Timeless Quotes About Government

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This topic contains 28 replies, has 18 voices, and was last updated by  David Dejewski 8 years, 3 months ago.

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  • #146295

    David Dejewski

    Are the issues we’re facing today all that new or were they predictable?

    Did great people talk about these issues before?

    What quotes can you find from history that talk about our government?

    What wisdoms are hidden in these quotes?

    Are they relevant today?

  • #146351

    David Dejewski

    “The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with their own money.”

    — Alexis de Tocqueville (1805 – 1859)

  • #146349

    David Dejewski

    “There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation.

    One is by sword. The other is by debt.”

    -– John Adams

  • #146347

    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)

    “It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people’s minds..” – The Federalist, No. 29

  • #146345

    “The minority, the ruling class at present, has the schools and press, usually the Church as well, under its thumb. This enables it to organize and sway the emotions of the masses, and make its tool of them.” – Albert Einstein

  • #146343

    “Competition has been shown to be useful up to a certain point and no further, but cooperation, which is the thing we must strive for today, begins where competition leaves off.”

    “Confidence… thrives on honesty, on honor, on the sacredness of obligations, on faithful protection and on unselfish performance. Without them it cannot live.”

    “I am neither bitter nor cynical but I do wish there was less immaturity in political thinking.”

    In our personal ambitions we are individualists. But in our seeking for economic and political progress as a nation, we all go up or else all go down as one people.”

    Read more:http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/f/franklin_d_roosevelt_2.html#ixzz1eXqaI2n9

    – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

    Read more: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/f/franklin_d_roosevelt.html#ixzz1eXqL0VjK

  • #146341

    David Dejewski

    “I place the economy among the first and most important virtues… and public debt as the great danger to be feared. To preserve your independence, we must not let our leaders load us with perpetual debt. We must make our choice between economy and liberty… or profusion and servitude.”

    — Thomas Jefferson

  • #146339

    Paul Crookall

    “All this progress is marvellous…now if only it would stop.” and “It’s hard to make predictions, especially about the future.”

    observations by Allan Lamport, mayor of Toronto, 1952-54.

  • #146337

    Caryn Wesner-Early

    I saw Andrew’s BrainyQuotes citations, and looked to see what else I could find. I thought these were interesting, given the source:


    “What good fortune for governments that the people do not think.”
    “The great strength of the totalitarian state is that it forces those who fear it to imitate it.”
    “The leader of genius must have the ability to make different opponents appear as if they belonged to one category. ”
    And some that are not so much about government, as such, as about running for office:
    “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.”
    “By the skillful and sustained use of propaganda, one can make a people see even heaven as hell or an extremely wretched life as paradise.”
    “Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it. ”

    “The receptivity of the masses is very limited, their intelligence is small, but their power of forgetting is enormous. In consequence of these facts, all effective propaganda must be limited to a very few points and must harp on these in slogans until the last member of the public understands what you want him to understand by your slogan.”



    Adolf Hitler Adolf Hitler > Quotes

  • #146335

    Jay Johnson

    When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators – P. J. O’Rourke

    It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first. – Ronald Reagan

    It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried. – Sir Winston Churchill

    A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue then will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader. – Samuel Adams

    Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and success of liberty. – John F. Kennedy

  • #146333

    Ben Chambers

    “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”

    – Edmund Burke

  • #146331

    “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.'” – Ronald Reagan

  • #146329

    Julie Chase

    No one famous. Just quotes I have heard throughout my gov career.

    “Take these forms and fill out all sections on all 20 pages, except for section C. Then sign each page and initial where indicated. I will make copies when you are finished.”

    “Oh, I see, did you bring Form # 400-4 D with you? No, well, I’m sorry, you need to go to that dept and get the form and fill it out before you come to us.”

    “This form has been superceded, you will need to get the correct form.”

    “Come on in. I have reviewed your performance assessment, however, I see you did not fill out section 5 of the 16 page review. Do you have any questions about it? Well, you need to fill that out and send it back to me electronically and then we can set up another time for your review.”

    “I don’t see a packing slip for this order. In order to audit you according to directive/regulation, all packing slips have to be included with each order. Perhaps we can set up another time for this audit.”

    It’s all about the “process” and paperwork. Whoever climbs to the top of the gov mound of papers, will be crowned the paper tiger. Oh, you will need to sign, initial and initial your initials to prove that you signed it. Yep, a true scene right of the old M*A*S*H* series.

    My fav is: “Hurry up and wait.”

  • #146327

    I can’t stand that quote.

  • #146325

    Be thankful we’re not getting all the government we’re paying for.

    -Will Rogers

  • #146323

    Peter Sperry

    “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.

    Ronald Reagan — First Inaugral Address

  • #146321

    Paul Alberti

    “We have the right as individuals to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right to appropriate a dollar of the public money.”
    Davy Crockett speech “Not Yours to Give”

  • #146319

    Paul Homan

    “When the women of the country come in and sit with you, though there may be but very few in the next few years, I pledge you that you will get ability, you will get integrity of purpose, you will get exalted patriotism, and you will get unstinted usefulness.” – Sen. Rebecca Latimer Felton D-Ga. on her one day as a US Senator, November 21, 1922.

  • #146317

    Jon Mathis

    It’s amazing how much you can get done if you don’t care who gets the credit.

  • #146315

    David Dejewski

    Good angle, Julie! Bureaucracy at it’s finest. Some of these personal quotes have a few decades of use for sure!

  • #146313

    David Dejewski

    Wow! A member of Congress actually said that?!

    We’ve clearly come a long way from this sort of thinking.

  • #146311

    Julie Chase

    and are still used to this very day!

  • #146309

    Bill Brantley

    Wow! Some really negative quotes about government from previous commentators.

    “The way people in democracies think of the government as something different from themselves is a real handicap. And, of course, sometimes the government confirms their opinion.”
    Lewis Mumford

  • #146307


    I’ll submit two JFK quotes, two of my favorite quotes pertaining to government:

    “You will find the pressures greater than the pay. You may endure more public attacks than support. But you will have the unequaled satisfaction of knowing your character and talent are contributing to the direction and success of this free society.”

    “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.”

  • #146305

    Ramona Winkelbauer

    Have these as signature files:

    “In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is.” — Jan L.A. van de Snepscheut

    “I do wonder, if Schrödinger had just put a rat or a cockroach in his box, would anyone have cared? The course of 20th Century physics might have been entirely different, if everyone hadn’t been so worried about that poor cat…” — Lois McMaster Bujold

    “The truth is that if you take a little time to learn a few basic principles and some of the technical lingo, buying the right computer and getting it to work properly is no more complicated than building a nuclear reactor from wristwatch parts in a darkened room using only your teeth. So let’s get started! ” — ArcaMax Publishing joke of 6/4/08

  • #146303

    Mark Hammer

    One of my personal favourites is one that has probably never been uttered by a historical figure but says a mouthful nonetheless, and always brings a wry smile to my face.

    A colleague offering up his wishes at a friend’s retirement party said: “Murray was always a strong believer in evidence-based decision-making…as opposed to decision-based evidence-making“.

  • #146301

    David Dejewski


  • #146299

    David Dejewski

    Consider that one stolen, Mark. I like it!

  • #146297

    Paul Alberti

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

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