"These things I believe:
That government should butt out.
That freedom is our most precious commodity and
if we are not eternally vigilant, government will take it all away.
That individual freedom demands individual responsibility.
That government is not a necessary good but an unavoidable evil.
That the executive branch has grown too strong,
the judicial branch too arrogant
and the legislative branch too stupid.
That political parties have become close to meaningless.
That government should work to insure the rights of the individual,
not plot to take them away.
That government should provide for the national defense
and work to insure domestic tranquillity.
That foreign trade should be fair rather than free.
That America should be wary of foreign entanglements.
That the tree of liberty needs to be watered from time to time
with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
That guns do more than protect us from criminals;
more importantly, they protect us from the ongoing threat of government.
That states are the bulwark of our freedom.
That states should have the right to secede from the Union.
That once a year we should hang someone in government
as an example to his fellows."
by:
Lyn Nofziger
[Franklyn C. Nofziger] (1924-2006) American journalist, political consultant, author, Press Secretary for President Reagan
Source:
11/9/99 issue of the Federalist Digest
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Reader comments about this quote:
That about sums it up -- America, the ideal.
 -- St. Louis, MO     
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    This guy is great!
     -- Anonymous, Cincinnati, OH     
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    Well, he gets a little extreme at the end, there, doesn't he? But, at least, we should fire govt. employees for "public stupidity." And maybe a week in the stocks would be good too. ...never mind all the other quotes you're sending out; this one says it all.
     -- Senor Reek, Corozal, Belize, Central America     
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     -- Richard Sinnott, Fort Pierce, FL      
    what a moron! someone should be hung every year. This from the spokesperson of abortion is just wrong period but its ok to kill a mass murderer. Life is Life
     -- Kevin K., Albany NY      
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    He is right, Government is not our friend.
     -- AJ, Carmel, IN     
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    Well, he sums up much that has been said in many quarters for a long time, even stealing Jefferson's quote about the tree of liberty. Too bad even he, someone close to the source, cannot offer some means to correct the ills we now see. Oh, and Kevin - I think he may have been speaking figuratively when he referred to hanging someone.
     -- Bob, Reston, VA     
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    A little contradictory when he states that individuals should be free except when it comes to trade, but otherwise he gets most of it right.
     -- S. Engel, Fredericksburg     
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    This quote shows just what we have to fear from those in government... yes, what he says about the three branches rings true, but the solutions and other issues he raises are the very antithesis of a safe and secure path for we the people...
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US     
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    This should be emblazoned on the walls in Congress!
     -- ve, Jupiter, FL     
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    Reston and Albany show their true colors by their own words. Neither, apparently is familiar with the caution/advice from those who fought to create America's freedom - i.e. a revolution every twenty years is necessary to ensure the vitality and integrity of our government. The fact Americans have neglected this advice is one reason why America is in the mess it is now. Bureaucrats and politicians consider themselves invunerable to our Constitution - and act as if they were/are meant to rule, not to administer.
     -- john-douglas, nassau     
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    "A safe and secure path for we the people" This is a very dangerous idea - it can only lead to slavery, as is evidenced almost daily by government actions. Pigs in a pen are "safe and secure" - but have no freedom to act or to think or to speak or to determine their future.
     -- Jodopo, Michigan     
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    This is definitely one to forward.
     -- John Galt, Gotham City     
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    Trite but long.
     -- Terry Berg, Occidental, CA     
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    I wish he'd get off the fence!
     -- Steve, Aylmer, Quebec, Canada     
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    I think his doobie wore off at the end. Trite enough to demand some original thought, yet right on somethings to win some support.
     -- Joe, anytown     
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    To use this forum for retort to Nassau - do you really believe that the founding fathers, or Jefferson in the quote we are referring to, would have said, to paraphrase, "I should keep my constituency informed, no matter how much they seek information on their own, or be punsihed by death at their hands?" I rather see it as invective to his cohorts to not act without their constituency in mind, lest they lose their office or reputation. AND to whomever runs this site - this is a GREAT forum - of all the daily quote sites available, your choices always remain positive and inspiring. Thank you!
     -- Bob, Reston     
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     -- P.M.      
    you betcha! I absolutely agree! sincerely, christena
     -- christena     
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    Clear thinking from a straight talker!
     -- Kathy, Vienna     
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     -- TV, Knox, IN      
     -- WOCHASE, Richmond,VA.      
    Rest in Peace, Mr. Nofziger. As a Republican it shames me to proclaim that I will vote for any and all Democrats in the next elections. And after the elections and the ousting of the current government, I look forward with every breath to proclaiming The King is Dead, Long Live the People!
     -- Benjamin Franklin, Boston     
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     -- jim, torrance      
    I agree, with these exceptions : That the executive branch has grown too strong - No evidence of that. and the legislative branch too stupid. - It will always reflect the people's choice. It will only be too stupid if the people are too stupid. That political parties have become close to meaningless. - Nonsense. They create our consensus. That foreign trade should be fair rather than free. - Free is fair, I don't want Nofziger deciding what is fair. That America should be wary of foreign entanglements. - We are too wary of foreign entanglements. We must act whenever they effect out interests, which in the 21st century will be often. That states should have the right to secede from the Union. - Absurd. Where would we be today if the South had succeeded in seceding? Lincoln was right. Nofziger is wrong.
     -- Reb Aaron, Jerusalem     
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    Our fore fathers would not be so dumb as to believe that the course they took in the 1700s would be the right course to take in a very different world 300 years later... they were thinkers as well as doers, both things that few today engage in (or it seems even understand).
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US     
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    The only title they forgot to give Nofziger is Humourist. Government is an always has been stupid. Read your histroy books and tell me of a government that has not been stupid. It is just like bosses, have we ever had a boss that was not stupid. What we need is a new grownup citizenry. As for hanging them it flies in the face of the philosopy of the West: Support Your Local Sheriff.
     -- Bruce, 'Bama     
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    Correct without exception. The executive branch IS too strong -- by declaring a constant state of emergency, presidential executive orders are followed without oversight or authority from the People -- the first things that are attacked are the very freedoms the government is supposed to defend. The judicial branch is indeed arrogant as the law has been taken over by a monopoly of commercial lawyers and their guild (ABA) -- all of us are now considered mere commercial entities and thus subject to the reams of legislation for regulating commerce (i.e. the UCC) -- the common man and the common law have no standing and no courts. Congress IS too stupid (they don't even know/follow the Constitution -- nor does it seem do their constituents) -- and due to the incessant party monopolies, the people have little choice. 'Free' trade is a misnomer -- most of these 'free trade' agreements merely secure foreign claims to our commonwealth (and secure US claims to foreign resources) without regard for the free market or even sovereign property rights. And if we did hang one of these traitors in government once a year, you can damn well bet things would clean up quick. It is high time we started imposing government orders upon the government first before we start rounding up the dissidents to arbitrary power.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    The fact is most of you supporters of Nofziger's ideology don't realize that your comfort zone will be gone with this type of archaic approach to control of government . Too suggest that our government is "evil" in nature is not a reflection on some obscure group but on the American people. I wonder if any of you would be willing to sacrifice for your country in public office. I would not, so I will do what I can vote! and not for the incumbents. If we really want change then lets vote for change for the next 10 years every incumbent gets ousted! "We the people" want to stand out in the crowds and shout "somethings wrong" but want someone else to tend to it while we go on living in our air conditioned houses and offices watching HD Tv or what ever ones pleasure is. Wake up America in the end "We The People" will be accountable.
     -- Sam, Alabama     
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    Thank you Archer, said well.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    I think you are on the right track Sam. A substantial number of Americans are more than ready to stiff their fellow citizen for a dollar. I met a man that told me "We need illegal aliens because if we hire Americans they always ask for raises and benefits." This guy was like degreed in agriculture or something. I mentioned somewhere else about the expansion of US hegemony via NATO to Poland, Romania, etcetera, Now I read about a new base being built near Iran. The top planners are already trying to move American hegemony to protect Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia etc from the Persian hordes. And I presume the Arabs want this protection. "We the people" are on the bottom of the info food chain. I am not saying American hegemony is wrong, people of the world seem to want American style goverance or at least civilization. All people except the American people that is.
     -- Bruce, 'Bama     
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    This quote is way too extreme! There is no reason to kill people in government just because the government makes stupid decisions all the time. Also, an effective government should not be considered an "evil," only those governments that are not effective.
     -- Aviva, Massachusetts     
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     -- E. Etter, Portland, OR      
    A formula for anarchy
     -- Jack, Green, OH     
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    If all in public office adhered to the Constitution, our money that Keynes called "worthless" would become useless paper. Americas (and the world) are in a trap. If America or the world could vote to abolish the trap, they would vote to keep if because ALL of us are dependent on strips of paper that the first users get for nothing. Without that pernicious paper, the majority would starve. Whose independence is celebrated annualy on the FARCE of July? Shortly after his first inauguration as Presdident, Ronald Reagan said: "We must respect the independence of the Fed"--those private banksters who get all of the spurious "specie" first for nothing. "None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe that they are free."--Johann W. von Goethe
     -- Dave WIlbur, St, Louis     
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    Very good summation
     -- Woody, Bassett, NE     
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    Dave there is only 500 billion of that worthless paper and yet we have like a 20 trillion dollar economy. The economy is like 40 bigger than 500 billion can buy. How can this be?
     -- Bruce, 'Bama     
  •  
    Bruce, fiat currency is traded using checks, electronic transfers, and bearer bonds (i.e. printed Federal Reserve Notes). The money supply is expanded by loaning more into circulation (usually incited by low interest rates) and contracted by paying off debts (usually inspired by higher interest rates). There is only a small fraction of printed notes in circulation -- heck, today, most of us use debit/credit cards. Just try and buy a car or plane ticket with cash -- you might get a personal visit by an 'official' to ask you a few questions. ;-) And, yes, Bruce if you are trying to confirm that the US debt is greater than all the money in circulation (and thus how are we going to pay it back), you have hit the nail on the head -- even if every 'dollar' in circulation were returned to the Fed, we would still owe more... That, there, is the scam. Truth be told, we have paid more in interest than we have borrowed and thus we must borrow more just to survive. Hence, our absolute dependence on the banksters.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    One of the best quotes ever. Good grasp of the condition of the three branches of government. I am quite sure that there are plenty of congressmen that are guilty of a hanging offence. Treason is surely one of them and we have plenty of that going on right now in our congress.
     -- warren, olathe     
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    The quote is informative and has proved to be handy. full of information and productive articles, it has inspired to perform at your best. I found a great site for finance and business quotations at http://financequotations.com
     -- Finance Quotations, u     
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    Christ is the ideal, but not bad at all...though most GOP are hypocrites as are Dems...
     -- Captain America, Raleigh     
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     -- Mary, PSL, FL      
    Spot on, Government is a necessary evil, the rich buy governments and use them against the poor. The constitution is just as relevant today as it was when it was written - Absolute Power corrupts absolutely - I read the thumbs down comments and those people seem either mis-guided or ignorant - Study History, Study the founding fathers - what they say still rings true - Government gets what government wants - whether its inflation, government corruption - its not by accident - its purposely!
     -- Washington, Philidelphia     
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    Bravo, Mr. Nofziger!
     -- Maurie, Jacksonville, FL     
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    The quotation nails it and offers a remedy too.
    The anonymous people here (and others) believe that the founding fathers in their time we're wrong and in so many words said that things are different now and the founders solution would not work today because times are different like most liberal thinking where basic human nature is discounted or just plain misunderstood. Our founding fathers thoroughly understood human nature but modern liberalism does not and that's the major problem with modern liberalism and why wherever it's implemented like in Detroit etc. etc. the outcome is always bad, not saying they are not well-meaning but their lack of understanding of basic human nature dooms their philosophy to eventual failure, getting them to see the problem with their philosophy and admit it is a mistake is almost impossible because of that damned Utopian dream of fairness and equality, they are thinking communism and socialism failed because WE were not doing it, our generation CAN make it work.
    Thus the big government and central planning solution to everything.
     -- Mike, Pleasant Hill     
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    Amen!
     -- bruski, naples FL     
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    Mr. Nofziger, was a writer who enjoyed his coffee, with cream. Cream rises to the top. He was not a Born Statesman. But I like his brand of coffee and cream. What to do with a treasonous child, who will not, clean their room ? Enduring times through the enlightened minds of True Patriots. The Spirit of Liberty and Freedom, is, The Representative of Eternity. Notice there are two. One upon each side of mercy. What are these two branches, said Zechariah, and the Angel said, these are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth. 4:14. In Washington's, and our founding fathers times, I am sure there would have been a large gallows with many ropes to swing by, upon the White House lawn. He was a leader, and a General, well adapted for the use of force. Military exercise of true discernment brings a just conclusion, Justice.
     -- Ronw13, Yachats Or     
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    Remember, Christ was the First begotten from the dead, the first born among many brethren, who are likeminded as Christ. It can be summed up in two words, the First and the Last, In Amen. It is a very fitly framed together Ministry, to be given, charge in. Like president, you do not want the job ! God is with the First and beside the Last.
     -- Ronw13, Yachats Or     
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    " I believe that all government is evil, and trying to improve it is largely a waste of time." H.L. Mencken.
     -- jim k, Austin     
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    Truth upon the scaffold, evil upon the throne. Mom and Dad have a swing set, outside on the lawn, the treasonous child wants to go out side and play. You can sit on the A Frame or swing from it. That is for the choosing. Governing is not the evil, but those who are allowed to govern can become tyrannical, especially through centralized government. Independent Sovereign States, hold the key to controlling tyrants, who would dictate with the stroke of a pen, to frame unjust law. And the Independent Sovereign individual, should control their own State. Commonsense is not very common, but can be taught through experience. I think every home or state, should have a swing set on the lawn ! Old ways are good ways. they are very frugal by way of natural law. Cause and effect.
     -- Ronw13, Yachats Or     
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    Love it, love it, love it. Beautiful, wise and clear statements by Lyn Nofziger!
     -- Mary - MI     
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    I love the butt !
     -- Ronw13, Yachats Or     
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    Solomon had A CHARIOT paved with gold .......
     -- Ronw13, Yachats Or     
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