Who Hijacked Our Country

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Words From Our Founding Fathers

As we get ready to celebrate our country's birthday, let’s remember some quotations from our Founding Fathers:

“Fear is the foundation of most governments; but it is so sordid and brutal a passion, and renders men in whose breasts it predominates so stupid and miserable, that Americans will not be likely to approve of any political institution which is founded on it.” John Adams.

“They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Benjamin Franklin

“All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression.” Thomas Jefferson

“An honest man can feel no pleasure in the exercise of power over his fellow citizens....There has never been a moment of my life in which I should have relinquished for it the enjoyments of my family, my farm, my friends & books.” Thomas Jefferson

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

“Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves, therefore, are its only safe depositories.” Thomas Jefferson

“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

“'Tis our true policy to steer clear of permanent Alliances, with any portion of the foreign world.” George Washington

“Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism.” George Washington

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Blogger Larry said...

Why can't these quotes apply today?

July 3, 2007 at 11:17 AM  
Blogger PoliShifter said...

If Republicans existed as they do now in 1776, they would be loyalists to King George.

It makes me ill that the likes of Hannity, Limbaugh, Savage, Beck, Coulter, etc paint themselves as "true Americans".

I bet if you read them those quotes but didn't tell them who said them, they'd call the founders a bunch of cowardice liberals.

July 3, 2007 at 12:02 PM  
Blogger Leo said...

These are some great quotes! Our founding fathers had their acts together and I often wonder what they would make of the mess this country has become recently.

July 3, 2007 at 1:05 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Larry: Excellent question. Who knows.

PoliShifter: Damn right, if Rush O'Hannity saw those quotes without knowing who said them, they'd think it was some flagburning treehugger.

July 3, 2007 at 1:10 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Leo: Our Founding Fathers would turn in their graves if they saw what their country has deteriorated into in the last 6 years.

July 3, 2007 at 1:13 PM  
Blogger LET'S TALK said...

The sad thing about these quotes tom harper is that the Republicans, Bush and his Administration don't give a hoot about these quotes.

The right wing media and talk radio host's could care less about these things.

Now if you speak of the right to have guns and such, then they are all for that.

July 4, 2007 at 1:28 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Let's Talk: Yup, the right to have a gun and the right of corporations not to be burdened by those whining workers and environmentalists -- that's when rightwingers suddenly remember the Constitution.

July 4, 2007 at 2:02 AM  
Blogger Mile High Pixie said...

Hear, hear! Let's all remember our real roots, those of true democracy.

July 4, 2007 at 5:59 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Mile High Pixie: Right you are, those are our real roots. And we need to remember.

July 4, 2007 at 11:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lest we get all (deservedly) upset at the Republicans for ignoring these principles. I should remind everybody that for years these same quotes and phrases were used time and time again to try to win freedom for slaves and then for Equality and Civil Rights.

In other words History says "this is an old argument!"


July 5, 2007 at 6:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


"PoliShifter: Damn right, if Rush O'Hannity saw those quotes without knowing who said them, they'd think it was some flagburning treehugger."

It reminds me of in the 70's and 80's these sociologist would do a study (usually)in the South where they would read parts of the preamble of the constitution and the Declaration of Independance to Southern High School and/or College Students and ask them where did it came from.

Few recognized it as coming from our own constitution and most through it came from some place like Marx or the USSR i.e. some Communist Propaganda.

They should do that again today


July 5, 2007 at 7:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


"It makes me ill that the likes of Hannity, Limbaugh, Savage, Beck, Coulter, etc paint themselves as "true Americans"."

They would also be contented slaveholders.


July 5, 2007 at 7:09 AM  
Anonymous Brad said...

I'm totally stealing a bunch of these for my fledgling quotes page.

July 5, 2007 at 8:25 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Erik: I remember those surveys; I think it was usually Florida. Most of the respondents didn't recognize the quotes and a lot of them were really hostile, saying that whoever wrote that should be jailed for treason, etc. It probably wouldn't be much different today -- same level of ignorance and hostility.

Those rightwing talk radio assholes are definitely today's counterparts of yesterday's slave owners.

Brad: Cool; glad you liked the quotes.

July 5, 2007 at 10:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine."

Thomas Jefferson

July 5, 2007 at 10:50 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Anonymous: Yes, Jefferson did say that. So what point were you making?

July 5, 2007 at 10:53 AM  
Blogger Praguetwin said...

Great quotes. Perhaps more important today than at most times in our history.

July 5, 2007 at 11:23 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Prague Twin: Yes, they're definitely important today. As Nixon's re-election campaign used to say, "now more than ever."

July 5, 2007 at 12:24 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

Those quotes are amazing. Thanks for posting them! Our founding fathers aren't just rolling in their graves, they're spinning.

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

I think our nation has slid as far as it has in the last 30 years or so (and more noticeably in the last 6 years) because there has been an effort to "un-enlighten" the people. Thus, we see "tyranny and oppressions of body and mind" flourish.

The very people who decry our country's slide into "tyranny and oppressions of body and mind" in a religious sense are some of the ones actually fostering the decline. They holler about the lack of "family values" in today's America, but then they want to dumb the people down, into submission.

Same goes for the Hannity/Limbaugh/Savage/Coulter/O'Reilly/etc. bunch... through their use of fallacies, they help their followers bypass critical thinking skills, making it easy for them to fill their followers' heads with dumbed-down ideas. By getting people to reach conclusions not due to analysis of information but rather "because I said so", it lowers our country's political IQ to near-life-support levels, thus making it easier to control us all.

Beware, the ones crying about "liberals" and declining values are the ones taking the country down. Isn't it interesting to note that just about all of them are right-wingers?

July 5, 2007 at 1:10 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Snave: I think the decline in American education has created a generation of gullible simpletons. As far as I can tell this started in the 1980s when Reagan cut funds for education. I don't know if this was based on shortsightedness or if there was a method. Either way, it sure has paid off for the Far Right. Every time there's a new soundbite from Karl Rove or Rush O'Hannity, millions of dumbfucks go "Duh, OK."

It's pitiful. Jefferson must be turning in his grave.

July 5, 2007 at 5:04 PM  
Blogger Ricardo said...

Shows you how far we've fallen in certain ways, doesn't it? King George will be out soon. Lets hope we get a Democrat in there who does not screw it up.

July 5, 2007 at 8:47 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Ricardo: Yup, we've taken a mighty fall. I sure hope our next president will be an improvement. I'd be tempted to say that things couldn't get any worse, but over the past 6 years, every time I've thought that, things did get worse.

July 6, 2007 at 12:53 AM  

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