William Jennings Bryan (March 19, 1860 - July 26, 1925) was an American orator and politician, and a dominant force in the populist wing of the Democratic Party, standing three times as the Party's candidate for President of the United States (1896, 1900 and 1908). He served two terms as a member of the United States House of Representatives from Nebraska and was United States Secretary of State under President Woodrow Wilson (1913–1915), resigning because of his pacifist position on World War I. Bryan was a devout Presbyterian, a strong advocate of popular democracy, and an enemy of the banks and their gold standard. He demanded "Free Silver" because it reduced power attributed to money and put more money in the hands of the people. He was a peace advocate, a supporter of Prohibition, and an opponent of Darwinism on religious and humanitarian grounds. With his deep, commanding voice and wide travels, he was one of the best-known orators and lecturers of the era. Because of his faith in the wisdom of the common people, he was called "The Great Commoner." (Click here for full Wikipedia article)
A man unwilling to bear his share of the burden of the government is unworthy to enjoy its blessings.
And who can suffer injury by just taxation, impartial laws and the application of the Jeffersonian doctrine of equal rights to all and special privileges to none? Only those whose accumulations are stained with dishonesty and whose immoral methods have given them a distorted view of business, society and government. Accumulating by conscious frauds more money than they can use upon themselves, wisely distribute or safely leave to their children, these denounce as public enemies all who question their methods or throw a light upon their crimes.
Appearance too often takes the place of reality- the stamp of the coin is there, and the glitter of the gold, but, after all, it is but a worthless wash.
Behold a republic standing erect while empires all around are bowed beneath the weight of their own armaments- a republic whose flag is loved while other flags are only feared.
Character is the entity, the individuality of the person, shining from every window of the soul, either as a beam of purity, or as a clouded ray that betrays the impurity within.
Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for; it is a thing to be achieved.
Eloquent speech is not from lip to ear, but rather from heart to heart.
If we delight in gossip, and are not content unless each neighbor is laid upon the dissecting table, we form a character unenviable indeed, and must be willing to bear the contempt of all the truly good, while we roll our bit of scandal as a sweet morsel under the tongue.
In this, our land, we are called upon to give but little in return for the advantages which we receive. Shall we give that little grudgingly?
Never be afraid to stand with the minority when the minority is right, for the minority which is right will one day be the majority.
Next to the ministry I know of no more noble profession than the law. The object aimed at is justice, equal and exact, and if it does not reach that end at once it is because the stream is diverted by selfishness or checked by ignorance. Its principles ennoble and its practice elevates.
No one can earn a million dollars honestly.
None so little enjoy themselves, and are such burdens to themselves, as those who have nothing to do. Only the active have the true relish of life.
Our definition of patriotism is often too narrow. Shall the lover of his country measure his loyalty only by his service as a soldier?
Patriotism calls for the faithful and conscientious performance of all of the duties of citizenship, in small matters as well as great, at home as well as upon the tented field.
Plutocracy is abhorrent to a republic; it is more despotic than monarchy, more heartless than aristocracy, more selfish than bureaucracy. It preys upon the nation in time of peace and conspires against it in the hour of its calamity.
Sham is carried into every department of life, and we are being corrupted by show and surface. We are too apt to judge people by what they have, rather than by what they are; we have too few Hamlets who are bold enough to proclaim, 'I know not seem!'
Success is brought by continued labor and continued watchfulness. We must struggle on, not for one moment hesitate, nor take one backward step.
The humblest citizen in all the land, when clad in the armor of a righteous cause, is stronger than all the hosts of error.
The poor man who takes property by force is called a thief, but the creditor who can by legislation make a debtor pay a dollar twice as large as he borrowed is lauded as the friend of a sound currency. The man who wants the people to destroy the Government is an anarchist, but the man who wants the Government to destroy the people is a patriot.
The way to develop self-confidence is to do the thing you fear and get a record of successful experiences behind you.
There are those who believe that, if you will only legislate to make the well-to-do prosperous, their prosperity will leak through on those below. The Democratic idea, however, has been that if you legislate to make the masses prosperous, their prosperity will find its way up through every class which rests up on them.
Two people in a conversation amount to four people talking. The four are what one person says, what he really wanted to say, what his listener heard, and what he thought he heard.
You cannot judge a man's life by the success of a moment, by the victory of an hour, or even by the results of a year. You must view his life as a whole.