Since May 11, 2001

view home page, enter name:
Barry Goldwater pretty much explained the core philosophy of American conservatism in one paragraph of his famous 1960 book The Conscience of a Conservative:

The turn will come when we entrust the conduct of our affairs to the men who understand that their first duty as public officials is to divest themselves of the power that they have been given. It will come when Americans, in hundreds of communities throughout the nation, decide to put the man in office who is pledged to enforce the Constitution and restore the Republic. Who will proclaim in a campaign speech: ‘I have little interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size. I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom. My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel the old ones that do violence to the Constitution, or that have failed in their purpose, or that impose on the people an unwarranted financial burden. I will not attempt to discover whether legislation is ‘needed’ before I have first determined whether it is constitutionally permissible. And if I should later be attacked for neglecting my constituents’ ‘interests,’ I shall reply that I was informed their main interest is liberty and that in that cause I am doing the very best I can.’

Memorable Quotes:

When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe. Thomas Jefferson

The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not. Thomas Jefferson

It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world. Thomas Jefferson

I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them. Thomas Jefferson

My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government. Thomas Jefferson

No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. Thomas Jefferson

The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government. Thomas Jefferson

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. Thomas Jefferson

Very Interesting Quote:

In light of the present financial crisis, it's interesting to read what Thomas Jefferson said in 1802:

Banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.

Alexis de Tocqueville

In other words, a democratic government is the only one in which those who vote for a tax can escape the obligation to pay it.

In politics shared hatreds are almost always the basis of friendships.

All those who seek to destroy the liberties of a democratic nation ought to know that war is the surest and shortest means to accomplish it.

America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.

Americans are so enamored of equality that they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.

An American cannot converse, but he can discuss, and his talk falls into a dissertation. He speaks to you as if he was addressing a meeting; and if he should chance to become warm in the discussion, he will say “Gentlemen” to the person with whom he is conversing.

As one digs deeper into the national character of the Americans, one sees that they have sought the value of everything in this world only in the answer to this single question: how much money will it bring in?

Consider any individual at any period of his life, and you will always find him preoccupied with fresh plans to increase his comfort.

Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word, equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.

Grant me thirty years of equal division of inheritances and a free press, and I will provide you with a republic.

He was as great as a man can be without morality (Napoleon)

History is a gallery of pictures in which there are few originals and many copies.

I cannot help fearing that men may reach a point where they look on every new theory as a danger, every innovation as a toilsome trouble, every social advance as a first step toward revolution, and that they may absolutely refuse to move at all.

I know of no country in which there is so little independence of mind and real freedom of discussion as in America.

In a revolution, as in a novel, the most difficult part to invent is the end.

In America the majority raises formidable barriers around the liberty of opinion; within these barriers an author may write what he pleases, but woe to him if he goes beyond them.

In no other country in the world is the love of property keener or more alert than in the United States, and nowhere else does the majority display less inclination toward doctrines which in any way threaten the way property is owned.

In the United States, the majority undertakes to supply a multitude of ready-made opinions for the use of individuals, who are thus relieved from the necessity of forming opinions of their own.

It is the dissimilarities and inequalities among men which give rise to the notion of honor; as such differences become less, it grows feeble; and when they disappear, it will vanish too.

Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith.

Life is to entered upon with courage.

No protracted war can fail to endanger the freedom of a democratic country.

Nothing seems at first sight less important than the outward form of human actions, yet there is nothing upon which men set more store: they grow used to everything except to living in a society which has not their own manners.

The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money.

The Americans combine the notions of religion and liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive of one without the other.

The debates of that great assembly are frequently vague and perplexed, seeming to be dragged rather than to march, to the intended goal. Something of this sort must, I think, always happen in public democratic assemblies.

The French want no-one to be their superior. The English want inferiors. The Frenchman constantly raises his eyes above him with anxiety. The Englishman lowers his beneath him with satisfaction.

The genius of democracies is seen not only in the great number of new words introduced but even more in the new ideas they express.

The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults.

The health of a democratic society may be measured by the quality of functions performed by private citizens.

The Indian knew how to live without wants, to suffer without complaint, and to die singing.

The main business of religions is to purify, control, and restrain that excessive and exclusive taste for well-being which men acquire in times of equality.

The power of the periodical press is second only to that of the people.

The surface of American society is covered with a layer of democratic paint, but from time to time one can see the old aristocratic colours breaking through.

The whole life of an American is passed like a game of chance, a revolutionary crisis, or a battle.

There are many men of principle in both parties in America, but there is no party of principle.
Alexis de Tocqueville

There are two things which a democratic people will always find very difficult - to begin a war and to end it.

There is hardly a pioneer’s hut which does not contain a few odd volumes of Shakespeare. I remember reading the feudal drama of Henry V for the first time in a log cabin.

There is hardly a political question in the United States which does not sooner or later turn into a judicial one.

Those that despise people will never get the best out of others and themselves.

We succeed in enterprises which demand the positive qualities we possess, but we excel in those which can also make use of our defects.

What is most important for democracy is not that great fortunes should not exist, but that great fortunes should not remain in the same hands. In that way there are rich men, but they do not form a class.

When the past no longer illuminates the future, the spirit walks in darkness.