Quotable Quotes

 
This page highlights some of our favorite thought-provoking quotations. Whether the topic is political or inspirational, you may find them useful in conversations, post comments … or in quiet moments of reflection.

“The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.”
Adrian Rogers
American pastor and author (1931 – 2005)
“Saying to a gun, ‘Hey, don’t shoot’, is like saying to Plaxico Burress, ‘Hey, maybe don’t bring a gun to a nightclub in your sweatpants’.”
Stephen Colbert
American comedian, satirist, actor & writer (1964 – )
“I know Mr. Putin. I’ve looked into his eyes, and saw three letters: K-G-B.”
John McCain
United States Senator from Arizona (1936 – )
“Before criticizing someone, walk a mile in their shoes. Then when you do criticize them, you will be a mile away and have their shoes.”
Jack Handey
“Deep Thoughts”, Saturday Night Live
American humorist (1949 – )
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
Martin Luther King
“Strength to Love” sermon (1963)
clergyman & civil rights activist (1929 – 1968)
“Mark my words, it will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We’re about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America. Remember I said it standing here, if you don’t remember anything else I said. Watch, we’re gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.”
Joe Biden
fundraiser in Seattle, WA (October 19, 2008)
Vice-President for Barack Obama (1942 – )
“If by the mere force of numbers a majority should deprive a minority of any clearly written constitutional right, it might, in a moral point of view, justify revolution.”
Abraham Lincoln
16th President of USA (1809 – 1865)
“When governments fear the people there is liberty. When the people fear the government there is tyranny.”
Thomas Jefferson
3rd President of USA (1743 – 1826)
Author of the Declaration of Independence
“For now, we have a new president-elect. In the spirit of reaching across the aisle, we owe it to the Democrats to show their president the exact same kind of respect and loyalty that they have shown our recent Republican president.”
Ann Coulter
conservative political commentator (1961 – )
“I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.”
Martin Luther King
Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
“I Have a Dream” speech (August 28, 1963)
clergyman & civil rights activist (1929 – 1968)
“It’s not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”
Barack Obama
fundraiser in San Francisco (April 6, 2008)
Huffington Post audio
44th President of USA (1961 – )
“If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known, that we are at all times ready for War.”
George Washington
1st President of USA (1732 – 1799)
“If Thomas Jefferson thought taxation without representation was bad, he should see how it is with representation.”
Rush Limbaugh
conservative political commentator (1951 – )
“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary security deserve neither liberty nor security.”
Benjamin Franklin
Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759
colonial patriot, author, & scholar (1706 – 1790)
“Always remember that you are Americans, and it is your birthright to dream great dreams in this sweet and blessed land, truly the greatest, freest, strongest nation on Earth.”
Ronald Reagan
40th President of USA (1911 – 2004)
“Over the last 15 months, we’ve traveled to every corner of the United States. I’ve now been in 57 states? I think one left to go, Alaska and Hawaii I was not allowed to go to even though I really wanted to visit, but my staff would not justify it.”
Barack Obama
campaign event in Beaverton, OR (May 9, 2008)
44th President of USA (1961 – )
“Contrary to what people may say, there’s no upper limit to stupidity.”
Stephen Colbert
American comedian, satirist, actor & writer (1964 – )
“And so, my fellow americans: ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.”
John F. Kennedy
Inaugural address, January 20, 1961
35th President of USA 1961-1963 (1917 – 1963)
“Whenever you are to do a thing, though it can never be known but to yourself, ask yourself how you would act were all the world looking at you, and act accordingly.”
Thomas Jefferson
3rd President of USA (1743 – 1826)
Author of the Declaration of Independence
“It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.”
Abraham Lincoln
16th President of USA (1809 – 1865)
“If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason.”
Jack Handey
“Deep Thoughts”, Saturday Night Live
American humorist (1949 – )
“There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America.”
Bill Clinton
42nd President of USA (1946 – )
“Even in this room full of proud Manhattan Democrats. I can’t shake that feeling that some people here are pulling for me … I’m delighted to see you here tonight, Hillary.”
John McCain
Alfred E. Smith Dinner (October 16, 2008)
United States Senator from Arizona (1936 – )
“If God had wanted us to vote, he would have given us candidates.”
Jay Leno
US comedian & television host (1950 – )
“History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.”
Martin Luther King
clergyman & civil rights activist (1929 – 1968)
“If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write something worth reading or do things worth the writing.”
Benjamin Franklin
colonial patriot, author, & scholar (1706 – 1790)
“Arbitrary power is most easily established on the ruins of liberty abused to licentiousness.”
George Washington
1st President of USA (1732 – 1799)
“He who exercises government by means of his virtue may be compared to the north polar star, which keeps its place and all the stars turn towards it.”
Confucius
The Confucian Analects
Chinese philosopher & reformer (551 BC – 479 BC)
“Look, I’ve got two daughters, 9 years old and 6 years old. I’m going to teach them, first of all about values and morals, but if they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby. I don’t want them punished with an STD at the age of 16.”
Barack Obama
stump speech in Johnstown, PA (March 28, 2008)
44th President of USA (1961 – )
“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”
Edmund Burke
Irish orator, philosopher, & politician (1729 – 1797)
“Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.”
Mark Twain
US humorist, novelist, & short story author
(1835 – 1910)
“That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves.”
Thomas Jefferson
3rd President of USA (1743 – 1826)
Author of the Declaration of Independence
“Taxes are like abortion, and not just because both are grotesque procedures supported by Democrats. You’re for them or against them. Taxes go up or down; government raises taxes or lowers them. But Democrats will not let the words ‘abortion’ or ‘tax hikes’ pass their lips.”
Ann Coulter
conservative political commentator (1961 – )
“Never get into a wrestling match with a pig. You both get dirty, and the pig likes it.”
John McCain
to reporters in New Hampshire (December 29, 2007)
United States Senator from Arizona (1936 – )
“’Congressmen who willfully take actions during wartime, that damages morale and undermines the military are saboteurs and should be arrested, quickly tried and hanged!”
Abraham Lincoln
16th President of USA (1809 – 1865)
“Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”
Martin Luther King
clergyman & civil rights activist (1929 – 1968)
“Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”
Patrick Henry
speech at the House of Burgesses (March 23, 1775)
colonial patriot (1736 – 1799)
“But in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”
Benjamin Franklin
Letter to Jean Baptiste Le Roy (1789)
colonial patriot, author, & scholar (1706 – 1790)
“I’ve never seen any medium get more attention than liberal talk radio with absolutely no benefit. There’s been more written about liberal talk radio than I’ve had in my entire career, and I began in 1987.”
Sean Hannity
conservative political commentator (1961 – )
“If you non-Catholic Christians are upset, well just have your Pope issue a reponse. Oh that’s right, you don’t have a Pope. Because your faith is defective. Sorry, Catholicism is clearly superior. Don’t believe me? Name one Protestant denomination that could afford a $660 million sexual abuse settlement. I think that Lord has spoken on this one’.”
Stephen Colbert
American comedian, satirist, actor & writer (1964 – )
“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”
Barack Obama
presidential stump speech in Chicago, IL
(February 5, 2008) campaign YouTube video
44th President of USA (1961 – )
“The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”
Albert Einstein
US (German-born) physicist (1879 – 1955)
“I hope we have once again reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited. There’s a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: as government expands, liberty contracts.”
Ronald Reagan
40th President of USA (1911 – 2004)
“Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip.”
Will Rogers
US humorist & showman (1879 – 1935)
“A slender acquaintance with the world must convince every man that actions, not words, are the true criterion of the attachment of friends.”
George Washington
1st President of USA (1732 – 1799)
“Politics is war without bloodshed while war is politics with bloodshed.”
Mao Tse-Tung
Chinese Communist politician (1893 – 1976)
“You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.”
Adrian Rogers
American pastor and author (1931 – 2005)
“The future of our country, the direction that we go as people, whether we move ahead to meet the challenges of the future or slide back into the irresponsible policies of the past, will be determined by those who get involved.”
Ronald Reagan
40th President of USA (1911 – 2004)
“Crime does not pay … as well as politics.”
Alfred E. Newman
fictional mascot of Mad Magazine
“This campaign needed the common touch of a working man. After all, it began so long ago with the heralded arrival of a man known to Oprah Winfrey as ‘The One.’ Being a friend and colleague of Barack, I just called him ‘That One.’ He doesn’t mind at all. In fact, he even has a pet name for me: ‘George Bush.’”
John McCain
Alfred E. Smith Dinner (October 16, 2008)
United States Senator from Arizona (1936 – )
“Ninety percent of the politicians give the other ten percent a bad reputation.”
Henry Kissinger
US (German-born) diplomat & scholar (1923 – )
“He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”
Martin Luther King
clergyman & civil rights activist (1929 – 1968)
“It’s easy to sit there and say you’d like to have more money. And I guess that’s what I like about it. It’s easy. Just sitting there, rocking back and forth, wanting that money.”
Jack Handey
“Deep Thoughts”, Saturday Night Live
American humorist (1949 – )
“Words without actions are the assassins of idealism.”
Herbert Hoover
US mining engineer & politician (1874 – 1964)
“I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crises. The great point is to bring them the real facts.”
Abraham Lincoln
16th President of USA (1809 – 1865)
“Liberals become indignant when you question their patriotism, but simultaneously work overtime to give terrorists a cushion for the next attack and laugh at dumb Americans who love their country and hate the enemy.”
Ann Coulter
conservative political commentator (1961 – )
“In order to maintain an untenable position, you have to be actively ignorant, … One motto on the show is, ‘Keep your facts, I’m going with the truth’.”
Stephen Colbert
American comedian, satirist, actor & writer (1964 – )
“Liberty without learning is always in peril; learning without liberty is always in vain.”
John F. Kennedy
35th President of USA 1961-1963 (1917 – 1963)
“Be thankful we’re not getting all the government we’re paying for.”
Will Rogers
US humorist & showman (1879 – 1935)
“When I took office, only high energy physicists had ever heard of what is called the Worldwide Web. Now, even my cat has its own page.”
Bill Clinton
42nd President of USA (1946 – )
“Enraging liberals is simply one of the more enjoyable side effects of my wisdom.”
Rush Limbaugh
conservative political commentator (1951 – )
“An individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law.”
Martin Luther King
clergyman & civil rights activist (1929 – 1968)
“Democracy is worth dying for, because it’s the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man.”
Ronald Reagan
40th President of USA (1911 – 2004)
“I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.”
Thomas Jefferson
3rd President of USA (1743 – 1826)
Author of the Declaration of Independence
“Experience teaches us that it is much easier to prevent an enemy from posting themselves than it is to dislodge them after they have got possession.”
George Washington
1st President of USA (1732 – 1799)
“A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.”
George Bernard Shaw
Irish Playwright (1856 – 1950)
“I am a Republican. I’m loyal to the party of Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt. And I believe that my party, in some ways, has strayed from those principles, particularly on the issue of fiscal discipline.”
John McCain
United States Senator from Arizona (1936 – )
“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.”
George Orwell
English Novelist and Essayist (1903-1950)
“If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything.”
Mark Twain
US humorist, novelist, & short story author
(1835 – 1910)
“Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.”
Ernest Hemingway
US author & journalist (1899 – 1961)
“I know my country has not perfected itself. At times, we’ve struggled to keep the promise of liberty and equality for all of our people. We’ve made our share of mistakes, and there are times when our actions around the world have not lived up to our best intentions.”
Barack Obama
Tiergarten Park, Berlin, Germany (July 24, 2008)
44th President of USA (1961 – )
“All human situations have their inconveniences. We feel those of the present but neither see nor feel those of the future; and hence we often make troublesome changes without amendment, and frequently for the worse.”
Benjamin Franklin
colonial patriot, author, & scholar (1706 – 1790)
“I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”
Albert Einstein
US (German-born) physicist (1879 – 1955)
“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in getting up every time we do.”
Confucius
Chinese philosopher & reformer (551 BC – 479 BC)
“Honesty may be the best policy, but it’s important to remember that apparently, by elimination, dishonesty is the second-best policy.”
George Carlin
US comedian and actor (1937 – 2008)
“The man who would choose security over liberty deserves neither.”
Thomas Jefferson
3rd President of USA (1743 – 1826)
Author of the Declaration of Independence
“Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.”
Ronald Reagan
40th President of USA (1911 – 2004)
“Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.”
Albert Einstein
US (German-born) physicist (1879 – 1955)
“Democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve.”
George Bernard Shaw
Irish Playwright (1856 – 1950)
“Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.”
Benjamin Franklin
colonial patriot, author, & scholar (1706 – 1790)
“Our armed forces will fight for peace in Iraq, a peace built on more secure foundations than are found today in the Middle East. Even more important, they will fight for two human conditions of even greater value than peace: liberty and justice.”
John McCain
United States Senator from Arizona (1936 – )
“Liberal Democrats are inexorably opposed to tax cuts, because tax cuts give people more power, and take away from the role of government.”
Rush Limbaugh
conservative political commentator (1951 – )
“The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference – they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good.”
George Washington
1st President of USA (1732 – 1799)
“I think you need people of principle, of character, that are leaders, that take stands on important tough issues that will affect the future of this country.”
Sean Hannity
conservative political commentator (1961 – )
“It’s not that I want to punish your success. I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you, that they’ve got a chance for success too. My attitude is that if the economy’s good for folks from the bottom up, it’s gonna be good for everybody … I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”
Barack Obama
spoken to Joe “the plumber” Wurzelbacher in Ohio
(October 12, 2008) Fox News YouTube video
44th President of USA (1961 – )
“The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they’re ignorant; it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.”
Ronald Reagan
40th President of USA (1911 – 2004)
“I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people will get to the promised land.”
Martin Luther King
Mason Temple, Memphis, TN (April 3, 1968)
clergyman & civil rights activist (1929 – 1968)
“The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.”
Thomas Jefferson
3rd President of USA (1743 – 1826)
Author of the Declaration of Independence
“I wish I had a dollar for every time I spent a dollar, because then, Yahoo!, I’d have all my money back.”
Jack Handey
“Deep Thoughts”, Saturday Night Live
American humorist (1949 – )
“If the freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”
George Washington
1st President of USA (1732 – 1799)
“I believe that the government that governs best is a government that governs least, and by these standards we have set up a fabulous government in Iraq.”
Stephen Colbert
American comedian, satirist, actor & writer (1964 – )
“What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.”
Adrian Rogers
American pastor and author (1931 – 2005)
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