GOVERNMENT QUOTES IV

quotations about government

While legislation can stimulate and encourage, the real creative ability which builds up and develops the country, and in general makes human existence more tolerable and life more complete, has to be supplied by the genius of the people themselves. The Government can supply no substitute for enterprise.

CALVIN COOLIDGE, speech, Jul. 4, 1924

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If the people cannot trust their government to do the job for which it exists - to protect them and to promote their common welfare - all else is lost.

BARACK OBAMA, speech, Aug. 28, 2006

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Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.

GEORGE WASHINGTON, attributed

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The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse.

JAMES MADISON, speech at Virginia State Convention, Dec. 2, 1829

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As individuals, as families, as neighbors, as members of one community, people of all races and political views are usually decent, kind, compassionate. But in large corporations or governments, when great power accumulates in their hands, some become monsters even with good intentions.

DEAN KOONTZ, Dark Rivers of the Heart

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The federal government has never been known for its sense of humor.

LAURELL K. HAMILTON, Obsidian Butterfly

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The government of a nation itself is usually found to be but the reflux of the individuals composing it. The government that is ahead of the people will be inevitably dragged down to their level, as the government that is behind them will in the long run be dragged up.

SAMUEL SMILES, Self-Help

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The grossest, the cruelest, the most selfish, the most easily pervertible and perverted thing in this world, is government.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

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In all governments, there is a perpetual intestine struggle, open or secret, between Authority and Liberty, and neither of them can ever absolutely prevail in the contest.

DAVID HUME, "Of the Origin of Government", Essays, Moral, Political, and Literary

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Those who love their country never wish to rule it.

ABRAHAM MILLER, Unmoral Maxims

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A government is the complexion of the people--healthy as they are healthy, diseased as they are diseased.

AUSTIN O'MALLEY, Keystones of Thought

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The family is the basic cell of government: it is where we are trained to believe that we are human beings or that we are chattel, it is where we are trained to see the sex and race divisions and become callous to injustice even if it is done to ourselves, to accept as biological a full system of authoritarian government.

GLORIA STEINEM, speech, July 1981

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Government resembles the wall which surrounds our lands; a needful protection, but rearing no harvests, ripening no fruits. It is the individual who must choose whether the enclosure shall be a paradise or a waste.

WILLIAM E. CHANNING, Thoughts

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There are but two sorts of government: one where men show their teeth at each other, and one where men show their tongues and lick the feet of the strongest.

GEORGE ELIOT, Romola

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So long as honest men neglect to vote;
So long as good men leave the cares of state
To weak, incompetent, or careless hands,
Or place them in the grip of scheming knaves,
Our safety is imperiled. Every man
On Freedom's ramparts must a warder be,
To warn of danger when the foe appears;
To meet the onset when the foe assaults.
Else--vain our hopes, and else the temple grand,
Of all our rights, and birth-right liberties,
Ere long will fall, and crumble in the dust,
A ruin, more abject and dire than Rome
Or Carthage was.

ANDREW DOWNING, "A Picture"

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Contempt for government undermines its ability to protect all citizens. Good government should be based on facts. It should invest in maintenance of basic services, whether infrastructure repairs or public health, and be prepared for crises. Above all, it should attract the best and most professional people to public service. Unless we believe that public service is an honorable calling, we will never motivate talented people to join or achieve high performances. But none of this is possible unless those in positions of public trust carry out their jobs honorably, with respect for the institutions and the public they serve.

ROSABETH MOSS KANTER, America the Principled

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The mischiefs of anarchy have been equaled by the mischiefs of government.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

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In all governments, there must of necessity be both the law and the sword; laws without arms would give us not liberty, but licentiousness; and arms without laws would produce not subjection, but slavery. The law, therefore, should be unto the sword, what the handle is to the hatchet; it should direct the stroke and temper the force.

CHARLES CALEB COLTON, Lacon

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Government has almost always been a barrier against which intellect has had to struggle; and society has made its chief progress by the minds of private individuals, who have outstripped their rulers, and gradually shamed them into truth and wisdom.

WILLIAM E. CHANNING, Thoughts

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No people are so easy to govern as the intelligent, and none are so hard to govern as the ignorant.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

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