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Quotes of the Founding Fathers

At the behest of a coworker, I've been reading a lot lately. He had been sending me daily emails for several months and trying to get me involved in and informed on many issues that he felt were threats to our liberty and sovereignty. I finally was able to sit still long enough to watch Aaron Russo's America: Freedom To Fascism. In that film I was "introduced" to Dr. Ron Paul. I was awakened by AFTF and continued reading and researching as much as I could about Dr. Paul (and other topics). I am very much in tune with his message and philosophy. For the first time in quite a few years, I found that I was actually excited about the political process.

We all know that the current incarnation of our federal government is not what was anticipated by our Founders. Many feel that there is nothing they can do to change it. In my opinion, we are now, inexcusably, one hurricane away from totalitarianism. Many seem to believe that our Constitution and Bill of Rights are outdated and that the country has evolved past them. I disagree with that notion and sought to counter it with some pearls of wisdom from the Founders themselves.

What I learned while sorting through the quotes I selected is that the only real difference between us and them is that we drive cars. Well, there must be something else... I'm positive, however, that if they were alive today, they would not be as complacent as we are.

Quotes from the Founding Fathers:

Thomas Jefferson

“Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. “

“Every citizen should be a soldier. This was the case with the Greeks and Romans, and must be that of every Free State. “

“Honesty is the first chapter of the book of wisdom. “

“I do not take a single newspaper, nor read one a month, and I feel myself infinitely the happier for it. “

“In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. “

“Never spend your money before you have it. “

“Shake off all the fears of servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal for every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear. “

“The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers. “

“The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it always to be kept alive. “

“The will of the people is the only legitimate foundation of any government, and to protect its free expression should be our first object. “

“I have the consolation of having added nothing to my private fortune during my public service, and of retiring with hands clean as they are empty. “

“No government ought to be without censors & where the press is free, no one ever will. “

“If our house be on fire, without inquiring whether it was fired from within or without, we must try to extinguish it. “

“An honest man can feel no pleasure in the exercise of power over his fellow citizens. “

“Advertisements... contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper. “

“I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs. “

Patrick Henry

“Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense? “

“For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst and provide for it. “

“Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death! “

“Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined. “

“The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them. “

“We are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of Nature has placed in our power... the battle, sir, is not to the strong alone it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. “

“When the American spirit was in its youth, the language of America was different: Liberty, sir, was the primary object. “

George Washington

“Arbitrary power is most easily established on the ruins of liberty abused to licentiousness. “

“As Mankind becomes more liberal, they will be more apt to allow that all those who conduct themselves as worthy members of the community are equally entitled to the protections of civil government. I hope ever to see America among the foremost nations of justice and liberality. “

“Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence. “

“Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder. “

“Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth. “

“How soon we forget history... Government is not reason. Government is not eloquence. It is force. And, like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. “

“Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism. “

“If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter. “

“It is our true policy to steer clear of entangling alliances with any portion of the foreign world. “

“Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle. “

“My observation is that whenever one person is found adequate to the discharge of a duty... it is worse executed by two persons, and scarcely done at all if three or more are employed therein. “

“Observe good faith and justice toward all nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all. “

“Over grown military establishments are under any form of government inauspicious to liberty, and are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty. “

“The constitution vests the power of declaring war in Congress; therefore no offensive expedition of importance can be undertaken until after they shall have deliberated upon the subject and authorized such a measure. “

“The marvel of all history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments. “

“The time is near at hand which must determine whether Americans are to be free men or slaves. “

“Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light. “

“When we assumed the Soldier, we did not lay aside the Citizen. “

“Worry is the interest paid by those who borrow trouble. “

Benjamin Franklin

“All human situations have their inconveniences. We feel those of the present but neither see nor feel those of the future; and hence we often make troublesome changes without amendment, and frequently for the worse. “

“Be civil to all; sociable to many; familiar with few; friend to one; enemy to none. “

“Glass, china, and reputation are easily cracked, and never well mended. “

“He that is of the opinion money will do everything may well be suspected of doing everything for money. “

“If you would know the value of money, go try to borrow some; for he that goes a-borrowing goes a-sorrowing. “

“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. “

John Adams

“But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever. “

“In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress. “

“No man who ever held the office of president would congratulate a friend on obtaining it. “

“We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge or gallantry would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution is designed only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for any other. “

“Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence. “

“There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty. “

“Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There was never a democracy that did not commit suicide. “

Alexander Hamilton

“A national debt, if it is not excessive, will be to us a national blessing. “

“Constitutions should consist only of general provisions; the reason is that they must necessarily be permanent, and that they cannot calculate for the possible change of things. “

“I think the first duty of society is justice. “

“In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men the great difficulty lies in this: You must first enable the government to control the governed, and in the next place, oblige it to control itself. “

“It's not tyranny we desire; it's a just, limited, federal government. “

“The people are turbulent and changing; they seldom judge or determine right. Give therefore to the first class a distinct permanent share in the government... Can a democratic assembly who annually revolve in the mass of the people be supposed steadily to pursue the public good? “

“Those who stand for nothing fall for anything. “

“When the sword is once drawn, the passions of men observe no bounds of moderation. “

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Great post! For those

Great post!

For those interested in what the Founding Fathers had to say, go to http://retro-republican.blogspot.com/2007/05/your-weekend-bu... and check out the last video on that page.