Great American Quotes

There are two ideas of government. There are those who believe that if you just legislate to make the well-to-do prosperous, that their prosperity will leak through on those below. The Democratic idea has been that if you legislate to make the masses prosperous their prosperity will find its way up and through every class that rests upon it.

– William Jennings Bryan, in his “Cross of Gold” speech in 1896

When I took over the presidency, Jack Kennedy had left me a stock market of 711. When I left the White House, it was over 900. Now look at it. That’s what happens when the Republicans take over—not only Nixon, but any of them. They simply don’t know how to manage the economy. They’re so busy operating the trickle-down theory, giving the richest corporations the biggest break, that the whole thing goes to hell in a handbasket.

– Lyndon B. Johnson, after leaving the Presidency in 1969

Democratic Party has been giving the country good government. Instead of trying to build up the prosperity of the favored few, and letting some of it trickle down to the rest, we have been working to raise the incomes of the vast majority of the people. And we have been steadily expanding the base for prosperity and freedom in this country.

– Harry S. Truman, in his keynote speech at the Democratic Party’s Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner

There are some very good reasons why the Republicans have been out of office so long and haven’t been able to get back in control.

The first reason is that they were voted out in 1932 because they had brought the country to the brink of ruin.

In the 1920’s the Republican administrations drew back in petrified isolation from our world responsibilities. They spent all their time trying to help the rich get richer, and paid no attention to the welfare of the workers and the farmers. All in all, they paved the way for the biggest economic smashup this country has ever seen.

That is the reason the Republicans were thrown out of office in 1932 and one of the very good reasons why they have been kept out ever since. People don’t want any more “Great Depressions.”

The second reason why the Republicans have been out of office for 20 years is that the Democratic Party has been giving the country good government. Instead of trying to build up the prosperity of the favored few, and letting some of it trickle down to the rest, we have been working to raise the incomes of the vast majority of the people. And we have been steadily expanding the base for prosperity and freedom in this country. The people have kept right on reelecting Democrats because we have been serving them well and they know it.

The third reason the Republicans have been kept out of power for an years is because they have never been able to agree on a sensible program to put before the country. They have been on almost every side of every question, but they have seldom or never been on the right side.

– Harry S. Truman, in his keynote speech at the Democratic Party’s Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner

This house is a sanctuary; a citadel of law, of order, and of liberty; it is here-it is here in this exalted refuge-here, if anywhere, will be resistance made to the storms of political frenzy and the silent arts of corruption. And if the Constitution be destined ever to perish by the sacrilegious hands of the demagogue or the usurper, which God avert, its expiring agonies will be witnessed on this floor.

– Aaron Burr, in his farewell address to the U.S. Senate in 1804

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