8 Favorite Quotes about Government

I love quotes – who doesn’t? Our thread on “Favorite Quotes” has over 500 suggestions.

With 500 suggestions, I thought it was time to highlight my 8 favorite quotes about government.

1) John F. Kennedy“Let the public service be a proud and lively career. And let every man and woman who works in any area of our national government, in any branch, at any level, be able to say with pride and with honor in future years: “I served the United States government in that hour of our nation’s need.”

2) From “West Wing” TV Show

President Bartlet: There’s a promise that I ask everyone who works here to make: Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Do you know why?

Will Bailey: Because it’s the only thing that ever has.

3) Émile Durkheim“When mores are sufficient, laws are unnecessary; when mores are insufficient, laws are unenforceable.”

4) Samuel Adams“If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands, which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”
(speech at the Philadelphia State House, August 1, 1776)

5) Sir Winston ChurchillIt has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.

6) Ronald ReaganThe nine most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.

7) Bertrand Russell – Government can easily exist without laws, but law cannot exist without government.

8) Colin PowellOrganization doesn’t really accomplish anything. Plans don’t accomplish anything, either. Theories of management don’t much matter. Endeavors succeed or fail because of the people involved. Only by attracting the best people will you accomplish great deeds.

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Peter Sperry

Regarding #6, we might also want to remember what Reagan said in his first inaugural address: ” Now, so there will be no misunderstanding, it is not my intention to do away with government. It is, rather, to make it work—work with us, not over us; to stand by our side, not ride on our back. Government can and must provide opportunity, not smother it; foster productivity, not stifle it.” Reagan recognized the problem with government in the 70s was that it was out of control, rumbling through the community like a bulldozer with a drunk at the controls destroying everything in its path. His solution was not to do away with construction machinery; but to change the individuals in control.