HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW YOUR PRESIDENTS? (Part II)

June 30, 2013  By Jack Jodell.

This is the second of three installments on quotes made by each of our American Presidents. It was inspired by the ignorance of some of the far-right, Tea Party-infested reactionary Republicans (like Michele Bachmann), who always seem to make controversial public statements on things they really know very little about. Worse yet, they apparently don’t even care that they are so damn dumb, and will steadfastly cling to their falsehoods and misconceptions as if they were absolute truths.

You may fund some of these quotes surprising, especially when coming from some of these Presidents. For a number of these men have not yet been properly revealed in their correct political light, or their essence has been blurred or mystified by folklore or the mainstream media, which has been guilty of fiction writing in a numbr of cases. This will be a test of how well you know (or don’t know) your past Presidents!

16). ABRAHAM LINCOLN (1861-1865) – AMERICAN UNION (Republican)
“I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.”
“Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?”
“Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration. Capital has its rights, which are as worthy of protection as any other rights.”
“As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy. Whatever differs from this, tp the extent of the difference, is no democracy.” 

17). ANDREW JOHNSON (1865-1869) – AMERICAN UNION (Democratic)
“Legislation can be neither wise nor just which seeks the welfare of a single interest at the expense and to the injury of many and varied interests.”
“Honest conviction is my courage; the Constitution is my guide.”

18). ULYSSES S. GRANT (1869-1877) – REPUBLICAN
“I have never advocated war except as a means of peace.”
“My failures have been errors of judgment, not of intent.”

19). RUTHERFORD B. HAYES (1877-1881) – REPUBLICAN
“Nothing brings out the lower traits of human nature like office seeking.”
“Free government cannot long endure if property is largely in a few hands, and large numbers of people are unable to earn homes, education, and a support in old age.”

20). JAMES A. GARFIELD (1881) – REPUBLICAN
“Whoever controls the volume of money in any country is the absolute master of all industry and commerce.”
“The divorce between Church and State ought to be absolute. Ir ought to be so absolute that no Church property anywhere, in no state or in the nation, should be exempt from equal taxation: for if you exempt the property of any church organization, to that extent you impose a tax on the whole community.”

21). CHESTER A. ARTHUR (1881-1885) – REPUBLICAN
“If it were not for the reporters, I would tell you the truth.”
“Men may die, but the fabrics of free institutions remains unshaken.”

22). GROVER CLEVELAND (1885-1889  first term) – DEMOCRATIC
“When we consider that the theory of our institutions guarantees to every citizen the full enjoyment of all the fruits of his industry and enterprise, with only such deduction as may be his share toward the careful and economical maintenance of the Government which protects him, it is plain that the exaction of more than this is indefensible extortion and a culpable betrayal of American fairness and justice … The public Treasury, which should only exist as a conduit conveying the people’s tribute to its legitimate objects of expenditure, becomes a hoarding place for money needlessly withdrawn from trade and the people’s use, thus crippling our national energies, suspending our country’s development, preventing investment in productive enterprise, threatening financial disturbance, and inviting schemes of public plunder.”

23). BENJAMIN HARRISON (1889-1893) – REPUBLICAN
“We Americans have no commission from God to police the world.”
“”The disfranchisement of a single legal elector by fraud or intimidation is a
crime too grave to be regarded lightly.”

24). GROVER CLEVELAND (1893-1897 s econd term) – DEMOCRATIC
“I suppose that right and justice should determine the path to be followed in treating this subject. If national honesty is to be disregarded and a desire for territorial expansion or dissatisfaction with a form of government not our own ought to regulate our conduct, I have entirely misapprehended the mission and character of our government and the behavior which the conscience of
  the people demands of their public officials.”

25). WILLIAM McKINLEY (1897-1901) – REPUBLICAN
” Unlike any other nation, here the people rule, and their will is the supreme  law. It is sometimes sneeringly said by those who do not like free government,
that here we count heads. True, heads are counted, but brains also . . .”
” That’s all a man can hope for during his lifetime—to set an example—and when he is dead, to be an inspiration for history.”

26). THEODORE ROOSEVELT (1901-1909) – REPUBLICAN
“To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.”
“The only man who makes no mistake is the man who does nothing.”

27). WILLIAM HOWARD TAFT (1909-1913) – REPUBLICAN
“Politics, when I am in it, makes me sick.”
“Th e intoxication of power rapidly sobers off in the knowledge of its restrictions and under the prompt reminder of an ever-present and not always considerate press, as well as the kindly suggestions that not infrequently come from Congress.”

28). WOODROW WILSON (1913-1921) – DEMOCRATIC
“Some people call me an idealist. Well, that is the way I know am an American. America is the only idealistic nation in the world.”
“If you want to make enemies, try to change something.”

29). WARREN G. HARDING (1921-1923) – REPUBLICAN
” Our most dangerous tendency is to expect too much of government, and at the same time do for it too little.”
“My God, this is a hell of a job! I have no trouble with my enemies . . . but
my damn friends, they’re the ones that keep me walking the floor nights.”

30). CALVIN COOLIDGE (1923-1929) – REPUBLICAN
“The business of America is business.”
“I have never been hurt by anything I didn’t say.”

31). HERBERT HOOVER (1929-1933) – REPUBLICAN
“About the time we think we can make ends meet, somebody moves the ends.”
“The durability of free speech and free press rests on the simple concept that it search for the truth and tell the truth.”
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The third and final installment of this series will appear in a few days, and will feature quotes from Franklin D. Roosevelt through Barack Obama. Watch for it!

About jackjodell53

I am an American Dissident trapped in a country where poor and middle class people are constantly being exploited and lied to by a very rigid and conservative plutocratic elite. I believe in government OF, FOR, and BY the people, not one controlled as it now is by corporations and special interests.
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