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Presidential Quotes

"Against 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 Washington, Farewell Address, September 19, 1796.

"The name of American, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of Patriotism.... It should be the highest ambition of every American to extend his views beyond himself, and to bear in mind that his conduct will not only affect himself, his country, and his immediate posterity; but that its influence may be co-extensive with the world, and stamp political happiness or misery on ages yet unborn." - George Washington.

"And now, first and foremost, you can never afford to forget for a moment what is the object of our forest policy.  That object is not to preserve forests because they beautiful, though that is good in itself; nor because they are refuges for the wild creatures of the wilderness, though that, too, is good in itself; but the primary object of our forest policy, as of the land policy of the United States, is the making of prosperous homes.  It is part of the traditional policy of home making in our country.  Every other consideration comes as secondary.  You yourselves have got to keep this practical object before your minds: to remember that a forest which contributes nothing to the wealth, progress, or safety of the country is of no interest to the Government, and should be of little interest to the forester.  Your attention must be directed to the preservation of forests, not as an end in itself, but as the means of preserving and increasing the prosperity of the nation." - President Teddy Roosevelt, speaking to the Society of American Foresters in 1903. (emphasis added)

"In the first place we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the man's becoming in very fact an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag, and this excludes the red flag, which symbolizes all wars against liberty and civilization, just as much as it excludes any foreign flag of a nation to which we are hostile...We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language...and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people." - Theodore Roosevelt, from a letter he wrote to the president of the American Defense Society on January 3, 1919, three days before Roosevelt died. "Americanization" was a favorite theme of Roosevelt's during his later years, when he railed repeatedly against "hyphenated Americans" and the prospect of a nation "brought to ruins" by a "tangle of squabbling nationalities." He advocated the compulsory learning of English by every naturalized citizen. "Every immigrant who comes here should be required within five years to learn English or to leave the country," he said in a statement to the Kansas City Star in 1918. "English should be the only language taught or used in the public schools." He also insisted, on more than one occasion, that America has no room for what he called "fifty-fifty allegiance." In a speech made in 1917 he said, "It is our boast that we admit the immigrant to full fellowship and equality with the native-born. In return we demand that he shall share our undivided allegiance to the one flag which floats over all of us." http://urbanlegends.about.com/library/bl_Roosevelt_on_immigrants.htm

"I know in my heart that man is good. That what is right will always eventually triumph. And there's purpose and worth to each and every life." - President Ronald Wilson Reagan (also the inscription on his tomb), who first used the words while opening the Reagan presidential library in Simi Valley, California, in 1991.

"And if we now cast our eyes over the nations of the earth, we shall find that, instead of possessing the pure religion of the Gospel, they may be divided either into infidels, who deny the truth; or politicians who make religion a stalking horse for their ambition; or professors, who walk in the trammels of orthodoxy, and are more attentive to traditions and ordinances of men than to the oracles of truth." - Samuel Adams 
"It does not take a majority to prevail ... but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men." - Samuel Adams

"You and I know and do not believe that life is so dear and peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery. If nothing is worth dying for, when did this begin...? ...Should Moses have told the children of Israel to live in slavery under the pharaohs? Should Christ have refused the cross? Should the patriots of Concord Bridge have thrown down their guns and refused to fire the shot heard 'round the world?" - Ronald Reagan

"I consider trial by jury as the only anchor yet imagined by man, by which a
government can be held to the principles of its constitution." - Thomas Jefferson http://www.worldofquotes.com/author/Thomas-Jefferson/1/

To Colonel Wm. Duane, 1811: During the bellum omnium in omnia of Europe, [our country] will require the union of all its friends to resist its enemies within and without . . . The last hope of human liberty in this world rests on us. We ought, for so dear a state, to sacrifice every attachment and every enmity. Leave the president free to choose his own coadjutors, to pursue his own measures, and support him and them, even if we think we are wiser than they, honester than they are, or possessing more enlarged information of the state of things. If we move in mass, be it ever so circuitously, we shall attain our object; but if we break into squads, every one pursuing the path he thinks most direct, we become an easy conquest to those who can now barely hold us in check. I repeat again, that we ought not to schismatize on either men or measures. Principles alone can justify that. If we find our government in all its branches rushing headlong, like our predecessors, into the arms of monarchy, if we find them violating our dearest rights, the trial by jury, the freedom of the press, the freedom of opinion, civil or religious, or opening on our peace of mind or personal safety the sluices of terrorism, if we see them raising standing armies, when the absence of all other danger points to these as the sole objects on which they are to be employed, then indeed let us withdraw and call the nation to its tents. But while our functionaries are wise, and honest, and vigilant, let us move compactly under their guidance, and we have nothing to fear. Things may here and there go a little wrong. It is not in their power to prevent it. But all will be right in the end, though not perhaps by the shortest means. - Thomas Jefferson

And now, Almighty Father, if it is Thy holy will that we shall obtain a place and name among the nations of the earth, grant that we may be enabled to show our gratitude for Thy goodness by our endeavors to fear and obey Thee. Bless us with thy wisdom in our counsels, success in battle, and let our victories be tempered with humanity. Endow, also, our enemies with enlightened minds, that they become sensible of their injustice, and willing to restore our liberty and peace. Grant the petition of Thy servant, for the sake of whom Thou hast called Thy beloved Son; nevertheless, not my will, but Thine be done. - George Washington

"If we run into such debts 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 callings and our creeds, as the people of England are, our people, like them, must come to labor sixteen hours in the twenty-four, and 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 do now, 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 around 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 a second, that second for a third, and so on 'til the bulk of the society is reduced to be mere automatons of misery, to have no sensibilities left but for sinning and suffering ... And the forehorse of this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression." - Thomas Jefferson

"There exists in this country a plot to enslave every man woman and child. Before I leave this high and noble office, I intend to expose this plot." - President John F. Kennedy - 7 days before he was assassinated.

"Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself." - John Adams

"Posterity - you will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it." - John Quincy Adams

"Now more than ever before, the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness and corruption. If it be intelligent, brave and pure, it is because the people demand these high qualities to represent them in the national legislature ... If the next centennial does not find us a great nation...it will be because those who represent the enterprise, the culture, and the morality of the nation do not aid in controlling the political forces." - James Garfield in 1877

The beauty of the second amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it." - Thomas Jefferson

"I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies ... If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] ... will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent [that] their fathers conquered ... The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs." - Thomas Jefferson in the debate over the recharter of The Bank Bill, (1809)

"I do verily believe that a single, consolidated government would become the most corrupt government on the earth." - Thomas Jefferson to Gideon Granger, 1800

The price of freedom is eternal vigilance. - Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

"The republican is the only form of government which is not eternally at open or secret war with the rights of mankind." - Thomas Jefferson

"Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God." - Thomas Jefferson

"Today, we need a nation of Minutemen, who are not only prepared to take arms, but citizens who regard the preservation of freedom as the basic purpose of their daily lives, and who are willing to consciously work and sacrifice for that freedom." - John F. Kennedy

"If there is anything which it is the duty of the whole people to never entrust to any hands but their own -- that thing is the preservation of their own liberties and institutions." - Abraham Lincoln

"The people of the United States are the rightful masters of both Congress and the Courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution." - Abraham Lincoln, September 17, 1859, in a speech in Cincinnati, Ohio)

A diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty. - James Madison 1825

The amendments, which have occurred to me, proper to be recommended by congress to the state legislatures, are these: First, That there be prefixed to the constitution a declaration that all 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, with the right of acquiring and using property, and generally of pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety. - James Madison, Proposed Amendments to the Constitution, June 8, 1789.

"Government can't solve the problem. Government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

"There is a fundamental difference between separation of church and state and denying the spiritual heritage of this country. Inscribed on the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC are Jefferson's words, 'The God Who gave us life gave us liberty -- can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?' " - Ronald Reagan

"We're Americans and we have a rendezvous with destiny ... No people who have ever lived on this earth have fought harder, paid a higher price for freedom, or done more to advance the dignity of man than Americans." - Ronald Reagan

"The Roman Republic fell, not because of the ambition of Caesar or Augustus, but because it had already long ceased to be in any real sense a republic at all. When the sturdy Roman plebeian, who lived by his own labor, who voted without reward according to his own convictions, and who with his fellows formed in war the terrible Roman legion, had been changed into an idle creature who craved nothing in life save the gratification of a thirst for vapid excitement, who was fed by the state, and who directly or indirectly sold his vote to the highest bidder, then the end of the republic was at hand, and nothing could save it. The laws were the same as they had been, but the people behind the laws had changed, and so the laws counted for nothing." - Teddy Roosevelt

"It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself for a worthy cause; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat." - Theodore Roosevelt, "Citizenship in a Republic" Speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, France, April 23, 1910

"Since I entered politics, I have chiefly had men's views confided to me privately. Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the Field of commerce and manufacture, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere -- so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive -- that they better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it." - Woodrow Wilson, The New Freedom, 1913