For the Fourth of July

Sunday, July 3, 2011 – For the Fourth of July

That which distinguishes this day from all others is that then both orators and artillerymen shoot blank cartridges. ~ John Burroughs, Journal, referring to the Fourth of July

If there must be trouble let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. ~ Thomas Paine

Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it. ~ Judge Learned Hand

A politician will do anything to keep his job – even become a patriot. ~ William Randolph Hearst

Americans always try to do the right thing after they’ve tried everything else. ~ Winston Churchill

Intellectually I know that America is no better than any other country; emotionally I know she is better than every other country. ~ Sinclair Lewis

I have always been among those who believed that the greatest freedom of speech was the greatest safety, because if a man is a fool, the best thing to do is to encourage him to advertise the fact by speaking. ~ Woodrow Wilson

Kill my boss? Do I dare live out the American dream? ~ Homer Simpson

Perhaps this is our strange and haunting paradox here in America – that we are fixed and certain only when we are in movement. ~ Thomas Wolfe, You Can’t Go Home Again

I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually. ~ James Baldwin, Notes of a Native Son

There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured with what is right in America. ~ Bill Clinton

America is a vast conspiracy to make you happy. ~ John Updike

Perhaps, after all, America never has been discovered. I myself would say that it had merely been detected. ~ Oscar Wilde

Patriotism is often an arbitrary veneration of real estate above principles. ~ George Jean Nathan

I do not mean to exclude altogether the idea of patriotism. I know it exists, and I know it has done much in the present contest. But I will venture to assert, that a great and lasting war can never be supported on this principle alone. It must be aided by a prospect of interest, or some reward. ~ George Washington

Patriotism ruins history. ~ Goethe

The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naïve and usually idiotic. He is, more likely, one who likes his country more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest of us when he sees it debauched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime; he is a good citizen driven to despair. ~ H. L. Mencken

During times of war, hatred becomes quite respectable, even though it has to masquerade often under the guise of patriotism. ~ Howard Thurman

The nation is divided, half patriots and half traitors, and no man can tell which from which. ~ Mark Twain

When a whole nation is roaring Patriotism at the top of its voice, I am fain to explore the cleanness of its hands and the purity of its heart. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, Journals, 1824

Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious. ~ Oscar Wilde

Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons. ~ Bertrand Russell

Patriotism is as fierce as a fever, pitiless as the grave, blind as a stone, and irrational as a headless hen. ~ Ambrose Bierce

Patriotism is when love of your own people comes first; nationalism, when hate for people other than your own comes first. ~ Charles de Gaulle

He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, senseless brutality, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be part of so base an action! It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder. ~ Albert Einstein

To me, it seems a dreadful indignity to have a soul controlled by geography. ~ George Santayana

The proper means of increasing the love we bear our native country is to reside some time in a foreign one. ~ William Shenstone

He is a poor patriot whose patriotism does not enable him to understand how all men everywhere feel about their altars and their hearthstones, their flag and their fatherland. ~ Harry Emerson Fosdick

My country is the world, and my religion to do good. ~ Thomas Paine, The Rights of Man

What is patriotism but the love of the food one ate as a child? ~ Lin Yutang

America is a large, friendly dog in a very small room. Every time it wags its tail, it knocks over a chair. ~ Arnold Toynbee

Ours is the only country deliberately founded on a good idea. ~ John Gunther

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