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Quotes of the day: Grover Cleveland

Published Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 6:54 AM EDT
Mar 18 2014

Stephen Grover Cleveland (March 18, 1837 – June 24, 1908) was the 22nd and 24th President of the United States; the only president to serve two non-consecutive terms (1885–1889 and 1893–1897) and to be counted twice in the numbering of the presidents. He was the winner of the popular vote for president three times- in 1884, 1888, and 1892- and, with Woodrow Wilson, was one of the two Democrats elected to the presidency in the era of Republican political domination dating from 1861 to 1933. Cleveland was the leader of the pro-business Bourbon Democrats who opposed high tariffs, Free Silver, inflation, imperialism, and subsidies to business, farmers, or veterans. His crusade for political reform and fiscal conservatism made him an icon for American conservatives of the era. Cleveland won praise for his honesty, self-reliance, integrity, and commitment to the principles of classical liberalism. He relentlessly fought political corruption, patronage and bossism. His prestige was so strong that the like-minded wing of the Republican Party, the 'Mugwumps,' largely bolted the GOP presidential ticket and swung to his support in the 1884 election. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A sensitive man is not happy as President. It is fight, fight, fight all the time.

A truly American sentiment recognizes the dignity of labor and the fact that honor lies in honest toil.

An ex-President practicing law or going into business is like a locomotive hauling a delivery wagon. He has lost his sense of proportion. The concerns of other people and even his own affairs seem to small to be worth bothering about.

Communism is a hateful thing and a menace to peace and organized government; but the communism of combined wealth and capital, the outgrowth of overweening cupidity and selfishness, which insidiously undermines the justice and integrity of free institutions, is not less dangerous than the communism of oppressed poverty and toil, which, exasperated by injustice and discontent, attacks with wild disorder the citadel of rule.

The laws and the entire scheme of our civil rule, from the town meeting to the State capitals and the national capital, is yours. Your every voter, as surely as your Chief Magistrate, under the same high sanction, though in a different sphere, exercises a public trust.

I believe the most important benefit that I can confer upon my country by my Presidency is to insist upon the entire independence of the executive and legislative branches of the government.

Officeholders are the agents of the people, not their masters

Our citizens have the right to protection from the incompetency of public employees who hold their places solely as the reward of partisan service. (1885)

Party honesty is party expediency.

Public extravagance begets extravagance among the people.

Public officers are the servants and agents of the people, to execute the laws which the people have made.

The laboring classes constitute the main part of our population. They should be protected in their efforts peaceably to assert their rights when endangered by aggregated capital, and all statutes on this subject should recognize the care of the State for honest toil, and be framed with a view of improving the condition of the workingman.

The laws should be rigidly enforced which prohibit the immigration of a servile class to compete with American labor, with no intention of acquiring citizenship, and bringing with them and retaining habits and customs repugnant to our civilization. (1885)

The lessons of paternalism ought to be unlearned and the better lesson taught that while the people should patriotically and cheerfully support their government, its functions do not include the support of the people.

The strong man who in the confidence of sturdy health courts the sternest activities of life and rejoices in the hardihood of constant labor may still have lurking near his vitals the unheeded disease that dooms him to sudden collapse.

Though the people support the government, the government should not support the people.

What is the use of being elected or re-elected unless you stand for something?

Whatever you do, tell the truth.

Categories: Grover Cleveland, Quotes of the day


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