America Quotes

Most popular America quotes

The basis of our political system is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government.

American constitution democracy

The time is now near at hand which must probably determine whether Americans are to be freemen or slaves.

iconic

Discussion in America means dissent.

discussion dissent

Violence is as American as cherry pie.
Americans like fat books and thin women.

dieting

When good Americans die they go to Paris.
Being a great power is no longer much fun.
Laughter is America's most important export.

laughter

Not merely a nation but a nation of nations.
America is a tune. It must be sung together.

unity

America is an adorable woman chewing tobacco.
America has been another name for opportunity.
The youth of America is their oldest tradition.
America is a vast conspiracy to make you happy.

happiness

We must keep America whole and safe and unspoiled.
The popular song is America's greatest ambassador.

music songs

I regard England as my wife and America as my mistress.

England

America is not a melting pot. It is a sizzling cauldron.
The American dream is not over. America is an adventure.
This continent, an open palm spread frank before the sky.
I think the greatest taboos in America are faith and failure.

faith

I don't see America as a mainland, but as a sea, a big ocean.
More than any country ours [America] is an automobile society.

cars

The United States themselves are essentially the greatest poem.
What the American public wants is a tragedy with a happy ending.

tragedy

No one flower can ever symbolize this nation. America is a bouquet.

diversity

America is like an unfaithful lover who promised us more than we got.
England and America are two countries separated by the same language.

England English

Americans are rather like bad Bulgarian wine: they don't travel well.
America is the greatest of opportunities and the worst of influences.
In America, anybody can be president. That's one of the risks you take.
It is a part of the American character to consider nothing as desperate.
America is rather like life. You can usually find in it what you look for.
Entitlement spending—the politics of greed wrapped in the language of love.
Give the American people a good cause, and there's nothing they can't lick.
Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball.

baseball

America has put a tight shoe on the Negro and now he has a callus on his soul.

African-Americans civil rights

No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.
In the end, the American dream is not a sprint or even a marathon, but a relay.
I've always thought that the American eagle needed a left wing and a right wing.

politics

What the people want is very simple—they want an America as good as its promise.
What's right with America is a willingness to discuss what's wrong with America.
My rackets are run on strictly American lines and they're going to stay that way.
The American language is in a state of flux based upon survival of the unfittest.
The short memories of the American voters is what keeps our politicians in office.

politicians

In America nobody says you have to keep the circumstances somebody else gives you.
I've come to think of Europe as a hardcover book, America as the paperback version.
America, thou half brother of the world;
With something good and bad of every land.
Americans adore me and will go on adoring me until I say something nice about them.
America is an enormous frosted cupcake in the middle of millions of starving people.
This [America] is the only country that ever went to the poorhouse in an automobile.
The thing that impresses me most about America is the way parents obey their children.

children parenting

We have really everything in common with America nowadays, except, of course, language.

England

Every American carries in his bloodstream the heritage of the malcontent and the dreamer.
We can now prove that large numbers of Americans are dying from sitting on their behinds.

exercise health

America is a place where Jewish merchants sell Zen love beads to agnostics for Christmas.

diversity religion

If there is a single image to crystallize the American dream, it would be house ownership.

house

An American believes more than anything else in the last four letter of that title: I can.
America – a country that has leapt from barbarism to decadence without touching civilization.
In the field of world policy I would dedicate this nation to the policy of the good neighbor.

neighbors

God was left out of the Constitution but was furnished a front seat on the coins of the country.

God

Illegal aliens have always been a problem in the United States. Ask any Indian [Native American].

funny

They'll like you because you're a foreigner. They love foreigners; it's just strangers they hate.
Most Americans...have a sort of permanent intoxication from within, a sort of invisible champagne.
America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between.
America is a large friendly dog in a small room. Every time it wags its tail it knocks over a chair.
The things that have made America great are being subverted for the things that make Americans rich.
Being American is not a matter of birth. We must practice it every day, lest we become something else.
The political and social morals of America are not only food for laughter, they are an entire banquet.
America is God's Crucible, the great Melting-Pot, where all races of Europe are melting and re-forming.
The United States is like the guy at the party who gives cocaine to everybody and still nobody likes him.
Americans have always been eager for travel, that being how they got to the New World in the first place.

Travel

America is God's Crucible, the great Melting-Pot where all the races of Europe are melting and reforming!
Americans are like a rich father who wishes he knew how to give his son the hardships that made him rich.
Remember always that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.
America is a large, friendly dog in a very small room. Every time it wags its tail, it knocks over a chair.
Perhaps, after all, America never has been discovered. I myself would say that it had merely been detected.
America is the red man's country by natural right, and the black man's by virtue of his sufferings and toil.

African-Americans

It's not the hand that signs the laws that holds the destiny of America. It's the hand that casts the ballot.

civic duty democracy voting

It should be possible both to believe deeply in the rightness of one's own cause and to hear out the other side.

politics

I hold, that in contemplation of universal law, and of the Constitution, the Union of these States is perpetual.

iconic

I have found out in later years that we were very poor, but the glory of America is that we didn't know it then.
America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.
America is the country where you can buy a lifetime supply of aspirin for one dollar and use it up in two weeks.
Only remember—west of the Mississippi it's a little more look, see, act. A little less rationalize, comment, talk.
Americans relate all effort, all work, and all of life itself to the dollar.  Their talk is of nothing but dollars.

money

American women expect to find in their husbands a perfection that English women only hope to find in their butlers.

England

If the American Revolution had produced nothing but the Declaration of Independence, it would have been worthwhile.
The actual American childhood is less Norman Rockwell and Walt Disney than Nathaniel Hawthorne and Edgar Allan Poe.

childhood

The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and these are ignorance, superstition and incompetence.
How often we fail to realize our good fortune in living in a country where happiness is more than a lack of tragedy.
America did not invent human rights. In a very real sense, it is the other way around. Human rights invented America.
Backward is just not a natural direction for Americans to look—historical ignorance remains a national characteristic.

history ignorance

This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in.
In America the young are always ready to give to those who are older than themselves the full benefits of their inexperience.
The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge ... is itself a frightful despotism.

democracy government

America exhausts the springs of one's soul—I suppose that's what it exists for.  It lives to see all real spontaneity expire.
What is the essence of America? Finding and maintaining that perfect, delicate balance between freedom "to" and freedom "from."
The trouble with us in America isn't that the poetry of life has turned to prose, but that it has turned into advertising copy.

advertising

Our political institutions work remarkably well. They are designed to clang against each other. The noise is democracy at work.

democracy

American society is a sort of flat, fresh-water pond which absorbs silently, without reaction, anything which is thrown into it.
The immense popularity of American movies abroad demonstrates that Europe is the unfinished negative of which America is the proof.
America is a religious nation, but only because it is religiously tolerant and lets every citizen pray, or not pray, in his own way.
— From an editorial in The New York Times
The business of America is not business. Neither is it war. The business of America is justice and securing the blessings of liberty.
American society is very like a fish society...the only thing which determines order of dominance is length of time in the fish-bowl.
I believe that there lives a burning desire in the most sequestered private heart of every American, a desire to belong to a great country.
One of the fondest expressions around is that we can't be the world's policeman. But guess who gets called when suddenly someone needs a cop.
Americans are optimists. They hope they'll be wealthy someday—and they're positive they can get one more brushful of paint out of an empty can.
Ours seems to be the only nation on earth that asks its teenagers what to do about world affairs, and tells its goldenagers to go out and play.
America is the world's policeman, all right—a big, dumb, mick flatfoot in the middle of the one thing cops dread most, a "domestic disturbance."
A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.

military spiritual

Here in America we are descended in blood and in spirit from revolutionists and rebels - men and women who dare to dissent from accepted doctrine.

rebels revolution

The United States doesn't need to win wars. It needs to simply disrupt things so the other side can't build up sufficient strength to challenge it.

geopolitics

Our record as a righteous nation has proved so filled with error that, obviously, we must stop thanking God we [America] are not like other nations.
We on this continent should never forget that men first crossed the Atlantic not to find soil for their ploughs but to secure liberty for their souls.

freedom

The American economy is so huge that it is larger than the economies of the next four countries combined: Japan, Germany, China, and the United Kingdom.
After a century of striving, after a year of debate, after a historic vote, health care reform is no longer an unmet promise. It is the law of the land.
No one can be as calculatedly rude as the British, which amazes Americans, who do not understand studied insult and can only offer abuse as a substitute.

England English people insults

The Englishman wants to be recognized as a gentleman, or as some other suitable species of human being, the American wants to be considered a "good guy."

England

Americans think of themselves collectively as a human rescue squad on twenty-four hour call to any spot on the globe where dispute and conflict may result.
The surface of American society is covered with a layer of democratic paint, but from time to time one can see the old aristocratic colors breaking through.
There are those who will say that the liberation of humanity, the freedom of man and mind, is nothing but a dream. They are right. It is the American dream.
An Englishman is a person who does things because they have been done before. An American is a person who does things because they haven't been done before.

England

... the single most important geopolitical fact in the world: the United States controls all of the oceans. No other power in history has been able to do this.

geopolitics

It was in making education not only common to all, but in some sense compulsory on all, that the destiny of the free republics of America was practically settled.

education

That this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

iconic

The haughty American nation ... makes the Negro clean its boots and then proves the moral and physical inferiority of the Negro by the fact that he is a bootblack.

African-Americans civil rights racism

The American dream is, in part, responsible for a great deal of crime and violence because people feel that the country owes them not only a living but a good living.
I believe there's an intrinsic irreverence in the American psyche, and when something comes along that offers even an echo  of that irreverence, people respond to it.
The saving grace of America lies in the fact that the overwhelming majority of Americans are possessed of two great qualities—a sense of humor and a sense of proportion.
Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed—
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.
The unhealthy gap between what we preach in America and what we often practice creates a moral dry rot that eats at the very foundation of our democratic ideals and values.

democracy

There is a rowdy strain in American life, living close to the surface but running very deep. Like an ape behind a mask, it can display itself suddenly with terrifying effect.
America's dissidents are not committed to mental hospitals and sent into exile; they thrive and prosper and buy a house in Nantucket and take flyers in the commodities market.
Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

equality iconic

American culture does not deal easily with the true and beautiful. It values getting things done and not worrying too much about why whatever thing you are doing is important.
The classic American western look remains unchallenged as the epitome of virility in men's clothing. Derived from the cowboy's work clothes, it is part of the national heritage.

men

America is not like a blanket—one piece of unbroken cloth. America is more like a quilt—many patches, many pieces, many colors, many sizes, all woven together by a common thread.

diversity

Highways have made tangible the conviction that the truth about America, its heart and soul, is always to be found somewhere just over the horizon, somewhere around the next bend.
If America does not use her vast resources of wealth to end poverty and make it possible for all of God's children to have the basic necessities of life, she, too, will go to hell.

capitalism inequality

I am angry about policies that consistently favor the wealthy and powerful over average Americans, and insist that government has an important role in opening up opportunity to all.

government regulations

History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.

apathy civil rights equality injustice

One of the most pathetic—and dangerous—signs of our times is the growing number of individuals and groups who believe that no one can possibly disagree with them for any honest reason.

politics

While the people retain their virtue, and vigilance, no administration, by any extreme of wickedness or folly, can very seriously injure the government, in the short space of four years.

democracy government

Our country is now taking so steady a course as to show by what road it will pass to destruction, to wit: by consolidation of power first, and then corruption, its necessary consequence.

power

It is by the goodness of God that in our country we have those three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to practice either of them.

freedom

I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.

capitalism democracy

America is a hurricane, and the only people who do not hear the sound are those fortunate if incredibly stupid and smug White Protestants who live in the center, in the serene eye of the big wind.
I'm grateful to be an American. I am grateful that we can be angry at the terrorist assault on 9/11 and at the same time be intelligent enough not to hold a grudge against every Arab and every Muslim.

prejudice

I have fallen in love with American names,
The sharp, gaunt names that never get fat,
The snakeskin-titles of mining-claims,
The plumed war-bonnet of Medicine Hat,
Tucson and Deadwood and Lost Mule Flat.

names

Give me your tired, your poor, 
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, 
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. 
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, 
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
I thank God that I live in a country where dreams can come true, where failure sometimes is the first step to success and where success is only another form of failure if we forget what our priorities should be.
We should beware of the demagogues who are willing to declare a trade war against our friends, weakening our economy, our national security, and the entire free world, all while cynically waving the American flag.

Donald Trump politics

Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the Revolution, never to violate in the least particular, the laws of the country; and never to tolerate their violation by others.

American constitution

America is just the country that how all the written guarantees in the world for freedom are no protection against tyranny and oppression of the worst kind. There the politician has come to be looked upon as the very scum of society.

politicians

In other countries, art and literature are left to a lot of shabby bums living in attics and feeding on booze and spaghetti, but in America the successful writer or picture-painter is indistinguishable from any other decent businessman.

art artists

America is not like a blanket-one piece of unbroken cloth, the same color, the same texture, the same size. America is more like a quilt-many patches, many pieces, many colors, many sizes, all woven and held together by a common thread.
There is an important sense in which government is distinctive from administration. One is perpetual; the other is temporary and changeable. A man may be loyal to his government and yet oppose the particular principles and methods of administration.

democracy government iconic

This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. When ever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it.

American constitution government

America—rather, the United States—seems to me to be the Jew among the nations. It is resourceful, adaptable, maligned, envied, feared, imposed upon. It is warmhearted, overfriendly; quick-witted, lavish, colorful; given to extravagant speech and gestures.
Americans, particularly after World War II, tended to romanticize war because in World War II our cause was the cause of humanity, and our soldiers brought home glory and victory, and thank God that they did. But it led us to romanticize it to some extent.

glory World War II

All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth in their military chest; with a Bonaparte for a commander, could not by force take a drink from the Ohio or make a track on the Blue Ridge in a trial of a thousand years.
In America everybody is of opinion that he has no social superiors, since all men are equal, but he does not admit that he has no social inferiors, for, from the time of Jefferson onward, the doctrine that all men are equal applies only upwards, not downwards.

equality

I know my country has not perfected itself. At times, we've struggled to keep the promise of liberty and equality for all of our people. We've made our share of mistakes, and there are times when our actions around the world have not lived up to our best intentions.

equality

Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up, and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable—a most sacred right—a right, which we hope and believe, is to liberate the world.

democracy government

No, what's troubling is the gap between the magnitude of our challenges and the smallness of our politics—the ease with which we are distracted by the petty and trivial, our chronic avoidance of tough decisions, our seeming inability to build a working consensus to tackle any big problem.

politics

Americans are fascinated by their own love of shopping. This does not make them unique. It's just that they have more to buy than most other people on the planet. And it's also an affirmation of faith in their country, its prosperity and limitless bounty. They have shops the way that lesser countries have statues.

shopping

The history of the twenty-first century, therefore, particularly the first half, will revolve around two opposing struggles. One will be secondary powers forming coalitions to try to contain and control the United States. The second will be the United States acting preemptively to prevent an effective coalition from forming.

geopolitics predictive

Any attempt to forecast the twenty-first century that does not begin with the recognition of the extraordinary nature of American power is out of touch with reality. But I am making a broader, more unexpected claim, too: the United States is only at the beginning of its power. The twenty-first century will be the American century.

geopolitics predictive

In a certain sense, and to a certain extent, he [the President] is the representative of the people. He is elected by them, as well as Congress is. But can he, in the nature [of] things, know the wants of the people, as well as three hundred other men, coming from all the various localities of the nation? If so, where is the propriety of having a Congress?

government

Koreans came up from nothing in the auto business. They worked 84 hours a week with no overtime for more than a decade. At the same time every Korean child came home from grade school, and worked with a tutor for four full hours in the afternoon and the evening, driven by these Tiger Moms. Are you surprised when you lose to people like that? Only if you're a total idiot.

hard work

But our democracy might work a bit better if we recognized that all of us possess values that are worthy of respect: if liberals at least acknowledged that the recreational hunter feels the same way about his gun as they feel about their library books, and if conservatives recognized that most women feel as protective of their right to reproductive freedom as evangelicals do of their right to worship.

conservatives democracy liberal values

I think the hydrocarbon reserves in the United States are one of the most precious things we have, every bit as precious as the topsoil of Iowa. Just as I don't want to export all the topsoil in Iowa to Iran or someplace, just because they are willing to give us some money, I love the hydrocarbon reserves we have in the ground. The fashion is to be independent and to use them up as fast as we can. I think that's insanity as a national policy.

the economy

The United States Navy controls all of the oceans of the world. Whether it's a junk in the South China Sea, a dhow off the African coast, a tanker in the Persian Gulf, or a cabin cruiser in the Caribbean, every ship in the world moves under the eyes of American satellites in space and its movement is guaranteed—or denied—at will by the U.S. Navy. The combined naval force of the rest of the world doesn't come close to equaling that of the U.S. Navy.

geopolitics

If the policy of the government, upon vital questions affecting the whole people, is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court, the people will have ceased, to be their own rulers, having, to that extent, practically resigned their government into the hands of that eminent tribunal. Nor is there, in this view, any assault upon the court, or the judges. It is a duty, from which they may not shrink, to decide cases properly brought before them; and it is no fault of theirs, if others seek to turn their decisions to political purposes.

democracy government

One of the things I feel is that, right now, if you ask who are the customers of education, the customers of education are the society at large, the employers who hire people, things like that. But ultimately I think the customers are the parents. Not even the students but the parents. The problem that we have in this country is that the customers went away. The customers stopped paying attention to their schools, for the most part. What happened was that mothers started working and they didn't have time to spend at PTA meetings and watching their kids' school. Schools became much more institutionalized, and parents spent less and less and less time involved in their kids education. What happens when a customer goes away and a monopoly gets control, which is what happened in our country, is that the service level almost always goes down. And that's certainly what the public school system is. They don't have to care.

education parenting school