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Conservative Studies, Quotes

Founding Father’s wisdom

“[G]overnment, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer.”– Thomas Paine

“Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it; no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it. ” — Judge Learned Hand

“The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised in the United States.” — Noah Webster

“A Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever. ” “… When the People once surrender their share in the Legislature, and their Right of defending the Limitations upon the Government, and of resisting every Encroachment upon them, they can never regain it.” – John Adams in a Letter to Abigail Adams (July 7, 1775)

“It does not take a majority to prevail…but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.” — Samuel Adams

“I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution, and I do not believe that the power and duty of the General Government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering which is in no manner properly related to the public service or benefit.” — President Grover Cleveland vetoing a bill for charity relief (18 Congressional Record 1875 [1877]

“I cannot find any authority in the Constitution for public charity. [To approve the measure] would be contrary to the letter and spirit of the Constitution and subversive to the whole theory upon which the Union of these States is founded.” — President Franklin Pierce’s 1854 veto of a measure to help the mentally ill.

“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.”– Patrick Henry, speech to the Virginia Convention, Richmond, Virginia, March 23, 1775

“That no free government, or the blessing of liberty, can be preserved to any people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue, and by frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.”– George Mason, the Virginia Declaration of Rights, 1776

“We must confine ourselves to the powers described in the Constitution, and the moment we pass it, we take an arbitrary stride towards a despotic Government.”– James Jackson, First Congress, 1st Annals of Congress, 489

“We still find the greedy hand of government thrusting itself into every corner and crevice of industry, and grasping at the spoil of the multitude. Invention is continually exercised to furnish new pretenses for revenue and taxation. It watches prosperity as its prey and permits none to escape without a tribute.”– Thomas Paine

“You have rights antecedent to all earthly governments; rights that cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws; right derived from the Great Legislator of the Universe.”– John Adams

“The whole of the Bill (of Rights) is a declaration of the right of the people at large or considered as individuals …. It establishes some rights of the individual as unalienable and which consequently, no majority has a right to deprive them of.” — Albert Gallatin, New York Historical Society, October 7, 1789

“If a nation values anything more than freedom, it will lose its freedom; and the irony of it is that, if it is comfort or money it values more, it will lose that too.”– William Somerset Maughan, 1941

“He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.”– Thomas Paine

From Walter E. William’s Quotations listed under Constitutional Limitations on Government
http://econfaculty.gmu.edu/wew/quotes/govt.html

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