Charles Rehn - Democrat for President 2004

My Favorite Quotes



MLK & The Civil Rights Movement

Thomas Jefferson's Monticello


"I must follow the people, for I am their leader"  -- Gandhi

I know of no safe depository of the ultimate power of society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them but to inform their discretion by education.

—Thomas Jefferson

"Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction... Have we not come to such an impasse in our modern world that we must love love our enemies - or else?"

Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. from the sermon "Loving Your Enemies" Christmas 1957, written in the Montgomery, Alabama jail.

"The interests of the States... ought to be made joint in every possible instance in order to cultivate the idea of our being one nation, and to multiply the instances in which the people shall look up to Congress as their head." --Thomas Jefferson to James Monroe, 1785. ME 5:14, Papers 8:229

—Thomas Jefferson

"Oh God, help us in our lives and in all of our attitudes, to work out this controlling force of love, this controlling power that can solve every problem that we confront in all areas. Oh, we talk about politics; we talk about the problems facing our atomic civilization. Grant that all men will come together and discover that as we solve the crisis and solve these problems—the international problems, the problems of atomic energy, the problems of nuclear energy, and yes, even the race problem—let us join together in a great fellowship of love and bow down at the feet of Jesus. Give us this strong determination. In the name and spirit of this Christ, we pray. Amen"

Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. from the sermon "Loving Your Enemies" Christmas 1957, written in the Montgomery, Alabama jail.

"By [the] operations [of public improvement] new channels of communication will be opened between the States; the lines of separation will disappear, their interests will be identified, and their union cemented by new and indissoluble ties." --Thomas Jefferson: 6th Annual Message, 1806. ME 3:423

—Thomas Jefferson

"Many are the exercises of power reserved to the States wherein a uniformity of proceeding would be advantageous to all. Such are quarantines, health laws, regulations of the press, banking institutions, training militia, etc., etc." --Thomas Jefferson to James Sullivan, 1807. ME 11:237

—Thomas Jefferson

"My political ideal is democracy. Let every man be respected as an individual and no man idolized. (regarding his fame) ...the cause of this may well be the desire, unattainable for many, to understand the few ideas to which I have with my feeble powers attained through ceaseless struggle."

"I am quite aware that for any organization to reach its goals, one man must do the thinking and directing and generally bear the responsibility. But the led must not be coerced, they must be able to choose their leader. In my opinion, an autocratic system of coercion soon degenerates; force attracts men of low morality... "

"The really valuable thing in the pageant of human life seems to me not the political state, but the creative, sentient individual, the personality; it alone creates the noble and the sublime, while the herd as such remains dull in thought and dull in feeling."

-- Albert Einstein

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable."

-- Pres. John F. Kennedy 1962

"We must realize that today's Establishment is the new George III: Whether it will continue to adhere to his tactics, we do not know; if it does, the redress, honored in tradition, is also revolution."

-- Justice William O. Douglas, 1970

"We have, in truth, resorted to power because our politics has failed.  Since no politician can afford to admit this, we must pretend that we are resorting to power in order to make our politics succeed."

-- Theodore Draper, "Abuse of Power", 1967

The principles of Jefferson are the definitions and axioms of free society.

Abraham Lincoln to Henry L. Pierce, 1859

All progress has resulted from people who took unpopular positions.

—Adlai Stevenson

You don' t get what you want out of life, you get what you tolerate.

--- Werner Ehrhardt

The truth is that a vast restructuring of our society is needed if remedies are to become available to the average person. Without that restructuring, the good will that holds society together will be slowly dissipated. It is that sense of futility which permeates the present series of protests & dissents. Where there is a persistent sense of futility, there is violence; and that is where we are today.

Justice William O. Douglas, Points of Rebellion, 1970

. . .Until one is committed there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one commits oneself then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way.

I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets:
            Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.
            Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.

—W. H. Murray

Leadership is all about the release of human possibilities. . .the capacity to inspire is communicating to people that you believe they matter, that you know they have something important to give.

—Joseph Jaworski

Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.

—Albert Einstein

It is in the nature of revolution, the overturning of an existing order, that at its inception a very small number of people are involved. The process, in fact, begins with one person and an idea, an idea that persuades a second, then a third and a fourth, and gathers force until the idea is successfully contradicted, absorbed into conventional wisdom, or actually turns the world upside down.

In an intellectual revolution there must be ideas and advocates willing to challenge an entire profession, the establishment itself, willing to spend their reputations and careers in spreading the idea through deeds as well as words.

—Jude Wanniski
“The Way the World Works”

"A great nation is not led by a man who simply repeats the talk of the street-corners or the opinions of the newspapers. A nation is led by a man who hears more than those things; or who, rather, hearing those things, understands them better; unites them, puts them into a common meaning; speaks, not the rumors of the street, but a new principle for a new age; a man in whose ears the voices of the nation do not sound like the accidental and discordant notes that come from the voice of a mob, but concurrent and concordant like united forces of a chorus, whose many meanings, spoken by melodious tongues, unite in his understanding in a single meaning and reveal to him a single vision, so that he can speak what no man else knows, the common meaning of the comon voice. Such is  the man who leads a great, free, democratic nation."

-- Woodrow Wilson 1909

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."

--Abraham Lincoln

``Wise statesmen ... established these great self-evident truths, that when in the distant future some man, some faction, some interest, should set up the doctrine that none but rich men, or none but white men, were entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, their posterity should look up again at the Declaration of Independence and take courage to renew the battle which their fathers began....'' 

-- Abraham Lincoln

"There is a natural aristocracy among men. The grounds of this are virtue and talents... There is also an artificial aristocracy founded on wealth and birth, without either virtue or talents; for with these it would belong to the first class... The artificial aristocracy is a mischievous ingredient in government, and provision should be made to prevent its ascendency."

-- Thomas Jefferson to John Adams, 1813

Thanks to Sen. Robert Byrd for reminding us.

"by Josiah Gilbert Holland in the 19th Century, but the message carries forth into the 21st Century. "

God give us men!
A time like this demands strong minds,
great hearts, true faith, and ready hands.
Men whom the lust of office does not kill;
Men whom the spoils of office cannot buy;
Men who possess opinions and a will;
Men who have honor; men who will not lie.

Men who can stand before a demagogue
And brave his treacherous flatteries without winking.

Tall men, sun-crowned;
Who live above the fog,
In public duty and in private thinking.
For while the rabble with its thumbworn creeds,
It's large professions and its little deeds,
mingles in selfish strife,
Lo! Freedom weeps!
Wrong rules the land and waiting justice sleeps.
God give us men!

Men who serve not for selfish booty;
But real men, courageous, who flinch not at duty.
Men of dependable character;
Men of sterling worth;
Then wrongs will be redressed, and right will rule the earth.
God Give us Men!

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