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"It is the duty of every citizen according to his best capacities to give validity to his convictions in political affairs."-- Albert Einstein
"I am in earnest; I will not equivocate; I will not excuse; I will not retreat a single inch; and I will be heard." -- William Lloyd Garrison
A Pennsylvanian's moderate conservative commentary about state and national politics.
Copyright © 2005-2015, THE CENTRIST, All Rights Reserved.
Copyright © 2005-2012, THE CENTRIST, All Rights Reserved.
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It is easier than it looks.
"We make war that we may live in peace."
"I exhort you never to debase the moral currency or to lower the
standard of rectitude, but to try others by the final maxim that
governs your own lives, and to suffer no man and no cause to escape
the undying penalty which history has the power to inflict on wrong."
"Liberty is not a means to a higher political end. It is itself the
highest political end...liberty is the only object which benefits all
alike, and provokes no sincere opposition...The danger is not that a
particular class is unfit to govern. Every class is unfit to govern...
Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."
"It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry,
Peace, Peace--but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from
the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the
field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? 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!"
"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine
patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now,
deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we
have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph."
"The way to secure liberty is to place it in the people's hands, that is,
to give them the power at all times to defend it in the legislature and
in the courts of justice"
"Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will
within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I
do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often
but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights
of the individual."
"No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of
another, and this is all from which the laws ought to restrain himâ?¦the idea
is quite unfounded that on entering into society we give up any natural rights."
"An honest man can feel no pleasure in the exercise of power over his
"The protection of our citizens, the spirit and honor of our country, require
that force should be interposed to a certain degree."
"To draw around the whole nation the strength of the General Government
as a barrier against foreign foes... is [one of the] functions of the General Government on which [our citizens] have a right to call."
"It is our duty still to endeavor to avoid war; but if it shall actually
take place, no matter by whom brought on, we must defend ourselves. If our house be on fire, without
inquiring whether it was fired from within or without, we must try to extinguish it."
"I am ever unwilling that [peace] should be disturbed as long as
the rights and interests of the nations can be preserved. But whensoever hostile aggressions on these
require a resort to war, we must meet our duty and convince the world that we are
just friends and brave enemies."
"By nature's law, man is at peace with man till some aggression is
committed, which, by the same law, authorizes one to destroy another as
"I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against
every form of tyranny over the mind of man."
"Our duty to ourselves, to posterity, and to mankind, call on us
by every motive which is sacred or honorable, to watch over the safety of our beloved country
during the troubles which agitate and convulse the residue of the world, and to sacrifice to
that all personal and local considerations."
"It is an essential attribute of the jurisdiction of every country
to preserve peace, to punish acts in breach of it, and to restore property taken by force within
"By nature's law, man is at peace with man till some aggression
is committed, which, by the same law, authorizes one to destroy another
as his enemy."
"Peace and friendship with all mankind is our wisest policy,
and I wish we may be permitted to pursue it. But the temper and folly of our enemies may
not leave this in our choice."
"We must indeed all hang together, or, most assuredly,
we shall all hang separately."
"I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people
by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent
and sudden usurpations."
"Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without
it nothing can succeed."
"At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we
fortify against it? Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant, to step the Ocean, and crush us at a
blow? Never! All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted)
in their military chest; with a Buonaparte for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a
track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years. At what point, then, is the approach of danger to be expected?
I answer, if it ever reach us it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot,
we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time,
or die by suicide."
"The probability that we may fall in the struggle ought not to deter us from the
support of a cause we believe to be just; it shall not deter me."
"Property is the fruit of labor...property is desirable...is a positive
good in the world. That some should be rich shows that others may become rich, and hence is just encouragement
to industry and enterprise. Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another; but let him labor
diligently and build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall
be safe from violence when built."
"We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean
the same thing. With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and
the product of his labor; while with others, the same word many mean for some men to do as they please
with other men, and the product of other men's labor. Here are two, not only different, but incompatible
things, called by the same name - liberty. And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective
parties, called by two different and incompatible names -
liberty and tyranny."
"If all do not join now to save the good old ship of the Union this voyage
nobody will have a chance to pilot her on another voyage."
"It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points
out how the strong man stumbled, 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 and comes short again and again;
who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause;
who, at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who, at worst,
if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with
those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."
"Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs,
even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy
much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that
knows not victory nor defeat."
"The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth
of private power to a point where it comes stronger than their democratic
state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism - ownership of government by
an individual, by a group."
--Franklin D. Roosevelt
"War has been waged against us by stealth and deceit and murder.
This nation is peaceful, but fierce when stirred to anger. This conflict was begun on the
timing and terms of others. It will end in a way, and at an hour,
of our choosing."
--George W. Bush
"When the conduct of men is designed to be influenced, persuasion, kind unassuming persuasion, should ever be adopted. It is an old and true maxim that 'a drop of honey catches more flies
than a gallon of gall.' So with men. If you would win a man to your cause, first convince him
that you are his sincere friend. Therein is a drop of honey that catches his heart, which, say
what he will, is the great highroad to his reason, and which, once gained, you will find but little trouble in convincing him of the justice of your cause, if indeed that cause is really
a good one."
"To arrive at a just estimate of a renowned man's character one must judge
it by the standards of his time, not ours."
"It is with trifles and when he is off guard that a man best
reveals his character."
"When men speak ill of thee, live
so as nobody may believe them."
"He that has light within his own clear breast may sit in the center,
and enjoy bright day: But he that hides a dark soul and foul thoughts benighted walks under the
"Character consists of what you do on the third
and fourth tries."
--James A. Michener
"We should be too big to take offense and too noble to
"I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the
content of their character."
--Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
"A man's character is his guardian divinity."
"Character develops itself in the stream of life."
--Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
"Do what you know and perception is converted into character."
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Of all the properties which belong to honorable men, not one is so
highly prized as that of character."