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It is the ferment of ideas, the clash of disagreeing judgments, the privilege of the individual to develop his own thought and shape his own character which makes progress possible.—Calvin Coolidge (1925).
To suffer a civil magistrate to intrude his power into the field of opinion at once destroys all liberty because he will approve or condemn the sentiments of others only as they shall square with or differ from his own. It is time enough to interfere when principles break out into overt acts against peace and good order.-Thomas Jefferson (1787).
We need only to glance at the current world scene to realize that the preservation of individual liberty is more important today than ever it was in the past. The safety of our nation depends upon the extent to which we foster in each individual citizen that sturdy independence of thought and action, which is essential in a democracy.-Albert B. Maris (1938).
So long as faith with freedom reigns
And loyal hope survives,
And gracious charity remains
To leaven lowly lives;
While there is one untrodden tract
For intellect or will,
And men are free to think and act,
Life is worth living still.
-Alfred Austin (1900).
I have sworn upon the alter of the living God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.-Thomas Jefferson (1787).
Over against Nature stands Man, and deep in his heart is the passion for liberty. For the passion for liberty is only another name for life itself. Liberty is a word of much sophistication, but it means, when it means anything, opportunity to live one's own life in one's own way.-Charles Ferguson (1900).
Ideas are always liveliest when attempts are made to suppress them. The very worst way to suppress an idea is to attempt to suppress it. For, if an idea is true, you can't suppress it, and if it is false it does not need to be suppressed-it will suppress itself. If we all agreed finally and for good, talking would be nonsense. But because we disagree, talking is the part of wisdom.-Horace Traubel.
What other liberty is there worth having, if we have not freedom and peace in our minds, if our inmost and most private man is but a sour and turbid pool?-Henry David Thoreau (1853).
The Republican form of government is the highest form of government; but because of this it requires the highest type of human nature.-Herbert Spencer (1900).
There is what I call the American idea. This idea demands, as the proximate organization thereof, a democracy; that is, a government of all the people, by all the people, for all the people; of course, a government of the principles of eternal justice, the unchanging law of God; for shortness' sake I will call it the idea of Freedom.-Theodore Parker (1850).
I have always regarded that (the American) Constitution as the most remarkable work known to me in modern times to have been produced by the human intellect, at a single stroke, so to speak, in its application to political affairs.— William Ewart Gladstone (1887).
The American Constitution is no exception to the rule that everything which has power to win the obedience and respect of men must have its roots deep in the past, and that the more slowly every institution has grown, so much the more enduring is it likely to prove. There is a hearty puritanism in the view of human nature which pervades the instrument of 1787.-James V. Bryce (1910).
The doctrine upon which we stand is strong and sound because its enforcement is important to our peace and safety as a nation, and is essential to the integrity of our free institutions, and the tranquil maintenance of our distinctive form of government. It was intended to apply to every stage of our national life and cannot become obsolete while our Republic endures.-Grover Cleveland (1895).
Democracy will itself accomplish the salutary universal change from delusive to real, and make a new blessed world of us by and by.-Thomas Carlyle (1876).
Democracy is the healthful lifeblood which circulates through the veins and arteries, which supports the system, but which ought never to appear externally, and as the mere blood itself.-Samuel T. Coleridge (1830).
Freedom in a democracy is the glory of the state, and, therefore, in a democracy only will the freeman of nature deign to dwell.-Plato.
By the blessing of God, may that country (America) itself become a vast and splendid monument, not of oppression and terror, but of wisdom, of peace, and of liberty, upon which the world may gaze with admiration forever!Daniel Webster (1825).
I believe in Democracy because it releases the energies of every human being.—
A song for our banner? The watchword recall
It made and preserves us a nation!
And the Flag of our Union forever!
-George Pope Morris (1840).
Our government was founded to give life to certain basic principles of human rights, which the people embodied in the Constitution as the Bill of Rights.— Alfred M. Landon (1936).
The true ends of social justice can be achieved only in conditions of individual freedom under law, through the institutions of popular government.-Cordell Hull (1939).
We must never forget the most important function of government-to preserve by orderly, well considered processes the rights and dignity of the individual. There are many such rights, but first among them is the right to freedom-freedom to enjoy a full life, freedom of opportunity to win the good things of life, freedom to achieve a proportionate share of the modern luxuries which make life happier and more complete.
There are other rights-basic rights of the free man; the right to worship as he sees fit; the right to think clearly and honestly and to act on such thoughts; the right to freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of public assembly. These rights must not be violated.-Thomas E. Dewey (1938).
We have a great, popular, constitutional government, guarded by law and by judicature, and defended by the affections of the whole people. No monarchial throne presses these States together, no iron chain of military power encircles them; they live and stand under a government popular in its form, representative in its character, founded upon principles of equality, and so constructed, we hope, as to last for ever.-Daniel Webster (1850).
The purpose of democracy is the minimizing of injustices and the universalizing of its gains.-Charles S. Johnson (1936).
We, in this great American Republic are, and should be, the guiding star for all the world; and if, united with the other nations related to us in spirit and aspirations, we do our full duty, progress will be assured, the peace of the world will be conserved, and we shall set an example that will be emulated all over the world.-Rudolph Blankenburg (1913).
Oppression will drive men mad. But we know how to make States that will stand, and not merely stand still, but that will radiate, vitalize and illuminate the world.-Henry Ward Beecher (1886).
I believe that this Constitution is likely to be well administered for a course of years and can only end in despotism as other forms have done before it when the people shall become so corrupt as to need despotic government, being incapable of any other.-Benjamin Franklin (1787).
Civil and religious liberty, universal education and the right to participate, directly or through representatives chosen by himself, in all the affairs of government-these give to the American citizen an opportunity and an inspiration which can be found nowhere else.-William Jennings Bryan (1899).
Let us look for guidance to the principles of true Democracy, which are enduring because they are right, and invincible because they are just.—Grover Cleveland (1882).
The idea of democracy is eternal. . . . Democracy wishes to raise up mankind, to give it freedom, and its greatest strength lies in its deep spiritual and moral self-consciousness.-Thomas Mann (1940).
Here (in America) human dignity has been developed to such a point that it would be impossible for people to endure life under a system in which the individual is only a slave of the State and has no voice in his government and no decision on his own way of life.-Albert Einstein (1940).
Democracy is a word which has many shades of meaning. It means not only a form of government but a way of living. It means also many great ideals of human conduct and relations which perhaps no country has ever entirely realized.-Raoul d'Eca (1940).
No men were less revolutionary in spirit than the heroes of the American Revolution. They made a revolution in the name of Magna Charta and the Bill of Rights. James V. Bryce (1896).
We have no selfish ends to serve. We desire no conquest, no dominion. We seek no indemnities for ourselves, no material compensation for the sacrifices we shall freely make. We are but one of the champions of the rights of mankind. We shall be satisfied when those rights have been made as secure as the faith and the freedom of nations can make them.-Woodrow Wilson (1917).