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American Political Quotes

Submitted by NetProphet at 2007-08-13 15:20:05 EDT
Rating: 0.0 on 21 ratings (21 reviews) (V)

This is a response to a fairly recent post by Ubersite's "Commander in Chief", Barttophilus Rex:
http://www.ubersite.com/m/110202

I feel the same way as he seems to feel, as conveyed by his rant... frustrated. Outraged, even. If we are a more enlightened people than we were in previous generations, why would we allow grave injustice to pass unchecked?

I've not been able to muster the words to properly express my opinions on the matter. My attempts to convey them in the past (http://www.ubersite.com/m/95253 && http://www.ubersite.com/m/97952) have been more or less poorly received-- or at least, poorly received in comparison to other material I've submitted for your review.

That having been taken into consideration, I've decided to let other Americans voice my opinions for me, since it's not as if I were the first person to have thought these things. The following is a collection of quotes from American politicians: most of whom I agree with; some of whom I do not. I doubt you'll have much trouble discerning between the two.

As always, intelligent, civil and constructive commentary and debate are encouraged. Please take any hair-pulling, name-calling and other such childishness elsewhere.



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GOVERNMENT

"We are all imperfect. We can not expect perfect government."
-- William Howard Taft

"Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism."
-- George Washington

"A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues."
-- Theodore Roosevelt

"I understand there's a suspicion that we-- we're too security conscience."
-- George W. Bush

"Fear is the foundation of most governments."
-- John Adams

"A government is like fire, a handy servant, but a dangerous master."
-- George Washington

"As 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 Jackson

"The question is, who ought to make that decision? The Congress or the commanders? And as you know, my position is clear: I'm a commander guy."
-- George W. Bush

"A government is for the benefit of all the people."
-- William Howard Taft

"The only legitimate right to govern is an express grant of power from the governed."
-- William Henry Harrison

"We are going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good."
-- Hillary Clinton

"Democracy... while it lasts is more bloody than either aristocracy or monarchy. Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There is never a democracy that did not commit suicide."
-- John Adams, Jr.

"The world is not going to be saved by legislation."
-- William Howard Taft

"The test of leadership is not to put greatness into humanity, but to elicit it, for the greatness is already there."
-- James Buchanan

"I like the idea of people running for office. There's a positive effect when you run for office. Maybe some will run for office and say, vote for me, I look forward to blowing up America. I don't know, I don't know if that will be their platform or not. But I don't think so. I think people who generally run for office say, vote for me, I'm looking forward to fixing your potholes, or making sure you got bread on the table."
-- George W. Bush (on elections in the Middle East)

"The moral and constitutional 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."
-- Ron Paul


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THE CONSTITUTION

"Outside 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."
-- Andrew Johnson

"Don't interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties."
-- Abraham Lincoln

"How did we win the election in the year 2000? We talked about a humble foreign policy: No nation-building; don't police the world. That's conservative, it's Republican, it's pro-American: it follows the founding fathers. And, besides, it follows the Constitution."
-- Ron Paul

"Oh, how I hate the phrase we have-- a 'living document'; We now have a Constitution that means whatever we want it to mean. The Constitution is not a living organism, for Pete's sake."
-- Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia

"The Constitution is an outdated document."
-- Attorney Gen. Alberto Gonzales (while acting as White House counsel)

"The danger of tinkering with the Constitution comes from a loss of rights. We could take away rights just as we grant new ones."
-- Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia

"It's just a goddamned piece of paper."
-- George W. Bush


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FREEDOM

"Everywhere that freedom stirs, let tyrants fear."
-- George W. Bush

"I contend that the strongest of all governments is that which is most free."
-- William Henry Harrison

"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both."
-- Benjamin Franklin

"I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations."
-- James Madison

"Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do."
-- Rudy Giuliani

"There is a certain enthusiasm in liberty, that makes human nature rise above itself, in acts of bravery and heroism."
-- Alexander Hamilton

"See, free nations are peaceful nations. Free nations don't attack each other. Free nations don't develop weapons of mass destruction."
-- George W. Bush

"The most important element of a free society, where individual rights are held in the highest esteem, is the rejection of the initiation of violence."
-- Ron Paul


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TYRANNY

"Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people."
-- Theodore Roosevelt

"It is to be regretted that the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their selfish purposes."
-- Andrew Jackson

"A popular government without popular information or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce, or a tragedy, or perhaps both."
-- James Madison

"I will not withdraw [American forces from Iraq], even if Laura and Barney are the only ones supporting me."
-- George W. Bush

"All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent."
-- Thomas Jefferson

"As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy."
-- Abraham Lincoln

"Tyranny and despotism can be exercised by many, more rigourously, more vigourously, and more severely, than by one."
-- Andrew Johnson

"The same folks that are bombing innocent people in Iraq were the ones who attacked us in America on September the 11th."
-- George W. Bush


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FOREIGN POLICY

"I am just absolutely convinced that the best formula for giving us peace and preserving the American way of life is freedom, limited government, and minding our own business overseas."
-- Ron Paul

"Geography has made us neighbors. History has made us friends. Economics has made us partners, and necessity has made us allies. Those whom God has so joined together, let no man put asunder."
-- John F. Kennedy

"So far as it depends on the course of this government, our relations of good will and friendship will be sedulously cultivated with all nations."
-- John Tyler

"I believe the government that governs best is the government that governs least. And by these standards, we have set up a fabulous government in Iraq."
-- Stephen Colbert

"The relations with Europe are important relations-- because we do share values. And they're universal values-- they're not American values or European values, they're universal values. And those values-- being universal-- ought to be applied everywhere."
-- George W. Bush

"I am in favor of helping the prosperity of all countries because, when we are all prosperous, the trade with each becomes more valuable to the other."
-- William Howard Taft

"Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?"
-- Abraham Lincoln

"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."
-- George W. Bush


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WAR

"Setting a good example is a far better way to spread ideals than through force of arms."
-- Ron Paul

"I just want you to know that, when we talk about war, we're really talking about peace."
-- George W. Bush

"Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war."
-- John Adams, Jr.

"America does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy."
-- John Quincy Adams

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."
-- Abraham Lincoln

"Any government that supports, protects or harbours terrorists is complicit in the murder of the innocent and equally guilty of terrorist crimes."
-- George W. Bush

"If I am shot at, I want no man to be in the way of the bullet."
-- Andrew Johnson

"Preparation for war is a constant stimulus to suspicion and ill will."
-- James Monroe

"Conquest is not in our principles. It is inconsistent with our government."
-- Thomas Jefferson

"All initiation of force is a violation of someone else's rights, whether initiated by an individual or the state, for the benefit of an individual or group of individuals, even if it's supposed to be for the benefit of another individual or group of individuals."
-- Ron Paul

"Iraq is a very important part of securing the homeland, and it's a very important part of helping change the Middle East into a part of the world that will not serve as a threat to the civilized world, to people like -- or to the developed world, to people like -- in the United States."
-- George W. Bush

"Allow the president to invade a neighboring nation, whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion, and you allow him to do so whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such a purpose-- you allow him to make war at pleasure."
-- Abraham Lincoln


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POWER

"Nip the shoots of arbitrary power in the bud, is the only maxim which can ever preserve the liberties of any people."
-- John Quincy Adams

"Because power corrupts, society's demands for moral authority and character increase as the importance of the position increases."
-- John Adams, Jr.

"There is nothing more corrupting, nothing more destructive of the noblest and finest feelings of our nature, than the exercise of unlimited power."
-- William Henry Harrison

"America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our people."
-- George W. Bush

"All men having power ought to be distrusted to a certain degree."
-- James Madison

"Arbitrary power is most easily established on the ruins of liberty abused to licentiousness."
-- George Washington

"Legislation can neither be wise nor just which seeks the welfare of a single interest at the expense and to the injury of many and varied interests."
-- Andrew Johnson

"If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier... Just so long as I'm the dictator."
-- George W. Bush


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CHANGE

"Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future."
-- John F. Kennedy

"As our case is new, we must think and act anew."
-- Abraham Lincoln

"Seek action. Seize the moment. Man was never intended to become an oyster."
-- Theodore Roosevelt

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen."
-- Samuel Adams

"As we must account for every idle word, so must we account for every idle silence."
-- Benjamin Franklin

"It is only when the people become ignorant and corrupt, when they degenerate into a populace, that they are incapable of exercising their sovereignty."
-- James Monroe

"I don't pity any man who does hard work worth doing. I admire him. I pity the creature who does not work, at whichever end of the social scale he may regard himself as being."
-- Theodore Roosevelt

"Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men."
-- John F. Kennedy


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VOICING OPINION

"A man has a property in his opinions and the free communication of them."
-- James Madison

"If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter."
-- George Washington

"I'm the commander. I don't need to explain why I say things. That's the interesting thing about being president."
-- George W. Bush

"Let us tenderly and kindly cherish, therefore, the means of knowledge. Let us dare to read, think, speak, and write."
-- John Adams

"I know what I believe. I will continue to articulate what I believe, and what I believe — I believe what I believe is right."
-- George W. Bush

"He can compress the most words into the smallest ideas better than any man I ever met."
-- Abraham Lincoln

"Courtesy is as much a mark of a gentleman as courage."
-- Theodore Roosevelt

"Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence."
-- George Washington

"Anybody who is in a position to serve this country ought to understand the consequences of words."
-- George W. Bush

"Go fuck yourself."
-- Dick Cheney (to Sen. Patrick Leahy, on Senate floor)


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RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS

"Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth."
-- George Washington

"The right of self defense never ceases. It is among the most sacred, and alike necessary to nations and to individuals."
-- James Monroe

"A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained in arms, is the best most natural defense of a free country."
-- James Madison

"Arms in the hands of citizens may be used at individual discretion... in private self-defense."
-- John Adams, Jr.

"Among the natural rights of the colonists are these: First a right to life, secondly to liberty, and thirdly to property; together with the right to defend them in the best manner they can."
-- Samuel Adams

"When the sword is once drawn, the passions of men observe no bounds of moderation."
-- Alexander Hamilton

"Americans have the right and advantage of being armed - unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms."
-- James Madison

"Tyrants from Hitler to Mao to Stalin have sought to disarm their own citizens, for the simple reason that unarmed people are easier to control. Our Founders, having just expelled the British army, knew that the right to bear arms serves as the guardian of every other right."
-- Ron Paul


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TAKING A STAND

"Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm."
-- Abraham Lincoln

"A man does what he must - in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures - and that is the basis of all human morality."
-- John F. Kennedy

"All mankind is divided into three classes: those that are immovable, those that are movable, and those that move."
-- Benjamin Franklin

"Those who stand for nothing fall for anything."
-- Alexander Hamilton

"It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds."
-- Samuel Adams

"Energy and persistence conquer all things."
-- Benjamin Franklin

"Americans are not a perfect people, but we are called to a perfect mission."
-- Andrew Jackson

"Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman, before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish into air."
-- John Quincy Adams

"Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing."
-- Abraham Lincoln

"A revolution is coming - a revolution which will be peaceful if we are wise enough; compassionate if we care enough; successful if we are fortunate enough - but a revolution which is coming whether we will it or not. We can affect its character, we cannot alter its inevitability."
-- John F. Kennedy

"Fear not, the people may be deluded for a moment, but cannot be corrupted."
-- Andrew Jackson

"Great thoughts speak only to the thoughtful mind, but great actions speak to all mankind."
-- Theodore Roosevelt

"I have always done my duty. I am ready to die. My only regret is for the friends I leave behind me."
-- Zachary Taylor

"Take time to deliberate; but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in."
-- Andrew Jackson

"Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other."
-- Abraham Lincoln

"Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction."
-- John F. Kennedy


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MISCELLANAE

"Having federal officials, whether judges, bureaucrats, or congressmen, impose a new definition of marriage on the people is an act of social engineering profoundly hostile to liberty."
-- Ron Paul

"Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. As a peacemaker the lawyer has superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough."
-- Abraham Lincoln

"You can’t allow somebody to commit a crime before you detain them."
-- Condeleezza Rice

"I am absolutely opposed to a national ID card. This is a total contradiction of what a free society is all about. The purpose of government is to protect the secrecy and the privacy of all individuals, not the secrecy of government. We don't need a national ID card."
-- Ron Paul

"Let it be henceforth proclaimed to the world that man's conscience was created free; that he is no longer accountable to his fellow man for his religious opinions, being responsible therefore only to his God."
-- John Tyler

"Every immigrant who comes here should be required within five years to learn English or leave the country."
-- Theodore Roosevelt

"You wanna get rid of drug crime in this country? Fine, let's just get rid of all the drug laws."
-- Ron Paul

"I even accept for the sake of argument that sexual orgies eliminate social tensions and ought to be encouraged."
-- Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia (speaking at Harvard)


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Reviews


Submitted by shitfuck at 2007-08-14 11:31:43 EDT (#)
Rating: 2


Logged in just to say great work.

I loved the way you planted GWB's flimsy soundbites in with the more educated and philisophical quotes--it's not like anyone actually thinks bush & co have any intelligence, but when laid out like that their idiocy is compounded by about infinity.

Submitted by BranDo at 2007-08-14 11:04:39 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Thanks, some pretty amazing and some really disturbing quotes you rounded up.





Submitted by Kaelic at 2007-08-14 09:30:36 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Pretty interesting stuff.

Submitted by Brdn_Nkd at 2007-08-14 08:58:04 EDT (#)
Rating: 1

the contrast in comments is insane. I'm not sure that Ron Paul fits in there all the time, seems as much a nut job as GW sometimes. ok, that's a lot harsh but some of those quotes do not necessarily make me look at him positively. and no, i will not tell you which ones. i am too lazy.

I have to say that this seems a pretty decent demonstration of the arrogance and disdain for the populace with which this president runs his office.

Submitted by NetProphet at 2007-08-13 22:58:36 EDT (#)
Rating: 0

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Submitted by Axolotl (user info) at 2007-08-13 15:29:25 EDT (#)
Ranking: -2

I skimmed and found this: "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."
-- George W. Bush

Are you trying to be serious or funny? Adding in a million quotes by people like Ron Paul and George Bush next to those by Abraham Lincoln and John Adams debases the entire enormous selection. In any case, our civilization is in decline, and it sounds like something I would really like to contribute to.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________

I'm being perfectly serious here. In the midst of astoundingly poignant quotes from presidents who represent some of the greatest minds of the last three centuries, the shit that comes out of GWB's mouth is downright ridiculous.

But if you're into the decline of civilization, I suppose I can't expect to have a civil debate with you... can I?


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Submitted by JonnyX (user info) at 2007-08-13 18:11:53 EDT (#)
Ranking: -2

What's with all the Ron Paul quotes - what a hack
___________________________________________________________________________________________________


I like ya, Jonny... I mean, you dropped like 40 some-odd counterdeuces for me against ProgramGeek for no reason except to be cool. And that dude's ratings ended up getting squashed anyhow, but the gesture didn't go unnoticed.

But I also like Ron Paul. He's the only politician I've heard that makes sense to me.

I'm open to hearing why he's a "hack", though. Seriously.



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Submitted by BobLobla (user info) at 2007-08-13 15:55:43 EDT (#)
Ranking: -2

Submitted by NetProphet (user info) at 2007-08-13 15:37:45 EDT (#)
Ranking: 0

Submitted by Caulaincourt (user info) at 2007-08-13 15:24:59 EDT (#)
Ranking: -2

didn't you move to canada?



Yeah, that's why I haven't posted in a while.

We Canadians just got Internet there last week.
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I was kidding, of course. No, I haven't moved away from the Eastern US, mainly because I don't have the kind of money to just pack up and go 4500 miles away to Vancouver.

Don't think for a minute that if I had an extra 10G, I wouldn't be there overnight.




Submitted by bart at 2007-08-13 18:55:27 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Submitted by Design at 2007-08-13 18:45:30 EDT (#)
Rating: -2

Submitted by TheUniter at 2007-08-13 18:35:20 EDT (#)
Rating: -1


Submitted by JonnyX at 2007-08-13 18:11:53 EDT (#)
Rating: -2

What's with all the Ron Paul quotes - what a hack

Submitted by BobLobla at 2007-08-13 15:55:43 EDT (#)
Rating: -2

Submitted by NetProphet (user info) at 2007-08-13 15:37:45 EDT (#)
Ranking: 0

___________________________________________________________________________________________________
Submitted by Caulaincourt (user info) at 2007-08-13 15:24:59 EDT (#)
Ranking: -2

didn't you move to canada?
___________________________________________________________________________________________________


Yeah, that's why I haven't posted in a while.

We Canadians just got Internet there last week.
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?

Submitted by monkeyswithguns at 2007-08-13 15:53:39 EDT (#)
Rating: 1

Submitted by azurefroz at 2007-08-13 15:51:43 EDT (#)
Rating: -1

My political morale was jarred so hard it register of the Richter scale.

Submitted by SunnyG at 2007-08-13 15:45:21 EDT (#)
Rating: -2

who cares?

Submitted by NetProphet at 2007-08-13 15:37:45 EDT (#)
Rating: 0

___________________________________________________________________________________________________
Submitted by Caulaincourt (user info) at 2007-08-13 15:24:59 EDT (#)
Ranking: -2

didn't you move to canada?
___________________________________________________________________________________________________


Yeah, that's why I haven't posted in a while.

We Canadians just got Internet there last week.

Submitted by Constitution at 2007-08-13 15:35:24 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

+2 for the name drop.

Submitted by maiorano84 at 2007-08-13 15:32:23 EDT (#)
Rating: 2


Submitted by Caulaincourt (user info) at 2007-08-13 15:24:59 EDT (#)
Ranking: -2

didn't you move to canada?

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HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

Good to see you again.

Submitted by BobLobla at 2007-08-13 15:32:18 EDT (#)
Rating: -2

Submitted by DirtyHarry (user info) at 2007-08-13 15:30:22 EDT (#)
Ranking: 0

WTF? I'm not reading all that!

Submitted by DirtyHarry at 2007-08-13 15:30:22 EDT (#)
Rating: 0

WTF? I'm not reading all that!

Submitted by BLITZKREIG_BOB at 2007-08-13 15:29:32 EDT (#)
Rating: -2

It's my constitutional right to -2 this.

Submitted by Axolotl at 2007-08-13 15:29:25 EDT (#)
Rating: -2

I skimmed and found this: "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."
-- George W. Bush

Are you trying to be serious or funny? Adding in a million quotes by people like Ron Paul and George Bush next to those by Abraham Lincoln and John Adams debases the entire enormous selection. In any case, our civilization is in decline, and it sounds like something I would really like to contribute to.

Submitted by Caulaincourt at 2007-08-13 15:24:59 EDT (#)
Rating: -2

didn't you move to canada?


Homer: Here's your magazines. How many of these guys are named Corey?

Lisa: Eight. Thanks, Dad.

Bart's Dog Gets An F