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I love our flag, our constitution, and our country, with a love that has no bounds. I defended all three for 35 years as a soldier and was willing to give my life in their defense. Americans revere their flag as a symbol of the nation. ~ Colin Luther Powell
Above the pyramid on the great seal of the United States it says, in Latin, 'God has favored our undertaking'. God will not favor everything that we do. It is rather our duty to divine his will. ~ Lyndon Baines Johnson
America at least has demonstrated that republics are not ungrateful. It is one of the glories of our country that so long as we remain faithful to the cause of justice and truth and liberty, this action will continue. ~ Calvin Coolidge
American citizenship is a high estate. He who holds it is the peer of kings. It has been secured only by untold toil and effort. It will be maintained by no other method. It demands the best that men and women have to give, but it likewise awards to its partakers the best that there is on earth. ~ Calvin Coolidge
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. ~ Thomas Jefferson
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. ~ Abraham Lincoln
That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved. ~ Richard H. Lee
When the people of the colonies were defending their liberties against the might of kings, they chose their banner from the design set in the firmament through all eternity. The flags of great empires of that day have gone, but the stars and stripes remain. ~ Calvin Coolidge
Strangely, it is always America that is described as degenerate and 'fascist', while it is solely in Europe that actual dictatorships and totalitarian regimes spring up. ~ Jean-Francois Revel
America is a large country. It is a tolerant country. It has room within its borders for many races and many creeds. ~ Calvin Coolidge
I have not one drop of blood in my veins but what is American. ~ John Adams
Our citizenship in the United States is our national character. Our citizenship in any particular state is only our local distinction. By the latter we are known at home, by the former to the world. Our great title is Americans. ~ Thomas Paine
I believe that the United States as a government, if it is going to be true to its own founding documents, does have the job of working toward that time when there is no discrimination made on such inconsequential reason as race, color, or religion. ~ Dwight David Eisenhower
There is no better American spirit than that which is exhibited by many of those who have recently come to our shores. ~ Calvin Coolidge
Americanism is a matter of the spirit and of the soul. Our allegiance must be purely to the United States. We must unsparingly condemn any man who holds any other allegiance. But if he is heartily and singly loyal to this republic, then no matter where he was born, he is just as good an American as anyone else. ~ Theodore Roosevelt
When the constitution says 'We the People', that's not just a rhetorical flourish. That's a description of the nature of the Union. ~ Christopher Shelley
The cornerstone of this republic, as of all free governments, is respect for and obedience to the law. Where we permit the law to be defied or evaded, whether by rich man or poor man, by black man or white, we are by just so much weakening the bonds of our civilization and increasing the chances of its overthrow. ~ Theodore Roosevelt
I look forward to an America which commands respect throughout the world not only for its strength but for its civilization as well. ~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Our goal is freedom, and I believe we are going to get there because however much she strays away from it, the goal of America is freedom. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
The colored people have repeatedly proved their devotion to the high ideals of our country. They gave their services in the war with the same patriotism and readiness that other citizens did. ~ Calvin Coolidge
It is one of the anomalies of the human story that these peoples, who could not be assimilated and unified under the skies of Europe, should on coming to America discover an amazing genius for cooperation, for fusion, and for harmonious effort. Yet they were the same people when they came here that they had been on the other side of the Atlantic. Quite apparently, they found something in our institutions, something in the American system of Government and society which they themselves helped to construct, that furnished to all of them a political and cultural common denominator. ~ Calvin Coolidge
As the United States is the freest of all nations, so, too, its people sympathize with all people struggling for liberty and self-government; but while so sympathizing it is due to our honor that we should abstain from enforcing our views upon unwilling nations and from taking an interested part, without invitation. ~ Ulysses S. Grant
I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. ~ Pledge of Allegiance to flag of the United States (1923–1954)
We are situated differently in this respect from any other country. All the other great powers have a comparatively homogeneous population, close kindred in race and blood and speech, and commonly little divided in religious beliefs. Our great nation is made up of the strong and virile pioneering stock of nearly all the countries of the world. We have a variety of race and language and religious belief. ~ Calvin Coolidge
We've gotten to where we've nearly 'them'ed ourselves to death. Them and them and them. But this is America. There is no them; there's only us. One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty, and justice, for all. ~ William Jefferson Clinton
To deny a man his hopes because of his color or race, his religion or the place of his birth–is not only to do injustice, it is to deny America and to dishonor the dead who gave their lives for American freedom. ~ Lyndon Baines Johnson
I would protect the law-abiding citizen, whether of native or foreign birth, wherever his rights are jeopardized or the flag of our country floats. ~ Ulysses S. Grant
As a nation, our first duty must be to those who are already our inhabitants, whether native or immigrants. To them we owe an especial and a weighty obligation. They came to us with stout hearts and high hopes of bettering their estate. They have contributed much to making our country what it is. They magnificently proved their loyalty by contributing their full part when the war made demand for sacrifices by all Americans. ~ Calvin Coolidge
Too many of our citizens have cause to doubt our nation’s justice when the law points a finger of suspicion at groups, instead of individuals. All our citizens are created equal and must be treated equally. ~ George Walker Bush
The essence of U.S. military predominance in the world is, ultimately, the fact that it can, at will, drop bombs, with only a few hours' notice, at absolutely any point on the surface of the planet. No other government has ever had anything remotely like this sort of capability. ~ David Graeber
Alone of all flags, it expresses the sovereignty of the people which endures when all else passes away. Speaking with their voice, it has the sanctity of revelations. He who lives under it and disloyal to it is a traitor to the human race everywhere. What could be saved if the flag of the American nation were to perish? ~ Calvin Coolidge
The cause of America is in a great measure the cause of all mankind. ~ Thomas Paine
In the case of a people which represents many nations, cultures, and races, as does our own, a unification of interests and ideals in recreations is bound to wield a telling influence for solidarity of the entire population. No more truly democratic force can be set off against the tendency to class and caste than the democracy of individual parts and prowess in sport. ~ Calvin Coolidge
Americans never quit. ~ Douglas MacArthur
At times history and fate meet at a single time in a single place to shape a turning point in man's unending search for freedom. So it was at Lexington and Concord. ~ Lyndon Baines Johnson
We fight not to enslave, but to set a country free, and to make room upon the earth for honest men to live in. ~ Thomas Paine
In America, the law is king. ~ Thomas Paine
Encourage free schools, and resolve that not one dollar of money shall be appropriated to the support of any sectarian school. Resolve that neither the state nor nation, or both combined, shall support institutions of learning other than those sufficient to afford every child growing up in the land the opportunity of a good common school education. ~ Ulysses S. Grant
Leave the matter of religion to the family altar, the church, and the private school, supported entirely by private contributions. Keep the church and the state forever separate. ~ Ulysses S. Grant
This is a beautiful country. ~ John Brown
As 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 or 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. ~ Joel Barlow
The triumph of the Union is dispensable not only to the existence of our country to the well being of mankind. ~ Horace Greeley
There is no gentleman in America, but he who feels that every man is his equal in natural right, and who does not know that he is cheated if every man does not have fair play. ~ George William Curtis
Our liberties remain unimpaired; the bondmen have been freed from slavery. We have become possessed of the respect, if not the friendship, of all civilized nations. Our progress has been great. ~ Ulysses S. Grant
We are, proudly, a people with no sense of class or caste. We judge no man by his name or inheritance, but by what he does, and for what he stands. And so likewise do we judge other nations. The right of no nation depends upon the date of its birth or the size of its power. ~ Dwight David Eisenhower
The United States was made by men of all races and colors, not for white men, but for the refuge and defense of man. If it does not rest upon the natural rights of man, it rests nowhere. ~ George William Curtis
I am as confident, as I am that God governs the world, that America will never be happy till she gets clear of foreign dominion. Wars, without ceasing, will break out till that period arrives, and the continent must in the end be conqueror, for though the flame of liberty may sometimes cease to shine, the coal can never expire. ~ Thomas Paine
We want America free at home, and free in the world. We want to silence the outcry of nation against nation, in the fullness of understanding, and we wish to silence the cry of class against class, and stifle the party appeal to class, so that we may ensure tranquility in our own freedom. ~ Warren G. Harding
Manhood in America is to be measured not by the color of the skin, but by the quality of the soul. ~ George William Curtis
This nation was founded by men of many nations and backgrounds. It was founded on the principle that all men are created equal, and that the rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened. ~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Painfully convinced of the unutterable wrongs and woes of slavery, profoundly believing that, according to the true spirit of the constitution and the sentiments of the fathers, it can find no place. ~ Charles Sumner
Beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain. ~ Katharine Lee Bates
For purple mountain majesties. Above the fruited plain! America! America! God shed his grace on thee! ~ Katharine Lee Bates
This was the first nation in the history of the world to be founded with a purpose. The great phrases of that purpose still sound in every American heart, north and south. All men are created equal. Government by consent of the governed. Give me liberty or give me death. Well, those are not just clever words, or those are not just empty theories. In their name Americans have fought and died. ~ Lyndon Baines Johnson
We are one nation and one people. Our fate as a nation and our future as a people rest not upon one citizen, but upon all citizens. ~ Lyndon Baines Johnson
For every generation, there is a destiny. For some, history decides. For this generation, the choice must be our own. Our mission is at once the oldest and the most basic of this country. To right wrong, to do justice, to serve man. ~ Lyndon Baines Johnson
America is the land of opportunity. It certainly was for me. ~ Jillian Ellis
Americans of every race and color have died in battle to protect our freedom. Americans of every race and color have worked to build a nation of widening opportunities. Now our generation of Americans has been called on to continue the unending search for justice within our own borders. We believe that all men are created equal. ~ Lyndon Baines Johnson
Our democracy must be not only the envy of the world but the engine of our own renewal. ~ William Jefferson Clinton
There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America. ~ William Jefferson Clinton
The liberal attitude of every citizen toward his fellows. It is this factor which has preserved to all of us that equality of opportunity which enables every American to become the architect of whatever fortune he deserves. ~ Calvin Coolidge
America is the greatest force for good in the history of the world. ~ John Sidney McCain
The old world is engaged in a struggle to find a way by which each race living on its own soil, separated by definite national boundaries, can be assured freedom and peace in the full development of its national life and in the realization of international opportunities. The task of America is different. It is for her to find the way by which these races, living on one soil, under one form of government, with no territorial lines, can be assimilated and become a part of her integral national life. ~ Frances Kellor
Every man lives in his neighborhood, and beyond his home and his job. To most men, except in the largest cities, the municipality is interpreted in terms of his neighborhood. Few men get beyond this except through occasional excursions into the larger world. America is a country of parallel neighborhoods; the native American in one section and the immigrant in another. Americanization is the elimination of the parallel line. So long as the American thinks that a house in his street is too good for his immigrant neighbor and tolerates discriminations in sanitation, housing, and enforcement of municipal laws, he can serve on all Americanization committees that exist and still fail in his efforts ~ Frances Kellor
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. ~ Theodore Roosevelt
Place first the broadly tolerant attitude that has been a characteristic of this country. I use the word in its most inclusive sense, to cover tolerance of religious opinion, tolerance in politics, tolerance in social relationships; in general. ~ Calvin Coolidge
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. If he tries to keep segregated with men of his own origin and separated from the rest of America, then he isn't doing his part as an American. ~ Theodore Roosevelt
We are a people born of many peoples. Our culture, our skills, our very aspirations have been shaped by immigrants, and their sons and daughters, from all the Earth. ~ Dwight David Eisenhower
Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. ~ James Madison
The right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed. ~ Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
As a people we claim the right to speak with peculiar emphasis for freedom and for fair treatment of all men without regard to differences of race, fortune, creed, or color. ~ Theodore Roosevelt
That American spirit; it's that non-wilting behavior. ~ Michael Davies
Perhaps no country on earth has greater responsibilities than America. ~ Calvin Coolidge
As there can be no second class citizens before the law of America, so, we believe, there can be no second-class nations before the law of the world community. ~ Dwight David Eisenhower
Our experience in that respect ought not to lead us too hastily to assume that we have been therefore better than other people, but certainly we have been more fortunate. We came on the stage at a later time, so that this country had presented to it, already attained, a civilization that other countries had secured only as a result of a long and painful struggle. ~ Calvin Coolidge
The stakes for America are never small. If our country does not lead the cause of freedom, it will not be led. ~ George Walker Bush
We went in and came out singularly free from those questionable causes and results which have often characterized other wars. We were not moved by the age-old antagonisms of racial jealousies and hatreds. We were not seeking to gratify the ambitions of any reigning dynasty. We were not inspired by trade and commercial rivalries. We harbored no imperialistic designs. We feared no other country. We coveted no territory. ~ Calvin Coolidge
I suggest for your earnest consideration, and most earnestly recommend it, that a constitutional amendment be submitted to the legislatures of the several states for ratification, making it the duty of each of the several states to establish and forever maintain free public schools adequate to the education of all the children in the rudimentary branches within their respective limits, irrespective of sex, color, birthplace, or religions. ~ Ulysses S. Grant
For most of our history, America felt safe behind two great oceans. But with the spread of technology, distance no longer means security. ~ George Walker Bush
Our condition today is not merely that of one people under one flag, but of a thoroughly united people who have seen bitterness and enmity which once threatened to sever them pass away, and a spirit of kindness and good will reign over them all. ~ Calvin Coolidge
According to one way of thinking, the United States never had any colonial possessions. According to another, every square inch of the United States is a colonial possession. Either view involves judgments that are not very helpful in the case. The United States is not a colonial possession itself since it is ruled by the people who are in it. That most of them, or their ancestors, originated elsewhere doesn't matter much when most human beings are not living where they or their ancestors originated. ~ Kelley L. Ross
Peaks of American prosperity tend to correspond to peaks in immigration, while the troughs in prosperity also correspond to troughs in immigration. Thus, the greatest surge in immigration ever, between the turn of the century and World War I, which must have burdened job formation to an unparalleled extent, was also an era of unparalleled prosperity and low unemployment. ~ Kelley L. Ross
The greatest benefit of immigration is to increase the size of the domestic free trade zone without all the uncertainties, disputes, recrimination, and misunderstandings that attend the issue of foreign free trade. This made a world superpower of a immigrant nation like the United States, as different policies on immigration and development keep immigrant nations of similar size, Canada and Australia, well back in the pack, great-power-wise. Australia almost 'protected' itself into conquest by Japan. ~ Kelley L. Ross
Did America just never do anything about slavery as time went on? No. The controversy, argued with fury and recrimination, dominated the early years of American politics, resulting in a terrible Civil War in which more than 600,000 Americans died. ~ Kelley L. Ross
How can slavery be the 'original sin' of a country that not only conceived the ideal that slavery was wrong but then, at monumental cost in lives and fortune, got rid of it? There is a serious perversity to such a charge, as though the evil of slavery had always been evident and recognized, or as though America, or the Constitution in particular, had invented or revived the institution, with stubborn complacency in the face of universal protest. Nothing of the sort was the case. ~ Kelley L. Ross
The chief business of the American people is business. They are profoundly concerned with buying, selling, investing and prospering in the world. ~ Calvin Coolidge
This nation was created to give expression, validity and purpose to our spiritual heritage—the supreme worth of the individual. In such a nation—a nation dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal—racial discrimination has no place. ~ Republican Party Platform of 1960
A different idea has taken place with the people of America, more favorable to the natural rights of mankind, and to that natural, innate desire of liberty, with which Heaven, without regard to color, complexion, or shape of noses-features, has inspired all the human race. And upon this ground our constitution. ~ William Cushing
What could more profoundly vindicate the idea of America than plain and humble people? Unsung, the downtrodden, the dreamers not of high station, not born to wealth or privilege, not of one religious tradition but many, coming together to shape their country's course? What greater expression of faith in the American experiment than this? ~ Barack H. Obama II
I shudder when I think of the calamities which slavery is likely to produce in this country. ~ John Adams
The propaganda of prejudice and hatred which sought to keep the colored men from supporting the national cause completely failed. The black man showed himself the same kind of citizen, moved by the same kind of patriotism, as the white man. They were tempted, but not one betrayed his country. ~ Calvin Coolidge
Americans from every walk of life unite in our resolve for justice and peace. America has stood down enemies before, and we will do so this time. ~ George Walker Bush
During the war 500,000 colored men and boys were called up under the draft, not one of whom sought to evade it. They took their places wherever assigned in defense of the nation of which they are just as truly citizens as are any others. ~ Calvin Coolidge
Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve. ~ George W. Bush
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. ~ Section III, Article III of the U.S. Constitution
Did we say, 'Okay, we defeated Germany. Now Germany belongs to us? We defeated Japan, so Japan belongs to us'? No. What did we do? We built them up. We gave them democratic systems which they have embraced totally to their soul. And did we ask for any land? No. The only land we ever asked for was enough land to bury our dead, and that is the kind of nation we are. ~ Colin Luther Powell
The spirit of America is to help everybody and injure nobody. ~ Calvin Coolidge
There can be no permanent disfranchised peasantry in the United States. Freedom can never yield its fullness of blessings so long as the law or its administration places the smallest obstacle in the pathway of any virtuous citizen. ~ James A. Garfield
We have waged no wars to determine a succession, establish a dynasty, or glorify a reigning house. Our military operations have been for the service of the cause of humanity. The principles on which they have been fought have more and more come to be accepted as the ultimate standards of the world. ~ Calvin Coolidge
If the American name is no longer a by-word and a hissing to a mocking earth, if the star-spangled banner floats only over free American citizens in every quarter of the land, and our country has before it a long and glorious career of justice, liberty, and civilization, we are indebted to the unselfish devotion of the noble army who rest in these honored graves all around us. ~ Frederick Douglass
Blood that has soaked into the sands of a beach is all of one color. America stands unique in the world: the only country not founded on race but on a way, an ideal. Not in spite of but because of our polyglot background, we have had all the strength in the world. That is the American way. ~ Ronald Wilson Reagan
A strong America is the world’s best hope for peace and freedom. Yet the cause of freedom rests on more than our ability to defend ourselves and our allies. ~ George W. Bush
Citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for giving to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy. A policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship. ~ George Washington
No part of the community responded more willingly, more generously, more unqualifiedly, to the demand for special extraordinary exertion, than did the members of the Negro race. ~ Calvin Coolidge
For happily the government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support. ~ George Washington
Whether in the military service, or in the vast mobilization of industrial resources which the war required, the Negro did his part precisely as did the white man. He drew no color line when patriotism made its call upon him. He gave precisely as his white fellow citizens gave, to the limit of resources and abilities, to help the general cause. ~ Calvin Coolidge
To grant suffrage to the black man in this country is not innovation, but restoration. It is a return to the ancient principles and practices of the fathers. ~ James A. Garfield
The American Negro established his right to the gratitude and appreciation which the Nation has been glad to accord. ~ Calvin Coolidge
We are a land of immigrants, and we ought to recognize that. America's soul is rejuvenated when people come to our country and work hard to realize dreams. ~ George W. Bush
The present difficulty, in bringing all parts of the United States to a happy unity and love of country grows out of the prejudice to color. The prejudice is a senseless one, but it exists. ~ Ulysses S. Grant
The United States will not retreat from the world, and we will never surrender to evil. America rejects the false comfort of isolationism. ~ George W. Bush
The Americans have enough sense to prefer strong and prosperous friends, and they realize that their most lucrative international trade is with other highly industrialized countries, not with weak and backward ones. ~ Muhammad Reza Pahlavi
All of us, no matter from what land our parents came, no matter in what way we may severally worship our Creator, must stand shoulder to shoulder in a united America for the elimination of race and religious prejudice. We must stand for a reign of equal justice to both big and small. ~ Theodore Roosevelt
I found America the friendliest, most forgiving, and most generous nation I had ever visited. ~ Jorge Luis Borges
Let us keep our desire to help other lands as a great and broad principle, not to help in one place and do harm in another, but to render assistance everywhere. ~ Calvin Coolidge
In this enlightened age, and in this land of equal liberty, it is our boast, that a man's religious tenets will not forfeit the protection of the laws, nor deprive him of the right of attaining and holding the highest offices that are known in the United States. ~ George Washington
The proudest human that walks the earth is a free American citizen. ~ Dwight David Eisenhower
People have marveled at the growth and strength of America. They have wondered how a few weak and discordant colonies were able to win their independence from one of the greatest powers of the world. They have been amazed at our genius for self-government. They have been unable to comprehend how the shock of a great Civil War did not destroy our Union. They do not understand the economic progress of our people. It is true that we have had the advantage of great natural resources, but those have not been exclusively ours. Others have been equally fortunate in that direction. The progress of America has been due to the spirit of the people. ~ Calvin Coolidge
The peaceful transfer of authority is rare in history, yet common in our country. With a simple oath, we affirm old traditions and make new beginnings. ~ George W. Bush
The United States is a monarchy with an elective king. ~ The Knoxville Journal
Don't bring up your sons to detest the United States government. Recollect that we form one country now. Abandon all these local animosities, and make your sons Americans. ~ Robert Edward Lee
In the eyes of government, we are just one race here. It is American. ~ Antonin Scalia
It seems to me that the United States and France can learn from each other. French universalism, or its equivalent, is a powerful weapon against racism, which is based on the belief in innate unalterable differences among human groups. Stressing what rights all people have because of what they have in common remains at the heart of anti-racism. ~ George M. Fredrickson
America has never been united by blood or birth or soil. We are bound by ideals that move us beyond our backgrounds, lift us above our interests and teach us what it means to be citizens. ~ George W. Bush
Conquer we must, when our cause it is just! ~ "The Star-Spangled Banner"
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. ~ George Washington
These terrorists aren't trying to kill us because we offended them. They attack us because they want to impose their view of the world on as many people as they can, and America is standing in their way. ~ Marco Rubio
If Americans should now turn back, submit again to slavery, it would be a betrayal so base the human race might better perish. ~ Isabel Paterson
The United States, in its essential spirit and intention, recognizes the essential manhood of Dred Scott as absolutely as it does that of the president, of the chief justice, or of any senator of the United States. ~ George William Curtis
The government of the United States is a definite government, confined to specified objects. It is not like the state governments, whose powers are more general. Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government. ~ James Madison
Every measure of prudence, therefore, ought to be assumed for the eventual total extirpation of slavery from the United States. ~ John Adams
The U.S. is a very democratic state. There's no doubt about that; and it originally developed as a democratic state. When the first settlers set their foot on the continent, life forced them to forge a relationship and maintain a dialogue with each other to survive. ~ Vladimir V. Putin
I found that many Americans did not even know that a country named Iran existed, let alone what it was like. This fuzziness about the world outside is unique to America. - Ashraf Pahlavi
The Roman Empire had no need for diplomacy. Nor does the United States. ~ Boutros Boutros-Ghali
Americans love to eat. They are fatally attracted to the slow death of fast food. ~ George Carlin
We have spent the 150 years since Lincoln spoke making great progress, but along the way treating a whole lot of people of color poorly. And law enforcement was often part of that poor treatment. ~ James B. Comey, Jr.
We are pretty free in America when you compare us to other nations around the world, but we're not pretty free in America when you compare us to past generations. ~ Cheryl K. Chumley
Government has overreached and encroached on constitutional liberties of Americans. We're at the point now in America, a little girl can't run a lemonade stand in her driveway without having the local zoning zealots come in and fine her fifty dollars. ~ Cheryl K. Chumley
If Jefferson himself were to return, he would find today's government far worse than the government of George III he denounced and helped throw off. ~ Kelley L. Ross
How did a country pushed into a revolution by protest and political speech become one where protests are met with flash grenades, pepper spray and platoons of riot teams dressed like RoboCops? ~ Radley Balko
How did we evolve from a country whose founding statesmen were adamant about the dangers of armed, standing government forces–a country that enshrined the Fourth Amendment in the Bill of Rights and revered and protected the age-old notion that the home is a place of privacy and sanctuary–to a country where it has become acceptable for armed government agents dressed in battle garb to storm private homes in the middle of the night? ~ Radley Balko
How did we go from a system in which laws were enforced by the citizens–often with non-coercive methods–to one in which order is preserved by armed government agents too often conditioned to see streets and neighborhoods as battlefields and the citizens they serve as the enemy? ~ Radley Balko
Where we permit the law to be defied or evaded, whether by rich man or poor man, by black man or white, we are by just so much weakening the bonds of our civilization and increasing the chances of its overthrow. ~ Theodore Roosevelt
Every Muslim, from the moment they realize the distinction in their hearts, hates Americans, hates Jews and hates Christians. For as long as I can remember, I have felt tormented and at war, and have felt hatred and animosity for Americans. ~ Osama bin Laden
The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies, civilians and military, is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it. ~ Osama bin Laden
The Islamic nation will carry out its duty. I am confident that Muslims will be able to end the legend of the so-called superpower that is America. ~ Osama bin Laden

The United States of America (U.S.), also known as the USA or America, is a country located on the continent of North America, with territories located on islands in the Pacific Ocean. The U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the country. New York City is the most populous city in the country, whereas California is the most populous federated state. The country's head of state is Barack H. Obama II, who has been the U.S. president since January 2009, after succeeding George W. Bush.

Quotes[edit]

By Americans[edit]

  • Great Britain has been moving earth and hell to obtain allies against us, yet it is improper in us to propose an alliance! Great Britain has borrowed all the superfluous wealth of Europe, in Italy, Germany, Holland, Switzerland, and some in France, to murder us, yet it is dishonorable in us to propose to borrow money! By heaven, I would make a bargain with all Europe, if it lay with me. Let all Europe stand still, neither lend men nor money nor ships to England nor America, and let them fight it out alone. I would give my share of millions for such a bargain. America is treated unfairly and ungenerously by Europe. But thus it is, mankind will be servile to tyrannical masters, and basely devoted to vile idols.
  • I shudder when I think of the calamities which slavery is likely to produce in this country. You would think me mad if I were to describe my anticipations.
    • John Adams (1820), as quoted in John Adams (1962), by Page Smith, Garden City, New York: Doubleday, p. 138.
  • Slavery in this country, I have seen hanging over it like a black cloud for half a century.
  • And that the said Constitution be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press, or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms.
    • Samuel Adams, (6 February 1788), reported in Charles Hale, Debates and Proceedings in the Convention of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (1856), p. 86. This language was proposed in the Massachusetts convention for ratification of the U.S. Constitution to be added to Article I of that document.
  • I am America; I am the part you won't recognize. But, get used to me.
  • 'Race' and 'ethnicity' categories have changed significantly over time to reflect changes in the American population. Since 1900, 26 different racial terms have been used to identify populations in the U.S. Census. Preserving outdated terms for the sake of questionable continuity is a disservice to the nation and the American people.
  • Yet the concept of race has become thoroughly, and perniciously, woven into the cultural and political fabric of the United States. It has become an essential element of both individual identity and government policy. Because so much harm has been based on 'racial' distinctions over the years, correctives for such harm must also acknowledge the impact of 'racial' consciousness among the U.S. populace, regardless of the fact that 'race' has no scientific justification in human biology. Eventually, however, these classifications must be transcended and replaced by more non-racist and accurate ways of representing the diversity of the U.S. population. This is the dilemma and opportunity of the moment. It is important to recognize the categories to which individuals have been assigned historically in order to be vigilant about the elimination of discrimination. Yet ultimately, the effective elimination of discrimination will require an end to such categorization, and a transition toward social and cultural categories that will prove more scientifically useful and personally resonant for the public than are categories of 'race'. Redress of the past and transition for the future can be simultaneously effected.
  • Belief in the American dream is woefully misguided when compared with objective reality. Addressing the rising economic gap between rich and poor in society, it seems, will require us to contend not only with economic and political issues, but also with biases of our psychology.
  • Negroes are American citizens. First class taxpayers, but so often treated as second class citizens, if there is such. In our hearts, we would like to know what it is that the white man has against the negro. What can we do to make peace with the white man? We have to live on this earth together. We cannot do without each other. We as a group, want your friendship, won't you accept?
  • We belong to the greatest country in the world, men. Have a lot of pride. On three, USA. One, two, three. USA!
  • Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on the confession in open court.
  • The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.
  • If even the earliest attempts at centralized police forces would have alarmed the founders, today's policing would have terrified them. Today in America SWAT teams violently smash into private homes more than 100 times per day. The vast majority of these raids are to enforce laws against consensual crimes. In many cities, police departments have given up the traditional blue uniforms for 'battle dress uniforms' modeled after soldier attire. Police departments across the country now sport armored personnel carriers designed for use on a battlefield. Some have helicopters, tanks and Humvees. They carry military-grade weapons. Most of this equipment comes from the military itself. Many SWAT teams today are trained by current and former personnel from special forces units like the Navy SEALs or Army Rangers.
  • At the time the Third Amendment was ratified, the images and memories of British troops in Boston and other cities were still fresh, and the clashes with colonists that drew the country into war still evoked strong emotions. What we might call the 'symbolic Third Amendment' wasn't just a prohibition on peacetime quartering, but a more robust expression of the threat that standing armies pose to free societies. It represented a long-standing, deeply ingrained resistance to armies patrolling American streets and policing American communities.
  • How did we get here? How did we evolve from a country whose founding statesmen were adamant about the dangers of armed, standing government forces–a country that enshrined the Fourth Amendment in the Bill of Rights and revered and protected the age-old notion that the home is a place of privacy and sanctuary–to a country where it has become acceptable for armed government agents dressed in battle garb to storm private homes in the middle of the night–not to apprehend violent fugitives or thwart terrorist attacks, but to enforce laws against nonviolent, consensual activities? How did a country pushed into a revolution by protest and political speech become one where protests are met with flash grenades, pepper spray and platoons of riot teams dressed like RoboCops? How did we go from a system in which laws were enforced by the citizens–often with non-coercive methods–to one in which order is preserved by armed government agents too often conditioned to see streets and neighborhoods as battlefields and the citizens they serve as the enemy?
  • As 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 or 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.
  • USA! Come on and raise up! This one's for you, uh-huh! this one's for who? Us, us! Us! Yes, sir! Say it loud, United States of America! Time to put it down and do it like this; now fight for something that's worth it. I'm a country boy; never really cared before what was going on. Now that it came a little closer to home, I've got a couple more.
  • Beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain, for purple mountain majesties. Above the fruited plain! America! America! God shed his grace on thee!
  • In order to have political power abroad, you must first have stability at home. The U.S. has the oldest working national constitution in the world, as well as strong institutions and rule of law to accompany it. While far from perfect, the governing document created by America’s founding fathers has evolved along with its people. The numbers show the enduring attraction of this system: 45 million people living in the U.S. today were born in a foreign country. That is more than four times higher than the next highest country. For many people around the world, America remains the ideal place to start a new life.
  • The idea of 'American exceptionalism' has become something of a hot potato in the political rhetoric of our day, but the truth is America is a very exceptional country and has a special place in the history of the world. We're not a nation in any traditional sense, as we are not defined by any specific ethnic or linguistic or religious identity. We are a people united by a common constitution and common political ideals of representative democracy and individual liberty. There's no other country in the history of the world like the United States of America and we should rightfully feel proud of it. However, there never would have been a United States of America had it not been for the hundreds of thousands of men and women who gave their lives in the struggles to secure and defend American liberty. Not all the wars were wise and, truth be told, not all the wars were just. That's worth remembering, but it does not change the fact that our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines have fought and died for love of country. They have given their lives at places as far removed in time and distance as Saratoga, Lundy's Lane, Churubusco, Gettysburg, Little Big Horn, San Juan Hill, Belleau Wood, Bastogne, Iwo Jima, Heartbreak Ridge, Ia Drang, Kandahar, Fallujah, and such insignificant places as the tiny hamlet of Kuala Batee on the Sumatran coast.
  • Slavery, throughout its entire existence in the United States, is none other than the most barbarous, unprovoked and unjustifiable war of one portion of its citizens against another portion, the only conditions of which are perpetual imprisonment and hopeless servitude, or absolute extermination, in utter disregard and violation of those eternal and self-evident truths set forth in our Declaration of Independence.
  • I, John Brown, am now quite certain that the crimes of this guilty land can never be purged away but with blood. I had as I now think, vainly flattered myself that without very much bloodshed, it might be done.
    • John Brown, as quoted in a note that he had at his execution (2 December 1859), most sources say it was handed to the guard, but some dispute that and claim it was handed to a reporter accompaning him; as quoted in John Brown and his Men (1894) by Richard Josiah Hinton.
  • The protection of America itself will assume a high priority in a new century. Once a strategic afterthought, homeland defense has become an urgent duty. For most of our history, America felt safe behind two great oceans. But with the spread of technology, distance no longer means security.
  • The peaceful transfer of authority is rare in history, yet common in our country. With a simple oath, we affirm old traditions and make new beginnings.
  • We have a place, all of us, in a long story. A story we continue, but whose end we will not see. It is the story of a new world that became a friend and liberator of the old, a story of a slave-holding society that became a servant of freedom, the story of a power that went into the world to protect but not possess, to defend but not to conquer.
  • America has never been united by blood or birth or soil. We are bound by ideals that move us beyond our backgrounds, lift us above our interests and teach us what it means to be citizens. Every child must be taught these principles. Every citizen must uphold them; and every immigrant, by embracing these ideals, makes our country more, not less, American.
  • The stakes for America are never small. If our country does not lead the cause of freedom, it will not be led.
  • An artist using statistics as a brush could paint two very different pictures of our country. One would have warning signs: increasing layoffs, rising energy prices, too many failing schools, persistent poverty, the stubborn vestiges of racism. Another picture would be full of blessings: a balanced budget, big surpluses, a military that is second to none, a country at peace with its neighbors, technology that is revolutionizing the world, and our greatest strength, concerned citizens who care for our country and care for each other.
  • Too many of our citizens have cause to doubt our nation’s justice when the law points a finger of suspicion at groups, instead of individuals. All our citizens are created equal and must be treated equally.
  • A strong America is the world's best hope for peace and freedom. Yet the cause of freedom rests on more than our ability to defend ourselves and our allies. Freedom is exported every day, as we ship goods and products that improve the lives of millions of people. Free trade brings greater political and personal freedom.
  • Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.
  • No nation owns these aspirations, and no nation is exempt from them. We have no intention of imposing our culture. But America will always stand firm for the non-negotiable demands of human dignity. The rule of law, limits on the power of the state, respect for women, private property, free speech, equal justice, and religious tolerance.
  • The exercise of rights is ennobled by service and mercy and a heart for the weak. Liberty for all does not mean independence from one another. Our nation relies on men and women who look after a neighbor and surround the lost with love. Americans, at our best, value the life we see in one another and must always remember that even the unwanted have worth. And our country must abandon all the habits of racism because we cannot carry the message of freedom and the baggage of bigotry at the same time.
  • The United States will not retreat from the world, and we will never surrender to evil. America rejects the false comfort of isolationism.
  • You mess with Israel, you are messing with the United States of America. It's that simple.
  • This country was founded by slave owners who wanted to be free.
    • George Carlin, as quoted in What Am I Doing in New Jersey? (1988).
  • Americans love to eat. They are fatally attracted to the slow death of fast food... This country is big-time pig time... Change the bald eagle to a big bowl of macaroni and cheese. A big bowl. 'Cause everything in this country is king size, extra large and super jumbo. Especially the fucking people! Have you seen some of the people in this country? Have you taken a good look at some of these big, fat motherfuckers walking around? Big fat motherfuckers! Oh, my God. Huge piles of redundant protoplasm, lumbering through the malls like a fleet of interstate buses. The people in this country are immense. Massive bellies, monstrous thighs, and big fat fucking asses! Next time you're in the vicinity of one of these creatures, stand there for a minute and observe. And if you stand there for a minute you'll begin to wonder, "How does this woman take a shit?" How does she shit? And more frightening still, how does she wipe her ass? Can she even locate her asshole? She must require assistance. Are paramedics trained in this field?
  • We are pretty free in America when you compare us to other nations around the world, but we're not pretty free in America when you compare us to past generations.
  • I chronicle easily a hundred different cases where government has overreached and encroached on Constitutional liberties of Americans. We're at the point now in America, a little girl can't run a lemonade stand in her driveway without having the local zoning zealots come in and fine her fifty dollars. We're at the point now where elementary school kids down in Georgia have their irises scanned as they board the bus, all in the name of 'safety'. We're at the point now where nebulous environmental laws prevent homeowners from building a shed in their own back yard because there might be a flood plain issue in a hundred years. This is the America where we're at.
  • I have heard something said on this and a former occasion about allegiance to the south. I know no south, no north, no east, no west, to which I owe any allegiance. I owe allegiance to two sovereignty, and only two. One is the sovereignty of this Union, and the other is the sovereignty of the state of Kentucky. My allegiance is to this Union and to my state, but if gentlemen suppose they can exact from me an acknowledgement of allegiance to any ideal or future contemplated confederacy of the south, I here declare that I owe no allegiance to it. Nor will I, for one, come under any such allegiance if I can avoid it.
    • Henry Clay, speech in the Senate (14 February 1850), as quoted in The Life, Correspondence, and Speeches of Henry Clay (Vol. 3); ed. Calvin Colton: A. S. Barnes & Co., 1857.
  • Americans think of themselves collectively as a huge rescue squad on twenty-four-hour call to any spot on the globe where dispute and conflict may erupt.
  • We've gotten to where we've nearly 'them'ed ourselves to death. Them and them and them. But this is America. There is no them; there's only us. One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty, and justice, for all.
  • Our democracy must be not only the envy of the world but the engine of our own renewal. There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America.
  • July 4, 1776 was the historic day on which the representatives of three millions of people vocalized Concord and Lexington, and Bunker Hill, which gave notice to the world that they proposed to establish an independent nation on the theory that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The wonder and glory of the American people is not the ringing Declaration of that day, but the action then already begun, and in the process of being carried out, in spite of every obstacle that war could interpose, making the theory of freedom and equality a reality. We revere that day because it marks the beginnings of independence, the beginnings of a constitution that was finally to give universal freedom and equality to all American citizens — the beginnings of a government that was to recognize beyond all others the power and worth and dignity of man.
  • The doctrine of the Declaration of Independence predicated upon the glory of man and the corresponding duty to society that the rights of citizens ought to be protected with every power and resource of the state, and a government that does any less is false to the teachings of that great document. False to the name 'American'. The assertion of human rights is not but a call of human sacrifice. This is yet the spirit of the American people. Only so long as this flame burns shall we endure, and the light of liberty be shed over the nations of the earth.
  • When the people of the colonies were defending their liberties against the might of kings, they chose their banner from the design set in the firmament through all eternity. The flags of great empires of that day have gone, but the stars and stripes remain. It pictures a vision of a people whose eyes are turned to the rising dawn. It represents of the hope of a father for his posterity. It was never flaunted for the glory of royalty, but to be born under it is to be the child of a king, and to establish a home under it is to be the founder of a royal house. Alone of all flags, it expresses the sovereignty of the people which endures when all else passes away. Speaking with their voice, it has the sanctity of revelations. He who lives under it and disloyal to it is a traitor to the human race everywhere. What could be saved if the flag of the American nation were to perish?
  • To live under the American Constitution is the greatest political privilege that was ever accorded to the human race.
    • Calvin Coolidge, as quoted in message to the National Security League in honor of Constitution Day, as quoted in The New York Times (17 September 1923) "Ceremonies Mark Constitution Day".
  • Numbered among our population are some 12,000,000 colored people. Under our Constitution their rights are just as sacred as those of any other citizen. It is both a public and a private duty to protect those rights.
  • In the case of a people which represents many nations, cultures, and races, as does our own, a unification of interests and ideals in recreations is bound to wield a telling influence for solidarity of the entire population. No more truly democratic force can be set off against the tendency to class and caste than the democracy of individual parts and prowess in sport.
  • American citizenship is a high estate. He who holds it is the peer of kings. It has been secured only by untold toil and effort. It will be maintained by no other method. It demands the best that men and women have to give, but it likewise awards to its partakers the best that there is on earth. To attempt to turn it into a thing of ease and inaction would be only to debase it. To cease to struggle and toil and sacrifice for it is not only to cease to be worthy of it but is to start a retreat toward barbarism. No matter what others may say, no matter what others may do, this is the stand that those must maintain who are worthy to be called Americans.
  • The accomplishments of the colored people in the United States, in the brief historic period since they were brought here from the restrictions of their native continent, can not but make us realize that there is something essential in our civilization which gives it a special power.
  • The progress of the colored people on this continent is one of the marvels of modern history. We are perhaps even yet too near to this phenomenon to be able fully to appreciate its significance. That can be impressed on us only as we study and contrast the rapid advancement of the colored people in America with the slow and painful upward movement of humanity as a whole throughout the long human story.
  • The Nation has need of all that can be contributed to it through the best efforts of all its citizens. The colored people have repeatedly proved their devotion to the high ideals of our country. They gave their services in the war with the same patriotism and readiness that other citizens did. The records of the selective draft show that somewhat more than 2,250,000 colored men were registered. The records further prove that, far from seeking to avoid participation in the national defense, they showed that they wished to enlist before the selective service act was put into operation, and they did not attempt to evade that act afterwards.
  • The Negro community of America has already so far progressed that its members can be assured that their future is in their own hands. Racial hostility, ancient tradition, and social prejudice are not to be eliminated immediately or easily, but they will be lessened as the colored people by their own efforts and under their own leaders shall prove worthy of the fullest measure of opportunity.
  • The propaganda of prejudice and hatred which sought to keep the colored men from supporting the national cause completely failed. The black man showed himself the same kind of citizen, moved by the same kind of patriotism, as the white man. They were tempted, but not one betrayed his country. Among well-nigh 400,000 colored men who were taken into the military service, about one-half had overseas experience. They came home with many decorations and their conduct repeatedly won high commendation from both American and European commanders.
  • No part of the community responded more willingly, more generously, more unqualifiedly, to the demand for special extraordinary exertion, than did the members of the Negro race. Whether in the military service, or in the vast mobilization of industrial resources which the war required, the Negro did his part precisely as did the white man. He drew no color line when patriotism made its call upon him. He gave precisely as his white fellow citizens gave, to the limit of resources and abilities, to help the general cause. Thus the American Negro established his right to the gratitude and appreciation which the Nation has been glad to accord.
  • During the war 500,000 colored men and boys were called up under the draft, not one of whom sought to evade it. They took their places wherever assigned in defense of the nation of which they are just as truly citizens as are any others. The suggestion of denying any measure of their full political rights to such a great group of our population as the colored people is one which, however it might be received in some other quarters, could not possibly be permitted by one who feels a responsibility for living up to the traditions and maintaining the principles of the Republican Party. Our Constitution guarantees equal rights to all our citizens, without discrimination on account of race or color. I have taken my oath to support that Constitution. It is the source of your rights and my rights. I propose to regard it, and administer it, as the source of the rights of all the people, whatever their belief or race.
  • I believe in the American Constitution. I favor the American system of individual enterprise, and I am opposed to any general extension of government ownership, and control. I believe not only in advocating economy in public expenditure, but in its practical application and actual accomplishment. I believe in a reduction and reform of taxation, and shall continue my efforts in that direction.
    • Calvin Coolidge, as quoted in formal acceptance speech of the Republican Party's nomination for President (14 August 1924), as quoted in Coolidge: An American Enigma (1998), by Robert Sobel, Regnery Publishing, p. 292.
  • Our American government was the result of an effort to establish institutions under which the people as a whole should have the largest possible advantages. Class and privilege were outlawed, freedom and opportunity were guaranteed. They undertook to provide conditions under which service would be adequately rewarded, and where the people would own their own property and control their own government. They had no other motive. They were actuated by no other purpose. If we are to maintain what they established, it is important to understand the foundation on which they built, and the claims by which they justified the sovereign rights and royal estate of every American citizen.
  • Our inhabitants are especially free to promote their own welfare. They are unburdened by militarism. They are not called upon to support any imperialistic designs. Every mother can rest in the assurance that her children will find here a land of devotion, prosperity and peace. The tall shaft near which we are gathered and yonder stately memorial remind us that our standards of manhood are revealed in the adoration which we pay to Washington and Lincoln. They are unrivaled and unsurpassed. Above all else, they are Americans.
  • It is a truism, of course, but it is none the less a fact which we must never forget, that this continent and this American community have been blessed with an unparalleled capacity for assimilating peoples of varying races and nations. The continuing migration which in three centuries has established here this nation of more than a hundred million, has been the greatest that history records as taking place in any such brief period. Viewing it historically, we find that the migration to America was little more than a westward projection of the series of great movements of peoples.
  • It was the fate of Europe to be always a battleground. Differences in race, in religion, in political genius and social ideals, seemed always, in the atmosphere of our mother continent, to be invitations to contest by battle. From the dawn of history, and we can only conjecture how much longer, the conflicts of races and civilizations, of traditions and usages, have gone on. It is one of the anomalies of the human story that these peoples, who could not be assimilated and unified under the skies of Europe, should on coming to America discover an amazing genius for cooperation, for fusion, and for harmonious effort. Yet they were the same people when they came here that they had been on the other side of the Atlantic. Quite apparently, they found something in our institutions, something in the American system of Government and society which they themselves helped to construct, that furnished to all of them a political and cultural common denominator.
  • Among these I should place, first, the broadly tolerant attitude that has been a characteristic of this country. I use the word in its most inclusive sense, to cover tolerance of religious opinion, tolerance in politics, tolerance in social relationships; in general, the liberal attitude of every citizen toward his fellows. It is this factor which has preserved to all of us that equality of opportunity which enables every American to become the architect of whatever fortune he deserves.
  • As a nation, our first duty must be to those who are already our inhabitants, whether native or immigrants. To them we owe an especial and a weighty obligation. They came to us with stout hearts and high hopes of bettering their estate. They have contributed much to making our country what it is. They magnificently proved their loyalty by contributing their full part when the war made demand for sacrifices by all Americans.
  • It must be the hope of every American citizen to maintain here as a permanent establishment, and as a perpetual inheritance for Americans of the future, the full measure of benefits and advantages which our people have been privileged to enjoy.
  • There is abundant room here for the preservation and development of the many divergent virtues that are characteristic of the different races which have made America their home. They ought to cling to all these virtues and cultivate them tenaciously.
  • I know that there is no better American spirit than that which is exhibited by many of those who have recently come to our shores.
  • Let us keep our desire to help other lands as a great and broad principle, not to help in one place and do harm in another, but to render assistance everywhere. Let us remember also that the best method of promoting this action is by giving undivided allegiance to America, maintaining its institutions, supporting its Government, and, by leaving it internally harmonious, making it eternally powerful in promoting a reign of justice and mercy throughout the earth.
  • The spirit of America is to help everybody and injure nobody. We can be in a position to help only by unifying the American nation, building it up, making it strong, keeping it independent, using its inclination to help and its disclination to injure. Those who cast in their lot with this country can be true to the land of their origin only by first being true to America.
  • Our people were influenced by many motives to undertake to carry on this gigantic conflict, but we went in and came out singularly free from those questionable causes and results which have often characterized other wars. We were not moved by the age-old antagonisms of racial jealousies and hatreds. We were not seeking to gratify the ambitions of any reigning dynasty. We were not inspired by trade and commercial rivalries. We harbored no imperialistic designs. We feared no other country. We coveted no territory.
  • Though of many different nationalities, our people had a spiritual bond. They were all Americans.
  • All the races, religions, and nationalities of the world were represented in the armed forces of this nation, as they were in the body of our population. No man's patriotism was impugned or service questioned because of his racial origin, his political opinion, or his religious convictions. Immigrants and sons of immigrants from the central European countries fought side by side with those who descended from the countries which were our allies, with the sons of equatorial Africa, and with the red men of our own aboriginal population, all of them equally proud of the name Americans.
  • If we are to have that harmony and tranquility, that union of spirit which is the foundation of real national genius and national progress, we must all realize that there are true Americans who did not happen to be born in our section of the country, who do not attend our place of religious worship, who are not of our racial stock, or who are not proficient in our language. If we are to create on this continent a free Republic and an enlightened civilization that will be capable of reflecting the true greatness and glory of mankind, it will be necessary to regard these differences as accidental and unessential. We shall have to look beyond the outward manifestations of race and creed. Divine Providence has not bestowed upon any race a monopoly of patriotism and character. The same principle that it is necessary to apply to the attitude of mind among our own people it is also necessary to apply to the attitude of mind among the different nations.
  • The generally expressed desire of 'America first' can not be criticized. It is a perfectly correct aspiration for our people to cherish. But the problem which we have to solve is how to make America first. It can not be done by the cultivation of national bigotry, arrogance, or selfishness. Hatreds, jealousies, and suspicions will not be productive of any benefits in this direction. Here again we must apply the rule of toleration. Because there are other peoples whose ways are not our ways, and whose thoughts are not our thoughts, we are not warranted in drawing the conclusion that they are adding nothing to the sum of civilization. We can make little contribution to the welfare of humanity on the theory that we are a superior people and all others are an inferior people.
  • We can only make America first in the true sense which that means by cultivating a spirit of friendship and good will, by the exercise of the virtues of patience and forbearance, by being 'plenteous in mercy', and through progress at home and helpfulness abroad standing as an example of real service to humanity.
  • America at least has demonstrated that republics are not ungrateful. It is one of the glories of our country that so long as we remain faithful to the cause of justice and truth and liberty, this action will continue. We have waged no wars to determine a succession, establish a dynasty, or glorify a reigning house. Our military operations have been for the service of the cause of humanity. The principles on which they have been fought have more and more come to be accepted as the ultimate standards of the world. They have been of an enduring substance, which is not weakened but only strengthened by the passage of time and the contemplation of reason.
  • Our experience in that respect ought not to lead us too hastily to assume that we have been therefore better than other people, but certainly we have been more fortunate. We came on the stage at a later time, so that this country had presented to it, already attained, a civilization that other countries had secured only as a result of a long and painful struggle. Of the various races of which we are composed, substantially all have a history for making warfare which is oftentimes hard to justify, as they have come up through various degrees of development. They bore this burden in ages past in order that this country might be freed from it. Under the circumstances it behooves us to look on their record of advance through great difficulties with much compassion and be thankful that we have been spared from a like experience, and out of our compassion and our thankfulness constantly to remember that because of greater advantages and opportunities we are charged with superior duties and obligations. Perhaps no country on earth has greater responsibilities than America.
  • We are situated differently in this respect from any other country. All the other great powers have a comparatively homogeneous population, close kindred in race and blood and speech, and commonly little divided in religious beliefs. Our great nation is made up of the strong and virile pioneering stock of nearly all the countries of the world. We have a variety of race and language and religious belief.
  • Yet in time of stress and public agitation we have too great a tendency to disregard this policy and indulge in race hatred, religious intolerance, and disregard of equal rights. Such sentiments are bound to react upon those who harbor them. Instead of being a benefit they are a positive injury. We do not have to examine history very far before we see whole countries that have been blighted, whole civilizations that have been shattered by a spirit of intolerance. They are destructive of order and progress at home and a danger to peace and good will abroad. No better example exists of toleration than that which is exhibited by those who wore the blue toward those who wore the gray. Our condition today is not merely that of one people under one flag, but of a thoroughly united people who have seen bitterness and enmity which once threatened to sever them pass away, and a spirit of kindness and good will reign over them all.
  • People have marveled at the growth and strength of America. They have wondered how a few weak and discordant colonies were able to win their independence from one of the greatest powers of the world. They have been amazed at our genius for self-government. They have been unable to comprehend how the shock of a great Civil War did not destroy our Union. They do not understand the economic progress of our people. It is true that we have had the advantage of great natural resources, but those have not been exclusively ours. Others have been equally fortunate in that direction. The progress of America has been due to the spirit of the people. It is in no small degree due to that spirit that we have been able to produce such great leaders.
  • Other countries may boast of this and that, but nobody can touch the United States for poisonous snakes. We have about twenty species, most of them deadly, and Europe has only five or six, none of them much good. We have fifteen kinds of Rattlesnakes alone and nobody else has even one. There is a species in Central and South America, but it probably came from the United States.
  • There is no gentleman in America, but he who feels that every man is his equal in natural right, and who does not know that he is cheated if every man does not have fair play.
  • We have shown, first, that a popular government, under which the poorest and the most ignorant of every race but one are equal voters with the richest and most intelligent, is the most powerful and flexible in history. It is proved to be neither violent nor cruel nor impatient, but fixed in purpose, faithful to its own officers, tolerant of vast expense, of enormous losses, of torturing delays, and strongest at the very points where fatal weakness was most suspected.
  • The spirit of caste, if naturally more malignant in a region where personal slavery has been abolished against the will of the dominant class, is not confined to it. We are apt to draw the line geographically, but it will not run so. They may be sad goats on the other side of the line, but we sheep may find an occasional speck in our virtuous wool. 'Caste must be maintained', say the governors and legislatures of Mississippi and Louisiana and Alabama and North and South Carolina and Georgia.' 'Amen', says Connecticut, 'that is a political wooden nutmeg for this market'. 'Amen', says New York, which prefers to pour political power into a foreign white whiskey-skin rather than into a native sound and serviceable vessel of a darker hue. 'Amen', says Indiana, which asks her colored children to fight and die for her upon the battle-field, and refuses by her laws to permit the survivors to return to their homes. 'Amen', say Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Illinois, Michigan, Iowa, California, Minnesota, Oregon, Kansas, Ohio, Wisconsin, Missouri, and West Virginia, which forbid an entire class of their citizens to vote upon equal qualifications with others. And why? Because the party of hostility to human rights, which is 'conservative' in this growing, aspiring, expanding country, exactly as sheet-iron swaddling-clothes are conservative of a new-born babe, pursued by the pitiless logic of the sublime American principle and driven from one absurdity to another, now claims that ours is 'a white man's government'. Oh, no! Gentlemen, you may wish to make it so, but it was not made so. The false history of Judge Taney was promptly corrected from Judge Taney's bench by Justice Curtis.
  • The United States was made by men of all races and colors, not for white men, but for the refuge and defense of man. If it does not rest upon the natural rights of man, it rests nowhere. If it does not exist by the consent of governed then any exclusion is possible, and it is a shorter step from an exclusive white man's government to an exclusively rich white man's government, than it is from a system for mankind to one for white men. The spirit which excludes some men today because they are of a certain color, may exclude others tomorrow because they are of a certain poverty or a certain church or a certain birthplace. There is no safety, no guarantee, no security in a prejudice. If we build strong and long, we must build upon moral principle.
  • Inferior race? Was it they who carved the skulls of our boys into drinking, cups and their bones into trinkets? Was it they who starved and froze our brothers into idiocy and madness at Andersonville and Belle-Isle? Was it they who hunted our darlings with bloodhounds, or hung faithful Union men before the very eyes of their wives and children? Come! Come! Brothers of my race, whether at the north or south, these things which we all execrate and abhor were the work of men of our own color. Let us clasp hands in speechless shame, and confess that manhood in America is to be measured not by the color of the skin, but by the quality of the soul.
  • As to the doctrine of slavery and the right of Christians to hold Africans in perpetual servitude, and sell and treat them as we do our horses and cattle, that, it is true, has been heretofore countenanced by the Province Laws formerly, but nowhere is it expressly enacted or established. It has been a usage, a usage which took its origin from the practice of some of the European nations, and the regulations of British government respecting the then-colonies, for the benefit of trade and wealth. But whatever sentiments have formerly prevailed in this particular or slid in upon us by the example of others, a different idea has taken place with the people of America, more favorable to the natural rights of mankind, and to that natural, innate desire of liberty, with which Heaven, without regard to color, complexion, or shape of noses-features, has inspired all the human race. And upon this ground our constitution of government, by which the people of this Commonwealth have solemnly bound themselves, sets out with declaring that all men are born free and equal, and that every subject is entitled to liberty, and to have it guarded by the laws, as well as life and property, and in short is totally repugnant to the idea of being born slaves. This being the case, I think the idea of slavery is inconsistent with our own conduct and constitution; and there can be no such thing as perpetual servitude of a rational creature, unless his liberty is forfeited by some criminal conduct or given up by personal consent or contract.
  • Our country, in her intercourse with foreign nations may she always be in the right, and always successful, right or wrong.
    • Steven Decatur, at a social gathering in (April 1816), as quoted in Stephen Decatur American Naval Hero, 1779–1820 (2005), by Robert J. Allison, University of Massachusetts Press, pp. 183–184.
  • The metaphor of the melting pot is unfortunate and misleading. A more accurate analogy would be a salad bowl, for, though the salad is an entity, the lettuce can still be distinguished from the chicory, the tomatoes from the cabbage.
    • Carl N. Degler, Out of Our Past: The Forces That Shaped Modern America (1970), rev. ed., chapter 10, section 4, p. 296.
  • If you hurt my friends, then you hurt my pride. I've got to be a man; I can't let it slide. I am a real American; fight for the rights of every man. I am a real American; fight for what's right. Fight for your life!
  • The declaration was a nice document. Notice the part about all men being equal? Ending slavery was part of fulfilling that document. Therefore the south was blocking the fulfillment of the promises made in the declaration. It is ironic that secessionists want to claim the declaration, yet reject the issue of equality it contains. As we have been finding out, equality is one of the main principles of the American Revolution. We are still striving to fully realize that promise. The people that advocate secession whether it was in 1860 or today only claim the declaration in an attempt to deny the principles of the American Revolution. It is a big paradox and one the big reasons why secession today will not occur again.
  • As to nation, I belong to none. I have no protection at home, or resting-place abroad. The land of my birth welcomes me to her shores only as a slave, and spurns with contempt the idea of treating me differently. So that I am an outcast from the society of my childhood, and an outlaw in the land of my birth.
  • In thinking of America, I sometimes find myself admiring her bright blue sky — her grand old woods — her fertile fields — her beautiful rivers — her mighty lakes, and star-crowned mountains. But my rapture is soon checked, my joy is soon turned to mourning. When I remember that all is cursed with the infernal spirit of slaveholding, robbery and wrong, — when I remember that with the waters of her noblest rivers, the tears of my brethren are borne to the ocean, disregarded and forgotten, and that her most fertile fields drink daily of the warm blood of my outraged sisters, I am filled with unutterable loathing.
  • My argument against the dissolution of the American Union is this. It would place the slave system more exclusively under the control of the slave-holding states, and withdraw it from the power in the northern states which is opposed to slavery. Slavery is essentially barbarous in its character. It, above all things else, dreads the presence of an advanced civilization. It flourishes best where it meets no reproving frowns, and hears no condemning voices. While in the Union it will meet with both. Its hope of life, in the last resort, is to get out of the Union. I am, therefore, for drawing the bond of the Union more completely under the power of the free states. What they most dread, that I most desire.
  • We deem it a settled point that the destiny of the colored man is bound up with that of the white people of this country. … We are here, and here we are likely to be. To imagine that we shall ever be eradicated is absurd and ridiculous. We can be remodified, changed, assimilated, but never extinguished. We repeat, therefore, that we are here; and that this is our country; and the question for the philosophers and statesmen of the land ought to be, What principles should dictate the policy of the action toward us? We shall neither die out, nor be driven out; but shall go with this people, either as a testimony against them, or as an evidence in their favor throughout their generations.
    • Frederick Douglass, essay in North Star (November 1858); as quoted in Faces at the Bottom of the Well: The Permanence of Racism (1992) by Derrick Bell, p. 40.
  • I am especially to speak to you of the character and mission of the United States, with special reference to the question whether we are the better or the worse for being composed of different races of men. I propose to consider first, what we are, second, what we are likely to be, and, thirdly, what we ought to be. Without undue vanity or unjust depreciation of others, we may claim to be, in many respects, the most fortunate of nations. We stand in relations to all others, as youth to age. Other nations have had their day of greatness and glory; we are yet to have our day, and that day is coming. The dawn is already upon us. It is bright and full of promise. Other nations have reached their culminating point. We are at the beginning of our ascent. They have apparently exhausted the conditions essential to their further growth and extension, while we are abundant in all the material essential to further national growth and greatness. The resources of European statesmanship are now sorely taxed to maintain their nationalities at their ancient height of greatness and power. American statesmanship, worthy of the name, is now taxing its energies to frame measures to meet the demands of constantly increasing expansion of power, responsibility and duty. Without fault or merit on either side, theirs or ours, the balance is largely in our favor. Like the grand old forests, renewed and enriched from decaying trunks once full of life and beauty, but now moss-covered, oozy and crumbling, we are destined to grow and flourish while they decline and fade.
  • We have for a long time hesitated to adopt and carry out the only principle which can solve that difficulty and give peace, strength and security to the republic, and that is the principle of absolute equality. We are a country of all extremes, ends and opposites. The most conspicuous example of composite nationality in the world. Our people defy all the ethnological and logical classifications. In races we range all the way from black to white, with intermediate shades which, as in the apocalyptic vision, no man can name or number.
  • America is no longer an obscure and inaccessible country. Our ships are in every sea, our commerce is in every port, our language is heard all around the globe, steam and lightning have revolutionized the whole domain of human thought, changed all geographical relations, make a day of the present seem equal to a thousand years of the past, and the continent that Columbus only conjectured four centuries ago is now the center of the world.
  • A liberal and brotherly welcome to all who are likely to come to the United States is the only wise policy which this nation can adopt. It has been thoughtfully observed that every nation, owing to its peculiar character and composition, has a definite mission in the world. What that mission is, and what policy is best adapted to assist in its fulfillment, is the business of its people and its statesmen to know, and knowing, to make a noble use of this knowledge. I need not stop here to name or describe the missions of other or more ancient nationalities. Our seems plain and unmistakable. Our geographical position, our relation to the outside world, our fundamental principles of government, world-embracing in their scope and character, our vast resources, requiring all manner of labor to develop them, and our already existing composite population, all conspire to one grand end, and that is, to make us the perfect national illustration of the unity and dignity of the human family that the world has ever seen.
  • In whatever else other nations may have been great and grand, our greatness and grandeur will be found in the faithful application of the principle of perfect civil equality to the people of all races and of all creeds. We are not only bound to this position by our organic structure and by our revolutionary antecedents, but by the genius of our people. Gathered here from all quarters of the globe, by a common aspiration for national liberty as against caste, divine right govern and privileged classes, it would be unwise to be found fighting against ourselves and among ourselves, it would be unadvised to attempt to set up any one race above another, or one religion above another, or prescribe any on account of race, color or creed.
  • All great qualities are never found in any one man or in any one race. The whole of humanity, like the whole of everything else, is ever greater than a part. Men only know themselves by knowing others, and contact is essential to this knowledge. In one race we perceive the predominance of imagination; in another, like the Chinese, we remark its almost total absence. In one people we have the reasoning faculty; in another the genius for music; in another exists courage, in another great physical vigor, and so on through the whole list of human qualities. All are needed to temper, modify, round and complete the whole man and the whole nation. Not the least among the arguments whose consideration should dispose us to welcome among us the peoples of all countries, nationalities and colors, is the fact that all races and varieties of men are improvable. This is the grand distinguishing attribute of humanity, and separates man from all other animals. If it could be shown that any particular race of men are literally incapable of improvement, we might hesitate to welcome them here. But no such men are any where to be found, and if they were, it is not likely that they would ever trouble us with their presence. The fact that the Chinese and other nations desire to come and do come is a proof of their capacity for improvement and of their fitness to come.
  • When the architect intends a grand structure, he makes the foundation broad and strong. We should imitate this prudence in laying the foundations of the future republic. There is a law of harmony in all departments of nature. The oak is in the acorn. The career and destiny of individual men are enfolded in the elements of which they are composed. The same is true of a nation. It will be something or it will be nothing. It will be great, or it will be small, according to its own essential qualities. As these are rich and varied, or pure and simple, slender and feeble, broad and strong, so will be the life and destiny of the nation itself. The stream cannot rise higher than its source. The ship cannot sail faster than the wind. The flight of the arrow depends upon the strength and elasticity of the bow, and as with these, so with a nation.
  • If we would reach a degree of civilization higher and grander than any yet attained, we should welcome to our ample continent all the nations, kindreds, tongues and peoples, and as fast as they learn our language and comprehend the duties of citizenship, we should incorporate them into the American body politic. The outspread wings of the American eagle are broad enough to shelter all who are likely to come. As a matter of selfish policy, leaving right and humanity out of the question, we cannot wisely pursue any other course. Other governments mainly depend for security upon the sword; ours depends mainly upon the friendship of the people. In all matters, in time of peace, in time of war, and at all times, it makes its appeal to the people, and to all classes of the people. Its strength lies in their friendship and cheerful support in every time of need, and that policy is a mad one which would reduce the number of its friends by excluding those who would come, or by alienating those who are already here.
  • Our republic is itself a strong argument in favor of composite nationality. It is no disparagement to the Americans of English descent to affirm that much of the wealth, leisure, culture, refinement and civilization of the country are due to the arm of the negro and the muscle of the Irishman. Without these, and the wealth created by their sturdy toil, English civilization had still lingered this side of the Alleghanies, and the wolf still be howling on their summits. To no class of our population are we more indebted for valuable qualities of head, heart, and hand, than to the German. Say what we will of their lager, their smoke, and their metaphysics, they have brought to us a fresh, vigorous and child-like nature; a boundless facility in the acquisition of knowledge; a subtle and far-reaching intellect, and a fearless love of truth. Though remarkable for patient and laborious thought, the true German is a joyous child of freedom, fond of manly sports, a lover of music, and a happy man generally. Though he never forgets that he is a German, he never fails to remember that he is an American.
  • We shall spread the network of our science and our civilization over all who seek their shelter, whether from Asia, Africa, or the isles of the sea. We shall mold them all, each after his kind, into Americans. Indian and Celt, Negro and Saxon, Latin and Teuton, Mongolian and Caucasian, Jew and gentile, all shall here bow to the same law, speak the same language, support the same government, enjoy the same liberty, vibrate with the same national enthusiasm, and seek the same national ends.
  • We are not here to applaud manly courage, save as it has been displayed in a noble cause. We must never forget that victory to the rebellion meant death to the republic. We must never forget that the loyal soldiers who rest beneath this sod flung themselves between the nation and the nation destroyers. If today we have a country not boiling in an agony of blood, like France, if now we have a united country, no longer cursed by the hell-black system of human bondage, if the American name is no longer a by-word and a hissing to a mocking earth, if the star-spangled banner floats only over free American citizens in every quarter of the land, and our country has before it a long and glorious career of justice, liberty, and civilization, we are indebted to the unselfish devotion of the noble army who rest in these honored graves all around us.
  • That we are here in peace today is a compliment and a credit to American civilization, and a prophecy of still greater national enlightenment and progress in the future. I refer to the past not in malice, for this is no day for malice, but simply to place more distinctly in front the gratifying and glorious change which has come both to our white fellow citizens and ourselves, and to congratulate all upon the contrast between now and then, the new dispensation of freedom with its thousand blessings to both races, and the old dispensation of slavery with its ten thousand evils to both races, white and black. In view, then, of the past, the present, and the future, with the long and dark history of our bondage behind us, and with liberty, progress, and enlightenment before us, I again congratulate you upon this auspicious day and hour.
  • Social equality does not necessarily follow from civil equality, and yet for the purpose of a hell black and damning prejudice, our papers still insist that the Civil Rights Bill is a Bill to establish social equality. If it is a Bill for social equality, so is the Declaration of Independence, which declares that all men have equal rights; so is the Sermon on the Mount, so is the Golden Rule, that commands us to do to others as we would that others should do to us; so is the Apostolic teaching, that of one blood God has made all nations to dwell on all the face of the earth; so is the Constitution of the United States, and so are the laws and customs of every civilized country in the world; for nowhere, outside of the United States is any man denied civil rights on account of his color.
  • From the first I saw no chance of bettering the condition of the freedman until he should cease to be merely a freedman and should become a citizen. I insisted that there was no safety for him or for anybody else in America outside the American government; that to guard, protect, and maintain his liberty the freedman should have the ballot; that the liberties of the American people were dependent upon the ballot-box, the jury-box, and the cartridge-box; that without these no class of people could live and flourish in this country; and this was now the word for the hour with me, and the word to which the people of the North willingly listened when I spoke. Hence, regarding as I did the elective franchise as the one great power by which all civil rights are obtained, enjoyed, and maintained under our form of government, and the one without which freedom to any class is delusive if not impossible, I set myself to work with whatever force and energy I possessed to secure this power for the recently-emancipated millions.
  • The ability of the United States to go from legal segregation a half century ago to the election of a black president suggests there is enormous elasticity in the American political system, and that the country has the capacity to deal with what it now faces, both inside and outside its borders.
  • Let us never forget that the deep things that are American are the soul and the spirit. The Statue of Liberty is not tired, and not because it is made of bronze. It is because no matter what happens, here the individual is dignified because he is created in the image of his god. Let us not forget it.
  • We are a people born of many peoples. Our culture, our skills, our very aspirations have been shaped by immigrants, and their sons and daughters, from all the Earth. Sam Gompers from England, Andrew Carnegie from Scotland, Albert Einstein from Germany, and Booker T. Washington and Al Smith, Marconi and Caruso. Men of all nations and races and estates, they have made us what we are.
  • So it is that the laws most binding us as a people are laws of the spirit, proclaimed in church and synagogue and mosque. These are the laws that truly declare the eternal equality of all men, of all races, before the man-made laws of our land. And we are profoundly aware that, in the world, we can claim the trust of hundreds of millions of people, across Africa and Asia, only as we ourselves hold high the banner of justice for all.
  • We are, proudly, a people with no sense of class or caste. We judge no man by his name or inheritance, but by what he does, and for what he stands. And so likewise do we judge other nations. The right of no nation depends upon the date of its birth or the size of its power. As there can be no second class citizens before the law of America, so, we believe, there can be no second-class nations before the law of the world community.
  • I believe that the United States as a government, if it is going to be true to its own founding documents, does have the job of working toward that time when there is no discrimination made on such inconsequential reason as race, color, or religion.
  • Un-American activity cannot be prevented or routed out by employing un-American methods; to preserve freedom we must use the tools that freedom provides.
    • Dwight David Eisenhower, as quoted in The White House Years: Mandate for Change: 1953–1956: A Personal Account (1963), p. 331.
  • I was against it on two counts. First, the Japanese were ready to surrender, and it wasn't necessary to hit them with that awful thing. Second, I hated to see our country be the first to use such a weapon.
    • Dwight David Eisenhower, On his stated opposition to the use of the atomic bomb against the Japanese at the end of World War II, as quoted in Newsweek (11 November 1963).
  • Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
  • Democracy is the creed of a province; it dwells in fetid wards. Republicanism is the religion of a nation; it creates imperial commonwealths out of desert wastes. These 'imperial commonwealths' constitute the foremost nation of the earth. The American republic. It leads them all in public school systems, home comforts, multiplicity of labor-saving machinery, public service, perfect autonomy of government for local communities, modes of travel, engines of general intelligence, public caravansaries, means of adjudicating disputes between man and man, freedom of thought, religion, press and speech, and in the utmost freedom of action in individuals consistent with good order and the rights of others, without the slightest government restraint or espionage. Notwithstanding the crimes of the south against the blacks, we hold the beacon of civil liberty and personal equality higher than any other nation. The light of our civilization goes farther into the jungles of ignorance and barbarism, deeper into the dungeons of tyranny and oppression than that of any other people. Nations, the guiding star of the world. We are the load-stone of nations, the guiding star of the world.
  • Let us put an end to self-inflicted wounds. Let us remember that our national unity is a most priceless asset.
    • Gerald Rudolph Ford, as quoted in address to joint session of the United States Congress (10 April 1975).
  • February 19 is the anniversary of a very, very sad day in American history. It was on that date in 1942 that Executive Order 9066 was issued resulting in the uprooting of many, many loyal Americans. Over 100,000 persons of Japanese ancestry were removed from their homes, detained in special camps, and eventually relocated. We now know what we should have known then. Not only was that evacuation wrong but Japanese-Americans were and are loyal Americans. On the battlefield and at home the names of Japanese-Americans have been and continue to be written in history for the sacrifices and the contributions they have made to the well-being and to the security of this, our common Nation. Executive Order 9066 ceased to be effective at the end of World War II. Because there was no formal statement of its termination, there remains some concern among Japanese-Americans that there yet may be some life in that obsolete document. The proclamation that I am signing here today should remove all doubt on that matter. I call upon the American people to affirm with me the unhyphenated American promise that we have learned from the tragedy of that long ago experience; forever to treasure liberty and justice for each individual American and resolve that this kind of error shall never be made again.
  • The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
  • It seems to me that the United States and France can learn from each other. French universalism, or its equivalent, is a powerful weapon against racism, which is based on the belief in innate unalterable differences among human groups. Stressing what rights all people have because of what they have in common remains at the heart of anti-racism. A stronger awareness of such human commonality may be needed in the United States at a time when a stress on diversity and ethnic particularism may deprive us of any compelling vision of the larger national community and impede cooperation in the pursuit of a free and just society. On the other hand the identification of such universalism with a particular national identity and with specific cultural traits that go beyond essential human rights can lead to an intolerance of the Other that approaches color-coded racism in its harmful effects.
  • There are two Americas. One is the America of Lincoln and Adlai Stevenson; the other is the America of Teddy Roosevelt and the modern superpatriots. One is generous and humane, the other narrowly egotistical; one is self-critical, the other self-righteous; one is sensible, the other romantic; one is good-humored, the other solemn; one is inquiring, the other pontificating; one is moderate, the other filled with passionate intensity; one is judicious and the other arrogant in the use of great power.
  • The colonists were struggling not only against the armies of a great nation, but against the settled opinions of mankind; for the world did not then believe that the supreme authority of government could be safely intrusted to the guardianship of the people themselves.
  • The elevation of the negro race from slavery to the full rights of citizenship is the most important political change we have known since the adoption of the Constitution of 1787. No thoughtful man can fail to appreciate its beneficent effect upon our institutions and people. It has freed us from the perpetual danger of war and dissolution. It has added immensely to the moral and industrial forces of our people. It has liberated the master as well as the slave from a relation which wronged and enfeebled both. It has surrendered to their own guardianship the manhood of more than 5,000,000 people, and has opened to each one of them a career of freedom and usefulness.
  • There can be no permanent disfranchised peasantry in the United States. Freedom can never yield its fullness of blessings so long as the law or its administration places the smallest obstacle in the pathway of any virtuous citizen.
  • I have not come here with reference to any flag but that of freedom. If your Union does not symbolize universal emancipation, it brings no Union for me. If your Constitution does not guarantee freedom for all, it is not a Constitution I can ascribe to. If your flag is stained by the blood of a brother held in bondage, I repudiate it in the name of God. I came here to witness the unfurling of a flag under which every human being is to be recognized as entitled to his freedom. Therefore, with a clear conscience, without any compromise of principles, I accepted the invitation of the Government of the United States to be present and witness the ceremonies that have taken place today. And now let me give the sentiment which has been, and ever will be, the governing passion of my soul: 'Liberty for each, for all, and forever!'
  • The U.S. military, unlike any other, maintains a doctrine of global power projection: that it should have the ability, through roughly 800 overseas military bases, to intervene with deadly force absolutely anywhere on the planet. In a way, though, land forces are secondary; at least since World War II, the key to U.S. military doctrine has always been a reliance on air power. The United States has fought no war in which it did not control the skies, and it has relied on aerial bombardment far more systematically than any other military-in its recent occupation of Iraq, for instance, even going so far as to bomb residential neighborhoods of cities ostensibly under its own control. The essence of U.S. military predominance in the world is, ultimately, the fact that it can, at will, drop bombs, with only a few hours' notice, at absolutely any point on the surface of the planet. No other government has ever had anything remotely like this sort of capability. In fact, a case could well be made that it is this very power that holds the entire world monetary system, organized around the dollar, together.
  • I would protect the law-abiding citizen, whether of native or foreign birth, wherever his rights are jeopardized or the flag of our country floats.
  • As the United States is the freest of all nations, so, too, its people sympathize with all people struggling for liberty and self-government; but while so sympathizing it is due to our honor that we should abstain from enforcing our views upon unwilling nations and from taking an interested part, without invitation.
  • Under existing conditions the negro votes the Republican ticket because he knows his friends are of that party. Many a good citizen votes the opposite, not because he agrees with the great principles of state which separate parties, but because, generally, he is opposed to negro rule. This is a most delusive cry. Treat the negro as a citizen and a voter, as he is and must remain, and soon parties will be divided, not on the color line, but on principle. Then we shall have no complaint of sectional interference.
  • Encourage free schools, and resolve that not one dollar of money shall be appropriated to the support of any sectarian school. Resolve that neither the state nor nation, or both combined, shall support institutions of learning other than those sufficient to afford every child growing up in the land the opportunity of a good common school education, unmixed with sectarian, pagan, or atheistical tenets. Leave the matter of religion to the family altar, the church, and the private school, supported entirely by private contributions. Keep the church and the state forever separate.
  • Our liberties remain unimpaired; the bondmen have been freed from slavery; we have become possessed of the respect, if not the friendship, of all civilized nations. Our progress has been great in all the arts—in science, agriculture, commerce, navigation, mining, mechanics, law, medicine, etc.; and in general education the progress is likewise encouraging. Our thirteen States have become thirty-eight, including Colorado (which has taken the initiatory steps to become a State), and eight Territories, including the Indian Territory and Alaska, and excluding Colorado, making a territory extending from the Atlantic to the Pacific. On the south we have extended to the Gulf of Mexico, and in the west from the Mississippi to the Pacific.
  • As the primary step, therefore, to our advancement in all that has marked our progress in the past century, I suggest for your earnest consideration, and most earnestly recommend it, that a constitutional amendment be submitted to the legislatures of the several states for ratification, making it the duty of each of the several states to establish and forever maintain free public schools adequate to the education of all the children in the rudimentary branches within their respective limits, irrespective of sex, color, birthplace, or religions; forbidding the teaching in said schools of religious, atheistic, or pagan tenets; and prohibiting the granting of any school funds or school taxes, or any part thereof, either by legislative, municipal, or other authority, for the benefit or in aid, directly or indirectly, of any religious sect or denomination, or in aid or for the benefit of any other object of any nature or kind whatever.
  • It is to be hoped that such legislation may be another step toward the great consummation to be reached, when no man shall be permitted, directly or indirectly, under any guise, excuse, or form of law, to hold his fellow-man in bondage. I am of opinion also that it is the duty of the United States, as contributing toward that end, and required by the spirit of the age in which we live, to provide by suitable legislation that no citizen of the United States shall hold slaves as property in any other country or be interested therein.
  • As soon as slavery fired upon the flag it was felt, we all felt, even those who did not object to slaves, that slavery must be destroyed. We felt that it was a stain to the Union that men should be bought and sold like cattle.
  • The U.S. economy is likely to continue for the foreseeable future to be a major force not only for global economic growth and innovation but also for global economic stability. When uncertainties emerge in the global economic picture, it is in U.S. treasuries and the U.S. equity markets that global capital seeks refuge. And a number of factors favor the future growth of the American economy. Let me mention just two of them; America's energy boom and its ability to attract talent from every corner of the world.
  • Less than a decade ago, as you might recall, energy was a big challenge for the United States. But since then there has been a boom in domestic U.S. oil and gas production due to the exploitation of shale oil and shale gas deposits through horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracking. In 2013, the United States overtook Russia as the world’s leading producer of oil and gas. Within two years, it is likely to surpass Saudi Arabia as the world's largest crude oil producer. As a consequence, U.S. imports of oil and gas have fallen steeply in the last 5 years, helping to reduce the U.S. trade deficit. Indeed, the United States will soon be a net exporter of energy.
  • Strength of the U.S. economy is the country's edge in human capital, the productivity, innovation, and entrepreneurship of its workers. The United States remains the top destination for smart, skilled, and creative individuals even as the global competition for such workers intensifies. According to a 2010 Gallup study, almost a quarter of the world's adults looking to emigrate list the United States as their ideal destination. And once they arrive, these immigrants make an enormous contribution to innovation and growth in the American economy. A Harvard Business School study found that American immigrants of Chinese and Indian descent accounted for 15% of U.S. domestic patents in 2004, up from just 2% in 1975. The Brookings Institution has estimated that a quarter of technology and engineering businesses started in the United States between 1995 and 2005 had a foreign-born founder. Immigration is thus a great source of America's economic strength.
  • We are committed to sacrifice in battle in order to make America safe for Americans and establish their security on every lawful mission on the high seas or under the shining sun.
  • We are testing popular government's capacity for self-defense. We are resolved to liberate the soul of American life and prove ourselves an American people in fact, spirit, and purpose, and consecrate ourselves anew and everlastingly to human freedom and humanity's justice. Realizing our new relationship with the world, we want to make it fit to live in, and with might and fright and wrathfulness and barbarity crushed by the conscience of a real civilization. Ours is a small concern about the kind of government any people may choose, but we do mean to outlaw the nation which violates the sacred compacts of international relationships. The decision is to be final.
  • A republic worth living in is worth fighting for, and sacrificing for, and dying for. In the fires of this conflict we shall wipe out the disloyalty of those who wear American garb without the faith, and establish a new concord of citizenship and a new devotion, so that we should have made a safe America the home and hope of a people who are truly American in heart and soul.
  • We want a free America again. We want America free at home, and free in the world. We want to silence the outcry of nation against nation, in the fullness of understanding, and we wish to silence the cry of class against class, and stifle the party appeal to class, so that we may ensure tranquility in our own freedom. If I could choose but one, I had rather have industrial and social peace at home, than command the international peace of all the world.
  • Much has been said of late about world ideals, but I prefer to think of the ideal for America. I like to think there's something more than the patriotism and practical wisdom of the founding fathers. It's good to believe that maybe destiny held this new world republic to be the supreme example of representative democracy and orderly liberty by which humanity is inspired to higher achievement. It is idle to think we have attained perfection, but there is the satisfying knowledge that we hold orderly processes for making our government reflect the heart and mind of the republic.
  • Ours is not only a fortunate people, but a very common-sensical people, with vision high, but their feet on the earth, with belief in themselves and faith in God. Whether enemies threaten from without or menaces arise from within, there is some indefinable voice saying, ‍'‍Have confidence in the Republic. America will go on‍'‍. Here is the sample of liberty no storms may shake. Here are the altars of freedom no factions shall destroy. It was American in conception, American in its building. It shall be American in the fulfillment. Factional once, we are all American now, and we mean to be all Americans to all the world.
  • In view of the constitution, in the eye of the law, there is in this country no superior, dominant, ruling class of citizens. There is no caste here. Our constitution is color-blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens. In respect of civil rights, all citizens are equal before the law. The humblest is the peer of the most powerful. The law regards man as man, and takes no account of his surroundings or of his color when his civil rights as guaranteed by the supreme law of the land are involved. It is difficult to reconcile that boast with a state of the law which, practically, puts the brand of servitude and degradation upon a large class of our fellow-citizens, our equals before the law.
  • We boast of the freedom enjoyed by our people above all other peoples. But it is difficult to reconcile that boast with a state of the law which, practically, puts the brand of servitude and degradation upon a large class of our fellow citizens, our equals before the law. The thin disguise of 'equal' accommodations for passengers in railroad coaches will not mislead anyone, nor atone for the wrong this day done.
  • I cannot see but that, according to the principles this day announced, such state legislation, although conceived in hostility to, and enacted for the purpose of humiliating, citizens of the United States of a particular race, would be held to be consistent with the constitution.
  • We Americans have no commission from God to police the world.
    • Benjamin Harrison, Statement of 1888, as quoted in Treasury of Presidential Quotations (1964) by Caroline T. Hamsberger
  • But notwithstanding all this, in many parts of our country where the colored population is large the people of that race are by various devices deprived of any effective exercise of their political rights and of many of their civil rights. The wrong does not expend itself upon those whose votes are suppressed. Every constituency in the Union is wronged.
  • God forbid that the day should ever come when, in the American mind, the thought of man as a 'consumer' shall submerge the old American thought of man as a creature of God, endowed with 'unalienable rights'.
    • Benjamin Harrison, as quoted in "The Status of Annexed Territory and of Its Free Civilized Inhabitants" (1901), North American Review, vol. 172, no. 530 (January 1901), p. 22.
  • From the first days of our nation, Americans have challenged America to be better. It's a noisy process, sometimes raucous, sometimes even ungraceful. But the result is unmistakable. From its beginning, our nation has traveled an arc of change that has led us away from oppression and toward equality and justice. We have meandered to be sure, and sometimes we have taken steps backward. But the general arc of change is undeniable. By the efforts of every generation we have progressed, become a better nation. More just, more tolerant. Citizenship is an invitation to join in that process of change, to join the chorus of Americans challenging America to be better. We challenge ourselves in a million ways, by acts and words. A gesture on a street corner challenges others to be as kind. Putting our children on the school bus each morning challenges us to be as conscientious. We challenge America to improve by voting or volunteering or raking your neighbor’s leaves, by teaching tolerance and confronting intolerance. Joining this process of national improvement is perhaps the greatest of all the privileges of being an American citizen. As we sit here today, I ask you to think for a moment about the path to citizenship.
  • 153 years ago, had we been sitting on these heights, looking over this river in the midst of civil war, we would likely have seen something curious on the river. Rafts, hastily made, barely water-worthy, bearing families with all their possessions, pushing themselves across the river from Fredericksburg to this shore. These were former slaves, run away from bondage. They came here seeking precisely what you have achieved today. By their coming, months before the emancipation proclamation, they were doing what Americans have always done. They challenged America, as if to say, 'We have left bondage to be free. What will you do with us now?' In the spring and summer of 1862, as many as ten thousand former slaves crossed the Rappahannock River to freedom, some of them likely walking these terraces in freedom, looking down upon the river as others followed their path. These men and women and babies and toddlers and boys and girls did not see their acts as momentous for anyone but themselves, but today we can see that their acts were momentous in many ways. By challenging America to accept their determination that they would no longer suffer bondage, they pushed the nation along that arc toward justice, away from oppression. Seven months later, Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. And three years after that Congress sent to the states the Fourteenth Amendment, according these former slaves the thing they aspired to most beyond freedom. Citizenship. These people did not just walk the path to citizenship, they blazed a trail where none had existed. They, like you, were determined, courageous souls. I hope you will find inspiration from them, just as we derive inspiration from you. We congratulate you. We join you in celebrating life as Americans. And, we welcome you to the noisy business of being a citizen. And now, mindful that the virtues of our nation come from its people, we bid you, our nation’s newest citizen, to go challenge America to be better still.
  • You convey too great a compliment when you say that I have earned the right to the presidential nomination. No man can establish such an obligation upon any part of the American people. My country owes me no debt. It gave me, as it gives every boy and girl, a chance. It gave me schooling, independence of action, opportunity for service and honor. In no other land could a boy from a country village, without inheritance or influential friends, look forward with unbounded hope. My whole life has taught me what America means. I am indebted to my country beyond any human power to repay.
    • Herbert Hoover, letter to Senator George H. Moses, chairman of the Republican national convention, upon learning of his nomination for president (14 June 1928). As quoted in The Memoirs of Herbert Hoover (1952), volume 2, p. 195.
  • As sons of freedom you are now called upon to defend your most inestimable blessing. As Americans, your country looks with confidence on her adopted children, for a valorous support, as a faithful return for the advantages enjoyed under her mild and equitable government.
  • Our Federal Union! It must be preserved!
    • Andrew Jackson, Toast at a celebration of Thomas Jefferson's birthday (13 April 1830); as quoted in Public Men and Events from the Commencement of Mr. Monroe's Administration, in 1817, to the Close of Mr. Fillmore's Administration, in 1853 (1875) by Nathan Sargent.
  • To say that any State may at pleasure secede from the Union, is to say that the United States are not a nation because it would be a solecism to contend that any part of a nation might dissolve its connection with the other parts, to their injury or ruin, without committing any offense.
  • The closest election in American history is an event deserving thoughtful and thankful reflection. There were present on the inaugural platform former presidents of both parties, as well as the gracious loser in the contest just ended. They were testimony to the prizing above all political differences, of the rule of law under the constitution. We are accustomed, now, to resolving our differences with ballots and not bullets. We are accustomed, now, when we lose an election to look to the next election to advance our political fortunes. But few of us today are aware of how recent in human experience, and how fragile, is this phenomenon.
  • Lincoln at Gettysburg said that the nation, at its birth, had been dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Earlier, Lincoln had said that the proposition of equality was the "central idea" of the founding, from which all its minor thoughts emanated.
  • One may ask, how is it that slavery, or any other form of invidious discrimination, has played so great a role in American history? How could a nation, dedicated at its birth to the proposition that all men are created equal, have tolerated slavery and its effects so long? If we look to the long history of mankind, however, we will ask a different question. Slavery was lawful in every one of the original thirteen states. There was accordingly nothing remarkable in the fact that slavery was not abolished immediately on independence. What is remarkable is that a slave-owning nation would declare that all men are created equal, and thereby make the abolition of slavery a moral and political necessity. To accomplish that task would not be easy.
  • If we are to have a foundation upon which to continue to build a more perfect union, we must return unequivocally, as Lincoln returned, to the source of our greatness in the American founding.
  • There is much more to being a patriot and a citizen than reciting the pledge or raising a flag. Patriots serve. Patriots vote. Patriots attend meetings in their community. Patriots pay attention to the actions of government and speak out when needed. Patriots teach their children about our history, our precious democracy and about citizenship. Being an active, engaged citizen means being a patriotic American every day. No law will make a citizen a patriot.
  • As a nation we have made peace and war, as a nation we have vanquished our common enemies. As a nation we have formed alliances, and made treaties, and entered into various compacts and conventions with foreign states.
  • We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
    • Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of Independence of the United States of America (1776).
  • It should be our endeavor to cultivate the peace and friendship of every nation, even of that which has injured us most, when we shall have carried our point against her. Our interest will be to throw open the doors of commerce, and to knock off all its shackles, giving perfect freedom to all persons for the vent of whatever they may choose to bring into our ports, and asking the same in theirs. Never was so much false arithmetic employed on any subject, as that which has been employed to persuade nations that it is their interest to go to war.
  • This is your country as well as anybody else's country. This country is founded upon the principle of equality. He that is meritorious and virtuous, intellectual and well informed, must stand highest, without regard to color.
  • Fuck your parliament and your constitution. America is an elephant. Cyprus is a flea. Greece is a flea. If these two fleas continue itching the elephant, they may just get whacked good. We pay a lot of good American dollars to the Greeks, Mister Ambassador. If your Prime Minister gives me talk about democracy, parliament and constitution, he, his parliament and his constitution may not last long.
    • Lyndon Baines Johnson, comment to the Greek ambassador to the United States, Alexander Matsas, over the Cypriot issue (June 1964). As quoted in I Should Have Died (1977) by Philip Deane, pp. 113-114.
  • Americans of every race and color have died in battle to protect our freedom. Americans of every race and color have worked to build a nation of widening opportunities. Now our generation of Americans has been called on to continue the unending search for justice within our own borders. We believe that all men are created equal. Yet many are denied equal treatment. We believe that all men have certain unalienable rights. Yet many Americans do not enjoy those rights. We believe that all men are entitled to the blessings of liberty. Yet millions are being deprived of those blessings--not because of their own failures, but because of the color of their skin. The reasons are deeply embedded in history and tradition and the nature of man. We can understand--without rancor or hatred--how this all happened. But it cannot continue. Our Constitution, the foundation of our Republic, forbids it. The principles of our freedom forbid it. Morality forbids it.
  • We are one nation and one people. Our fate as a nation and our future as a people rest not upon one citizen, but upon all citizens. This is the majesty and the meaning of this moment. For every generation, there is a destiny. For some, history decides. For this generation, the choice must be our own. Our mission is at once the oldest and the most basic of this country. To right wrong, to do justice, to serve man.
  • In this same month ninety-five years ago, on March 30, 1870, the Constitution of the United States was amended for the fifteenth time to guarantee that no citizen of our land should be denied the right to vote because of race or color. The command of the Fifteenth Amendment is unequivocal and its equal force upon State Governments and the Federal Government is unarguable. Section 1 of this Amendment provides: The right of citizens of the United States to vote shah not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. By the oath I have taken 'to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States', duty directs, and strong personal conviction impels, that I advise the Congress that action is necessary, and necessary now, if the Constitution is to be upheld and the rights of all citizens are not to be mocked, abused and denied.
  • There is no cause for self-satisfaction in the long denial of equal rights of millions of Americans. But there is cause for hope and for faith in our democracy.
  • For the cries of pain and the hymns and protests of oppressed people have summoned into convocation all the majesty of this great Government, the government of the greatest nation on Earth. Our mission is at once the oldest and the most basic of this country. To right wrong, to do justice, to serve man.
  • This was the first nation in the history of the world to be founded with a purpose. The great phrases of that purpose still sound in every American heart, North and South. 'All men are created equal', 'government by consent of the governed', 'give me liberty or give me death'. Well, those are not just clever words, or those are not just empty theories. In their name Americans have fought and died for two centuries, and tonight around the world they stand there as guardians of our liberty, risking their lives. Those words are a promise to every citizen that he shall share in the dignity of man. This dignity cannot be found in a man's possessions; it cannot be found in his power, or in his position. It really rests on his right to be treated as a man equal in opportunity to all others. It says that he shall share in freedom, he shall choose his leaders, educate his children, and provide for his family according to his ability and his merits as a human being.
  • To deny a man his hopes because of his color or race, his religion or the place of his birth–is not only to do injustice, it is to deny America and to dishonor the dead who gave their lives for American freedom. Our fathers believed that if this noble view of the rights of man was to flourish, it must be rooted in democracy. The most basic right of all was the right to choose your own leaders. The history of this country, in large measure, is the history of the expansion of that right to all of our people.
  • All Americans must have the privileges of citizenship regardless of race. And they are going to have those privileges of citizenship regardless of race. But I would like to caution you and remind you that to exercise these privileges takes much more than just legal right. It requires a trained mind and a healthy body. It requires a decent home, and the chance to find a job, and the opportunity to escape from the clutches of poverty. Of course, people cannot contribute to the Nation if they are never taught to read or write, if their bodies are stunted from hunger, if their sickness goes untended, if their life is spent in hopeless poverty just drawing a welfare check. So we want to open the gates to opportunity. But we are also going to give all our people, black and white, the help that they need to walk through those gates.
  • Every American citizen must have an equal right to vote. There is no reason which can excuse the denial of that right. There is no duty which weighs more heavily on us than the duty we have to ensure that right.
  • It is wrong, deadly wrong, to deny any of your fellow Americans the right to vote in this country. There is no issue of states' rights or national rights. There is only the struggle for human rights.
  • Above the pyramid on the great seal of the United States it says, in Latin: 'God has favored our undertaking.' God will not favor everything that we do. It is rather our duty to divine His will. But I cannot help believing that He truly understands and that He really favors the undertaking that we begin here tonight.
  • Americans reflexively believe that had Germany occupied the United States, nearly all of us would have joined an armed resistance to the Nazis. That's what I thought, too, when I was 16. But that reflects a hopelessly naive view, both of what the world looked like to most people after the Nazis had conquered Austria, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Denmark, Norway and France, and of what it actually meant to take up arms against an occupying power.
  • There are accepted definitions of Americanism. There is none of Americanization. The reason is not hard to find. There is in America a national impulse called Americanization, which was understood as a war necessity before it had developed in time of peace. It acquired a generalization before it had become specific. It was subjected to organization and committed to the achievement of results before it was a branch of knowledge fairly evolved and reduced to practice. There is no science of race assimilation. No nation has had a sufficiently free opportunity with many diverse races to establish its enduring principles and certain procedure. America has this opportunity in her thirty-five different races speaking fifty-four languages, of whom 13,000,000 are foreign-born. One third of her total population has its roots in other soils and in diverse cultures. She has the laboratory for the experiment in her wide expanse of territory, much of it still unsettled; in the elasticity of her institutions; and in the still formative state of her cultural life. The old world is engaged in a struggle to find a way by which each race living on its own soil, separated by definite national boundaries, can be assured freedom and peace in the full development of its national life and in the realization of international opportunities. The task of America is different. It is for her to find the way by which these races, living on one soil, under one form of government, with no territorial lines, can be assimilated and become a part of her integral national life.
  • Americanization is the process, then, of guaranteeing these fundamental requisites to each man, native and foreign-born alike, and just in proportion as the English language and citizenship interpret these requisites, they are Americanization agencies. The failure of Americanization in the past years is identical with the failure of these guarantees. It is in the home, the shop, the neighborhood, the church, and the court that Americanization is wrought, and the mutual relations of races in America as expressed in them will give the eternal principles of race assimilation that we seek.
  • Every man lives in his neighborhood, and beyond his home and his job. To most men, except in the largest cities, the municipality is interpreted in terms of his neighborhood. Few men get beyond this except through occasional excursions into the larger world. America is a country of parallel neighborhoods; the native American in one section and the immigrant in another. Americanization is the elimination of the parallel line. So long as the American thinks that a house in his street is too good for his immigrant neighbor and tolerates discriminations in sanitation, housing, and enforcement of municipal laws, he can serve on all Americanization committees that exist and still fail in his efforts. The immigrant neighborhood is often made up of people who have come from one province in the old country. Inevitably the culture of that neighborhood will be that of the old country; its language will persist and its traditions will flourish. It is not that we undervalue these, or desire to discredit them. But separated from the land and surroundings that gave them birth, from the history that cherishes them, they do not remain the strong, beautiful things they were on the other side. These aliens may retain some of the form of culture of the land of their birth long after its spirit has departed or has lost its savor in a new atmosphere. New opportunities, strange conditions, unforeseen adjustments, necessary sacrifices, and forces unseen and not understood affect the immigrant and his life here, and unless this culture is connected and fused with that of the new world, it loses its vitality or becomes corrupt.
  • Americanization having its roots in political ideals cannot be achieved so long as these ideals, as interpreted by the sources of authority in America, mean one thing for the native-born and another thing for the foreign-born; one thing for men and another for women; one thing for employers and another for employees; one thing for the rich and another for the poor; one thing in one State and another thing in an adjoining State. No American who hopes for national unity can spend too much time insisting upon the most painstaking interpretation of the guarantees of American law, even though it takes him into such technical matters as interpreter service, cost of appeals, discriminatory laws, and race prejudices. Every support of a sound Americanism is strong or weak according as justice is done or not done.
  • America is no longer afraid of the word culture. In fact, it is considering quite seriously in some quarters having a culture of its own and calling it by that name. This makes it possible to consider as Americanization a recognition of the cultural forces in the various races as expressed in their literature and institutions. There is a growing appreciation of the fraternal and religious forces in the lives of the various races and their indispensable value in race fusion. In the old world, the cultural life of a race is so inextricably associated with their religious life that its first vital contact with American cultural life would seem to proceed along the lines of religious and fraternal development.
  • So where in God's name did illegal immigrants in the U.S. get the gumption to expect they shouldn't have to demonstrate who they are to the lawful authorities? If anything the moral posture should be reversed. Illegal immigrants should bend over backwards in thankfulness that Americans are so tolerant they even look the other way on rampant illegality.
  • By law the government is supposed to deport illegal immigrants. Illegal immigration is a misdemeanor, and repeated attempts are a felony. Yet fifteen million people function everyday outside the basic rule of law. That is not 'victory against racism'; it is a massive failure of the U.S. justice system.
  • This nation was founded by men of many nations and backgrounds. It was founded on the principle that all men are created equal, and that the rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened.
    • John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Radio and television report to the American people on civil rights (11 June 1963), a quoted in Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: John F. Kennedy (1963), p. 468.
  • I look forward to an America which commands respect throughout the world not only for its strength but for its civilization as well. And I look forward to a world which will be safe not only for democracy and diversity but also for personal distinction.
  • If you're a real American that is, an American Indian you're lucky to be alive. For whether he really believed it or not, the white man has acted on the principle that "The only good Indian is a dead one". This was certainly one of the foundation stones upon which the white European invaders of North America and their descendants established and built the republic of the USA.
    • Stetson Kennedy, Jim Crow Guide: The Way it Was (1955), Ch.1, "No Room For Redskins".
  • Most of the American laws defining race are not to be compared with those once enforced by Nazi Germany, the latter being relatively more liberal. In the view of the Nazis, persons having less than one fourth Jewish blood could qualify as Aryans, whereas many of the American laws specify that persons having one-eighth, one-sixteenth, or 'any ascertainable' Negro blood are Negroes in the eyes of the law and subject to all restrictions governing the conduct of Negroes.
    • Stetson Kennedy, Jim Crow Guide: The Way it Was (1955), Ch.4, "Who is Colored Where".
  • Remember, boys and girls. Your school, like our country, is made up of Americans of many different races, religions, and national origins. So, if you hear anybody talk against a schoolmate or anyone else because of his religion, race, or national origin, don't wait. Tell him that kind of talk is un-American.
  • It's wrong to hate. It always has been wrong and it always will be wrong. It's wrong in America, it's wrong in Germany, it's wrong in Russia, it's wrong in China. It was wrong in 2000 B.C., and it's wrong in 1954 A.D. It always has been wrong, and it always will be wrong. It's wrong to throw our lives away in riotous living. No matter if everybody in Detroit is doing it, it's wrong. It always will be wrong, and it always has been wrong. It's wrong in every age and it's wrong in every nation. Some things are right and some things are wrong, no matter if everybody is doing the contrary.
  • We must work assiduously and with determined boldness to remove from the body politic this cancerous disease of discrimination which is preventing our democratic and Christian health from being realized. Then and only then will we be able to bring into full realization the dream of our American democracy, a dream yet unfulfilled. A dream of equality of opportunity, of privilege and property widely distributed; a dream of a land where men will not take necessities from the many to give luxuries to the few; a dream of a land where men do not argue that the color of a man’s skin determines the content of his character, where they recognize that the basic thing about a man is not his specific but his fundamentum.
  • The Declaration of Independence proclaimed to a world, organized politically and spiritually around the concept of the inequality of man, that the dignity of human personality was inherent in man as a living being. The Emancipation Proclamation was the offspring of the Declaration of Independence. It was a constructive use of the force of law to uproot a social order which sought to separate liberty from a segment of humanity. Our pride and progress could be unqualified if the story might end here. But history reveals that America has been a schizophrenic personality where these two documents are concerned. On the one hand she has proudly professed the basic principles inherent in both documents. On the other hand she has sadly practiced the antithesis of these principles.
  • Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal'.
  • This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, 'My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring', and if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.
  • We must face the fact that in America, the church is still the most segregated major institution in America. At 11:00 on Sunday morning when we stand and sing and Christ has no east or west, we stand at the most segregated hour in this nation. This is tragic. Nobody of honesty can overlook this. Now, I'm sure that if the church had taken a stronger stand all along, we wouldn't have many of the problems that we have. The first way that the church can repent, the first way that it can move out into the arena of social reform is to remove the yoke of segregation from its own body.
  • In the past ten years unarmed gallant men and women of the United States have given living testimony to the moral power and efficacy of nonviolence. By the thousands, faceless, anonymous, relentless young people, black and white, have temporarily left the ivory towers of learning for the barricades of bias. Their courageous and disciplined activities have come as a refreshing oasis in a desert sweltering with the heat of injustice. They have taken our whole nation back to those great wells of democracy which were dug deep by the founding fathers in the formulation of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. One day all of America will be proud of their achievements.
  • We as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, militarism and economic exploitation are incapable of being conquered.
  • In the final analysis the weakness of Black Power is its failure to see that the black man needs the white man and the white man needs the black man. However much we may try to romanticize the slogan, there is no separate black path to power and fulfillment that dies not intersect white paths, and there is no separate white path to power and fulfillment, short of social disaster, that does not share that power with black aspirations for freedom and human dignity. We are bound together in a single garment of destiny. The language, the cultural patterns, the music, the material prosperity, and even the food of America are an amalgam of black and white.
  • Many of the ugly pages of American history have been obscured and forgotten. A society is always eager to cover misdeeds with a cloak of forgetfulness, but no society can fully repress an ugly past when the ravages persist into the present. America owes a debt of justice which it has only begun to pay.
  • Let us be dissatisfied until America will no longer have a high blood pressure of creeds and an anemia of deeds.
  • I say to you that our goal is freedom, and I believe we are going to get there because however much she strays away from it, the goal of America is freedom. Abused and scorned though we may be as a people, our destiny is tied up in the destiny of America.
  • All we say to America is: 'Be true to what you said on paper.' If I lived in China or even Russia, or any totalitarian country, maybe I could understand the denial of certain basic First Amendment privileges, because they hadn't committed themselves to that over there. But somewhere I read of the freedom of assembly. Somewhere I read of the freedom of speech. Somewhere I read of the freedom of the press. Somewhere I read that the greatness of America is the right to protest for right.
  • Let us rise up tonight with a greater readiness. Let us stand with a greater determinatio, and let us move on in these powerful days. These days of challenge to make America what it ought to be; we have an opportunity to make America a better nation.
  • Madam, don't bring up your sons to detest the United States government. Recollect that we form one country now. Abandon all these local animosities, and make your sons Americans.
    • Robert Edward Lee, advice to a Confederate widow who expressed animosity towards the northern U.S. after the American Civil War, as quoted in The Life and Campaigns of General Lee (1875) by Edward Lee Childe, p. 331. Also quoted in "Will Confederate Heritage Advocates Take Robert E. Lee’s Advice?" (July 2014), by Brooks D. Simpson, Crossroads, WordPress. This quote is sometimes paraphrased as "Madam, do not train up your children in hostility to the government of the United States. Remember, we are all one country now. Dismiss from your mind all sectional feeling, and bring them up to be Americans."
  • That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.
  • When somebody says they want to fundamentally transform America, well, then you must not love America. It's like saying I'm going to fundamentally transform my wife, or my girlfriend, that means you must not love your wife or your girlfriend.
  • The spread of slavery, I can not but hate. I hate it because of the monstrous injustice of slavery itself. I hate it because it deprives our republican example of its just influence in the world—enables the enemies of free institutions, with plausibility, to taunt us as hypocrites—causes the real friends of freedom to doubt our sincerity, and especially because it forces so many really good men amongst ourselves into an open war with the very fundamental principles of civil liberty—criticising the Declaration of Independence, and insisting that there is no right principle of action but self-interest.
  • Our republican robe is soiled, and trailed in the dust. Let us repurify it. Let us turn and wash it white, in the spirit, if not the blood, of the Revolution. Let us turn slavery from its claims of “moral right,” back upon its existing legal rights, and its arguments of 'necessity'. Let us return it to the position our fathers gave it; and there let it rest in peace. Let us re-adopt the Declaration of Independence, and with it, the practices, and policy, which harmonize with it. Let north and south—let all Americans—let all lovers of liberty everywhere—join in the great and good work. If we do this, we shall not only have saved the Union; but we shall have so saved it, as to make, and to keep it, forever worthy of the saving. We shall have so saved it, that the succeeding millions of free happy people, the world over, shall rise up, and call us blessed, to the latest generations.
  • The Autocrat of all the Russias will resign his crown, and proclaim his subjects free republicans sooner than will our American masters voluntarily give up their slaves.
  • I am not a Know-Nothing. That is certain. How could I be? How can any one who abhors the oppression of negroes, be in favor of degrading classes of white people? Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that 'all men are created equal'. We now practically read it 'all men are created equal, except negroes'. 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 should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty. To Russia, for instance, where despotism can be take pure, and without the base alloy of hypocrisy.
  • We are now a mighty nation, we are thirty, or about thirty millions of people, and we own and inhabit about one‑fifteenth part of the dry land of the whole earth. We run our memory back over the pages of history for about eighty‑two years and we discover that we were then a very small people in point of numbers, vastly inferior to what we are now, with a vastly less extent of country, with vastly less of everything we deem desirable among men, we look upon the change as exceedingly advantageous to us and to our posterity, and we fix upon something that happened away back, as in some way or other being connected with this rise of prosperity. We find a race of men living in that day whom we claim as our fathers and grandfathers; they were iron men, they fought for the principle that they were contending for; and we understood that by what they then did it has followed that the degree of prosperity that we now enjoy has come to us. We hold this annual celebration to remind ourselves of all the good done in this process of time of how it was done and who did it, and how we are historically connected with it; and we go from these meetings in better humor with ourselves. We feel more attached the one to the other, and more firmly bound to the country we inhabit. In every way we are better men in the age, and race, and country in which we live for these celebrations. But after we have done all this we have not yet reached the whole.
  • There is something else connected with it. We have besides these men—descended by blood from our ancestors—among us perhaps half our people who are not descendants at all of these men, they are men who have come from Europe—German, Irish, French and Scandinavian. Men that have come from Europe themselves, or whose ancestors have come hither and settled here, finding themselves our equals in all things. If they look back through this history to trace their connection with those days by blood, they find they have none, they cannot carry themselves back into that glorious epoch and make themselves feel that they are part of us, but when they look through that old Declaration of Independence they find that those old men say that 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,' and then they feel that that moral sentiment taught in that day evidences their relation to those men, that it is the father of all moral principle in them, and that they have a right to claim it as though they were blood of the blood, and flesh of the flesh of the men who wrote that Declaration, and so they are. That is the electric cord in that Declaration that links the hearts of patriotic and liberty-loving men together, that will link those patriotic hearts as long as the love of freedom exists in the minds of men throughout the world.
  • Let us discard all this quibbling about this man and the other man, this race and that race and the other race being inferior and therefore they must be placed in an inferior position. Let us discard all these things, and unite as one people throughout this land, until we shall once more stand up declaring that all men are created equal.
  • One-sixth, and a little more, of the population of the United States are slaves, looked upon as property, as nothing but property. The cash value of these slaves, at a moderate estimate, is $2,000,000,000. This amount of property value has a vast influence on the minds of its owners, very naturally. The same amount of property would have an equal influence upon us if owned in the north. Human nature is the same, people at the south are the same as those at the north, barring the difference in circumstances. Public opinion is founded, to a great extent, on a property basis. What lessons the value of property is opposed, what enhances its value is favored. Public opinion at the south regards slaves as property and insists upon treating them like other property.
  • Look at the magnitude of this subject! One sixth of our population, in round numbers, not quite one sixth, and yet more than a seventh, about one sixth of the whole population of the United States are slaves! The owners of these slaves consider them property. The effect upon the minds of the owners is that of property, and nothing else, it induces them to insist upon all that will favorably affect its value as property, to demand laws and institutions and a public policy that shall increase and secure its value, and make it durable, lasting and universal. The effect on the minds of the owners is to persuade them that there is no wrong in it. The slaveholder does not like to be considered a mean fellow, for holding that species of property, and hence he has to struggle within himself and sets about arguing himself into the belief that Slavery is right. The property influences his mind.
  • One section of our country believes slavery is right and ought to be extended, while the other believes it is wrong and ought not to be extended. This is the only substantial dispute.
  • This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing Government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it.
  • All persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; and the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom.
  • Afterward, Vogel invited the audience to come up and be photographed with the re-enactors. I didn't go. I was content just to look down the Mall on that beautiful day, now becoming comfortably warmer. Beyond the reflecting pools, behind the Washington Monument, I could see parts of the Grant sculptures and the wings of the Capitol behind them. It was all very imposing, as befits a great nation. In the aftermath of the morning's program, I was free to imagine, now that we let ourselves remember all of Lincoln's Second Inaugural, what if the United States could live up to its moral implications? What if we did construct a society with no unrequited toil? What if we did achieve a just and lasting peace with all nations? An impossible dream? Well, it was a patriotic occasion, and at a place where dreams have been dreamed before.
  • It is the night-black Massachusetts legendry which packs the really macabre 'kick', Here is the material for a really profound study in group neuroticism; for certainly, no one can deny the existence of a profoundly morbid streak in the Puritan imagination....The very pre-ponderance of passionately pious men in the colony was virtually an assurance of unnatural crime; insomuch as psychology now proves the religious instinct to be a form of transmuted eroticism precisely parallel to the transmutations in other directions which respectively produce such things as sadism, hallucination, melancholia, and other mental morbidities. Bunch together a group of people deliberately chosen for strong religious feelings, and you have a practical guarantee of dark morbidities expressed in crime, perversion, and insanity. This was aggravated, of course, by the Puritan policy of rigorously suppressing all the natural outlets of excuberant feeling--music, laughter, colour, pageantry, and so on. To observe Christmas Day was once a prison offence....
  • Americans never quit.
    • Douglas MacArthur, as president of the American Olympic committee when the manager of the American boxing team in the 1928 Olympic games wanted to withdraw the team because of what he thought was an unfair decision against an American boxer; reported in The New York Times (9 August 1928), p. 13.
  • The highest number to which, according to the best computation, a standing army can be carried in any country, does not exceed one hundredth part of the whole number of souls; or one twenty-fifth part of the number able to bear arms. This proportion 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 of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for the 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. Those who are best acquainted with the late successful resistance of this country against the British arms will be most inclined to deny the possibility of it. Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. Notwithstanding the military establishments of the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.
  • It is a settled policy of America, that as peace is better than war, war is better than tribute. The United States, while they wish for war with no nation, will buy peace with none.
    • James Madison, letter to Wolcott Chauncy and William Shaler, summarizing the Treaty of 1815, which ended the Second Barbary War and, with it, the practice of the U.S. government paying tribute to pirate states, as quoted in History and Present Condition of Tripoli: With Some Accounts of the Other Barbary States" by Robert Greenhow, published by T.W. White, 1835, page 46.
  • The United States, having been the first to abolish within the extent of their authority the transportation of the natives of Africa into slavery, by prohibiting the introduction of slaves and by punishing their citizens participating in the traffic, cannot but be gratified at the progress made by concurrent efforts of other nations toward a general suppression of so great an evil.
  • I am proud that I am an American citizen of Japanese ancestry, for my very background makes me appreciate more fully the wonderful advantages of this nation. I believe in her institutions, ideals, and traditions. I glory in her heritage, I boast of her history. I trust in her future. She has granted me liberties and opportunities such as no individual enjoys in this world today. She has given me an education befitting kings. She has entrusted me with the responsibilities of the franchise. She has permitted me to build a home, to earn a livelihood, to worship, think, speak, and act as I please, as a free man equal to every other man. Although some individuals may discriminate against me, I shall never become bitter or lose faith, for I know that such persons are not representative of the majority of the American people. True, I shall do all in my power to discourage such practices, but I shall do it in the American way. Above board, in the open, through courts of law, by education, by proving myself to be worthy of equal treatment and consideration.
  • I am firm in my belief that American sportsmanship and attitude of fair play will judge citizenship and patriotism on the basis of action and achievement, and not on the basis of physical characteristics. Because I believe in America, and I trust she believes in me, and because I have received innumerable benefits from her, I pledge myself to do honor to her at all times and all places, to defend her against all enemies, foreign and domestic, to actively assume my duties and obligations as a citizen, cheerfully and without any reservations whatsoever, in the hope that I may become a better American in a greater America.
  • The thing with American identity is that it is both very, very politicized and not as cemented as that of Europe, England, France, Germany, Russia. They have a millennium of history, of social developments, of cohesion and solidarity and moving forward as one nation, far more homogeneous than America. The U.S. is not yet 300. We came into being right as the global economy shifted from the time-honored agrarian-cottage system into industrialism and capitalism. Our population is shaped by immigration and lingual diversity. We have that whole thrice-damned race thing. We have different religions, and allegiances to heritages long, long forgotten.
  • Why should I, an American who places that identity above all others, identify with a land that hadn't really been Jewish since the Roman expulsions of the second century?
  • American culture surrounds me, and is much more familiar to me than Jewishness, towards which I have no real affinity. American Jews have, like most other ethnicities, melted into the great American cultural fabric.
  • As for ethnic identity, that is something that cannot exist in a state of assimilation. I am a fourth-generation descendant of immigrants on my mothers side; my grandmother was born here, in the United States. I was raised as an American, by Americans, in America. I feel far more at home at my Thanksgiving table.
  • I am no son of David, nor a member of the tribe. I have no god, and no homeland save the United States of America.
  • Some people are ignorant, hateful, stupid assholes, and you can't fix stupid. We've managed to make it socially unacceptable, but there are always going to be idiots who hold unjustified racist attitudes towards others. Such is life in America.
  • America. The land of freedom, where Chevy trucks drive up mountains in the main with a ton of gravel while eagles drone the terrorists to the sound of country-rock. The land of unabashed capitalism. The country that was first to be of the people, and for the people, so long as those people were white property owners who lived in America rather than in Britain.
  • America will never accept white privilege because, in their heart of hearts, black people are still them uppity slaves who haven't had the good decency to leave. Simultaneously, they sincerely believe racism was ended by Saint Martin the fool. This is in spite of the fact that White America's national sport is finding new ways to avoid and live away from black people. Essentially, the entire philosophical basis of America is one based in white domination under a liberal facade, over the corpse of the Indian and the broken back of the black; to fix white privilege, or to even get the white to acknowledge it, would either require a total revolution in American society or would require a scenario in which whites acknowledge privilege because they are the blatant, 'superior' elite. I'm sure Dixiecrats accepted white privilege, because to them, that was their birthright. But asking a post-MLK white America, one which has taken the blue pill of pretend racial harmony, to acknowledge the state of affairs is like trying to make the sun rise in the West and set in the East.
  • I'm American. We have no kings, the slaver-nobles are long gone, and that's the way it is. If I lived in Europe, I'd probably be eulogizing over Oliver Cromwell and Carlos Hugo de Borbon-Parma. Liberty is lovely.
  • Liberalism is incredibly overrated, as it has been since 1789. I much prefer the more sober American strain, but even that has its fall-backs. Mainly the failure to abolish slavery.
  • We are Americans first, Americans last, Americans always. Let us argue our differences. But remember we are not enemies, but comrades in a war against a real enemy, and take courage from the knowledge that our military superiority is matched only by the superiority of our ideals, and our unconquerable love for them.
  • Through the violence, chaos and heartache of war, through deprivation and cruelty and loss, we are always Americans, and different, stronger and better than those who would destroy us.
    • John Sidney McCain, as quoted in "Bin Laden's death and the debate over torture" (11 May 2011), The Washington Post.
  • By the time of the Gettysburg Address, in November 1863, the North was fighting for a 'new birth of freedom' to transform the Constitution written by the founding fathers, under which the United States had become the world's largest slaveholding country, into a charter of emancipation for a republic where, as the northern version of 'The Battle Cry of Freedom' put it, 'Not a man shall be a slave'.
  • The administration has said that Iraq has no right to stockpile chemical or biological weapons, mainly because they have used them in the past. Well, if that's the standard by which these matters are decided, then the U.S. is the nation that set the precedent. The U.S. has stockpiled these same weapons and more for over forty years.
  • The truth is, the U.S. has set the standard when it comes to the stockpiling and use of weapons of mass destruction.
  • When a U.S. plane or cruise missile is used to bring destruction to a foreign people, this nation rewards the bombers with applause and praise. What a convenient way to absolve these killers of any responsibility for the destruction they leave in their wake.
  • Whether you wish to admit it or not, when you approve, morally, of the bombing of foreign targets by the U.S. military, you are approving of acts morally equivalent to the bombing in Oklahoma City.
  • America - a conservative country without any conservative ideology-appears now before the world a naked and arbitrary power, as, in the name of realism, its men of decision enforce their often crackpot definitions upon world reality. The second-rate mind is in command of the ponderously spoken platitude. In the liberal rhetoric, vagueness, and in the conservative mood, irrationality, are raised to principle. Public relations and the official secret, the trivializing campaign and the terrible fact clumsily accomplished, are replacing the reasoned debate of political ideas in the privately incorporated economy, the military ascendancy, and the political vacuum of modern America.
  • In the United States… a handful of corporations centralize decisions and responsibilities that are relevant for military and political as well as economic developments of global significance. For nowadays the military and the political cannot be separated from economic considerations of power. We now live not in an economic order or a political order, but in a political economy that is closely linked with military institutions and decisions. This is obvious in the repeated "oil crisis" in the Middle East, or in the relevance of Southeast Asia and African resources for the Western powers…
  • The American elite does not have any real image of peace — other than as an uneasy interlude existing precariously by virtue of the balance of mutual fright. The only seriously accepted plan for peace is the full loaded pistol. In short, war or a high state of war-preparedness is felt to be the normal and seemingly permanent condition of the United States.
  • In America, we vote, we decide as a group of people what our policies are, and that's the way we do business. We don't let violence make those determinations for us.
  • Far from there being a consensus on the acceptance of slavery, sectional differences between the north and the south about the practice of it existed, and were subject of political contentions, from the beginning of the American nation!
  • We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America. There is not a liberal America and a conservative America. There is the United States of America. There is not a black America and a white America and Latino America and Asian America. There's the United States of America.
  • America has never come easy. Our freedom, our democracy, has never been easy. Sometimes we stumble; we make mistakes. We get frustrated or discouraged. But for more than two hundred years, we have put those things aside and placed our collective shoulder to the wheel of progress: to create and build and expand the possibilities of individual achievement; to free other nations from tyranny and fear; to promote justice and fairness and equality under the law, so that the words set to paper by our founders are made real for every citizen. The America we want for our kids. A rising America where honest work is plentiful and communities are strong; where prosperity is widely shared and opportunity for all lets us go as far as our dreams and toil will take us. None of it is easy.
  • My fellow Americans, we are and always will be a nation of immigrants. We were strangers once, too. And whether our forebears were strangers who crossed the Atlantic, or the Pacific, or the Rio Grande, we are here only because this country welcomed them in, and taught them that to be an American is about something more than what we look like, or what our last names are, or how we worship. What makes us Americans is our shared commitment to an ideal, that all of us are created equal, and all of us have the chance to make of our lives what we will. That’s the country our parents and grandparents and generations before them built for us. That’s the tradition we must uphold. That’s the legacy we must leave for those who are yet to come.
  • What could more profoundly vindicate the idea of America than plain and humble people? Unsung, the downtrodden, the dreamers not of high station, not born to wealth or privilege, not of one religious tradition but many, coming together to shape their country’s course? What greater expression of faith in the American experiment than this, what greater form of patriotism is there than the belief that America is not yet finished, that we are strong enough to be self-critical, that each successive generation can look upon our imperfections and decide that it is in our power to remake this nation to more closely align with our highest ideals?
    • Barack H. Obama II, as quoted in "Remarks by the President at the 50th Anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery Marches at Edmund Pettus Bridge" (7 March 2015), by B.H. Obama II, Selma, Alabama.
  • Our work is never done. The American experiment in self-government gives work and purpose to each generation.
    • Barack H. Obama II, as quoted in "Remarks by the President at the 50th Anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery Marches at Edmund Pettus Bridge" (7 March 2015), by B.H. Obama II, Selma, Alabama.
  • But today, more than 150 years after the Emancipation Proclamation, more than 50 years after the end of 'separate but equal', when it comes to getting an education, too many of our young people just can’t be bothered. Today, instead of walking miles every day to school, they're sitting on couches for hours playing video games, watching T.V. Instead of dreaming of being a teacher or a lawyer or a business leader, they're fantasizing about being a baller or a rapper. Right now, one in three African American students are dropping out of high school. Only one in five African Americans between the ages of 25 and 29 has gotten a college degree; one in five.
  • The American political system is like a gigantic Mexican Christmas fiesta. Each political party is a huge piñata — a papier-mâché donkey, for example. The donkey is filled with full employment, low interest rates, affordable housing, comprehensive medical benefits, a balanced budget and other goodies. The American voter is blindfoled and given a stick. The voter then swings the stick wildly in every direction, trying to hit a political candidate on the head and knock some sense into the silly bastard.
  • Wherever there's injustice, oppression, and suffering, America will show up six months late and bomb the country next to where it's happening.
    • P. J. O'Rourke, as quoted in Peace Kills: America's Fun New Imperialism (2004).
  • Muslims and Arabs have long memories. Americans, unfortunately, have very short memories, and they don't remember our foreign policy that may have antagonized.
  • Despite what Obama says, racism is not passed along in DNA through the generations. If that were the case, America wouldn't be the tolerant, multi-racial country it is today. Yes, America, like the vast majority of the rest of the world, at one time participated in slavery. While the sin of slavery is not justified, it is important to acknowledge that the sin of slavery isn't a uniquely American sin, but rather one of mankind throughout the course of history. Further, owning slaves is not a sin unique to white people; in fact, black Africans sold other blacks into slavery, and still do today. Slavery is uniquely human, but societies and countries that respect human dignity, like America, have stopped the horrifying practice. America had the dignity to end slavery through a civil war and has since moved forward to correct wrongs with the civil rights movement, affirmative action, legislation, popular culture and much more. Institutional racism is no longer prevalent in the ways the left claims. Obama, elected twice by American voters, is black, as is former Attorney General Eric Holder and current Attorney General Loretta Lynch. There are a number of blacks serving in the U.S. Congress, including Republican Senator Tim Scott and Congresswoman Mia Love, Utah. The likes of Oprah Winfrey and Beyoncé are business and pop culture icons. Look around the world and you'll find that America is the most tolerant and open society on earth. The World Values Survey shows India, not the United States, is in fact the most racist country with a class system. The same survey has shown for years that Americans are among the least racist in the world and therefore are the most tolerant. Do racists exist in this country? Of course they do. Is their racism sanctioned by the government and celebrated by fellow citizens? Absolutely not. In fact, the Charleston shooter, who I refuse to name, told friends he felt isolated and alone in his evil, racist views. That's a silver lining. As a society we have corrected many of the wrongs of slavery and racism, the individuals who have not corrected their racist views are an innumerable minority roundly and strongly condemned by the rest of society. The Charleston shooter’s feelings about race are the exception, not the rule, in this country. This is demonstrated by the response in Charleston of blacks and whites holding hands and coming together, not apart, to honor the memory of those who were killed. America isn't a racist country, not even close, and it certainly isn't a 'white supremacist' society. The left falsely saying so promotes not progress but division. American history includes slavery and racism, but its current status and future as a whole does not. The people who lost loved ones at Emanuel AME Church have forgiven their killer. It's time the left does the same with America for her long past sins.
  • Under the banner of the American flag, there have been brutal injustices, including slavery, the systematic destruction of Native Americans, the imprisonment of Japanese Americans and the disenfranchisement of women. But due to other, far-nobler attributes of the United States of America, and the heroic sacrifices of the Americans who carried the flag into battle, the 'Star Spangled Banner' symbolizes freedom, liberty and equality all over the world.
  • I've lived in a number of countries, western and otherwise, and there's always an element of ethnic and/or heritage-based nationalism in those places. Take Denmark for example, lovely country, number one on global happiness rankings, etc. Everyone there is always very polite to non-Danes. But no matter how polite they are, you're always a non-Dane to them, regardless of your skin color. It's the same in most other places. You can't 'be one of them' unless you've always been one of them. America is the only place I know of where the residents, not all of course, but many, will consider people who weren't born here to be Americans. In my mind, the only social criteria for being an American is to be here, and to want to be one. Born in India? China? Nigeria? Get a visa, come to America, and tell me you're an American. That's it. Done deal. You're my countryman. Whether part of that sentiment is from a level if ignorance or unfamiliarity with the world is beside the point.
  • My wife is Chinese, and she similarly struggled with this concept at first. I casually mentioned to her at some point that I considered her American, and she was like, 'but I'm not American, I'm Chinese'. I told her, 'You were born in China, but you live in America, you work in America, and you like America. You can still be Chinese if you want, but you're American too'. 'But China doesn't allow dual citizenship'. 'This has nothing to do with your passport. I consider you American. Pretty much all your coworkers and random people on the street consider you American too'. 'But I have an accent...' 'You're American now whether you like it or not.' She did. It was very interesting for me to see how foreign a concept that was for her.
  • I love our flag, our constitution, and our country, with a love that has no bounds. I defended all three for 35 years as a soldier and was willing to give my life in their defense. Americans revere their flag as a symbol of the nation.
  • Far from being the Great Satan, I would say that we are the Great Protector. We have sent men and women from the armed forces of the United States to other parts of the world throughout the past century to put down oppression. We defeated Fascism. We defeated Communism. We saved Europe in World War I and World War II. We were willing to do it, glad to do it. We went to Korea. We went to Vietnam. All in the interest of preserving the rights of people. And when all those conflicts were over, what did we do? Did we stay and conquer? Did we say, 'Okay, we defeated Germany. Now Germany belongs to us? We defeated Japan, so Japan belongs to us'? No. What did we do? We built them up. We gave them democratic systems which they have embraced totally to their soul. And did we ask for any land? No. The only land we ever asked for was enough land to bury our dead, and that is the kind of nation we are.
  • Well, the correct answer is, he is not a Muslim, he's a Christian. He's always been a Christian. But the really right answer is, what if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer's no, that's not America.
  • In America, Jews live in unprecedented equality and security, and America is Israel's defender. The reason is not just that America is so tolerant a society. America does not merely tolerate Jews and Judaism, it honors them. It does so in large part because the United States is the only country that has long defined itself as Judeo-Christian. There are Christian countries, secular countries, and Muslim countries, but America is the only Judeo-Christian country.
  • America-hatred has become a moral litmus test of nations, regimes, and individuals. America represents freedom, a higher quality of life, and a willingness to fight for its values. These qualities are despised by regimes characterized by tyranny and socioeconomic failure, and by individuals in the west who support such regimes or who wish to denigrate America for reasons akin to those of antisemites in their denigration of Jews. With all its flaws, America alone stands between democracy and the ascent of tyranny throughout the world.
  • It is small surprise that among tyrannical regimes and their defenders, America and Israel are so often identified as the same enemy. This is not merely a consequence of America's standing along behind Israel; the Untied States has aided various Arab countries very generously, and it has on some critical occasions backed Arab regimes, such as Nasser's Egypt in 1956 and Saudi Arabia in 1981, against Israel. The hostility is aroused largely because America and Israel represent democracy, equal rights for women, a higher quality of life, and a willingness to confront despotism. That is why the two non-Muslim countries that have suffered the heaviest lossest from Islamic suicide murderers are Israel and the United States.
  • Yet despite all this hatred, America remains the dreamed-for haven of the world's oppressed; and Israel remains and embattled democracy in the midst of authoritarian states, and the birthplace of the kibbutz to which tens of thousands of youth from around the world have turned for a living lesson in human equality. America today with all its imperfections represents a model of something better, fighting for its ideals and in so doing constituting a moral challenge to others.
  • When the thirteen stripes and stars first appeared at Canton, much curiosity was excited among the people. News was circulated that a strange ship had arrived from the further end of the world, bearing a flag 'as beautiful as a flower'. Every body went to see the kwa kee chuen, or 'flower flagship'. This name at once established itself in the language, and America is now called the kwa kee kwoh, the 'flower flag country', and an American, kwa kee kwoh yin, 'flower flag countryman', a more complimentary designation than that of 'red headed barbarian', the name first bestowed upon the Dutch.
    • George Henry Preble, as quoted in "Curiosa Sinica" (15 June 1843), by Choong Kwoh, The Boston Courier.
  • A nation which, since its founding, has rejected the idea of hereditary entitlements. Slavery and racial discrimination are exceptions to this tradition. Huge, horrific exceptions, but exceptions nonetheless. For all the hypocrisies and bigotries of its citizens and leaders, the United States does promise liberty, equality and justice. The gap between these promises and realities often yaws wide, but the promises abide. They are part of the 'American Dream', the 'American Creed', and the American 'civil religion', which no amount of 'realism' or cynicism seems able to smother.
  • Imbued with Christianity and the American Creed, most black Americans rejected the appeals of socialists in the late nineteenth century, Communists in the 1930s, and neo-Marxist 'liberationists' in the 1960s. Rather, when America's unpaid 'promissory note' came due in the 1950s and 1960s, they marched forth from Christian churches to demand fulfillment of the very American promise that 'all men are created equal'. And faith in the redeemability of America's promises remains in the African-American community today, sustaining efforts to overcome continued segregation, unjust incarceration and enduring economic inequality.
  • Much has been said about the shocking 'militarization' of the police, and how this seemed to many like a provocation. Police in Ferguson were encased in armor that one veteran remarked was heavier than anything he wore in Iraq, and now the cry has gone up. Demilitarize the police! Take away their MRAPs, their forest camouflage, and all the paraphernalia of intimidation that accompanies them into battle. Representative Alan Grayson introduced legislation, shortly before Ferguson exploded, that would have ended the Pentagon program which funneled this gear into local police departments, but it was voted down. Several newer versions are in the works, and a good thing too, but this is attacking the symptoms rather than the disease. The disease is imperialism, otherwise known as U.S. foreign policy. The underlying condition is the American empire, an international regime of terror and exploitation which cannot be expected to treat its own citizens much better than it treats its overseas subjects. How on earth did we ever expect otherwise?
  • The defense policy of the United States is based on a simple premise. The United States does not start fights. We will never be an aggressor. We maintain our strength in order to deter and defend against aggression; to preserve freedom and peace.
  • Blood that has soaked into the sands of a beach is all of one color. America stands unique in the world, the only country not founded on race but on a way, an ideal. Not in spite of but because of our polyglot background, we have had all the strength in the world. That is the American way.
    • Ronald Wilson Reagan on 10 August 1988, while signing the Bill Providing Restitution for the Wartime Internment of Japanese-American Civilians, quoting himself at the funeral of Kazuo Masuda in December 1945.
  • It is the highest duty of every American citizen to maintain against all their enemies the integrity of the Union and the paramount authority of the constitution and laws of the United States.
  • Immigration, which in the past has added so much to the wealth, development of resources and increase of power to the nation, the asylum of the oppressed of all nations, should be fostered and encouraged by a liberal and just policy.
  • The people of the United States can never regard with indifference the attempt of any European power to overthrow by force or to supplant by fraud the institutions of any republican government on the western continent and that they will view with extreme jealousy, as menacing to the peace and independence of their own country, the efforts of any such power to obtain new footholds for monarchical government, sustained by foreign military force, in near proximity to the United States.
  • We condemn bigots who inject class, racial and religious prejudice into public and political matters. Bigotry is un-American and a danger to the republic. We deplore the duplicity and insincerity of the party in power in racial and religious matters. Although they have been in office as a 'Majority Party' for many years, they have not kept nor do they intend to keep their promises. The Republican Party will not mislead, exploit or attempt to confuse minority groups for political purposes. All American citizens are entitled to full, impartial enforcement of Federal laws relating to their civil rights. We believe that it is the primary responsibility of each State to order and control its own domestic institutions, and this power, reserved to the states, is essential to the maintenance of our Federal Republic. However, we believe that the Federal Government should take supplemental action within its constitutional jurisdiction to oppose discrimination against race, religion or national origin..
  • This nation was created to give expression, validity and purpose to our spiritual heritage—the supreme worth of the individual. In such a nation—a nation dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal—racial discrimination has no place. It can hardly be reconciled with a Constitution that guarantees equal protection under law to all persons. In a deeper sense, too, it is immoral and unjust. As to those matters within reach of political action and leadership, we pledge ourselves unreservedly to its eradication.
  • Equality under law promises more than the equal right to vote and transcends mere relief from discrimination by government. It becomes a reality only when all persons have equal opportunity, without distinction of race, religion, color or national origin, to acquire the essentials of life—housing, education and employment. The Republican Party—the party of Abraham Lincoln—from its very beginning has striven to make this promise a reality. It is today, as it was then, unequivocally dedicated to making the greatest amount of progress toward the objective.
  • America must advance freedom throughout the world as a vital condition of orderly human progress, universal justice, and the security of the American people.
  • Believe that America can overcome any problem, including the dreaded disease called AIDS. We believe that America is still a country where there is more to life than just a constant struggle for money, and we believe that America must have leaders who show us that our struggles amount to something and contribute to something larger, leaders who want us to be all that we can be.
  • Both Socrates and Christ taught economic man to be at least slightly ashamed of himself when he failed to sacrifice the lower capacity to the higher. Freud is America’s great teacher, despite his ardent wish to avoid that fate. For it was precisely the official and parental shams of high ideals that Freud questioned. In their stead, Freud taught lessons which Americans, prepared by their own national experience, learn easily: survive, resign yourself to living within your moral means, suffer no gratuitous failures in a futile search for ethical heights that no longer exist—if they ever did.
    • Philip Rieff, The Triumph of the Therapeutic (1966), chapter 2.
  • We are a nation of many nationalities, many races, many religions, bound together by a single unity, the unity of freedom and equality. Whoever seeks to set one nationality against another, seeks to degrade all nationalities. Whoever seeks to set one race against another seeks to enslave all races. Whoever seeks to set one religion against another, seeks to destroy all religion.
    • Franklin D. Roosevelt, campaign address, Brooklyn, New York (1 November 1940); The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1940 (1941), p. 53.
  • A life of slothful ease, a life of that peace which springs merely from lack either of desire or of power to strive after great things, is as little worthy of a nation as of an individual. I ask only that what every self-respecting American demands from himself and from his sons shall be demanded of the American nation as a whole. Who among you would teach your boys that ease, that peace, is to be the first Consideration in their eyes-to be the ultimate goal after which they strive?
  • Thank God for the iron in the blood of our fathers, the men who upheld the wisdom of Lincoln, and bore sword or rifle in the armies of Grant! Let us, the children of the men who proved themselves equal to the mighty days, let us, the children of the men who carried the great Civil War to a triumphant conclusion, praise the God of our fathers that the ignoble counsels of peace were rejected; that the suffering and loss, the blackness of sorrow and despair, were unflinchingly faced, and the years of strife endured; for in the end the slave was freed, the Union restored, and the mighty American republic placed once more as a helmeted queen among nations.
  • No country can long endure if its foundations are not laid deep in the material prosperity which comes from thrift, from business energy and enterprise, from hard, unsparing effort in the fields of industrial activity; but neither was any nation ever yet truly great if it relied upon material prosperity alone. All honor must be paid to the architects of our material prosperity, to the great captains of industry who have built our factories and our railroads, to the strong men who toil for wealth with brain or hand; for great is the debt of the nation to these and their kind. But our debt is yet greater to the men whose highest type is to be found in a statesman like Lincoln, a soldier like Ulysses S. Grant. They showed by their lives that they recognized the law of work, the law of strife; they toiled to win a competence for themselves and those dependent upon them; but they recognized that there were yet other and even loftier duties—duties to the nation.
  • We cannot, if we would, play the part of China, and be content to rot by inches in ignoble ease within our borders, taking no interest in what goes on beyond them, sunk in a scrambling commercialism; heedless of the higher life, the life of aspiration, of toil and risk, busying ourselves only with the wants of our bodies for the day, until suddenly we should find, beyond a shadow of question, what China has already found, that in this world the nation that has trained itself to a career of un-warlike and isolated ease is bound, in the end, to go down before other nations which have not lost the manly and adventurous qualities. If we are to be a really great people, we must strive in good faith to play a great part in the world.
  • No country can long endure if its foundations are not laid deep in the material prosperity which comes from thrift, from business energy and enterprise, from hard, unsparing effort in the fields of industrial activity; but neither was any nation ever yet truly great if it relied upon material prosperity alone. All honor must be paid to the architects of our material prosperity, to the great captains of industry who have built our factories and our railroads, to the strong men who toil for wealth with brain or hand; for great is the debt of the nation to these and their kind. But our debt is yet greater to the men whose highest type is to be found in a statesman like Lincoln, a soldier like Grant. They showed by their lives that they recognized the law of work, the law of strife; they toiled to win a competence for themselves and those dependent upon them; but they recognized that there were yet other and even loftier duties—duties to the nation.
  • The problems are different for the different islands. Puerto Rico is not large enough to stand alone. We must govern it wisely and well, primarily in the interest of its own people. Cuba is, in my judgment, entitled ultimately to settle for itself whether it shall be an independent state or an integral portion of the mightiest of republics. But until order and stable liberty are secured, we must remain in the island to insure them, and infinite tact, judgment, moderation, and courage must be shown by our military and civil representatives in keeping the island pacified, in relentlessly stamping out brigandage, in protecting all alike, and yet in showing proper recognition to the men who have fought for Cuban liberty.
  • As a people we claim the right to speak with peculiar emphasis for freedom and for fair treatment of all men without regard to differences of race, fortune, creed, or color. We forfeit the right so to speak when we commit or condone such crimes as these of which I speak. The nation, like the individual, cannot commit a crime with impunity. If we are guilty of lawlessness and brutal violence, whether our guilt consists in active participation therein or in mere connivance and encouragement, we shall assuredly suffer later on because of what we have done.
  • The cornerstone of this republic, as of all free governments, is respect for and obedience to the law. Where we permit the law to be defied or evaded, whether by rich man or poor man, by black man or white, we are by just so much weakening the bonds of our civilization and increasing the chances of its overthrow, and of the substitution therefore of a system in which there shall be violent alternations of anarchy and tyranny.
  • There are good men and bad men of all nationalities, creeds and colors; and if this world of ours is ever to become what we hope some day it may become, it must be by the general recognition that the man's heart and soul, the man's worth and actions, determine his standing.
  • It is unwise to depart from the old American tradition and discriminate for or against any man who desires to come here and become a citizen, save on the ground of that man's fitness for citizenship. ... We can not afford to consider whether he is Catholic or Protestant, Jew or Gentile; whether he is Englishman or Irishman, Frenchman or German, Japanese, Italian, or Scandinavian, or Magyar. What we should desire to find out is the individual quality of the individual man.
    • Theodore Roosevelt, message to the U.S. Congress (1905). As quoted in The Business of Transatlantic Migration between Europe and the United States, 1900–1914 (2012), by Drew Keeling, p. 161.
  • America opened the greatest era in world history. Four centuries have passed since the Spaniards began that colonization on the main land which has resulted in the growth of the nations of Latin America. Three centuries have passed since, with the settlements on the coasts of Virginia and Massachusetts, the real history of what is now the United States began. All this we ultimately owe to the action of an Italian seaman in the service of a Spanish King and a Spanish Queen. It is eminently fitting that one of the largest and most influential social organizations of this great republic, a republic in which the tongue is English, and the blood derived from many sources, should, in its name, commemorate the great Italian. It is eminently fitting to make an address on Americanism.
  • We are a new and distinct nationality. We are developing our own distinctive culture and civilization, and the worth of this civilization will largely depend upon our determination to keep it distinctively our own. Our sons and daughters should be educated here and not abroad. We should freely take from every other nation whatever we can make of use, but we should adopt and develop to our own peculiar needs what we thus take, and never be content merely to copy.
  • Our nation was founded to perpetuate democratic principles. These principles are that each man is to be treated on his worth as a man without regard to the land from which his forefathers came and without regard to the creed which he professes. If the United States proves false to these principles of civil and religious liberty, it will have inflicted the greatest blow on the system of free popular government that has ever been inflicted.
  • What is true of creed is no less true of nationality. There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. When I refer to hyphenated Americans, I do not refer to naturalized Americans. Some of the very best Americans I have ever known were naturalized Americans, Americans born abroad. But a hyphenated American is not an American at all. This is just as true of the man who puts 'native' before the hyphen as of the man who puts German or Irish or English or French before the hyphen. Americanism is a matter of the spirit and of the soul. Our allegiance must be purely to the United States. We must unsparingly condemn any man who holds any other allegiance. But if he is heartily and singly loyal to this republic, then no matter where he was born, he is just as good an American as anyone else.
  • In my cabinet at the time there were men of English and French, German, Irish, and Dutch blood, men born on this side and men born in Germany and Scotland; but they were all Americans and nothing else; and every one of them was incapable of thinking of himself or of his fellow-countrymen, excepting in terms of American citizenship. If any one of them had anything in the nature of a dual or divided allegiance in his soul, he never would have been appointed to serve under me, and he would have been instantly removed when the discovery was made. There wasn't one of them who was capable of desiring that the policy of the United States should be shaped with reference to the interests of any foreign country or with consideration for anything, outside of the general welfare of humanity, save the honor and interest of the United States, and each was incapable of making any discrimination whatsoever among the citizens of the country he served, of our common country, save discrimination based on conduct and on conduct alone.
  • For an American citizen to vote as a German-American, an Irish-American, or an English-American, is to be a traitor to American institutions; and those hyphenated Americans who terrorize American politicians by threats of the foreign vote are engaged in treason to the American Republic.
  • The foreign-born population of this country must be an Americanized population. No other kind can fight the battles of America either in war or peace. It must talk the language of its native-born fellow-citizens; it must possess American citizenship and American ideals. It must stand firm by its oath of allegiance in word and deed and must show that in very fact it has renounced allegiance to every prince, potentate, or foreign government. It must be maintained on an American standard of living so as to prevent labor disturbances in important plants and at critical times. None of these objects can be secured as long as we have immigrant colonies, ghettos, and immigrant sections, and above all they cannot be assured so long as we consider the immigrant only as an industrial asset. The immigrant must not be allowed to drift or to be put at the mercy of the exploiter.
  • As a people we must be united. If we are not united we shall slip into the gulf of measureless disaster. We must be strong in purpose for our own defense and bent on securing justice within our borders. If as a nation we are split into warring camps, if we teach our citizens not to look upon one another as brothers but as enemies divided by the hatred of creed for creed or of those of one race against those of another race, surely we shall fail and our great democratic experiment on this continent will go down in crushing overthrow.
  • All of us, no matter from what land our parents came, no matter in what way we may severally worship our Creator, must stand shoulder to shoulder in a united America for the elimination of race and religious prejudice. We must stand for a reign of equal justice to both big and small. We must insist on the maintenance of the American standard of living.
  • Americanism means the virtues of courage, honor, justice, truth, sincerity, and hardihood—the virtues that made America. The 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 Roosevelt, letter to S. Stanwood Menken, chairman, committee on Congress of Constructive Patriotism (10 January 1917). Roosevelt’s sister, Mrs. Douglas Robinson, read the letter to a national meeting, January 26, 1917. Reported in Proceedings of the Congress of Constructive Patriotism, Washington, D.C., January 25–27, 1917 (1917), p. 172.
  • 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. If he tries to keep segregated with men of his own origin and separated from the rest of America, then he isn't doing his part as 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, for we intend to see that the crucible turns our people out as Americans, of American nationality, and not as dwellers in a polyglot boarding-house; and we have room for but one soul loyalty, and that is loyalty to the American people.
  • In a free society, the citizens are armed and the police are disarmed. In a police state, the police are armed and the citizens are disarmed. Make no mistake about it, politicians and professors who are advocates of 'gun control' are partisans of a police state. They want America to be more like Germany, not like America.
  • The United States' prison population has just passed the two million mark. As recently as ten years ago, there were only one million inmates in American prisons. Although many new prisons have been built, even the new ones tend to be overcrowded. The United States may or may not have surpassed Russia as having the largest per capita prison population in the world. Much of the prison population is due to the 'War on Drugs'. Sixty percent of federal prisoners are now drug offenders. Since drugs are illegal but popular, this has created the same kind of crime wave that was seen in the 1920s under alcohol prohibition. Drive-by shootings, which can be seen in old gangster movies, became daily events in the 1980s, as newly wealthy urban gangs fought each other for neighborhood territories, with little regard for the mayhem inflicted on bystanders. Although the public naturally would like these 'gang-bangers' in prison, it is clear from the evidence of the past that much of their violence is a simple consequence of the illegality of their favored products. After prohibition was repealed, there wasn't much in the way of gang violence over alcohol. On the other hand, many prisoners are merely guilty of non-violent 'possession' offenses. The un-involved girlfriend of a drug-dealer can draw a ten year mandatory minimum sentence, more than her boyfriend, who can get a reduced sentenced as an informer. Although the U.S. Supreme Court has begun to consider that seizing someone's house because of the presence of a marijuana cigarette in it may be an 'excessive fine' in violation of the Eighth Amendment, draconian and unjust prison sentences are not considered to violate the 'cruel and unusual punishment' provision of the same amendment.
  • The public now has little sympathy for anyone defending themselves against even transparently illegal assaults by government authorities. The federal government now is precisely the kind of government that none of the Founding Fathers wanted–a centralized national government with unlimited power. No, it is no longer the land of the free. And with such citizens, it cannot be the home of the brave either. A shame and the disgrace to the Founders, it has become a home of cowardly serfs, people who have forgotten, or now perhaps have never known, what their country is all about.
  • While persons have the right to exercise their rights, like voluntary association, for good reasons, bad reasons, or no reasons, no one has the right to any action whose purpose is to perpetuate crime and escape from justice. Southern slave owners, although we may say, as Lincoln, Grant, and Sherman actually did, that they were acting in good faith, nevertheless were engaged in one of the most vile businesses of human history. Even worse, they were justifying it with a pure racism that served to all but completely dehumanize their African bondsmen. This became one of the worst poisons in American history. It had already infected constitutional law through the Dred Scott decision, which held that no black person was a citizen of the United States or had any rights that need be recognized by white people. This monstrous doctrine did not end with the Civil War. Even when the slaves were free, and their rights enshrined in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments, the Southern die-hards, given a free hand by the withdrawal of federal forces in 1877, created regimes of Jim Crow and Segregation that disenfranchised, terrorized, and oppressed black people for another century.
  • I do not pay taxes or obey many other federal and state laws except under duress, with the real and present threat of violence.
  • There was no simple and decisive 'solution' to the evil of slavery, in that the means of abolishing slavery that actually became historically available involved an exchange for hideous war dead, segregation, the promotion of federal power, and other evils. To the extent that slavery as such was decisively discredited in human history, the price may or may not have been worth it, but the price was paid and a certain decisive result was achieved. Even so, ironically, the United States is nevertheless routinely despised for having allowed slavery in the first place! And some 'civil rights' groups still demand 'reparations' for the loss of property, income, and freedom suffered by African slaves! America and Britain in particular are thus damned for an institution that they did not create, even though they both ended it, even while someone like Louis Farrakhan seeks refuge in Islam, which created the African slave trade in the first place, never condemned or abolished slavery, and which in some places still tolerates it. This is moral perversity elevated to new heights. Which is not to condemn Islam, any more than America or Britain, but just those hypocrites who don't know or don't care that Islamic law, which in principle is flexible enough, may not have quite caught up with the 20th century, or, in some cases, the 19th.
  • African Americans comprise the least number of left liberals and the highest number of libertarians. The result that African Americans comprised the least number of left liberals and the highest number of libertarians might raise some eyebrows, since it is commonly assumed, when they vote 80-90% Democratic, that black Americans are staunchly liberal, statist, and far from any kind of laissez-faire libertarianism. Of course, as historic and continuing victims of statism, African Americans should be libertarians–and perhaps they are, without realizing that the Democratic Party does not well serve their preferences.
  • According to one way of thinking, the United States never had any colonial possessions. According to another, every square inch of the United States is a colonial possession. Either view involves judgments that are not very helpful in the case. The United States is not a colonial possession itself since it is ruled by the people who are in it. That most of them, or their ancestors, originated elsewhere doesn't matter much when most human beings are not living where they or their ancestors originated. American Indians, or, as many now prefer, Native Americans, although many of them believe they are literally autochthonous, nevertheless themselves moved into the New World from East Asia. Their isolation for so long after that is nearly unique, the exception to the rule, outside of Australia, of vast human movement across Eurasia and the Pacific, even much of Africa, from prehistoric all through historic times. The colonial possessions of the United States, however, were acquired in the same era and in much the same way as the imperial possessions of the European powers or of Japan.
  • Another hot public and political issue, not just in the United States but elsewhere, as in France, is immigration. Apart from a simple xenophobic dislike of foreigners, hostility of immigrants is often based on economic ideas that immigrants, like 'cheap' foreign labor, drive down wages and take jobs away from natives. Again, however, workers qua workers are producers and labor costs are production costs. Driving down labor costs drives down production costs, which will benefit consumers, either by the reduction of prices in a competitive market or by an increase in profits which will attract competition that will also drive down prices.
  • The greatest benefit of immigration is to increase the size of the domestic free trade zone without all the uncertainties, disputes, recrimination, and misunderstandings that attend the issue of foreign free trade. This made a world superpower of a immigrant nation like the United States, as different policies on immigration and development keep immigrant nations of similar size, Canada and Australia, well back in the pack, great-power-wise. Australia almost 'protected' itself into conquest by Japan.
  • The debate over immigration in the nineties, however, still continues in a kind of vacuum of history and economics, although one may suspect that a kind of Know Nothing-ism in these areas has the same roots as the original Know Nothing Party–in xenophobia. Representative of this tangle, as it also involves issues of free trade and "cheap" foreign labor, it the relationship of the United States to Mexico.
  • All of this is so familiar from American history that there is almost no excuse for anyone not being aware of it. The peaks of American prosperity tend to correspond to peaks in immigration, while the troughs in prosperity also correspond to troughs in immigration. Thus, the greatest surge in immigration ever, between the turn of the century and World War I, which must have burdened job formation to an unparalleled extent, was also an era of unparalleled prosperity and low unemployment. On the other hand, the Great Depression occurred in an era of low immigration, and a program of suppressing immigration further and expelling aliens, especially Mexicans, nevertheless had little effect on domestic unemployment. Exceptions to this pattern are the low immigration but prosperous decades of the Twenties and the Fifties, and the high immigration but economically sluggish Seventies. Higher immigration had started during the prosperous sixties, and so someone might argue that the stagnation of the Seventies could have been due at least in part to immigration; but then prosperity returned in the Eighties without any significant or effective steps being taken against immigration.
  • Immigrants were in the United States because of greater opportunity and the chance of greater wealth. If there really wasn't greater opportunity, because of racism, people would not be coming in the first place; and if there was greater opportunity, then it must be because of some better political arrangements or social traditions than existed back in Mexico, or wherever. But a program to overturn American traditions, perpetuate ghettos of Mexican culture, or to actually return the Southwest to Mexico, reversing the decision, through reconquista, of the Mexican War, would contradict the point of moving to the United States in the first place. The only possible way to make sense of that would be some kind of Cargo Cult economics that could view the Southwest as somehow naturally rich, with wealth just there for the taking, whether by evil Yanquis or by the more deserving Chicanos. Otherwise, why flee from Mexico just to reestablish Mexico, culturally or politically, when you arrive?
  • Most Latin American immigrants, indeed, quickly become Americanized in the peculiar manner that all other immigrants become Americanized. The dynamic of American society has always been profoundly different from whatever 'Old Country' anyone has come from, whether they retain an affection for that country, its language, or anything else. Thus, one discovers that the politically explosive program of bilingual education, which was sold as a more effective means of teaching English to immigrant children but was actually administered as part of a political program to preserve a linguistic ghetto and foster the above-mentioned program of resentment and victimization, has actually not been all that popular among immigrants themselves. Immigrant parents have often requested that their children be transferred to English language classes, only to be told that this could not be done, and that it would be better for their children not to do it. The reality of the situation was also revealed when children with Spanish surnames, even if they were native speakers of English and knew not a word of Spanish, were nevertheless put in bilingual classes for Limited English Proficiency students.
  • Much American political xenophobia, then, is really not directed at the attitudes or desires of actual immigrants, but at the attitudes and agenda of a politicized class that wishes to speak for and make use of immigrants for their own domestic purposes. Unfortunately, one thing that this political class can sometimes count on is the radicalized leftist politics often to be found in Mexico and Central American countries.
  • The United States, therefore, does not have an 'immigration problem'. It has a domestic political problem with advocates of a kind of radicalized Sixties politics that has really become anti-capitalist and anti-American. Since this anti-Americanism has become a consistent, if not always dominant, theme in the Democratic Party since 1972 and has infected American politics, law, and policy to the large extent that the American people have bought into and tolerated it, the debate over immigration is not really over its real history or its economic meaning, or even its cultural meaning, when American culture simply folds in any new input into an always growing and amazing kaleidoscope, but over the identity of America itself as a place of political and economic freedom, rather than a place of paternalism and socialism, through which the political class gets to control everyone else's lives and property.
  • The Government of the United States of America ceased to be a legitimate government in 1938. This is because of a decision by the Supreme Court, United States v. Carolene Products Co. There, the Court ruled that economic regulations, in other words those laws that limit the use of private property or otherwise restrict economic freedoms, such as the right to take a job or start a business, all of which constitute 'takings' of some of the rights traditionally associated with private property and personal liberty, will simply not be reviewed or overturned by the Court so long as they have a 'rational basis'.
  • The grievances that motivated and the truths that justified the American Revolution therefore now apply to the federal government of the United States itself. It deserves the same treatment, even if that is not the best course of action.
  • People who are viewed as 'insulting' Islam are regularly threatened with violence, including death. This happens inside and outside Islamic countries, occurring in the form of legal sanctions in the former, with efforts to institutionalize such prohibitions everywhere, so that Islam could not be criticized even, for instance, in the United States.
  • But why should Americans be anti-American? The problem is ideological. Mexicans are proud of Mexico just because it is Mexico, regardless of crime, poverty, corruption, tyranny, et cetera. Mexicans wave Mexican flags at sporting events or in political demonstrations, often booing teams representing the United States or the playing of 'The Star Spangled Banner'. Many Americans, however, are squeamish about even flying, let alone waving, the American flag. Patriotism, as Dr. Johnson said, and we are often told, is the last refuge of the scoundrel.
  • The difference between Mexico and the United States is that Mexican identity has a geographical, cultural, and historical foundation, while the United States was founded entirely on the basis of certain principles and ideals, with a history believed to embody those things. The principles and ideals were the accomplishment of the Enlightenment, which especially in political terms, as recognized and advocated by Voltaire to his French readers, went back to John Locke and the Glorious Revolution of 1688. Other Enlightenment tendencies, as with Jean Jacques Rouseau, involved other ideals more in tune with later collectivism, statism, and totaliarianism. In the 19th century the priniciples of Locke and the American Revolution would become Classical Liberalism, for limited, secular government, private property, and the dignity and liberty of the individual.
  • Part of the problem, then, with the founding of America was the degree to which people would judge the country by its success, in their estimation, in living up to its ideals. All the worse if popular political ideals were to change, while American institutions remained largely those of classical liberal form. In a very significant way this is what happened.' Limited government and individualism lost favor by the beginning of the 20th century. What appeared to be progressive ideology in the 20th century was largely for absolutist, collectivist, and statist government, following the ideology of people like Hegel, who influenced the 19th century development of European governments and politics. This was bad enough, and the success of America certainly could not be favorably judged in terms of ideals alien to the spirit of her founding and development; but there would be something worse. Even the successes of America could be judged as inadequate in terms of her own ideals, with the bitter irony of a kind of Catch 22.
  • We may well ask how, by introducing a contrary principle, slavery was America's sin. Was slavery invented in America? No. Slavery had always existed everywhere. The slave trade in West Africa had not even been started by Europeans, but by Arabs. Instead of slaves being exported north across the Sahara, as they had been for centuries, Europeans bought them from the south and exported them across the Atlantic. Was slavery widely recognized as a wrong at the time of the American revolution? No. As we see in the statement of the Sultan of Morocco in 1842, it had not been prohibited by the 'Laws of any Sect'. Slavery was legal under Roman Law, Islamic Law, and, in general, in the Bible. The idea that slavery was wrong originated in the Enlightenment ideology of the American Revolution itself, with about half of the American colonies abolishing slavery during that era, and the Constitution anticipated the abolition of the slave trade in 1808. Support for slavery, of course, continued, not the least among African rulers who sold slaves, but also among slave owners who mostly had history, religion, custom, and law on their side. Did America just never do anything about slavery as time went on? No. The controversy, argued with fury and recrimination, dominated the early years of American politics, resulting in a terrible Civil War in which more than 600,000 Americans died.
  • The readiness to condemn America even for its accomplishments, as though the principles of the Declaration of Independence were immediately discredited just because they were new and faced resistance, is mainly ideological in origin. The real problem does not come with the fulfillment of the ideals, but with what the ideals were in the first place. A 'somehow, they should have known better' view of American history that is fully ahistorical and anachronistic is not a genuine independent conviction but is simply used in the service of ideals that are alien and hostile to the original form of the American project. As a rhetorical device, it condemns America both for things that it excuses in others and for failing to live up to ideals that are not respected anyway.
  • Is hating a government that has burst all constitutional boundaries and has extended its cold probing hand even into details about how much water a toilet can flush the same as being anti-American and hating the country? It is hard to know if Clinton himself even believes this.
  • Activists don't really object to police brutality or to the kinds of practices that now disgrace American law enforcement. They simply want the brutal police to be on their side rather than on the side of capitalism and America.
  • These terrorists aren't trying to kill us because we offended them. They attack us because they want to impose their view of the world on as many people as they can, and America is standing in their way. We need to make it unmistakably clear that we will do whatever it takes, for however long it takes, to defeat radical Islamic terrorism.
  • Individuals who have been wronged by unlawful racial discrimination should be made whole; but under our Constitution there can be no such thing as either a creditor or a debtor race. That concept is alien to the Constitution's focus upon the individual. ...To pursue the concept of racial entitlement - even for the most admirable and benign of purposes - is to reinforce and preserve for future mischief the way of thinking that produced race slavery, race privilege and race hatred. In the eyes of government, we are just one race here. It is American.
    • Antonin Scalia, Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Mineta, 534 U.S. 103 (1995).
  • The Union was and is perpetual. The founders intended it so. Madison's letter to Hamilton, 'The Constitution requires an adoption in toto, and for ever', during the New York ratification debates demonstrate that decisively. But on an even more profound scale, the ratification process itself demonstrates that the founders intended the permanence and strength of the Union. They had had it with powerful states. That's why the founders stated in Article VII that ratification had to happen in special conventions, not the state legislatures. If the founders had left it to the state legislatures, those legislatures would have rejected the document out of hand. But the special ratifying conventions were different. They were composed of delegates elected by 'We The People' of each state, not the state itself. In addition, the states liberalized voting rules by getting rid of the property qualifications. This was a special one-time-only thing in order to ensure the broadest possible participation to select delegates in order to make it as democratic as the eighteenth century mindset would allow. In the north, five states even allowed blacks the right to vote. When the Constitution says 'We the People' that's not just a rhetorical flourish. That's a description of the nature of the Union.
  • The founders did not want the national government to be a creature of the states. They had had one of those in the Articles of Confederation, and it didn’t work for them. That’s why the Constitution is very clear in Article VI that it supersedes the states; that’s why all federal and state officials MUST swear or affirm their allegiance to the U.S. Constitution, look it up. The nature of the American Union, then, is based on popular sovereignty, the idea that the people have the right to rule. The American people spoke during ratification and created a new federal government in which they vested their sovereignty. The federal government is not merely an agent of the states, as John C. Calhoun asserted; it was not and is not a compact between states. The founders specifically avoided that. So, if a state wants to leave the Union, the only possible way is for 'We the People' to agree to let it go. But there is no specific mechanism for secession in the constitution as it stands. And really, there is no way to read a right of secession into its text. It isn't there, and that's because the Founders never intended for states to break away. Therefore, secession, which would effectively destroy the Constitution, was and is illegal. And Lincoln was simply carrying out his oath of office to 'preserve, protect, and defend' it.
  • We are America! I don't give a rat's ass if it helps! We are America! We do not fucking torture! We don't do it!
  • It was always accounted a virtue in a man to love his country. With us it is now something more than a virtue. It is a necessity. When an American says that he loves his country, he means not only that he loves the New England hills, the prairies glistening in the sun, the wide and rising plains, the great mountains, and the sea. He means that he loves an inner air, an inner light in which freedom lives and in which a man can draw the breath of self-respect. Men who have offered their lives for their country know that patriotism is not the fear of something; it is the love of something.
    • Adlai Stevenson, speech to the American Legion convention (27 August 1952), New York City. As quoted in "Democratic Candidate Adlai Stevenson Defines the Nature of Patriotism" in Lend Me Your Ears: Great Speeches In History (2004) by William Safire, pp. 81-82.
  • Painfully convinced of the unutterable wrongs and woes of slavery; profoundly believing that, according to the true spirit of the Constitution and the sentiments of the fathers, it can find no place under our National Government.
    • Charles Sumner, as quoted in Freedom National, Slavery Sectional (27 July 1852), by C. Sumner, United States Senate.
  • We favor strengthening our common American identity and loyalty, which includes the contribution and assimilation of different racial and ethnic groups.
  • Despite some of the nonsense that has been said about me by those who should know better, and so much nonsense, or some of which subtracts from the sum total of human knowledge, despite this all, I am a man, a black man, an American. And my history is not unlike that of many blacks from the deep South. And in many ways it is not that much different from that of many other Americans.
  • Human dignity has long been understood in this country to be innate. When the framers proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence that 'all men are created equal' and 'endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights', they referred to a vision of mankind in which all humans are created in the image of God and therefore of inherent worth. That vision is the foundation upon which this nation was built. The corollary of that principle is that human dignity cannot be taken away by the government. Slaves did not lose their dignity, any more than they lost their humanity, because the government allowed them to be enslaved. Those held in internment camps did not lose their dignity because the government confined them. And those denied governmental benefits certainly do not lose their dignity because the government denies them those benefits. The government cannot bestow dignity, and it cannot take it away.
  • Want a trip into bizarroland? Take a look at the Twitter feed for Iran's 'Supreme Guide' Ayatollah Khamenei. No, his Twitter feed hasn't been hacked by Al Sharpton. Nor is this a spoof site. It's the real online megaphone for the Iranian dictator. This pasty old man doesn't give a flying fork about black people, especially those who live in the United States. When he and his underlings chant 'Death to America', they don't mean death to white America. They're talking about the whole country, from our black president at the top to undocumented immigrants on the bottom and everyone in between.
  • Vietnamese anti-Americanism scarcely exists. What we call the Vietnam War, and what they call the American War, casts no shadow, especially not in the south, which fought on the American side, but not even in Hanoi, a city heavily bombed by the United States. I saw no evidence that the U.S. or anyone else ever bombed Hanoi. All the damage has apparently been repaired.
  • We need to think very, very clearly about who the enemy is. The enemy is the United States of America and everyone who supports it.
  • No California gentleman or lady ever abuses or oppresses a Chinaman, under any circumstances, an explanation that seems to be much needed in the east. Only the scum of the population do it; they and their children. They, and, naturally and consistently, the policemen and politicians, likewise, for these are the dust-licking pimps and slaves of the scum, there as well as elsewhere in America.
  • That all men are by nature equally free and independent and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.
  • I believe the preservation of our civil liberties to be the most fundamental and important of all our governmental problems, because it always has been with us and always will be with us and if we ever permit those liberties to be destroyed, there will be nothing left in our system worthy of preservation. They constitute the soul of democracy. I believe that there is grave danger in this country of losing our civil liberties as they have been lost in other countries.
    • Earl Warren, views on civil rights declared in a written statement requested by Robert W. Kenny, read during fund raising luncheon at the Biltmore Hotel, in Los Angeles, in the summer of 1938, as quoted in Lawyers Guild Review Vol. 13-14 (1953), p. 47.
  • We have consistently denied the constitutionality of measures which restrict the rights of citizens on account of race. There can be no doubt that restricting the freedom to marry solely because of racial classifications violates the central meaning of the Equal Protection Clause.
  • Unhappy it is though to reflect, that a Brother's Sword has been sheathed in a Brother's breast, and that, the once happy and peaceful plains of America are either to be drenched with Blood, or Inhabited by Slaves. Sad alternative! But can a virtuous Man hesitate in his choice?
  • I am sure there never was a people, who had more reason to acknowledge a divine interposition in their affairs, than those of the United States; and I should be pained to believe, that they have forgotten that agency, which was so often manifested during our revolution, or that they failed to consider the omnipotence of that God, who is alone able to protect them.
    • George Washington, Letter to John Armstrong, 11 March 1782, in Ford's Writings of George Washington (1891), vol. XII, p. 111.
  • The Citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for giving to Mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy: a policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship. It is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights. For happily the government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.
  • We have abundant reason to rejoice, that, in this land, the light of truth and reason has triumphed over the power of bigotry and superstition, and that every person may here worship God according to the dictates of his own heart. In this enlightened age, and in this land of equal liberty, it is our boast, that a man's religious tenets will not forfeit the protection of the laws, nor deprive him of the right of attaining & holding the highest offices that are known in the United States.
  • While, 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; and, what is of inestimable value, they must derive from Union an exemption from those broils and wars between themselves, which so frequently afflict neighboring countries not tied together by the same governments, which their own rivalships alone would be sufficient to produce, but which opposite foreign alliances, attachments, and intrigues would stimulate and embitter. 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.
  • I never use the words Democrats and Republicans. It's liberals and Americans.
    • James Gaius Watt, in a statement of November 1981, quoted in New York Times (10 October 1983); also quoted in Energy and Environment : The Unfinished Business (1986) by Congressional Quarterly, Inc., p. 91.
  • Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom of Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any bands of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States.
    • Noah Webster, writing under the nom de plume of "A Citizen of America", as quoted in An Examination Into the Leading Principles of the Constitution (17 October 1787).
  • Sometimes people call me an idealist. Well, that is the way I know I am an American. America, my fellow citizens, I do not say it in disparagement of any other great people. America is the only idealistic nation in the world. When I speak practical judgments about business affairs, I can only guess whether I am speaking the voice of America or not, but when I speak the ideal purposes of history I know that I am speaking the voice of America, because I have saturated myself since I was a boy in the records of that spirit, and everywhere in them there is this authentic tone of the love of justice and the service of humanity. If by any mysterious influence of error America should not take the leading part in this new enterprise of concerted power, the world would experience one of those reversals of sentiment, one of those penetrating chills of reaction, which would lead to a universal cynicism, for if America goes back upon mankind, mankind has no other place to turn. It is the hope of nations all over the world that America will do this great thing.
    • Woodrow Wilson, address at Sioux Falls (8 September 1919), as recorded in Addresses of President Wilson (1919), p. 86; the first portion of this quote has sometimes been paraphrased: "Sometimes people call me an idealist. Well, that is the way I know I am an American. America is the only idealistic nation in the world."
  • The problem facing our people here in America is bigger than all other personal or organizational differences. Therefore as leaders, we must stop worrying about the threat we seem to think we pose to each other's personal prestige.
    • Malcolm X, as quoted in Malcolm X Speaks: Selected Speeches and Statements (1965) by George Breitman, p. 21.

By naturalized and foreign-born Americans[edit]

  • The United States of America will become the United States of Banana. And Puerto Rico will be the first half-and-half banana republic state incorporated that will secede from the union. Then will come Liberty Island, then Mississippi Burning, Texas BBQ, Kentucky Fried Chicken—all of them—New York Yankees, Jersey Devils—you name it—will want to break apart—and demand a separation—a divorce. Things will not go well for the banana republic when the shackles and chains of democracy break loose and unleash the dogs of war. Separation—divorce—disintegration of subject matters that don’t matter anymore—only verbs—actions. Americans will walk like chickens with their heads cut off.
  • Americans still admire dignity. But the word has become un-moored from any larger set of rules or ethical system.
  • Too many of us look upon Americans as dollar chasers. This is a cruel libel, even if it is reiterated thoughtlessly by the Americans themselves.
  • What then is the American, this new man? He is either an European, or the descendant of an European, hence that strange mixture of blood, which you will find in no other country.
  • Thus are assaults on patriotism failures of character. They are made by privileged people who enjoy the full benefits offered by the country they deride and detest, but they lack the basic decency to pay it the allegiance and respect that honor demands. But honor, of course, is also an object of their derision.
  • In the long and deadly battle against those who hate Western ideals, and hate America in particular, we must be powerfully armed, morally as well as materially. To sustain us through the worst times we need courage and unity, and these must rest on a justified and informed patriotism.
  • I wasn't born in America, but I got here as fast as I could.
  • Mingling religion with politics may be disavowed and reprobated by every inhabitant of America.
  • But where says some is the King of America? I'll tell you Friend, he reigns above, and doth not make havoc of mankind like the Royal Brute of Britain. Yet that we may not appear to be defective even in earthly honors, let a day be solemnly set apart for proclaiming the charter; let it be brought forth placed on the divine law, the word of God; let a crown be placed thereon, by which the world may know, that so far as we approve as monarchy, that in America the law is king.
  • Not a place upon earth might be so happy as America. Her situation is remote from all the wrangling world, and she has nothing to do but to trade with them. A man can distinguish himself between temper and principle, and I am as confident, as I am that God governs the world, that America will never be happy till she gets clear of foreign dominion. Wars, without ceasing, will break out till that period arrives, and the continent must in the end be conqueror; for though the flame of liberty may sometimes cease to shine, the coal can never expire.
    • Thomas Paine, as quoted in The Crisis No. I (23 December 1776).
  • Our citizenship in the United States is our national character. Our citizenship in any particular state is only our local distinction. By the latter we are known at home, by the former to the world. Our great title is AMERICANS.
  • We fight not to enslave, but to set a country free, and to make room upon the earth for honest men to live in.
  • Whoever is fortunate enough to be an American citizen came into the greatest inheritance man has ever enjoyed. He has had the benefit of every heroic and intellectual effort men have made for many thousands of years, realized at last. If Americans should now turn back, submit again to slavery, it would be a betrayal so base the human race might better perish.
  • America's abundance was created not by public sacrifices to the common good, but by the productive genius of free men who pursued their own personal interests and the making of their own private fortunes. They did not starve the people to pay for America's industrialization. They gave the people better jobs, higher wages, and cheaper goods with every new machine they invented, with every scientific discovery or technological advance- and thus the whole country was moving forward and profiting, not suffering, every step of the way.
    • Ayn Rand, as quoted in Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal (1966).
  • Businessmen are the one group that distinguishes capitalism and the American way of life from the totalitarian statism that is swallowing the rest of the world. All the other social groups- workers, farmers, professional men, scientists, soldiers- exist under dictatorships, even though they exist in chains, in terror, in misery, and in progressive self-destruction. But there is no such group as businessmen under a dictatorship. Their place is taken by armed thugs: by bureaucrats and commissars. Businessmen are the symbol of a free society, the symbol of America.
    • Ayn Rand, as quoted in Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal (1966).
  • Every movement that seeks to enslave a country, every dictatorship or potential dictatorship, needs some minority group as a scapegoat which it can blame for the nation's troubles and use as a justification of its own demands for dictatorial powers. In Soviet Russia, the scapegoat was the bourgeoisie; in Nazi Germany, it was the Jewish people; in America, it is the businessmen.
    • Ayn Rand, as quoted in Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal (1966).
  • The most profound breach in this country is not between the rich and the poor, but between the people and the intellectuals. In their view of life, the American people are predominantly Apollonian. The mainstream intellectuals are Dionysian. This means the people are reality-oriented, common sense-oriented, technology-oriented. The intellectuals call this "materialistic," and "middle-class." The intellectuals are emotion-oriented, and seek in panic an escape from a reality they are unable to deal with, and from a technological civilization that ignores their feelings.
    • Ayn Rand, as quoted in Apollo and Dionysus (1969).
  • Try to tell a Russian housewife, who trudges miles on foot in sub-zero weather in order to spend hours standing in line at a state store dispensing food rations, that America is defiled by shopping centers, expressways and family cars.
    • Ayn Rand, as quoted in The New Left: The Anti-Industrial Revolution (1971).
  • Thanksgiving is a typically American holiday. The lavish meal is a symbol of the fact that abundant consumption is the result and reward of production.
    • Ayn Rand, as quoted in The Ayn Rand Letter.
  • I can say, not as a patriotic bromide, but with full knowledge of the necessary metaphysical, epistemological, ethical, political, and aesthetic roots, that the United States of America is the greatest, the noblest and, in its original founding principles, the only moral country in the history of the world.
    • Ayn Rand, as quoted in Philosophy: Who Needs It (1982).
  • In most countries in the world, your fate and your identity are handed to you; in America, you determine them for yourself. America is a country where you get to write the script of your own life. Your life is like a blank sheet of paper, and you are the artist.
  • America is a new kind of society that produces a new kind of human being. That human being—confident, self-reliant, tolerant, generous, future oriented—is a vast improvement over the wretched, servile, fatalistic, and intolerant human being that traditional societies have always produced, and that Islamic societies produce now.
  • America is the greatest, freest, and most decent society in existence. It is an oasis of goodness in a desert of cynicism and barbarism. This country, once an experiment unique in the world, is now the last best hope for the world.
  • Slavery existed all over the world. The Egyptians had slaves. The Chinese had slaves. The Africans did. American Indians had slaves long before Columbus, and tragically, slavery continues today in many countries. What's uniquely western is the abolition of slavery, and what's uniquely American is the fighting of a great war to end it.
  • No more, America, in mournful strain. Of wrongs, and grievance unredress'd complain. No longer shalt thou dread the iron chain. Which wanton Tyranny with lawless hand. Had made, and with it meant t' enslave the land.
    • Phillis Wheatley, as quoted in "To The Right Honorable William, Earl of Dartmouth" st. 2-3, Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral (1773).

By non-Americans[edit]

  • I did more for the Russian serf in giving him land as well as personal liberty, than America did for the negro slave set free by the proclamation of President Lincoln. I am at a loss to understand how you Americans could have been so blind as to leave the negro slave without tools to work out his salvation. In giving him personal liberty, you have him an obligation to perform to the state which he must be unable to fulfill. Without property of any kind he cannot educate himself and his children. I believe the time must come when many will question the manner of American emancipation of the negro slaves in 1863. The vote, in the hands of an ignorant man, without either property or self respect, will be used to the damage of the people at large; for the rich man, without honor or any kind of patriotism, will purchase it, and with it swamp the rights of a free people.
    • Alexander II, emperor of Russia, conversation with Wharton Barker, Pavlovski Palace (August 17, 1879); reported in Barker, "The Secret of Russia's Friendship", The Independent (March 24, 1904), p. 647.
  • I am not judging anyone, but I do find it interesting in an intellectual way the way this thread, and similar examples elsewhere, are phrased. The idea that an integral part of 'being American' is the belief that the U.S. is the best country in the world, you would have to be mad to live somewhere else, et cetera. To my mind this is a rather peculiar embrace of the Enoch Powell definition of patriotism and identity, 'No, we do not fight for values. I would fight for this country even if it had a communist government', which arguably represents the victory of American exceptionalism. If you do not fly the flag on everything and constantly bang on about the American Dream, if you consider the standards of living in another country to be superior, then you must by definition reject your very identity as an American. I just find this strange when you contrast it with here in the U.K. Here there are plenty of people who want to leave the country, mostly going to Australia or New Zealand, because they believe 'it has gone to the dogs' or they will simply have more opportunity for advancement in another country, but that doesn't mean they reject their British identity. They will still cheer on England, if they're English, in the World Cup and so forth. I wonder what the reasons are behind this. I'm sure part of it is how America's identity is based on values rather than race and language, i.e. being an American isn't something you're born as and will always be even if you choose to become a spy for a foreign power or something, it's something you become based on accepting a code of values which if you reject then you cease to become an American. Another part may be that the U.S. has simply had a very lucky existence and has rarely suffered, or at least suffered worse than anywhere else, even the Depression did not make the U.S. worse off than other first-world countries, so perhaps its citizens simply find it hard to wrap their heads around the idea that you can believe you can make a better life in another country without being a 'traitor' or 'un-American', it's simply that your country happens to be currently going through a rough patch.
  • If you ask a Briton, 'do you love Britain?', he'll think you're a weirdo. People in this country don't love or hate Britain, it's a meaningless question. You are British, you are born British, you will always be British on some level even if you emigrate and take another country's citizenship. It's like asking 'do you love breathing oxygen?' Your opinion on it is irrelevant, it's something you have no choice about. The U.S. is, as I have said, founded on different principles to the Old World countries due to its post-racial nature, but sometimes I find it hard to remember this and when Americans use this kind of language it comes across as 1984-ish to me. 'It is not enough to obey Big Brother, you must love him' and so on. And again, among the commentariat in the U.K. this is normally used to criticize the chest-thumping U.S. right wing, but it applies equally to the sentiments used by AYC here. A certain political faction has successfully identified their own values so inextricably with the state of 'being American' that now people like AYC feel they have to embrace an "un-American" identity in order to express their own values. I hope people get where I'm coming from here, it's not my intention to insult anyone.
  • When the Imam said that 'the relations with the America are like the relations between a wolf and a sheep', he meant that the tension in these relations would continue until America renounces its imperialist essence, and it is not about to do so for the time being. The Imam was talking about the struggle between Islam and America, not about compromising with America. He said, 'We will not allow you to have interests in the world of Islam'.
  • I found America the friendliest, most forgiving, and most generous nation I had ever visited. We South Americans tend to think of things in terms of convenience, whereas people in the United States approach things ethically. This — amateur Protestant that I am — I admired above all. It even helped me overlook skyscrapers, paper bags, television, plastics, and the unholy jungle of gadgets.
  • It would be some time before I fully realized that the United States sees little need for diplomacy; power is enough. Only the weak rely on diplomacy. This is why the weak are so deeply concerned with the democratic principle of the sovereign equality of states, as a means of providing some small measure of equality for that which is not equal in fact. Coming from a developing country, I was trained extensively in international law and diplomacy and mistakenly assumed that the great powers, especially the United States, also trained their representatives in diplomacy and accepted the value of it. But the Roman Empire had no need for diplomacy. Nor does the United States. Diplomacy is perceived by an imperial power as a waste of time and prestige and a sign of weakness.
  • Now, then. Landon Donovan for the United States. Twisting, turning. Can he find the right ball? Cesar hit it away; it's played back in by Bocanegra. Oh, and nearly Altidore getting under of it. A really good clearance by Jokić; just when it looked as if Jozy Altidore might be in. They really have to put Slovenia under pressure. If they can get one goal, I think, John. You just wonder, whether then Slovenia might start to look a little bit shaky and start to wonder. He's got in, behind. Donovan, Donovan goes in and he scores! Oh, what a goal! Landon Donovan, tremendous strike for the United States! It looked impossible, but Donovan did it! And the USA are back in business!
  • Four minutes of added time. That might lift the United States, that's time enough. Dreadfully negative, really. From the Algerians, they're looking for things on the break. I suspect they'll get a chance or two, on the break. Ghezzal, that's a good ball he's found there to Guedioura who plays it deep. Saïfi, with a header. Howard, gratefully claims it. Distribution, brilliant. Landon Donovan. Oh, are things on here for the USA? Can they do it here? Cross, and Dempsey is denied again, and Donovan has scored! Oh, can you believe this? Go, go, USA! Certainly through! Oh, it's incredible! You could not write a script like this!
  • Oh, can you believe this? Abby Wambach has saved the USA's life in this World Cup!
  • The United States brags about its political system, but the president says one thing during the election, something else when he takes office, something else at midterm and something else when he leaves.
    • Xiaoping Deng, as quoted in The Pacific Rim and the Western World: Strategic, Economic, and Cultural Perspectives (1987), p. 105
  • Well, brother, I don't mind that. It's a good place. When you are asked, you just say he was going, he said, to America." He put the revolver to his right temple. "You can't do it here, it's not the place", cried Achilles, rousing himself, his eyes growing bigger and bigger. Svidrigaïlov pulled the trigger.
  • I was the last to consent to the separation; but the separation having been made and having become inevitable, I have always said, as I say now, that I would be the first to meet the friendship of the United States as an independent power.
    • George III, to John Adams in Londnon, as quoted in Adams, C.F. (editor) (1850–56), The works of John Adams, second president of the United States, vol. VIII, pp. 255–257, quoted in Ayling, p. 323 and Hibbert, p. 165.
  • If I had to choose between life in the Soviet Union and life in the USA, I would certainly choose the Soviet Union.
    • Graham Greene, attributed by Parade magazine (29 October 1967), p. 2. Reported as unverified in Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations (1989).
  • Greece is a sort of American vassal; the Netherlands is the country of American bases that grow like tulip bulbs; Cuba is the main sugar plantation of the American monopolies; Turkey is prepared to kowtow before any United States proconsul and Canada is the boring second fiddle in the American symphony.
  • Our every action is a battle cry against imperialism, and a battle hymn for the people's unity against the great enemy of mankind, the United States of America.
  • I know that's hard for you to accept, but George kind of knocked it out of the park. I can tell you, and I'm actually here to tell you that America now has five million people being kept alive by these drugs. That's something that everyone should know.
  • The gigantic North American state, with the enormous resources of its virgin soil, is much more invulnerable than the encircled German Reich. Should a day come when the die which will finally decide the destinies of the nations will have to be cast in that country, England would be doomed if she stood alone.
  • This is the last disgusting death-rattle of a corrupt and outworn system which is a blot on the history of this people. Since the Civil War, in which the Southern States were conquered, against all historical logic and sound sense, the American people have been in a condition of political and popular decay. In that war, it was not the Southern States, but the American people themselves who were conquered. In this spurious blossoming of economic progress and power politics, America has ever since been drawn deeper into the mire of progressive self-destruction. The beginnings of a great new social order based on the principle of slavery and inequality were destroyed by that war, and with them also the embryo of a future truly great America that would not have been ruled by a corrupt caste of tradesmen, but by a real Herren-class that would have swept away all the falsities of liberty and equality.
  • Thus the American presents a strange picture: a European with Negro behaviour and an Indian soul.
    • Carl Jung, Civilization in Transition (1964), tr. R. F. C. Hull, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, p. 46.
  • A British vessel, stopping on the way back from India at the Comoro Islands in the Mozambique Channel, finds the native inhabitants in revolt against their Arab masters; and when they ask why they have taken arms, are told, 'America is free, could not we be?'
    • Gijsbert Karel, Count van Hogendorp, in 1784, quoted in "The age of the democratic revolution: a political history of Europe and America, 1760-1860" by Robert Roswell Palmer (1969).
  • I hope that there is no jealousy, or even ground of jealousy, on the part of the Americans, but that they know that when their rights come to be discussed here the greatest attention will be paid to their interests. They have long been acquainted with the habits of this country, and with the mode of administering justice here. Until within these few years their causes used to come over here to be discussed, and I never heard that the decisions in our Courts ever awakened the least jealousy in the breasts of the inhabitants of that country.
    • Lord Kenyon, C.J., Wilson v. Marryat (1798), 8 T. R. 44, reported in James William Norton-Kyshe, The Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904), p. 13.
  • American society, composed of diverse races and ethnicities, has a lot of tolerance of different kinds of people and can embrace them all as Americans. Korean society, however, is composed of a single ethnicity. It is more intolerant to people of different ethnicity and skin colors. Koreans have a strong bond to people of Korean ethnic origin even when, as in the case of the gunman, a large proportion of their upbringing took place in a different culture. That's why there is widespread mourning and collective guilt over the gunman's behavior and its consequences. It's doubtful whether the South Korean reaction will really helpanyone.
  • We always knew that Americans were smart people. Stupid people could not have risen to the economic level that they've reached.
  • Look at Vietnam, look at Lebanon. Whenever soldiers start coming home in body bags, Americans panic and retreat. Such a country needs only to be confronted with two or three sharp blows, then it will flee in panic, as it always has.
  • In today's wars, there are no morals. We believe the worst thieves in the world today and the worst terrorists are the Americans. We do not have to differentiate between military or civilian. As far as we are concerned, they are all targets.
  • The call to wage war against America was made because America has spear-headed the crusade against the Islamic nation, sending tens of thousands of its troops to the land of the two Holy Mosques over and above its meddling in its affairs and its politics, and its support of the oppressive, corrupt and tyrannical regime that is in control. These are the reasons behind the singling out of America as a target. And not exempt of responsibility are those Western regimes whose presence in the region offers support to the American troops there. We know at least one reason behind the symbolic participation of the Western forces and that is to support the Jewish and Zionist plans for expansion of what is called the Great Israel. Surely, their presence is not out of concern over their interests in the region.
  • After our victory in Afghanistan and the defeat of the oppressors who had killed millions of Muslims, the legend about the invincibility of the superpowers vanished. Our boys no longer viewed America as a superpower. So, when they left Afghanistan, they went to Somalia and prepared themselves carefully for a long war. They had thought that the Americans were like the Russians, so they trained and prepared. They were stunned when they discovered how low was the morale of the American soldier. America had entered with 30,000 soldiers in addition to thousands of soldiers from different countries in the world.
  • Any effort directed against America and the Jews yields positive and direct results, God willing. It is far better for anyone to kill a single American soldier than to squander his efforts on other activities.
  • You have destroyed nature with your industrial waste and gases more than any other nation in history. Despite this, you refuse to sign the Kyoto agreement so that you can secure the profit of your greedy companies and industries.
  • Every Muslim, from the moment they realize the distinction in their hearts, hates Americans, hates Jews and hates Christians. For as long as I can remember, I have felt tormented and at war, and have felt hatred and animosity for Americans.
  • U.S. President Barack Obama has nominated Korean-American Jim Yong Kim, the president of Dartmouth College, as the next head of the World Bank. Obama's selection of Kim drew praise both in the U.S. and here in Korea. Kim moved to the U.S. with his parents when he was five and is an American citizen, but Koreans like to think of him as one of their own. Americans also congratulated Kim, who became the first Asian-American president of an Ivy League university and nominee for the next head of the World Bank. Critics voiced concerns whether Kim, a medical doctor by training, would be able to handle the developmental assistance the World Bank is known for, but nobody had any problem with his ethnic background. Yet the exact opposite is happening here in Korea right now. The Philippine-born naturalized Korean citizen Jasmine Lee, who became a Saenuri Party lawmaker, has been the victim of malicious attacks on the Internet since the April 11 general election. People have been posting malicious comments about her on Twitter and other social networks, somehow linking her to the grisly murder of a young woman recently killed by an ethnic Korean from China.
  • As a party list candidate, Lee has never made any campaign pledges. But somebody posted false rumors on the Internet that Lee had promised major benefits for foreign migrant workers and brides using taxpayers' money. Lee married a Korean and legally acquired Korean citizenship in 1998. After being widowed in 2010, she formed a group supporting foreign wives of Korean men and also worked at Seoul City Hall helping such women. She even played a small role in the movie 'Punch' about multicultural families in Korea and appealed to Koreans to pay more attention to people like her. It is perfectly fair to question her ability to serve as a lawmaker. But the criticism against her on the Internet reflects nothing but xenophobia. Lee will serve as a lawmaker representing the 200,000 foreign wives of Korean men who live here. They are all Korean citizens. It does not befit one of the world's 10 largest exporters to get excited about the achievements of an American who comes from Korea but on the other hand to react with hostility to an immigrant who achieves something here. Such double standards are unacceptable.
  • Sixty years ago, at dawn on June 25, the Korean War broke out when Communist North Korea invaded the Republic of Korea. In response, 16 member countries of the United Nations, including the United States, joined with the Republic of Korea to defend freedom. Over the next three years of fighting, about 37,000 Americans lost their lives. They fought for the freedom of Koreans they did not even know, and thanks to their sacrifices, the peace and democracy of the republic were protected.
  • On the 60th anniversary of the Korean War, I remain grateful to America for having participated in the war. At that time, the Republic of Korea was one of the most impoverished countries, with an annual per capita income of less than $40. In 2009, my country became a member of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's Development Assistance Committee, the first aid recipient to become a donor and in only one generation.
  • In Australia, if you drive a red or yellow Bentley convertible down the street, everyone thinks 'What a wanker!' In America, you drive a red Bentley down the street, everyone thinks 'Nice car, mate! Well done!' There is just a different approach to success and to striving for success in America and that's the bit that I miss. Not that I have a yellow Bentley, nor do I want one. But, I do like that acceptance of people striving in America. That's the one thing I miss.
  • I've got nothing against any individual American, except that there aren't any. They're always Irish-American, African-American–there's never an American-American you can blame!
  • I am certain that I speak on behalf of my entire nation when I say, today we are all Americans. In grief, as in defiance.
  • They have back-stabbed us.
    • Văn Thiệu Nguyễn, as quoted in Việt Nam. Cuộc chiến 10.000 ngày. Tập 8 - Hòa bình.
    • Original Vietnamese quote: Họ đã đâm sau lưng chúng tôi.
  • I found that many Americans did not even know that a country named Iran existed, let alone what it was like. Even among the diplomatic corps and among well-educated people, there was a vagueness about who the Iranians were or what the culture was, a tendency to confuse Iran with Iraq or to mistakenly assume that Iran is an Arab country simply because it is an Islamic nation. This fuzziness about the world outside is unique to America; among the intelligensia of European countries, for example, there is generally a higher level of awareness and information regarding cultures other than their own.
    • Ashraf Pahlavi, as quoted in Faces in a Mirror (1980), Prentice Hall, page 100.
  • I am continually amused by the Communist argument that the United States tries to prevent the less-developed countries from industrializing in order to keep them subservient to herself. In our extended dealings with the American aid authorities, we have never found this to be the case; on the contrary, they have helped us with a wide variety of industrial projects, including those that compete directly with American industries. The Americans have enough sense to prefer strong and prosperous friends, and they realize that their most lucrative international trade is with other highly industrialized countries, not with weak and backward ones.
  • The U.S. is a very democratic state. There's no doubt about that; and it originally developed as a democratic state. When the first settlers set their foot on the continent, life forced them to forge a relationship and maintain a dialogue with each other to survive. That's why America was conceived as a fundamental democracy.
  • There is a big difference between being anti-American and being critical of the United States. Once again, critiques are appropriate and necessary, provided that they rest on facts and address real abuses, real errors and real excesses, without deliberately losing sight of America's wise decisions, beneficent interventions and salutary policies. But critiques of this kind, balanced, fair and well-founded are hard to find, except in America herself: in the daily press in weekly news magazines, on television and radio, and in highbrow monthly journals, which are more widely read than their equivalents in Europe.
  • Strangely, it is always America that is described as degenerate and 'fascist', while it is solely in Europe that actual dictatorships and totalitarian regimes spring up.
  • The success and originality of American integration stem precisely from the fact that immigrants' descendants can perpetuate their ancestral cultures while thinking of themselves as Americans in the fullest sense, sharing basic ideals across racial and ethnic barriers.
  • They are escaped convicts. His Majesty is fortunate to be rid of such rabble. Their true God is power.
  • I was seeking to explain anti-American movements that had erupted in South Korea in the 1980s. I was interested in explaining why South Korea, once considered a best friend and ally of the United States, had embraced anti-American rhetoric and movements during its pursuit of democracy. My research found that the movements had inherently been related to the politics of national identity, since with the anti-American rhetoric dissidents had sought to challenge the authoritarian state's definitions of nation and national identity.
  • In the five centuries since Columbus discovered the New World, savagery has been part of American life. There has been the violence of conquest and resistance, the violence of racial difference, the violence of civil war, the violence of bandits and gangsters, the violence of lynch law, all set against the violence of the wilderness and the city.
  • There is only one possible route of action, Greenhouse gases have to be radically reduced and it has to happen worldwide. Until now, the U.S. has kept its eyes shut to this emergency. [Americans] make up a mere 4 percent of the population, but are responsible for close to a quarter of emissions.
  • Americans of all ages, all stations of life, and all types of disposition are forever forming associations...In democratic countries knowledge of how to combine is the mother of all other forms of knowledge; on its progress depends that of all the others.
  • The people reign in the American political world as the Deity does in the universe. They are the cause and the aim of all things; everything comes from them, and everything is absorbed in them.
  • In the United States the sovereign authority is religious, and consequently hypocrisy must be common; but there is no country in the world where the Christian religion retains a greater influence over the souls of men than in America; and there can be no greater proof of its utility and of its conformity to human nature than that its influence is powerfully felt over the most enlightened and free nation of the earth.
  • The Americans have always been more open to my ideas. In fact, I could earn a living in America just by lecturing. One of my brightest audiences, incidentally, were the prisoners in a Philadelphia gaol — brighter than my students at university.
    • Colin Wilson, interview with Paul Newman, as quoted in Abraxas Unbound, #7.
  • Should hostilities once break out between Japan and the United States, it is not enough that we take Guam and the Philippines, nor even Hawaii and San Francisco. To make victory certain, we would have to march into Washington and dictate the terms of peace in the White House. I wonder if our politicians, among whom armchair arguments about war are being glibly bandied about in the name of state politics, have confidence as to the final outcome and are prepared to make the necessary sacrifices.
  • In the first six to twelve months of a war with the United States and Great Britain I will run wild and win victory upon victory. But then, if the war continues after that, I have no expectation of success.
    • Isoroku Yamamoto, statement to Japanese cabinet minister Shigeharu Matsumoto and Japanese prime minister Fumimaro Konoe, as quoted in Eagle Against the Sun: The American War With Japan (1985) by Ronald Spector.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations[edit]

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), pp. 21-23.
  • E pluribus unum.
    • From many, one.
    • Motto of the United States of America. First appeared on title page of Gentleman's Miscellany, Jan., 1692. Pierre Antoine (Peter Anthony Motteaux) was editor. Dr. Simetiere affixed it to the American National Seal at time of the Revolution. See Howard P. Arnold Historical Side Lights. Compare: "Ex pluribus unum facere"; translation: From many to make one; St. Augustine, Confessions, Book IV. 8. 13.
  • Yet, still, from either beach,
    The voice of blood shall reach,
    More audible than speech,
    "We are one!"
  • Asylum of the oppressed of every nation.
    • Phrase used in the Democratic platform of 1856, referring to the U. S.
  • O, Columbia, the gem of the ocean,
    The home of the brave and the free,
    The shrine of each patriot's devotion,
    A world offers homage to thee.
    • An adaptation of Shaw's Britannia.
  • America! half brother of the world!
    With something good and bad of every land.
  • A people who are still, as it were, but in the gristle, and not yet hardened into the bone of manhood.
    • Edmund Burke, speech on Conciliation with America, Works, Volume II.
  • Young man, there is America—which at this day serves for little more than to amuse you with stories of savage men and uncouth manners; yet shall, before you taste of death, show itself equal to the whole of that commerce which now attracts the envy of the world.
    • Edmund Burke, speech on Conciliation with America, Works, Volume II.
  • I called the New World into existence to redress the balance of the Old.
  • The North! the South! the West! the East!
    No one the most and none the least,
    But each with its own heart and mind,
    Each of its own distinctive kind,
    Yet each a part and none the whole,
    But all together form one soul;
    That soul Our Country at its best,
    No North, no South, no East, no West,
    No yours, no mine, but always Ours,
    Merged in one Power our lesser powers,
    For no one's favor, great or small,
    But all for Each and each for All.
  • Columbia, Columbia, to glory arise,
    The queen of the world and the child of the skies!
    Thy genius commands thee; with rapture behold,
    While ages on ages thy splendors unfold.
  • Bring me men to match my mountains,
    Bring me men to match my plains,
    Men with empires in their purpose,
    And new eras in their brains.
  • The breaking waves dashed high
    On a stern and rock-bound coast;
    And the woods, against a stormy sky,
    Their giant branches tost.
  • Hail, Columbia! happy land!
    Hail, ye heroes! heavenborn band!
    Who fought and bled in Freedom's cause.
  • America is a tune. It must be sung together.
  • Thou, too, sail on, O Ship of State!
    Sail on, O Union, strong and great!
    Humanity with all its fears,
    With all the hopes of future years,
    Is hanging breathless on thy fate!
  • Down to the Plymouth Rock, that had been to their feet as a doorstep
    Into a world unknown,—the corner-stone of a nation!
  • Earth's biggest Country's gut her soul
    An' risen up Earth's Greatest Nation.
  • When asked what State he hails from,
    Our sole reply shall be,
    He comes from Appomattox And its famous apple tree.
  • Neither do I acknowledge the right of Plymouth to the whole rock. No, the rock underlies all America: it only crops out here.
    • Wendell Phillips, speech at the dinner of the Pilgrim Society at Plymouth (Dec. 21, 1855).
  • Give it only the fulcrum of Plymouth Rock, an idea will upheave the continent.
  • We have room but for one Language here and that is the English Language, for we intend to see that the crucible turns our people out as Americans of American nationality and not as dwellers in a polyglot boarding-house.
  • My country, 'tis of thee,
    Sweet land of liberty,—
    Of thee I sing:
    Land where my fathers died,
    Land of the Pilgrim's pride,
    From every mountain side
    Let freedom ring.
  • In the four quarters of the globe, who reads an American book? or goes to an American play? or looks at an American picture or statue?
    • Sydney Smith, Works, Volume II. America (Edinburgh Review, 1820).
  • Gigantic daughter of the West
    We drink to thee across the flood….
    For art not thou of English blood?
    • Alfred Tennyson, Hands all Round (in the Oxford Tennyson; Appeared in the Examiner, 1862; The London Times, 1880).
  • So it's home again, and home again, America for me!
    My heart is turning home again, and I long to be
    In the land of youth and freedom beyond the ocean bars,
    Where the air is full of sunshine, and the flag is full of stars.
  • The youth of America is their oldest tradition. It has been going on now for three hundred years.
  • Some Americans need hyphens in their names, because only part of them has come over; but when the whole man has come over, heart and thought and all, the hyphen drops of its own weight out of his name.
    • Woodrow Wilson, address, Unveiling of the Statue to the Memory of Commodore John Barry, Washington (May 16, 1914).
  • Just what is it that America stands for? If she stands for one thing more than another, it is for the sovereignty of self-governing people, and her example, her assistance, her encouragement, has thrilled two continents in this western world with all those fine impulses which have built up human liberty on both sides of the water. She stands, therefore, as an example of independence, as an example of free institutions, and as an example of disinterested international action in the main tenets of justice.
  • We want the spirit of America to be efficient; we want American character to be efficient; we want American character to display itself in what I may, perhaps, be allowed to call spiritual efficiency—clear, disinterested thinking and fearless action along the right lines of thought. America is not anything if it consists of each of us. It is something only if it consists of all of us; and it can consist of all of us only as our spirits are banded together in a common enterprise. That common enterprise is the enterprise of liberty and justice and right. And, therefore, I, for my part, have a great enthusiasm for rendering America spiritually efficient; and that conception lies at the basis of what seems very far removed from it, namely, the plans that have been proposed for the military efficiency of this nation.
  • Home from the lonely cities, time's wreck, and the naked woe,
    Home through the clean great waters where freemen's pennants blow,
    Home to the land men dream of, where all the nations go.
  • We must consult Brother Jonathan.
    • George Washington's familiar reference to his secretary and Aide-de-camp, Col. Jonathan Trumbull; the phrase, Brother Jonathan, later came to mean the American people, collectively.

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