. It is no coincidence that our present troubles parallel and are proportionate to the intervention and intrusion in our lives that result from unnecessary and excessive growth of government. ... We shall reflect the compassion that is so much a part of your makeup. How can we love our country and not love our countrymen, and loving them, not reach out a hand when they fall, heal them when they are sick, and provide opportunities to make them self-sufficient so they will be equal in fact and not just in theory? ... We are a nation under God, and I believe God intended for us to be free. It would be fitting and good, I think, if on each Inauguration Day in future years it should be declared a day of prayer.
Ronald ReaganIn an atmosphere of liberty, artists and patrons are free to think the unthinkable and create the audacious; they are free to make both horrendous mistakes and glorious celebrations.
Ronald ReaganThere are no such things as limits to growth, because there are no limits on the human capacity for intelligence, imagination and wonder.
Ronald ReaganI just wanted to speak to you about something from the Internal Revenue Code. It is the last sentence of section 509A of the code and it reads: 'For purposes of paragraph 3, an organization described in paragraph 2 shall be deemed to include an organization described in section 501C-4, 5, or 6, which would be described in paragraph 2 if it were an organization described in section 501C-3.' And that's just one sentence out of those fifty-seven feet of books.
Robert ReichThe dirty little secret is that both houses of Congress are irrelevant. ... America's domestic policy is now being run by Alan Greenspan and the Federal Reserve, and America's foreign policy is now being run by the International Monetary Fund [IMF]. ...when the president decides to go to war, he no longer needs a declaration of war from Congress.
Lew RockwellIf something is wrong for you or me, it is also wrong for the cop, the soldier, the mayor, the governor, the general, the Fed chairman, the president. Theft does not become acceptable when they call it taxation, counterfeiting when they call it monetary policy, kidnapping when they call it the draft, mass murder when they call it foreign policy. We understand that it is never acceptable to wield violence nor the threat of violence against the innocent, whether by the mugger or the politician.
Will RogersOhio claims they are due a president as they haven't had one since Taft. Look at the United States, they have not had one since Lincoln.
Will RogersA foreigner coming here and reading the Congressional Record would say that the President of the United States was elected solely for the purpose of giving Senators somebody to call a horse thief.
Eleanor RooseveltIt is not that you set the individual apart from society but that you recognize in any society that the individual must have rights that are guarded.
Franklin D. RooseveltThe creed of our democracy is that liberty is acquired and kept by men and women who are strong and self-reliant, and possessed of such wisdom as God gives mankind -- men and women who are just, and understanding, and generous to others -- men and women who are capable of disciplining themselves. For they are the rulers and they must rule themselves.
Franklin D. RooseveltIf the fires of freedom and civil liberties burn low in other lands, they must be made brighter in our own. If in other lands the press and books and literature of all kinds are censored, we must redouble our efforts here to keep them free. If in other lands the eternal truths of the past are threatened by intolerance, we must provide a safe place for their perception.
Franklin D. RooseveltIt is a good thing to demand liberty for ourselves and for those who agree with us, but it is a better thing and a rarer thing to give liberty to others who do not agree with us.
Franklin D. RooseveltA man who has never gone to school may steal from a freight car, but if he has a university education he may steal the whole railroad.
Franklin D. RooseveltHere is my principle: Taxes shall be levied according to ability to pay. That is the only American principle.
Franklin D. RooseveltIn politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happened, you can bet it was planned that way.
Franklin D. RooseveltWe all know that books will burn -- yet we have the greater knowledge that books cannot be killed by fire. People die, but books never die. No man and no force can abolish memory...
Franklin D. RooseveltThe real truth of the matter is, as you and I know, that a financial element in the large centers has owned the government of the U.S. since the days of Andrew Jackson. History depicts Andrew Jackson as the last truly honorable and incorruptible American president.
Franklin D. RooseveltThe saving grace of America lies in the fact that the overwhelming majority of Americans are possessed of two great qualities -- a sense of humor and a sense of proportion.
Franklin D. RooseveltKnowledge -- that is, education in its true sense -- is our best protection against unreasoning prejudice and panic-making fear, whether engendered by special interest, illiberal minorities, or panic-stricken leaders.
Franklin D. RooseveltThe truth is found when men are free to pursue it.
Franklin D. RooseveltI am much interested and deeply impressed by what he has accomplished and by his evidenced honest purpose of restoring Italy and seeking to prevent general European trouble.
Theodore RooseveltNo people is wholly civilized where a distinction is drawn between stealing an office and stealing a purse.
Theodore Roosevelt'Liar' is just as ugly a word as 'thief,' because it implies the presence of just as ugly a sin in one case as in the other. If a man lies under oath or procures the lie of another under oath, if he perjures himself or suborns perjury, he is guilty under the statute law.
Theodore RooseveltThe things that will destroy America are prosperity-at-any-price, peace-at-any-price, safety-first instead of duty-first, the love of soft living and the get-rich-quick theory of life.
Theodore RooseveltFree speech exercised both individually and through a free press, is a necessity in any country where people are themselves free.
Theodore RooseveltWide differences of opinion in matters of religious, political and social belief must exist if conscience and intellect alike are not to be stunted.
Theodore RooseveltIn life, as in a football game, the principle to follow is: Hit the line hard.
Theodore RooseveltTo announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.
Theodore RooseveltFreedom is not a gift which can be enjoyed save by those shown themselves worthy of it.
Theodore RooseveltNo man who is corrupt, no man who condones corruption in others, can possibly do his duty by the community.
Theodore RooseveltNo man is justified in doing evil on the ground of expediency.
Theodore RooseveltTo divide along the lines of section or caste or creed is un-American.
Theodore RooseveltAll privileges based on wealth, and all emnity to honest men merely because they are wealthy, are un-American.
Theodore RooseveltIf an American is to amount to anything he must rely upon himself, and not upon the State; he must take pride in his own work, instead of sitting idle to envy the luck of others. He must face life with resolute courage, win victory if he can, and accept defeat if he must, without seeking to place on his fellow man a responsibility which is not theirs.
Theodore RooseveltTo educate a man in mind, and not in morals, is to educate a menace to society.
Theodore RooseveltWhen they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'present' or 'not guilty.'
Theodore RooseveltWe cannot afford to differ on the question of honesty if we expect our republic permanently to endure. Honesty is not so much a credit as an absolute prerequisite to efficient service to the public. Unless a man is honest, we have no right to keep him in public life; it matters not how brilliant his capacity.
Theodore RooseveltTo educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.
Theodore RooseveltThere is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism.
Theodore RooseveltTo announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.
Theodore RooseveltThe one absolute certain way to bring this nation to ruin ... would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities.
Warren RudmanThe blame for [the national debt] lies with the Congress and the President, with Democrats and Republicans alike, most all of whom have been unwilling to make the hard choices or to explain to the American people that there is no such thing as a free lunch.
Benno C. SchmidtPrivacy is absolutely essential to maintaining a free society. The idea that is at the foundation of the notion of privacy is that the citizen is not the tool or instrument of government – but the reverse… If you have no privacy, it will tend to follow that you have no political freedom…
Benno C. SchmidtThe most serious problems of freedom of expression in our society today exist on our campuses. The assumption seems to be that the purpose of education is to induce correct opinion rather than to search for wisdom and to liberate the mind….Attitudes on campuses often presage tendencies in the larger society. If that is so with respect to freedom of expression, the erosion of principle we have seen throughout our society in recent years may be only the beginning…
Roger ShermanIf the president alone was vested with the power of appointing all officers, and was left to select a council for himself, he would be liable to be deceived by flatterers and pretenders to patriotism.
Roger ShermanThe Executive should be able to repel and not to commence war.
Roger ShermanThe Executive should be able to repel and not to commence war.
Joseph SobranAll in all, the framers would probably agree that it's better to impeach too often than too seldom. If presidents can't be virtuous, they should at least be nervous.
Thomas SowellNeither your life nor my life, nor the future of this country, will be affected in the slightest by whether Linda Tripp is naughty or nice. But if any president is able to commit crimes with impunity by using the vast powers and perquisites of his office to cover up, then we will have a danger of corruption and abuse of power that can only grow with the passing years and generations.
Thomas SowellOne of the sad signs of our times is that we have demonized those who produce, subsidized those who refuse to produce, and canonized those who complain.
George StephanopolousThe President has kept all of the promises he intended to keep.
William Howard TaftConstitutions are checks upon the hasty action of the majority. They are the self-imposed restraints of a whole people upon a majority of them to secure sober action and a respect for the rights of the minority.
William Howard TaftNext to the right of liberty, the right of property is the most important individual right guaranteed by the Constitution and the one which, united with that of personal liberty, has contributed more to the growth of civilization than any other institution established by the human race.
Norman ThomasDissent... is a right essential to any concept of the dignity and freedom of the individual; it is essential to the search for truth in a world wherein no authority is infallible.
Treaty of Tripoli, 1796As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense
founded on the Christian Religion, as it has in itself no character of
enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen, and as the
said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any
Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from
religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony
existing between the two countries.
Laurence TribeIt bothers me that the executive branch is taking the amazing position that just on the president's say-so, any American citizen can be picked up, not just in Afghanistan, but at O'Hare Airport or on the streets of any city in this country, and locked up without access to a lawyer or court just because the government says he's connected somehow with the Taliban or Al Qaeda. That's not the American way. It's not the constitutional way.
Harry S. TrumanOnce a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.
Harry S. TrumanSecrecy and a free, democratic government don’t mix.
Harry S. TrumanI have found the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it.
Harry S. TrumanI never would have agreed to the formulation of the Central Intelligence Agency back in forty-seven, if I had known it would become the American Gestapo.
Harry S. TrumanWhen you have an efficient government, you have a dictatorship.
Harry S. TrumanWhen even one American -- who has done nothing wrong -- is forced by fear to shut his mind and close his mouth, then all Americans are in peril.
Harry S. TrumanIf you cannot convince them, confuse them.
Harry S. TrumanWhenever you have an efficient government you have a dictatorship.
Harry S. TrumanIt's not the hand that signs the laws that holds the destiny of America. It's the hand that casts the ballot.
Harry S. TrumanYou can't get rich in politics unless you're a crook.
Harry S. TrumanI never give them hell. I just tell the truth and they think it's hell.
Harry S. TrumanThere is no more fundamental axiom of American freedom than the familiar statement: In a free country we punish men for the crimes they commit but never for the opinions they have.
Jonathan TurleyOur system is changing and [Congress] is the one branch that must act if we are to reverse those changes. We are seeing the emergence of a different model of government, a model long-ago rejected by the framers. ... A dominant presidency has occurred with very little congressional opposition. Indeed, when President Obama pledged to circumvent Congress, he received rapturous applause from the very body that he was proposing to make practically irrelevant. Now many members are contesting the right of this institution to even be heard in federal court. ... This body is moving from self-loathing to self-destruction in a system that is in crisis. The president's pledge to effectively govern alone is alarming, and what is most alarming is his ability to fulfill that pledge. When a president can govern alone, he can become a government unto himself, which is precisely the danger the framers sought to avoid.
Sun TzuWhen the leader is morally weak and his discipline not strict, when his instructions and guidance are not enlightened, when there are no consistent rules, neighboring rulers will take advantage of this.
UnknownLetter to the President of the United States from an American Indian: 'Be careful with your immigration laws. We were careless with ours.'
Leon UrisTerrorism is the war of the poor. War is the terrorism of the rich.
VoltaireThe ideal form of government is democracy tempered with assassination.
George WashingtonAll see, and most admire, the glare which hovers round the external trappings of elevated office. To me there is nothing in it, beyond the lustre which may be reflected from its connection with a power of promoting human felicity.
George WashingtonFew men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder.
George WashingtonAgainst the insidious wiles of foreign influence, (I conjure you to believe me fellow citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake; since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of Republican Government.
George WashingtonThe executive branch of this government never has, nor will suffer, while I preside, any improper conduct of its officers to escape with impunity.
George WashingtonLiberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth.
George WashingtonThe government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.
George WashingtonIf we are wise, let us prepare for the worst.
George WashingtonThere is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily.
George WashingtonThe great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations, is in extending our commercial relations to have as little political connection as possible... Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalships, interest, humor, or caprice?... It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world.
George WashingtonOf all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.
George WashingtonTo be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.
George WashingtonNo pecuniary consideration is more urgent, than the regular redemption and discharge of the public debt: on none can delay be more injurious, or an economy of time more valuable.
George WashingtonGovernment is not reason, it is not eloquence. It is force, and like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.
George WashingtonWhile, then, every part of our country thus feels an immediate and particular interest in Union, all the parts combined cannot fail to find in the united mass of means and efforts greater strength, greater resource, proportionably greater security from external danger, a less frequent interruption of their peace by foreign nations... Hence, likewise, they will avoid the necessity of those overgrown military establishments, which, under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to Republican Liberty. In this sense it is, that your Union ought to be considered as a main prop of your liberty, and that the love of the one ought to endear to you the preservation of the other.
George WashingtonIn time of peace, prepare for war.
George WashingtonFirearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people's liberty teeth and keystone under independence. The church, the plow, the prairie wagon, and citizen's firearms are indelibly related. From the hour the Pilgrims landed, to the present day, events, occurrences, and tendencies prove that to insure peace, security and happiness, the rifle and the pistol are equally indispensable. Every corner of this land knows firearms, and more than 99 99/100 percent of them by their silence indicate they are in safe and sane hands. The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference; they deserve a place with all that's good. When firearms go, all goes; we need them every hour.
George WashingtonAgainst the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow-citizens,) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake; since history and experience prove, that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of Republican Government. But that jealousy, to be useful, must be impartial; else it becomes the instrument of the very influence to be avoided, instead of a defence against it. Excessive partiality for one foreign nation, and excessive dislike of another, cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real patriots, who may resist the intrigues of the favorite, are liable to become suspected and odious; while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interests.
George WashingtonThe time is now near at hand which must probably determine whether Americans are to be freemen or slaves; whether they are to have any property they can call their own; whether their houses and farms are to be pillaged and destroyed, and themselves consigned to a state of wretchedness from which no human efforts will deliver them. The fate of unborn millions will now depend on God, on the courage and conduct of this army. Our cruel and unrelenting enemy leaves us only the choice of brave resistance, or the most abject submission. We have, therefore, to resolve to conquer or die.
George WashingtonMay the father of all mercies scatter light, and not darkness, upon our paths, and make us in all our several vocations useful here, and in His own due time and way everlastingly happy.
George WashingtonGovernment is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.
George WashingtonIf freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.
George WashingtonThe foundation of our Empire was not laid in the gloomy age of Ignorance and Superstition, but at an Epoch when the rights of mankind were better understood and more clearly defined, than at any former period.
George WashingtonNo country upon earth ever had it more in its power to attain these blessings than United America. Wondrously strange, then, and much to be regretted indeed would it be, were we to neglect the means and to depart from the road which Providence has pointed us to so plainly; I cannot believe it will ever come to pass.
George WashingtonOf all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest prop of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice? And let us with caution indulge in the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle... Observe good faith and justice toward all nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all. Religion and morality enjoin this conduct; and can it be that good policy does not equally enjoin it?
George WashingtonThe spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create whatever the form of government, a real despotism. A just estimate of that love of power, and proneness to abuse it, which predominates in the human heart is sufficient to satisfy us of the truth of this position.
George WashingtonThe preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the republican model of government, are justly considered deeply, perhaps as finally, staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.
George WashingtonArbitrary power is most easily established on the ruins of Liberty abused to licentiousness.
George WashingtonIf men are to be precluded from offering their sentiments on a matter which may involve the most serious and alarming consequences that can invite the consideration of mankind, reason is of no use; the freedom of speech may be taken away, and dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.
George WashingtonThere can be no greater error than to expect, or calculate upon real favours from Nation to Nation. 'Tis an illusion which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard.
Daniel WebsterThe contest, for ages, has been to rescue Liberty from the grasp of executive power.
Daniel WebsterNo power but Congress can declare war; but what is the value of this constitutional provision, if the President of his own authority may make such military movements as must bring on war? ... [T]hese remarks originate purely in a desire to maintain the powers of government as they are established by the Constitution between the different departments, and hope that, whether we have conquests or no conquests, war or no war, peace or no peace, we shall yet preserve, in its integrity and strength, the Constitution of the United States.
Daniel WebsterNo power but Congress can declare war, but what is the value of this constitutional provision, if the President of his own authority may make such military movements as must bring on war?
Daniel WebsterWhere is it written in the Constitution, in what article or section is it contained, that you may take children from their parents and parents from their children, and compel them to fight the battles of any war in which the folly and wickedness of the government may engage itself? Under what concealment has this power lain hidden, which now for the first time comes forth, with a tremendous and baleful aspect, to trample down and destroy the dearest right of personal liberty? Who will show me any Constitutional injunction which makes it the duty of the American people to surrender everything valuable in life, and even life, itself, whenever the purposes of an ambitious and mischievous government may require it? ... A free government with an uncontrolled power of military conscription is the most ridiculous and abominable contradiction and nonsense that ever entered into the heads of men.
Woodrow WilsonThe government, which was designed for the people, has got into the hands of the bosses and their employers, the special interests. An invisible empire has been set up above the forms of democracy.
Woodrow WilsonWe have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the world.
Woodrow WilsonLiberty has never come from the government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of government. The history of liberty is the history of resistance. The history of liberty is a history of the limitation of governmental power, not the increase of it.
Woodrow WilsonYou are not here merely to make a living.
You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply,
with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement.
You are here to enrich the world,
and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand.
Woodrow WilsonAmerica is not a mere body of traders; it is a body of free men. Our greatness is built upon our freedom -- is moral, not material. We have a great ardor for gain; but we have a deep passion for the rights of man.
Woodrow WilsonThe world must be made safe for democracy.
Woodrow WilsonIs there any man, is there any woman, let me say any child here
that does not know that the seed of war in the modern world is industrial and commercial rivalry?
Woodrow WilsonI have always in my own thought summed up individual liberty, and business liberty, and every other kind of liberty, in the phrase that is common in the sporting world, 'A free field and no favor.'
Woodrow WilsonThere is such a thing as a nation being so right it does not need to convince others by force that it is right.
Woodrow WilsonLiberty does not consist in mere declarations of the rights of man. It consists in the translation of those declarations into definite action.
Woodrow WilsonLiberty cannot live apart from constitutional
Woodrow WilsonI have always been among those who believe that the greatest freedom of speech was the greatest safety, because if a man is a fool the best thing to do is to encourage him to advertise the fact by speaking.
Woodrow WilsonIf you want to make enemies, try to change something.
Woodrow WilsonA man who thinks of himself as belonging to a particular national group in America has not yet become an American. And the man who goes among you to trade upon your nationality is no worthy son to live under the Stars and Stripes.
Woodrow WilsonThe wisest thing to do with a fool is to encourage him to hire a hall and discourse to his fellow citizens. Nothing chills nonsense like exposure to air.
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