The Quote Garden ™
“I dig old books.” ™
Quotations about the
United States of America
My dream is that as the years go on... that America will come into the full light of the day when all shall know that she puts human rights above all other rights and that her flag is the flag not only of America but of humanity. What other great people has devoted itself to this exalted ideal? ~Woodrow Wilson, Presidential Address at Independence Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1914 July 4th
America is not a formula. America is not statistics... A great nation cannot be made, cannot be discovered, and then be laid coldly together like a census. America is a Tune. It must be sung together. ~Gerald Stanley Lee, Crowds: A Moving-Picture of Democracy, 1913
What is the essence of America? Finding and maintaining that perfect, delicate balance between freedom "to" and freedom "from." ~Marilyn vos Savant
I love America more than any other country in this world; and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually. ~James Baldwin
America is so vast that almost everything said about it is likely to be true, and the opposite is probably equally true. ~James T. Farrell
How often we fail to realize our good fortune in living in a country where happiness is more than a lack of tragedy. ~Paul Sweeney
May the growth of the American union never be prevented by party spirit. ~Every Body's Toast Book and Convivial Companion, by An Adept, 1851
Americans in unity, and unity in Americans! ~Every Body's Toast Book and Convivial Companion, by An Adept, 1851
If you want a symbolic gesture, don't burn the flag; wash it. ~Norman Thomas
There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America. ~William J. Clinton
Compared to England, America's a pimply teenager. ~Elementary, "Crowned Clown, Downtown Brown," 2017, written by Jordan Rosenberg [S5, E12, Sherlock Holmes]
What the people want is very simple. They want an America as good as its promise. ~Barbara Jordan
Yet America is a poem in our eyes; its ample geography dazzles the imagination, and it will not wait long for metres. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, "The Poet"
May the glory of America never cease to shine. ~"Toasts and Sentiments," Collier's Cyclopedia of Commercial and Social Information and Treasury of Useful and Entertaining Knowledge, compiled by Nugent Robinson, 1882
This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave. ~Elmer Davis
America is a passionate idea or it is nothing. America is a human brotherhood or it is chaos. ~Max Lerner, Actions and Passions, 1949
This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in. ~Theodore Roosevelt, 1901
We have the Bill of Rights. What we need is a Bill of Responsibilities. ~Bill Maher
Miss Revendal asked—and I want to explain to her what America means to me.... When I am writing my American symphony, it seems like thunder crashing through a forest full of bird songs.... America is God's Crucible, the great Melting-Pot where all the races of Europe are melting and re-forming! Here you stand, good folk, think I, when I see them at Ellis Island, here you stand in your fifty groups, with your fifty languages and histories, and your fifty blood hatreds and rivalries. But you won't be long like that, brothers, for these are the fires of God you've come to—these are the fires of God. A fig for your feuds and vendettas! Germans and Frenchmen, Irishmen and Englishmen, Jews and Russians—into the Crucible with you all! God is making the American.... the real American has not yet arrived. He is only in the Crucible, I tell you—he will be the fusion of all races, perhaps the coming superman. Ah, what a glorious Finale for my symphony—if I can only write it. ~Israel Zangwill (1864–1926), The Melting-Pot, 1908 [spoken by the character David Quixano —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]
America is a nation with many flaws, but hopes so vast that only the cowardly would refuse to acknowledge them. ~James Michener
When an American says that he loves his country, he means not only that he loves the New England hills, the prairies glistening in the sun, the wide and rising plains, the great mountains, and the sea. He means that he loves an inner air, an inner light in which freedom lives and in which a man can draw the breath of self-respect. ~Adlai Stevenson, 1952
If you take advantage of everything America has to offer, there's nothing you can't accomplish. ~Geraldine Ferraro
If our country is worth dying for in time of war let us resolve that it is truly worth living for in time of peace. ~Hamilton Fish
Ithamar Conkey: It's the Know-Nothings. They might win. They have built a platform on populist economic rhetoric and anti-immigrant nativist anxiety. It's a heady brew. And noxious. But it's working. People are actually voting for these clowns. It turns out people like it when you tell them who to blame for their problems...
Edward Dickinson: I believe in this country, and I believe in the good guys. And at the end of the day, the good guys win because we love America. And when immigrants come here to join us, we throw our arms wide open and we say, "Welcome. Grab a seat. Eat a hot dog." We don't kick people out. No. And as far as these Know-Nothings go, it sounds to me like what they need to know something about is a little thing called patriotism. And generosity. And pride. ~Robbie Macdonald and Alena Smith, "We lose – because we win," Dickinson, 2019 [S1, E7; a little altered —tg]
The American Revolution was a beginning, not a consummation. ~Woodrow Wilson
Let America realize that self-scrutiny is not treason, self-examination is not disloyalty. ~Richard Cushing, 1965
Intellectually I know that America is no better than any other country; emotionally I know she is better than every other country. ~Sinclair Lewis
May Peace o'er America spread her wing,
And Commerce fill her ports with gold;
May Arts and Science comfort bring,
And Liberty, her sons enfold.
~Every Body's Toast Book and Convivial Companion, by An Adept, 1851 [This toast is earlier found "May peace o'er Britain spread her wing," in The Toastmaster: or, Treasury of Sentiment (London), 1836. —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]
Life is good in America, but the good life still eludes us. Our standard of living is admittedly high, but measured by those things that truly distinguish a civilization, our living standards are hardly high at all. We have, I fear, confused power with greatness. ~Stewart Udall, 1965
We cannot reform the world.... Uncle Sugar is as dangerous a role for us to play as Uncle Shylock. ~John F. Kennedy
With hearts and with glasses brim full,
Let's drink to America, our Mother.
~Every Body's Toast Book and Convivial Companion, by An Adept, 1851
Only Americans can hurt America. ~Dwight D. Eisenhower
We dare not forget that we are the heirs of that first revolution. ~John F. Kennedy
A citizen of America will cross the ocean to fight for democracy, but won't cross the street to vote in a national election. ~Bill Vaughan
America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves. ~Abraham Lincoln
Sometimes people call me an idealist. Well, that is the way I know I am an American. America is the only idealistic nation in the world. ~Woodrow Wilson
May old England's sons, the Americans, never forget their mother. ~The Toastmaster: or, Treasury of Sentiment, 1836
My favorite thing about the United States? Lots of Americans, one America. ~Terri Guillemets
Fling high the banner to the breeze!...
Hail to thee, Union, firmly bound...
Liberty to wrest from fate...
see the Eagle soaring
Gracious Father, grant Thy blessing
By birthright ours, or from afar,
Brethren, to our shores invited...
Round one common hearth united,
For one band of brothers lighted,
To one country we are plighted,
~John Nollen, "A National Hymn," 1898
Of all the supervised conditions for life offered man, those under U S A's constitution have proved the best. Wherefore, be sure when you start modifying, corrupting or abrogating it. ~Martin H. Fischer (1879–1962)
We on this continent should never forget that men first crossed the Atlantic not to find soil for their ploughs but to secure liberty for their souls. ~Robert J. McCracken
Ours is the only country deliberately founded on a good idea. ~John Gunther
We need an America with the wisdom of experience. But we must not let America grow old in spirit. ~Hubert H. Humphrey
Not merely a nation but a nation of nations. ~Lyndon B. Johnson
You cannot spill a drop of American blood without spilling the blood of the whole world.... We are not a nation, so much as a world. ~Herman Melville
What a pity, when Christopher Columbus discovered America, that he ever mentioned it. ~Margot Asquith
Perhaps, after all, America never has been discovered. I myself would say that it had merely been detected. ~Oscar Wilde
America's one of the finest countries anyone ever stole. ~Bobcat Goldthwaite
Illegal aliens have always been a problem in the United States. Ask any Indian. ~Robert Orben
When asked by an anthropologist what the Indians called America before the white man came, an Indian said simply, "Ours." ~Vine Deloria, Jr.
Rachel: The pilgrims came here to escape persecution from the British.
Elizabeth: Yes, so they could go about persecuting the Indians.
~ER, "Great Expectations," original airdate 1999 November 25th, written by Michael Crichton and Jack Orman
The pilgrims were kicked out of England, quarreled with the Dutch, alienated the Indians, and had an evil reputation among the turkeys. ~David J. Beard (1947–2016), tweet, 2008 November 24th
[W]e recognize the contributions made by Native Americans since long before our founding, and we resolve to continue the work of strengthening government-to-government ties with tribal nations and expanding possibility for all. Native Americans have helped make America what it is today. As we reflect on our history, we must acknowledge the unfortunate chapters of violence, discrimination, and deprivation that went on for far too long, as well as the effects of injustices that continue to be felt. While we cannot undo the pain and tragedy of the past, we can set out together to forge a brighter future of progress and hope across Indian Country and the entire American landscape. ~Barack Obama, 2015 October 30th, quoted from The White House Office of the Press Secretary, "Presidential Proclamation — National Native American Heritage Month, 2015"
What we need are critical lovers of America — patriots who express their faith in their country by working to improve it. ~Hubert H. Humphrey
The United States is the only country with a known birthday. ~James G. Blaine
Oh, it's home again and home again, America for me!
I want a ship that's westward bound to plough the rolling sea
To the blessed land of Room Enough beyond the ocean bars,
Where the air is full of sunlight and the flag is full of stars.
~Henry Van Dyke
America is not just a country, but a way of life. ~Anonymous Kansan, 1940
It is the flag just as much of the man who was naturalized yesterday as of the man whose people have been here generations. ~Henry Cabot Lodge, "What the Flag Means," 1915
"My Country 'tis of thee." It is difficult to say with any academical exactitude who was the original perpetrator of this ambrosial ambiguity, but if it was not Theobold the Thug as he bit his native sod in days of yore, then of a verity it was some patriotic patrician historically hysterical, or perchance a frenzied farmer paradoxically placing a monetary "monkey" on his broad acres to satisfy his narrow creditors; but whosoever unleashed this Utopian euphonism provided elocutionary evidence that, field of blood or field of spud, the spirit which has made the land fit for heroes and harrows has not come uncorked—the spirit which has produced the country where husbandmen—and bachelors too—have converted the open spaces to oaten places; the spirit which has moved them to wangle the mangel, capitalise the cow, and till the paddocks to pad the tills. ~Kenneth Alfred Evelyn Alexander (c.1890–1953), "Utopian Euphonisms," in The New Zealand Railways Magazine, 1930 January 1st [Note: New Zealand author —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]
We sleep peacefully at night, cradled by the big strong hands of America. ~Terri Guillemets
America is much more than a geographical fact. It is a political and moral fact — the first community in which men set out in principle to institutionalize freedom, responsible government, and human equality. ~Adlai Stevenson
Americans boast smiles of
and banner waves of pride.
~Terri Guillemets, "Unfurl," 1992
If you can speak three languages you're trilingual. If you can speak two languages you're bilingual. If you can speak only one language you're an American. ~Author unknown
Very little is known about the War of 1812 because the Americans lost it. ~Eric Nicol
America is the only nation in history which miraculously has gone directly from barbarism to degeneration without the usual interval of civilization. ~Georges Clemenceau
The great social adventure of America is no longer the conquest of the wilderness but the absorption of fifty different peoples. ~Walter Lippman
In America, through pressure of conformity, there is freedom of choice, but nothing to choose from. ~Peter Alexander Ustinov
There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge." ~Isaac Asimov, in Newsweek, 1980 January 21st #teaparty
If America ever passes out as a great nation, we ought to put on our tombstone: America died from a delusion she had Moral Leadership. ~Will Rogers
We Americans have no commission from God to police the world. ~Benjamin Harrison, address to Congress, 1888
Americans think of themselves collectively as a huge rescue squad on twenty-four-hour call to any spot on the globe where dispute and conflict may erupt. ~Eldridge Cleaver
America is the only country ever founded on the printed word. ~Marshall McLuhan
The winds that blow through the wide sky in these mounts, the winds that sweep from Canada to Mexico, from the Pacific to the Atlantic — have always blown on free men. ~Franklin D. Roosevelt
I pledge allegiance to the Earth, and to the flora, fauna and human life that it supports, one planet, indivisible, with safe air, water and soil, economic justice, equal rights and peace for all. ~Women's Foreign Policy Council, "Pledge of Allegiance to the Family of Earth," 1989
Oh Beautiful for smoggy skies, insecticided grain,
For strip-mined mountain's majesty above the asphalt plain.
America, America, man sheds his waste on thee,
And hides the pines with billboard signs, from sea to oily sea.
The Constitution of the United States of America, Article V, Section 1: There shall be a National Anthem containing incomprehensible words and a high note that normal humans cannot hit without risk of hernia. ~Dave Barry
American culture thrives on appearances, swallows the grit and beauty that lies under its glassy facades and spits out the remains in dilapidated, dirty dollar signs. ~Cecily Schmidt, "Common Threads," in Wild Child: Girlhoods in the Counterculture edited by Chelsea Cain, 1999
America is an enormous frosted cupcake in the middle of millions of starving people. ~Gloria Steinem
An American has no sense of privacy. He does not know what it means. There is no such thing in the country. ~George Bernard Shaw, "Political Madhouse in America and Nearer Home: A Lecture," 1933
The trouble with America is that there are far too many wide-open spaces surrounded by teeth. ~Charles Luckman
America is a place where Jewish merchants sell Zen love beads to agnostics for Christmas. ~John Burton Brimer
The metaphor of the melting pot is unfortunate and misleading. A more accurate analogy would be a salad bowl, for, though the salad is an entity, the lettuce can still be distinguished from the chicory, the tomatoes from the cabbage. ~Carl N. Degler
America has as much diversity in peoples as it does in geographies. ~Terri Guillemets, "Civics and dinner," 1988
America did not invent human rights. In a very real sense... human rights invented America. ~Jimmy Carter
It almost seems that nobody can hate America as much as can the Americans born here. America needs new immigrants to love and cherish it. ~Eric Hoffer, Reflections on the Human Condition, 1973
What the American public doesn't know is what makes them the American public. ~From the movie Tommy Boy
No one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public. ~H.L. Mencken
There is nothing the matter with Americans except their ideals. The real American is all right; it is the ideal American who is all wrong. ~G.K. Chesterton
Despite the goings-on in Congress, I don't think the U.S. is bordering on madness. I think Canada and Mexico are. ~Robert Brault, 2012, rbrault.blogspot.com
Americans are so enamored of equality, they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom. ~Alexis de Tocqueville
America: Where a man can say what he thinks, if he isn't afraid of his wife, his boss, his customer, his neighbors, or the government. ~Joe Moore
Here we write well when we expose frauds and hypocrites. We are great at counting warts and blemishes and weighting feet of clay. In expressing love, we belong among the underdeveloped countries. ~Saul Bellow
America is a country that doesn't know where it is going but is determined to set a speed record getting there. ~Laurence J. Peter
Perhaps this is our strange and haunting paradox here in America — that we are fixed and certain only when we are in movement. ~Thomas Wolfe
I bet after seeing us, George Washington would sue us for calling him "father." ~Will Rogers
Americans like fat books and thin women. ~Russell Baker
We need a type of patriotism that recognizes the virtues of those who are opposed to us. We must get away from the idea that America is to be the leader of the world in everything. She can lead in some things. The old "manifest destiny" idea ought to be modified so that each nation has the manifest destiny to do the best it can — and that without cant, without the assumption of self-righteousness and with a desire to learn to the uttermost from other nations. ~Francis John McConnell
America... just a nation of two hundred million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns and no qualms about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable. ~Hunter S. Thompson
I just don't know why they're shooting at us. All we want to do is bring them democracy and white bread. Transplant the American dream. Freedom. Achievement. Hyperacidity. Affluence. Flatulence. Technology. Tension. The inalienable right to an early coronary sitting at your desk while plotting to stab your boss in the back. ~M*A*S*H, "O.R.," original airdate 1974 October 8th, written by Larry Gelbart & Laurence Marks, spoken by the character Hawkeye
America is a large friendly dog in a small room. Every time it wags its tail it knocks over a chair. ~Arnold Toynbee
What this country needs is more free speech worth listening to. ~Hansell B. Duckett
America is a vast conspiracy to make you happy. ~John Updike
Trump's got a big trip. He's going to Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the Vatican, the cradles of America's three great religions — Christianity, Judaism, and oil. ~Real Time with Bill Maher, 2017 May 19th
States!... Go put your creed into your deed. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
...a "land of the free" that struggles under the incredible burden of limitless taxes and laws; the home of the "brave" who stay silent to keep their jobs and avoid scrutiny by the IRS or the police. ~Fred Woodworth, The Match!, No. 74
The fact is that Americans are not a thoughtful people; they are too busy to stop and question their values. ~William Ralph
Our fathers' God, from out whose hand,
The centuries fall like grains of sand,
We meet to-day, united, free,
And loyal to our land and Thee,
To thank thee for the era done,
And trust Thee for the opening one.
~John Greenleaf Whittier (1807–1892), "Centennial Hymn," 1876, set to music by John K. Paine [Written for the opening of the International Exposition, Centennial Exhibition, Grandest World's Fair, U.S.A. Centennial, or however you know it as. —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]
Every American carries in his bloodstream the heritage of the malcontent and the dreamer. ~Dorothy Fuldheim
It is still possible to have friendly discourse in America, as long as you don't bring up any subject. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
America My Country: last nation on earth to abolish human slavery; first of all nations to drop the nuclear bomb on our fellow human beings. ~Edward Abbey, Vox Clamantis in Deserto, 1989
Our Constitution was founded on a dark yet realistic view of human nature: that we are fallen, frail, and fallible. The aim of the new republic was not perfection, an impossibility on this side of Paradise, but, as Gouverneur Morris put it in the preamble to the Constitution, a Union that would prove "more perfect." Experience teaches us that injustice is endemic to political life. "The tragedy of man" the twentieth-century Protestant theologian Reinhold Niebuhr observed, "is that he can conceive self-perfection but cannot achieve it." And the tragedy of America is that we can imagine justice but cannot finally realize it. ~Jon Meacham, His Truth Is Marching On: John Lewis and the Power of Hope, 2020, jonmeacham.com ["...we live in a fallen, frail, and fallible world..." ~Jon Meacham —tg]
I hate American simplicity. I glory in the piling up of complications of every sort. If I could pronounce the name James in any different or more elaborate way I should be in favor of doing it. ~Henry James
I have fallen in love with American names, the sharp, gaunt names that never get fat. ~Stephen Vincent Benet
Some Americans need hyphens in their names, because only part of them has come over; but when the whole man has come over, heart and thought and all, the hyphen drops of its own weight out of his name. ~Woodrow Wilson
America makes prodigious mistakes, America has colossal faults, but one thing cannot be denied: America is always on the move. She may be going to Hell, of course, but at least she isn't standing still. ~e.e. cummings
America enters the nightmare of its destiny like a demented giant in a half-cracked canoe, bleeding from wounds top and bottom, bellowing in bewilderment, drowning with radio transmitters on the hip and radar in his ear. He has a fearful disease, this giant.... Greed. Vanity.... The Faustian necessity to amass all knowledge, to enslave nature.... Arrogance. ~Norman Mailer, "Mr. Mailer Interviews Himself," in The New York Times Book Review, 1967 September 17th
Whither goest thou, America, in thy shiny car in the night? ~Jack Kerouac
The American experiment is the most tremendous and far reaching engine of social change which has ever either blessed or cursed mankind. ~Charles Francis Adams
America is a mistake, a giant mistake. ~Sigmund Freud
America! half-brother of the world!
With something good and bad of every land.
~Philip James Bailey
You have to be sure that the Americans will commit all the stupidities they can think of, plus some that are beyond imagination. ~Charles de Gaulle, 1967
If you surveyed a hundred typical middle-aged Americans, I bet you'd find that only two of them could tell you their blood types, but every last one of them would know the theme song from The Beverly Hillbillies. ~Dave Barry
International trade note: the American is a gentle guy; but don't pressure him; if you do he turns toad and squirts poison. ~Martin H. Fischer (1879–1962)
America is just the country that shows how all the written guarantees in the world for freedom are no protection against tyranny and oppression of the worst kind. ~Peter Kroptkin
I feel that I am a citizen of the American dream and that the revolutionary struggle of which I am a part is a struggle against the American nightmare. ~Eldridge Cleaver
America is the best half-educated country in the world. ~Nicholas Murray Butler
The surface of American society is covered with a layer of democratic paint, but from time to time one can see the old aristocratic colors breaking through. ~Alexis de Tocqueville
Every time Europe looks across the Atlantic to see the American Eagle, it observes only the rear end of an ostrich. ~H.G. Wells
In America, with all its evils and faults, you can still reach through the forest and see the sun. But we do not know yet whether the sun is rising or setting for our country. ~Dick Gregory, 1964
Americans always try to do the right thing after they've tried everything else. ~Winston Churchill
We're Americans, with a capital A... You know what that means? Do ya? That means that our forefathers were kicked out of every decent country in the world. We are the wretched refuse. We're the underdog. We're mutts!... But there's no animal that's more faithful, that's more loyal, more loveable than the mutt. ~Stripes, 1981, written by Len Blum, Dan Goldberg, and Harold Ramis
We are quite rich enough to defend ourselves, whatever the cost. We must now learn that we are quite rich enough to educate ourselves as we need to be educated. ~Walter Lippmann
One characteristic of Americans is that they have no tolerance at all of anybody putting up with anything. We believe that whatever is going wrong ought to be fixed. ~Margaret Mead
Benjamin Franklin: "I believe that if we are to form a new country, we cannot be a country that appears war-hungry and violent to the rest of the world. However, we also cannot be a country that appears weak and unwilling to fight, to the rest of the world. So, what if we form a country that appears to want both."
Thomas Jefferson: "Yes, yes of course, we go to war and protest going to war at the same time..."
Benjamin Franklin: "And that means that as a nation, we could go to war with whomever we wished, but at the same time act like we didn't want to. If we allow the people to protest what the government does, then the country will be forever blameless."
John Adams: "It's like having your cake and eating it too."
Unidentified Congressman: "Think of it: an entire nation founded on saying one thing and doing another."
John Hancock: "And we will call that country the United States of America."
~South Park, "I'm a Little Bit Country" [S7, E4, 2003], written by Trey Parker & Matt Stone
What does it mean when a nation comes to believe that the end justifies the means? It means the end. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
Armed Forces Day,
Last saved 2020 Oct 14 Wed 07:43 PDT