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Quotes of the day: Woodrow Wilson

Published Saturday, December 28, 2013 @ 7:07 AM EST
Dec 28 2013

Woodrow Wilson, (December 28, 1856 - February 3, 1924) in Staunton, Virginia, spent his youth in the South, as the son of a devout Presbyterian family, seeing the ravages of the Civil War and its aftermath. A dedicated scholar and enthusiastic orator, he earned multiple degrees before embarking on a university career. In a fast rise politically, he spent two years as governor of New Jersey before becoming the two-term 28th president of the United States in 1912. Wilson saw America through World War I, negotiating the Versailles Treaty and crafting a League of Nations, a precursor to the United Nations. He suffered his second stroke during the last year of his presidency and died three years after leaving office, on February 3, 1924, with sweeping reforms for the middle class, voting rights for women and precepts for world peace as his legacy. (Click here for full biographt.com article)


A man who thinks of himself as belonging to a particular national group in America has not yet become an American.

America lives in the heart of every man everywhere who wishes to find a region where he will be free to work out his destiny as he chooses.

At every crisis in one's life, it is absolute salvation to have some sympathetic friend to whom you can think aloud without restraint or misgiving.

Because I love the South, I rejoice in the failure of the Confederacy.

Business underlies everything in our national life, including our spiritual life. Witness the fact that in the Lord's Prayer, the first petition is for daily bread. No one can worship God or love his neighbor on an empty stomach.

By "radical," I understand one who goes too far; by "conservative," one who does not go far enough; by "reactionary," one who won't go at all.

Conservatism is the policy of making no changes and consulting your grandmother when in doubt.

I can predict with absolute certainty that within another generation there will be another world war if the nations of the world do not concert the method by which to prevent it. (in 1919)

I not only use all the brains I have, but all I can borrow.

I would... rather lose in a cause that I know some day will triumph than triumph in a cause that I know some day will lose.

If a dog will not come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.

If you think too much about being re-elected, it is very difficult to be worth re-electing.

If you want to make enemies, try to change something.

Liberty has never come from the government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of the government. The history of liberty is a history of resistance. The history of liberty is a history of the limitation of governmental power, not the increase of it.

Liberty is its own reward.

Never murder a man who is committing suicide.

No country can afford to have its prosperity originated by a small controlling class.

No man can sit down and withhold his hands from the warfare against wrong and get peace from his acquiescence.

No nation is fit to sit in judgment upon any other nation.

Nothing is easier than to falsify the past. Lifeless instruction will do it. If you rob it of vitality, stiffen it with pedantry, sophisticate it with argument, chill it with unsympathetic comment, you render it as dead as any academic exercise.

One cool judgment is worth a thousand hasty counsels. The thing to do is to supply light and not heat.

Power consists in one's capacity to link his will with the purpose of others, to lead by reason and a gift of cooperation.

Sometimes people call me an idealist. Well, that is the way I know I am an American.

The American Revolution was a beginning, not a consummation.

The ear of the leader must ring with the voices of the people.

The government, which was designed for the people, has got into the hands of the bosses and their employers, the special interests. An invisible empire has been set up above the forms of democracy.

The great malady of public life is cowardice. Most men are not untrue, but they are afraid. Most of the errors of public life, if my observation is to be trusted, come not because men are morally bad, but because they are afraid of somebody.

The history of liberty is a history of the limitation of governmental power, not the increase of it.

The man who is swimming against the stream knows the strength of it.

The office of President requires the constitution of an athlete, the patience of a mother, and the endurance of an early Christian.

The only excuse that America can ever have for the assertion of her physical force is that she asserts it in behalf of the interests of humanity.

The seed of revolution is repression.

The Senate is just what the mode of its election and the conditions of public life in this country make it.

The success of a party means little except when the Nation is using that party for a large and definite purpose.

The truth is, we are all caught in a great economic system which is heartless.

The way to stop financial joy-riding is to arrest the chauffeur, not the automobile.

There is such a thing as a nation being so right that it does not need to convince others by force that it is right.

Things get very lonely in Washington sometimes. The real voice of the great people of America sometimes sounds faint, and sometimes sounds distant in that strange city. You hear politics until you wish that both parties were smothered in their own gas.

Tolerance is an admirable intellectual gift, but it is worth little in politics.

Uncompromising thought is the luxury of the closeted recluse.

We are not put into this world to sit still and know; we are put into it to act.

We cannot, we will not, choose the path of surrender.

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