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Monday, July 03, 2006

Thomas Jefferson

"All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately, by the grace of God.

"These are grounds of hope for others. For ourselves, let the annual return of this day forever refresh our recollections of these rights, and an undiminished devotion to them."

Source: Today's Patriot Post.


Anonymous Todd said...

To the Glorius Fourth!!

7/03/2006 2:03 PM  
Blogger The Senate Site said...

Calvin Coolidge:

"If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just power from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth and their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction cannot lay claim to progress."

7/03/2006 2:04 PM  
Blogger The Senate Site said...

Ronald Reagan:

"The day of our nation's birth in that little hall in Philadelphia, [was] a day on which debate had raged for hours. The men gathered there were honorable men hard-pressed by a king who had flouted the very laws they were willing to obey. Even so, to sign the Declaration of Independence was such an irretrievable act that the walls resounded with the words 'treason, the gallows, the headsman's axe,' and the issue remained in doubt. [On that day] 56 men, a little band so unique we have never seen their like since, had pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor. Some gave their lives in the war that followed, most gave their fortunes, and all preserved their sacred honor... In recent years, however, I've come to think of that day as more than just the birthday of a nation. It also commemorates the only true philosophical revolution in all history. Oh, there have been revolutions before and since ours. But those revolutions simply exchanged one set of rules for another. Ours was a revolution that changed the very concept of government. Let the Fourth of July always be a reminder that here in this land, for the first time, it was decided that man is born with certain God-given rights; that government is only a convenience created and managed by the people, with no powers of its own except those voluntarily granted to it by the people. We sometimes forget that great truth, and we never should."

7/03/2006 2:07 PM  
Anonymous Todd said...

Bill Clinton:

We have all benefited from the wisdom of our nation's founders, who
crafted a blueprint for democracy that has served us well for more than
200 years and continues to inspire newly independent nations around the
world. We are all heirs to the rights articulated in our Constitution
and reaffirmed by courageous men and women of every generation who have
struggled to secure justice and equality for all. We are all forever
indebted to the millions of Americans in uniform who have shed their
blood to defend our freedom and preserve our values across America and
around the globe.

But we Americans are bound together not only by a shared past, but
also by a common future. Blessed with peace and prosperity, we have an
unprecedented opportunity to prepare for the challenges of the next
century: to keep America free and secure, to improve health care and
education, to bring the opportunities of the Information Age into every
home and classroom, and to strengthen the bonds of our national
community as we grow more racially and ethnically diverse.

7/03/2006 3:35 PM  
Anonymous Todd said...

Lyndon Johnson:

Freedom is not enough. You do not wipe away the scars of centuries by saying: Now you are free to go where you want, and do as you desire, and choose the leaders you please.

You do not take a person who, for years, has been hobbled by chains and liberate him, bring him up to the starting line of a race and then say, "you are free to compete with all the others," and still justly believe that you have been completely fair.

Thus it is not enough just to open the gates of opportunity. All our citizens must have the ability to walk through those gates.

We seek not just freedom but opportunity. We seek not just legal equity but human ability, not just equality as a right and a theory but equality as a fact and equality as a result.

To this end equal opportunity is essential, but not enough, not enough. Men and women of all races are born with the same range of abilities. But ability is not just the product of birth. Ability is stretched or stunted by the family that you live with, and the neighborhood you live in--by the school you go to and the poverty or the richness of your surroundings. It is the product of a hundred unseen forces playing upon the little infant, the child, and finally the man.

7/03/2006 3:37 PM  
Blogger The Senate Site said...

Good insight. Thanks Todd!

7/04/2006 11:56 PM  

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