Founding Fathers Quotes

Quotes tagged as "founding-fathers" Showing 1-30 of 93
Ron Paul
“One thing is clear: The Founding Fathers never intended a nation where citizens would pay nearly half of everything they earn to the government.”
Ron Paul

Tiffany Madison
“Most gun control arguments miss the point. If all control boils fundamentally to force, how can one resist aggression without equal force? How can a truly “free” state exist if the individual citizen is enslaved to the forceful will of individual or organized aggressors? It cannot.”
Tiffany Madison

Thomas Jefferson
“How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy!”
Thomas Jefferson

Patrick Henry
“Give me liberty or give me death."

[From a speech given at Saint John's Church in Richmond, Virginia on March 23, 1775 to the Virginia House of Burgesses; as first published in print in 1817 in William Wirt's Life and Character of Patrick Henry.]”
Patrick Henry, Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death

I hope that we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations
“I hope that we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.”
Thomas Jefferson, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson: Retirement Series, Volume 10: 1 May 1816 to 18 January 1817

Alex E. Jones
“The answer to 1984 is 1776”
Alex E. Jones

Thomas Jefferson
“If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union, or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated, where reason is left free to combat it."

[First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1801]
Thomas Jefferson, The Inaugural Speeches and Messages of Thomas Jefferson, Esq.: Late President of the United States: Together with the Inaugural Speech of James Madison, Esq. ...

John Winthrop
“For this end, we must be knit together in this work as one man, we must entertain each other in brotherly affection, we must be willing to abridge our selves of our superfluities for the supply of others' necessities. We must uphold a familiar commerce together in all meekness, gentleness, patience and liberality. We must delight in each other, make others' conditions our own, rejoice together, mourn together, labor, and suffer together, always having before our eyes our commission and community in the work, our community as members of the same body. So shall we keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace, the Lord will be our God and delight to dwell among us, as His own people and will command a blessing upon us in all our ways, so that we shall see much more of His wisdom, power, goodness, and truth then formerly we have been acquainted with.”
John Winthrop

David Mazzucchelli
“Yes here's to the founding fathers—slave-owners, British citizens who didn't want to pay taxes...”
David Mazzucchelli, Asterios Polyp

Thomas Jefferson
“Where the preamble declares that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed, by inserting the word "Jesus Christ," so that it should read "a departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion." The insertion was rejected by a great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of it's protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan, the Hindoo, and infidel of every denomination.”
Thomas Jefferson, Autobiography of Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson
“But our rulers can have authority over such natural rights only as we have submitted to them. The rights of conscience we never submitted, we could not submit. We are answerable for them to our God. The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg. If it be said, his testimony in a court of justice cannot be relied on, reject it then, and be the stigma on him. Constraint may make him worse by making him a hypocrite, but it will never make him a truer man. It may fix him obstinately in his errors, but will not cure them. Reason and free enquiry are the only effectual agents against error.”
Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia

Rutger Bregman
Rousseau already observed that this form of government is more accurately an ‘elective aristocracy’ because in practice the people are not in power at all. Instead we’re allowed to decide who holds power over us. It’s also important to realise this model was originally designed to exclude society’s rank and file. Take the American Constitution: historians agree it ‘was intrinsically an aristocratic document designed to check the democratic tendencies of the period’. It was never the American Founding Fathers’ intention for the general populace to play an active role in politics. Even now, though any citizen can run for public office, it’s tough to win an election without access to an aristocratic network of donors and lobbyists. It’s not surprising that American ‘democracy’ exhibits dynastic tendencies—think of the Kennedys, the Clintons, the Bushes.

Time and again we hope for better leaders, but all too often those hopes are dashed. The reason, says Professor Keltner, is that power causes people to lose the kindness and modesty that got them elected, or they never possessed those sterling qualities in the first place. In a hierarchically organised society, the Machiavellis are one step ahead. They have the ultimate secret weapon to defeat their competition.

They’re shameless.”
Rutger Bregman, De meeste mensen deugen

Thomas Jefferson
“The president’s title as proposed by the senate was the most superlatively ridiculous thing I ever heard of. It is a proof the more of the justice of the character given by Doctr. Franklin of my friend [John Adams]: ‘Always an honest man, often a great one, but sometimes absolutely mad'.”
Thomas Jefferson, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Volume 15: March 1789 to November 1789

Thomas Jefferson
“The appointment of a woman to office is an innovation for which the public is not prepared, nor am I.”
Thomas Jefferson

“To the extent the divine source and inalienability of our rights are purported to be factual, history has proved our Founding Fathers plainly wrong: Every right has, in fact, been alienated by governments since the beginning of time. Within a generation of the establishment of our nation, the Founding Fathers rescinded virtually every right they previously declared unalienable. John Adams, one of the drafters of the Declaration of Independence, alienated the right to speak freely and express dissenting views when, as president, he enforced the Alien and Sedition Acts against his political opponents—with Hamilton’s support. (Perhaps Hamilton’s God had not given “sacred rights” to Jeffersonians!) Another of the drafters, Jefferson himself, alienated the most basic of rights—to the equal protection of the laws, based on the “truth” that “all men are created equal”—when he helped to write (and strengthen) Virginia’s “Slave Code,” just a few years after drafting the Declaration of Independence. The revised code denied slaves the right to liberty and to the pursuit of happiness by punishing attempted escape with “outlawry” or death. Jefferson personally suspected that “the blacks … are inferior to the whites in the endowments of body and mind.” In other words, they were endowed by their Creator not with equality but with inferiority.

There is no right that has not been suspended or trampled during times of crisis and war, even by our greatest presidents. ...

I wish there were an intellectually satisfying argument for the divine source of rights, as our Founding Fathers tried to put forth. Tactically, that would be the strongest argument liberals could make, especially in America, where many hold a strong belief in an intervening God. But we cannot offer this argument, because many liberals do not believe in concepts like divine hands. We believe in separation of church and state. We are pragmatists, utilitarians, empiricists, secularists, and (God forgive me!) moral relativists. We are skeptical of absolutes (as George Bernard Shaw cynically quipped: “The golden rule is that there are no golden rules.”).”
Alan Dershowitz, The Case for Liberalism in an Age of Extremism: or, Why I Left the Left But Can't Join the Right

Ron Paul
“…I always support secession, and I think that the founders made a mistake by not having that in the Constitution…”
Ron Paul

Thomas Jefferson
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, that to secure these rights governments are instituted among men. We...solemnly publish and declare, that these colonies are and of a right ought to be free and independent states...and for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine providence, we mutually pledge our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honour.”
Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of Independence

“Principles of Liberty
1. The only reliable basis for sound government and just human relations is Natural Law.
2. A free people cannot survive under a republican constitution unless they remain virtuous and morally strong.
3. The most promising method of securing a virtuous and morally strong people is to elect virtuous leaders.
4. Without religion the government of a free people cannot be maintained.
5. All things were created by God, therefore upon him all mankind are equally dependent, and to Him they are equally responsible.
6. All men are created equal.
7. The proper role of government is to protect equal rights, not provide equal things.
8. Men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.
9. To protect man's rights, God has revealed certain principles of divine law.
10. The God-given right to govern is vested in the sovereign authority of the whole people.
11. The majority of the people may alter or abolish a government which has become tyrannical.
12. The United States of America shall be a republic.
13. A constitution should be structured to permanently protect the people from the human frailties of their rulers.
14. Life and Liberty are secure only so long as the Igor of property is secure.
15. The highest level of securitiy occurs when there is a free market economy and a minimum of government regulations.
16. The government should be separated into three branches: legislative, executive, and judicial.
17. A system of checks and balances should be adopted to prevent the abuse of power.
18. The unalienable rights of the people are most likely to be preserved if the principles of government are set forth in a written constitution.
19. Only limited and carefully defined powers should be delegated to the government, all others being retained by the people.
20. Efficiency and dispatch require government to operate according to the will of the majority, but constitutional provisions must be made to protect the rights of the minority.
21. Strong human government is the keystone to preserving human freedom.
22. A free people should be governed by law and not by the whims of men.
23. A free society cannot survive a republic without a broad program of general education.
24. A free people will not survive unless they stay strong.
25. "Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none."
26. The core unit which determines the strength of any society is the family; therefore, the government should foster and protect its integrity.
27. The burden of debt is as destructive to freedom as subjugation by conquest.
28. The United States has a manifest destiny to be an example and a blessing to the entire human race.”
Founding Fathers

Jared Taylor
“Benjamin Franklin wrote little about race, but had a sense of racial loyalty. “[T]he Number of purely white People in the World is proportionably [sic] very small,” he observed. “ . . . I could wish their Numbers were increased.”
James Madison, like Jefferson, believed the only solution to the problem of racial friction was to free the slaves and send them away. He proposed that the federal government sell off public lands in order to raise the money to buy the entire slave population and transport it overseas. He favored a Constitutional amendment to establish a colonization society to be run by the President. After two terms in office, Madison served as chief executive of the American Colonization Society, to which he devoted much time and energy. At the inaugural meeting of the society in 1816, Henry Clay described its purpose: to “rid our country of a useless and pernicious, if not dangerous portion of the population.”
The following prominent Americans were not merely members but served as officers of the society: Andrew Jackson, Daniel Webster, Stephen Douglas, William Seward, Francis Scott Key, Winfield Scott, and two Chief Justices of the Supreme Court, John Marshall and Roger Taney. All opposed the presence of blacks in the United States and thought expatriation was the only long-term solution.
James Monroe was such an ardent champion of colonization that the capital of Liberia is named Monrovia in gratitude for his efforts. As for Roger Taney, as chief justice he wrote in the Dred Scott decision of 1857 what may be the harshest federal government pronouncement on blacks ever written: Negroes were “beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the White race, either in social or political relations; and so far inferior that they have no rights which a White man is bound to respect.”
Abraham Lincoln considered blacks to be—in his words—“a troublesome presence” in the United States. During the Lincoln-Douglas debates he expressed himself unambiguously: “I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will for ever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality.”
His opponent, Stephen Douglas, was even more outspoken, and made his position clear in the very first debate: “For one, I am opposed to negro citizenship in any form. I believe that this government was made on the white basis. I believe it was made by white men for the benefit of white men and their posterity forever, and I am in favor of confining the citizenship to white men—men of European birth and European descent, instead of conferring it upon negroes and Indians, and other inferior races.”
Jared Taylor, White Identity: Racial Consciousness in the 21st Century

Jared Taylor
“[I]t is now common to describe racial and ethnic diversity as one of America’s greatest strengths. It is therefore easy to forget that this is a change in thinking that dates back only to perhaps the 1970s. For most of their history Americans preferred sameness to diversity. In 1787, in the second of The Federalist Papers, John Jay gave thanks that “Providence has been pleased to give this one connected country to one united people, a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs . . . .”
Thomas Jefferson was suspicious of the diversity that even white immigrants would bring: 'In proportion to their numbers, they will share with us the legislation. They will infuse into it their spirit, warp and bias its directions, and render it a heterogeneous, incoherent, distracted mass. . . . Suppose 20 millions of republican Americans thrown all of a sudden into France, what would be the condition of that kingdom? It would be more turbulent, less happy, less strong. We believe that the addition of half a million foreigners to our present numbers would produce a similar effect here.'
Alexander Hamilton shared his suspicions: 'The opinion is . . . correct, that foreigners will generally be apt to bring with them attachments to the persons they have left behind; to the country of their nativity, and to its particular customs and manners . . . . The influx of foreigners must, therefore, tend to produce a heterogeneous compound; to change and corrupt the national spirit; to complicate and confound public opinion; to introduce foreign propensities.'
The United States nevertheless did permit immigration, but only of Europeans, and they were to turn their backs on past loyalties. As John Quincy Adams explained to a German nobleman: “They must cast off the European skin, never to resume it.”
Jared Taylor, White Identity: Racial Consciousness in the 21st Century

“Jefferson's hatred of Hamilton was complicated by jealousy of Washington's affection for the younger man... The continuing intellectual debate over the Jeffersonian and Hamiltonian rival systems of government takes on a new and richer dimension if seen against the backdrop of the personal drama of this remarkable triangle.”

Rob Primeau
“America was not a nation at all, but a league of thirteen separate nations—all of which had already standing Christian governments. For example the Constitution of Massachusetts required the Governor to “declare himself to be of the Christian religion” and gave the government the power to levy money “for the institution of the public worship of God and for the support and maintenance of public Protestant teachers of piety, religion, and morality”—and the Federal Government would not impede upon the existing State-level Religious Laws and Institutions.
Schools used to be both public and Protestant and filled with peace, but without Protestantism, schools have become public and filled with violent protesters. It is true that public Protestant schools were a little harsh and a lot successful, but the public secular schools today are extremely soft and not successful at all. These harsh and hard religious schools produced very tender men, whereas the soft public schools seem to produce more hardened criminals.”
Rob Primeau, The Law of Liberty: A Practical Look at the Judeo-Christian Tradition

Robert Marion La Follette
“The existence of the corporation, as we have it with us today, was never dreamed of by the fathers . . .The corporation of today has invaded every department of business, and it’s powerful but invisible hand is felt in almost all activities of life . . . The effect of this change upon the American people is radical and rapid.

The individual is fast disappearing as a business factor and in his stead is this new device, the modern corporation . . . The influence of this change upon character cannot be overestimated. The businessman at one time gave his individuality, stamped his mental and moral characteristics upon the business he conducted . . .

Today the business once transacted by individuals in every community is in the control of corporations, and many of the men who once conducted an independent business are gathered into the organization, and all personal identity, and all individualities lost.”
Robert Marion La Follette

“Trump is a complete package of the Founders’ greatest fears—delusions of royalty, appeals to the basest appetites of the polity, populism over small-r republicanism, and vulnerability to the blandishments of foreign powers who so obviously are welcome to corrupt him with gifts or flattery of his ravenous ego.

To date, his actions have had the possible check of the 2020 election hanging over him, which has influenced him whether or not he admits it. Trump needs to win reelection to continue his nation-state level, god-tier grifting and to avoid prosecution.

He thrives not on a competition of ideas but on the division of the country. Our parties and politics will follow him down, fighting a dirtier, more savage battle until we’ve forgotten what it means to share even the most common baseline with our fellow Americans. The cold civil war is warming by the day. He’s not the only centrifugal political force, but he’s the most powerful.

This will only accelerate if he is reelected. There will be no end to his ambition and no check on his actions. He will conclude that he’s the winner who wins, and for him that will justify everything in his catalog of errors and terrors. We’ve learned there is no bottom with Trump, no level to which he won’t sink, no excess he won’t embrace.”
Rick Wilson, Running Against the Devil: A Plot to Save America from Trump — And Democrats from Themselves

Nancy Isenberg
“History is not a bedtime story. It is a comprehensive engagement with often obscure documents and books no longer read—books shelved in old archives, and fragile pamphlets contemporaneous with the subject under study—all of which reflect a world view not ours.”
Nancy Isenberg, Fallen Founder: The Life of Aaron Burr

John Dickerson
“That a [presidential] candidate would do whatever it took to get power is now proof that a candidate is fit for the job—a perfect reversal of the founders' intent.”
John Dickerson, The Hardest Job in the World: The American Presidency

“The founding fathers of America, if alive today, would be thrown in prison and be charged as domestic terrorist by todays government.”
James Thomas Kesterson Jr

John Dickerson
“Whether a candidate promises to sweep the stables, as [Andrew] Jackson did, or drain the swamp, the passion for disruption in the name of connecting the people to their government is rich and long-standing.

The problem with downgrading the sausage-making skills is that government is still a sausage-making enterprise in which ugly compromises are made for partial progress in the name of the greater good. This is not a theory. It is the instruction left by the framers in the Constitution: Make sausage.”
John Dickerson, The Hardest Job in the World: The American Presidency

“The one right that no founding father ever fought for was 'equality'. When I discovered this, I was appalled that these great men could not understand that 'equality' should come before all else because without 'equality' the other rights are useless. It's like giving someone a crippled horse.”
James Thomas Kesterson Jr

Neel Burton
“Both the European Union and the United States are in some sense the heirs of Rome. Like Rome, the United States is founded on a republican myth of liberation from a tyrannical oppressor. Just as the Rape of Lucretia led to the overthrow of the last Etruscan king, so the Boston Tea Party led to the overthrow of the British crown. The Founding Fathers of the United States sought quite literally to create a New Rome, with, for instance, a clear separation of powers between the legislative and executive branches of government—with the legislative branch called, as in Rome, the Senate. They even debated whether the executive branch would not be better represented, as in Rome, by two consuls rather than the president that they eventually settled for. The extended period of relative peace and prosperity since the end of the Second World War has been dubbed the Pax Americana [‘American Peace’], after the Pax Romana which perdured from the accession of Augustus in 27 BCE to the death of the last of the Five Good Emperors, Marcus Aurelius, in 180 CE. The United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union can be accounted for, in part, by the ghost of the nineteenth century Pax Britannica, when the British Empire was not merely a province of Rome but a Rome unto herself.”
Neel Burton, The Meaning of Myth: With 12 Greek Myths Retold and Interpreted by a Psychiatrist

« previous 1 3 4