Washington Quotes

Quotes tagged as "washington" Showing 1-30 of 49
Jay Leno
“The Supreme Court has ruled that they cannot have a nativity scene in Washington, D.C. This wasn't for any religious reasons. They couldn't find three wise men and a virgin.”
Jay Leno

Thomas Jefferson
“When the clergy addressed General Washington on his departure from the government, it was observed in their consultation that he had never on any occasion said a word to the public which showed a belief in the Christian religion and they thought they should so pen their address as to force him at length to declare publicly whether he was a Christian or not. They did so. However [Dr. Rush] observed the old fox was too cunning for them. He answered every article of their address particularly except that, which he passed over without notice... I know that Gouverneur Morris, who pretended to be in his secrets & believed himself to be so, has often told me that General Washington believed no more of that system than he himself did.

{The Anas, February 1, 1800, written shortly after the death of first US president George Washington}”
Thomas Jefferson, The Complete Anas of Thomas Jefferson

Thomas A. Edison
Tom Paine has almost no influence on present-day thinking in the United States because he is unknown to the average citizen. Perhaps I might say right here that this is a national loss and a deplorable lack of understanding concerning the man who first proposed and first wrote those impressive words, 'the United States of America.'

But it is hardly strange.

Paine's teachings have been debarred from schools everywhere and his views of life misrepresented until his memory is hidden in shadows, or he is looked upon as of unsound mind.

We never had a sounder intelligence in this Republic. He was the equal of Washington in making American liberty possible. Where Washington performed Paine devised and wrote. The deeds of one in the Weld were matched by the deeds of the other with his pen.

Washington himself appreciated Paine at his true worth. Franklin knew him for a great patriot and clear thinker. He was a friend and confidant of Jefferson, and the two must often have debated the academic and practical phases of liberty.

I consider Paine our greatest political thinker. As we have not advanced, and perhaps never shall advance, beyond the Declaration and Constitution, so Paine has had no successors who extended his principles. Although the present generation knows little of Paine's writings, and although he has almost no influence upon contemporary thought, Americans of the future will justly appraise his work. I am certain of it.

Truth is governed by natural laws and cannot be denied. Paine spoke truth with a peculiarly clear and forceful ring. Therefore time must balance the scales. The Declaration and the Constitution expressed in form Paine's theory of political rights. He worked in Philadelphia at the time that the first document was written, and occupied a position of intimate contact with the nation's leaders when they framed the Constitution.

Certainly we may believe that Washington had a considerable voice in the Constitution. We know that Jefferson had much to do with the document. Franklin also had a hand and probably was responsible in even larger measure for the Declaration. But all of these men had communed with Paine. Their views were intimately understood and closely correlated. There is no doubt whatever that the two great documents of American liberty reflect the philosophy of Paine.

...Then Paine wrote 'Common Sense,' an anonymous tract which immediately stirred the fires of liberty. It flashed from hand to hand throughout the Colonies. One copy reached the New York Assembly, in session at Albany, and a night meeting was voted to answer this unknown writer with his clarion call to liberty. The Assembly met, but could find no suitable answer. Tom Paine had inscribed a document which never has been answered adversely, and never can be, so long as man esteems his priceless possession.

In 'Common Sense' Paine flared forth with a document so powerful that the Revolution became inevitable. Washington recognized the difference, and in his calm way said that matters never could be the same again. It must be remembered that 'Common Sense' preceded the declaration and affirmed the very principles that went into the national doctrine of liberty. But that affirmation was made with more vigor, more of the fire of the patriot and was exactly suited to the hour... Certainly [the Revolution] could not be forestalled, once he had spoken.

{The Philosophy of Paine, June 7, 1925}”
Thomas Edison, Diary and Sundry Observations of Thomas Alva Edison

Christopher Hitchens
“Suppose that a man leaps out of a burning building—as my dear friend and colleague Jeff Goldberg sat and said to my face over a table at La Tomate in Washington not two years ago—and lands on a bystander in the street below. Now, make the burning building be Europe, and the luckless man underneath be the Palestinian Arabs. Is this a historical injustice? Has the man below been made a victim, with infinite cause of complaint and indefinite justification for violent retaliation? My own reply would be a provisional 'no,' but only on these conditions. The man leaping from the burning building must still make such restitution as he can to the man who broke his fall, and must not pretend that he never even landed on him. And he must base his case on the singularity and uniqueness of the original leap. It can't, in other words, be 'leap, leap, leap' for four generations and more. The people underneath cannot be expected to tolerate leaping on this scale and of this duration, if you catch my drift. In Palestine, tread softly, for you tread on their dreams. And do not tell the Palestinians that they were never fallen upon and bruised in the first place. Do not shame yourself with the cheap lie that they were told by their leaders to run away. Also, stop saying that nobody knew how to cultivate oranges in Jaffa until the Jews showed them how. 'Making the desert bloom'—one of Yvonne's stock phrases—makes desert dwellers out of people who were the agricultural superiors of the Crusaders.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir

Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Raphael paints wisdom, Handel sings it, Phidias carves it, Shakespeare writes it, Wren builds it, Columbus sails it, Luther preaches it, Washington arms it, Watt mechanizes it.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Pick a leader who is strong and confident, yet humble. Intelligent, but not sly. A leader who encourages diversity, not racism. One who understands the needs of the farmer, the teacher, the welder, the doctor, and the environmentalist -- not only the banker, the oil tycoon, the weapons developer, or the insurance and pharmaceutical lobbyist.”
Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem

Ron Chernow
“Washington once advised his adopted grandson that where there is no occasion for expressing an opinion, it is best to be silent. For there is nothing more certain than that it is at all times more easy to make enemies than friends.”
Ron Chernow

Bill Bryson
“I tell the kids that, even in a childhood marked by despair and deprivation, I knew that no matter what happened, I still had my family, or at least the remnants of a family ripped apart by divorce and then glued back together in various odd arrangements through a series of ill- advised remarriages. It was good to know I had a solid foundation.”
Washington Post Magazine

Washington Irving
“It is worthy to note, that the early popularity of Washington was not the result of brilliant achievement nor signal success; on the contrary, it rose among trials and reverses, and may almost be said to have been the fruit of defeat.”
Washington Irving, Life Of George Washington

Henry Adams
“In Paris and London he had seen nothing to make a return to life worth while; in Washington he saw plenty of reasons for staying dead.”
Henry Adams, The Education of Henry Adams

Christopher Hitchens
“British diplomats and Anglo-American types in Washington have a near-superstitious prohibition on uttering the words 'Special Relationship' to describe relations between Britain and America, lest the specialness itself vanish like a phantom at cock-crow.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir

Ron Chernow
“And shall we at last become the victims of our own abominable lust of gain? Forbid it, Heaven." Washington himself could be a hard driving businessman, yet he found the rapacity of many vendors unconscionable. As he told George Mason, he thought it the intent of the speculators, various tribes of money makers and stock jobbers of all denominations, to continue the war for their own private emolument, without considering that their avarice and thirst for gain must plunge everything in one common ruin.”
Ron Chernow

Ned Hayes
“It was very damp and misty–which some people from outside the Pacific Northwest consider to be rain, but I do not. This is typical weather for the Pacific Northwest and Olympia. It is often wet in Olympia, but we have an average of only 49.95 inches a year of actual precipitation. That’s less than in Denver. In Olympia, the air is damp, and water collects and drips from everywhere. We do not get big downpours, but we get damp and spongy.

I don’t care. It helps the trees grow, and I climb the trees.”
Ned Hayes, The Eagle Tree

Ron Chernow
“Washington
grew as a leader because he engaged in searching self- criticism. “I can bear to hear
of imputed or real errors,” he once wrote. “The man who wishes to stand well in the
opinion of others must do this, because he is thereby enabled to correct his faults
or remove prejudices which are imbibed against him.”41 The one thing Washington
could not abide was when people published criticisms of him without first giving
him a chance to respond privately”
Ron Chernow, Washington: A Life

Israel Morrow
“One popular defense of the Founding Fathers says they were simply men of their time, flawed idealists for whom 'that was the culture then.' But in fact, they were not men of their time. The Founding Fathers were men of their color (white) of their status (wealthy) of their descent (European) of their time.
To say that the Founding Fathers were men of their time defines time according to them. It legitimizes their place at the top of the world--the origin of popular history--even if the leaders of other nations were more democratic and fair-handed.”
Israel Morrow, Gods of the Flesh: A Skeptic's Journey Through Sex, Politics and Religion

August Wilson
“I know I got to eat. But I got to live too.”
August Wilson, Fences - Screenplay

“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.”
FAWN BRODIE

George Washington
“I rejoice in a belief that intellectual light will spring up in the dark corners of the earth; that freedom of inquiry will produce liberality of conduct; that mankind will reverse the absurd position that the many were made for the few.”
George Washington, Washington

Michelle Obama
“Barack was now surrounded by people whose job was to treat him like a precious gem. It sometimes felt like a throwback to some lost era...”
Michelle Obama, Michelle Obama - Quotes to Live By

“As workers in Alaska built 800 miles of pipeline through wilderness all but uninhabited by humans, workers in Washington took up the challenge of pushing 100 miles of rapid transit through a long-settled region densely populated by lawyers.”
Zachary M. Schrag, The Great Society Subway: A History of the Washington Metro

Robert M. Gates
“I would listen with growing outrage as hypocritical and obtuse American senators made all these demands of Iraqi legislators and yet themselves could not even pass budgets or appropriations bills, not to mention deal with tough challenges like the budget deficit, Social Security, and entitlement reforms. So many times I wanted to come right out of my chair at the witness table and scream, You guys have been in business for over two hundred years and can't pass routine legislation. How can you be so impatient with a bunch of parliamentarians who've been at it a year after four thousand years of dictatorship?”
Robert M. Gates, Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War

“President George Washington’s namesake capital, once a marketplace for slave auctions, is now synonymous with democracy and freedom; so is the iconic Jefferson, who wanted to build an “Empire of Liberty” for the world.”
Patrick Mendis, Peaceful War: How the Chinese Dream and the American Destiny Create a New Pacific World Order

Ray Palla
“I swear if Washington moved any slower, we could be at war and it would all be over before they could even lift their sluggish, naked, dead asses off of their comfortable heated-seat toilets. -Fitzhugh to Captain Jeeter”
Ray Palla, H: Infidels of Oil

R.A. Lafferty
“It is a southern river town with some pretensions of being a city... And like every southern river town it has its canker....
The capital has its own orneriness, as pervading as the others, but it isn't the same sort. It never was a fun town. It is not a robust sin town. Its fleshpots have no real juice in them. Its vices are effete and heterodox, and its moral rot is a dry one. Though its people have come from all parts, yet they are not all sorts of people. They are very much of one sort. The ethic climate here nurtures an ancient, evil, shriveled thing. It is of the inhabitants of this city that the prophet spoke:
Of those who do not have the faith
And will not have the fun.”
R.A. Lafferty, Fourth Mansions

Krzysztof Pacyński
“Most of Senators loves their job, with all the perks and influence it carried, but doesn’t hesitate about complaining how dreadful living in Washington is. Awful town, keeping them away from their wonderful states, even though many couldn’t be seen in their home states except for campaigning periods.”
Krzysztof Pacyński, A perfect Patricide: Part 1

Uzodinma Iweala
“Washington, D.C. is so confusing in the spring. The days grow increasingly hot and humid, but the nights hold on to winter for as long as possible. On some days the grass is still frosted over in the mornings, stiff and crunchy, even if it wilts before the first class starts. If you are not careful you get caught in the weather's nostalgia and at night, a windbreaker or a sweater isn't enough.”
Uzodinma Iweala, Speak No Evil

Uzodinma Iweala
“The streets are empty and quiet this early in the morning and I can hear my own footsteps as they fall. I can never forget the imperfections in these brick sidewalks, where they rise and dip around tree roots, where loose segments can make you stumble and fall. Mom is right, the morning is cooler than I expected, but I am committed to the cold air sting that will soon turn to an unbearably soggy heat. Such is the way of a city built on a swamp.”
Uzodinma Iweala, Speak No Evil

Steven Magee
“Voting Republican or Democrat is a wasted vote.”
Steven Magee

Nancy Rubin Stuart
“Exhausted by hours of crying and hysterics, Peggy fell into a restless sleep. Her marathon display of insanity, the grandest theatrical performance of her life, had successfully deceived Washington and Hamilton.”
Nancy Rubin Stuart, Defiant Brides: The Untold Story of Two Revolutionary-Era Women and the Radical Men They Married

Dana Bate
“Kramer's sits on Connecticut Avenue just north of Dupont Circle and is a Washington institution of sorts, functioning as a bookstore, restaurant, and bar all in one. The front always swarms with people perusing the book displays, which overflow with stacks of paperbacks and hardbacks, everything from political memoirs to the juiciest works of fiction.”
Dana Bate, The Girls' Guide to Love and Supper Clubs

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