This is a list of quotes I find compelling. Disclaimer: I do not necessarily fully endorse all of them.
You may also be interested in a list of specifically political quotes.
- I have little interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size. I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom. My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution, or that have failed their purpose, or that impose on the people an unwarranted financial burden. I will not attempt to discover whether legislation is "needed" before I have first determined whether it is constitutionally permissible. And if I should later be attacked for neglecting my constituents' "interests," I shall reply that I was informed that their main interest is liberty and that in that cause I am doing the very best I can.
- Barry Goldwater, The Conscience of A Conservative (1960)
- We didn't love freedom enough. And even more - we had no awareness of the real situation... We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.
- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago
- Once you become knowledgeable, you have an obligation to do something about it.
- Ron Paul
- Whose property is my body? Probably mine. I so regard it. If I experiment with it, who must be answerable? I, not the State. If I choose injudiciously, does the State die? Oh, no.
- Mark Twain, "Osteopathy" (1901)
- You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that, my dear friend, is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.
- Dr. Adrian Rogers
- I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!
- Barry Goldwater, Acceptance Speech, 1964
- The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments of their duties and obligations. … This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people, was the real American Revolution.
- John Adams, What do we mean by the American Revolution?, 1818
- War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small 'inside' group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.
- Major General Smedley D. Butler, War Is a Racket
- A politician cannot spend one dime on any spending project without first taking that dime from the person who earned it. So, when a politician votes for a spending bill he is saying that he believes the government should spend that particular dollar rather than the individual who worked for it.
- Neal Boortz
- It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
- Theodore Roosevelt, "The Man in the Arena" speech, 1910