Calvin Coolidge Quotes
Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan "press on" has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.
The foundations of our society and our government rest so much on the teachings of the Bible that it would be difficult to support them if faith in these teachings would cease to be practically universal in our country.
America seeks no earthly empire built on blood and force. No ambition, no temptation, lures her to thought of foreign dominions. The legions which she sends forth are armed, not with the sword, but with the cross. The higher state to which she seeks the allegiance of all mankind is not of human, but of divine origin. She cherishes no purpose save to merit the favor of Almighty God.
Our country can not exist on the renunciation of the heroic souls of the past. Public service, from the action of the humblest voter to the most exalted office, can not be made a mere matter of hire and salary. The supporters of our institutions must be inspired by a more dominent motive than a conviction that their actions are going to be profitable. We can not lower our standards to what we think will pay, but we must raise them to what we think is right. It is only in that direction that we shall find true patriotism.
A government which lays taxes on the people not required by urgent public necessity and sound public policy is not a protector of liberty, but an instrument of tyranny.
We must have no carelessness in our dealings with public property or the expenditure of public money. Such a condition is characteristic either of an undeveloped people, or of a decadent civilization.
I am for economy. After that I am for more economy.
Our country has not ceased to glory in its strength, but it has come to a realization that it must have something more than numbers and wealth, something more than a fleet and an army, to satisfy the longing of the soul. It knows that to power must be added wisdom, and to greatness must be added morality.
The government can supply no substitute for enterprise.
Everyone ought to realize that the sole source of national wealth is thrift and industry, and that the sole supply of the public treasury is the toil of the people.
Doubters do not achieve; skeptics do not contribute; cynics do not create. Faith is the great motive power, and no man realizes his full possibilities unless he has the deep conviction that life is eternally important, and that his work, well done, is a part of an unending plan.
Let this nation, under your influence, be a finer nation. Resolve that the sacrifices by which your great opportunities have been purchased will be matched by a sacrifice, on your part, that will give your children even a better chance.
This is the context.
I cannot think of anything characteristically American that was not produced by toil. I cannot think of any American man or woman preeminent in the history of our nation who did not reach their place through toil. I cannot think of anything that represents the American people as a whole so adequately as honest work.
The door of opportunity swings wide open in our country. Through it, in constant flow, go those who toil. America recognizes no aristocracy save those who work. The badge of service is the sole requirement for admission to the ranks of our nobility.
We do not need to import any foreign economic ideas or any foreign government. We had better stick to the American brand of government, the American brand of equality, and the American brand of wages. America had better stay American.
The governments of the past could fairly be characterized as devices for maintaining in perpetuity the place and position of certain privileged classes, without any ultimate protection for the rights of the people. The government of the United States is a device for maintaining in perpetuity the rights of the people, with the ultimate extinction of all privileged classes.
We pay too little attention to the reserve power of the people to take care of themselves. We are too solicitous for government intervention, on the theory, first, that the people themselves are helpless, and second, that the government has superior capacity for action. Often times both of these conclusions are wrong.
There is a place both present and future in America for true, clean sport. We do not rank it above business, the occupations of our lives, and we do not look with approval upon those who, not being concerned in its performance, spend all their thought, energy and time upon its observance. We recognize, however, that there is something more in life than the grinding routine of daily toil, that we can develop a better manhood and womanhood, a more attractive youth, and a wiser maturity, by rounding out our existence with a wholesome interest in sport.
In our land the people rule. The great truth cannot be too often repeated that this nation is exactly what the people make it. It is necessary to realize that our duties are personal.
When the government goes into business it lays a tax on everybody else in that business, and uses the money that it collects from its competitors to establish a monopoly and drive them out of business.
Our government rests upon religion. It is from that source that we derive our reverance for truth and justice, for equality and liberty, and for the rights of mankind. Unless the people believe in these principles they cannot believe in our government.
There are only two main theories of government in the world. One rests on righteousness, the other rests on force. One appeals to reason, the other appeals to the sword.
The ability for self-government is arrived at only through an extensive training and education.
The government of a country never gets ahead of the religion of a country. There is no way by which we can substitute the authority of law for the virtue of man. Of course we can help to restrain the vicious and furnish a fair degree of security and protection by legislation and police control, but the real reforms which society in these days is seeking will come as a result of our religious convictions, or they will not come at all.
I regard a good budget as among the noblest monuments of virtue.
The best service we can do for the needy and the unfortunate is to help them in such manner that their self-respect, their ability to help themselves, shall not be injured but augmented.
The best help that benevolence and philanthropy can give is that which induces everybody to help himself.
The right action of all of us is made up of the right action of each one of us. Unless each of us is determined to meet the duty that comes to us, we can have no right to expect that others will meet the duties that come to them.
The purpose of a campaign is to send an intelligent and informed voter to the ballot box.
Wealth is the product of industry, ambition, character and untiring effort.
So long as wealth is made the means and not the end, we need not greatly fear it.
Under this republic the rewards of industry belong to those who earn them. The only constitutional tax is the tax which ministers to public necessity.
The wise and correct course to follow in taxation and all other economic legislation is not to destroy those who have already secured success but to create conditions under which every one will have a better chance to be successful.
We have found that when men and women are left free to find the places for which they are best fitted, some few of them will indeed attain less exalted stations than under a regime of privilege; but the vast multitude will rise to a higher level, to wider horizons, to worthier attainments.
Our country was conceived in the theory of local self-government. It has been dedicated by long practice to that wise and beneficent policy. It is the foundation principle of our system of liberty. It makes the largest promise to the freedom and development of the individual. Its preservation is worth all the effort and all the sacrifice that it may cost.
It may not be difficult to store up in the mind a vast quantity of facts within a comparatively short time, but the ability to form correct judgments requires the severe discipline of hard work and the tempering heat of experience and maturity.
It is my firm conviction that the duty of national defense, like the general duty of citizenship, should be broadly extended and borne by all our people. We do not believe in or wish to bear the expense of maintaining large standing military forces.
This is the context.
It is exactly because we wish to keep our standing forces small that the average citizen must give some attention to military affairs, precisely as he gives some attention to other government affairs, in order that he may express a deliberate and informed judgment at the ballot box.
The policy of peace through reason rather than peace through force is one in which America has taken and ought always to continue to take a leading part.
We should not forget that in the world over the general attitude and one of the strongest attributes of all peoples is a desire to do right. Unless we lay our course in accordance with this principle, the great power for good in the world with which we have been intrusted by a Divine Providence will be turned to a power for evil. We shall make no progress and be of no benefit to ourselves or to anyone else.
I am not unfamiliar with the claim that if only we had a sufficient military establishment no one would ever molest us. I know of no nation in history that has ever been able to attain that position. I see no reason to expect that we could be the exception. Although I believe thoroughly in adequate military preparations, what I am trying to argue is that they are not sufficient unto themselves.
If we are to promote peace on earth, we must have a great deal more than the power of the sword. We must call into action the spiritual and moral forces of mankind.
If what is saved in the productive peace of today is to be lost in the destructive war of tomorrow, the people of this earth can look forward to nothing but everlasting servitude.
If we are to have that harmony and tranquility, that union of spirit which is the foundation of real national genius and national progress, we must all realize that there are true Americans who did not happen to be born in our section of the country, who do not attend our place of religious worship, who are not of our racial stock, or who are not proficient in our language. If we are to create on this continent a free republic and an enlightened civilization that will be capable of reflecting the true greatness and glory of mankind, it will be necessary to regard these differences as accidental and unessential.
Divine Providence has not bestowed upon any race a monopoly of patriotism and character.
In spite of all the arguments in favor of great military forces, no nation ever had an army large enough to guarantee it against attack in time of peace or to insure its victory in time of war. No nation ever will.
It is our purpose in our intercourse with foreign powers to rely not on the strength of our fleets and our armies but on the justice of our cause.
Whenever the military power starts dictating to the civil authority, by whatsoever means adopted, the liberties of the country are beginning to end.
Unless the people are willing to defend their country because of their belief in it, because of their affection for it, and because it is representative of their home, their country can not be defended.
Progress tends very largely on the encouragement of variety. Whatever tends to standardize the community, to establish fixed and rigid modes of thought, tends to fossilize society.
Whether one traces his Americanisms back three centuries to the Mayflower, or three years to the steerage, is not half so important as whether his Americanism of today is real and genuine. No matter by what various crafts we came here, we are all now in the same boat.
We are not likely to improve our own condition or help humanity very much until we come to the sympathetic understanding that human nature is about the same everywhere, that it is rather evenly distributed over the surface of the earth, and that we are all united in a common brotherhood.
Great men belong to humanity. They are the incarnation of the truth.
When government enters the field of business with its great resources, it has a tendency to extravagance and inefficiency, but, having the power to crush all competitors, likewise closes the door of opportunity and results in monopoly.
No matter how it is disguised, the moment the government engages in buying and selling, by that act it is fixing prices.
It is not through selfishness or wastefulness or arrogance, but through self-denial, conservation, and service, that we shall build up the American spirit.
One of the chief dangers to the success of popular government is that it will throw away self-restraint and self-control and adopt laws which, being without sound economic foundation, bring on such a financial distress as to result in want, misery, disorder, and the dissolution of society.
It is not in violence and crime that our greatest danger lies. These evils are so perfectly apparent that they very quickly arouse the moral power of the people for their suppression. A far more serious danger lurks in the shirking of those responsibilities of citizenship, where the evil may not be so noticeable but is more insidious and likely to be more devastating.
No method of procedure has ever been devised by which liberty could be divorced from local self-government. No plan of centralization has ever been adopted which did not result in bureaucracy, tyranny, inflexibility, reaction, and decline.
It does not follow that because something ought to be done the national government ought to do it.
Patriotism is easy to understand in America; it means looking out for yourself by looking out for your country.
No person was ever honored for what they received. Honor has been the reward for what they gave.
Christmas is not a time or a season but a state of mind. To cherish peace and good will, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas. If we think on these things, there will be born in us a Savior and over us will shine a star sending its gleam of hope to the world.
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