Presidents’ Day 2015

“God forbid we should be twenty years without a rebellion. What country can preserve its liberties if the rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance?”

— President Thomas Jefferson (1787)

“Even this evil is productive of good. It prevents the degeneracy of government, and nourishes a general attention to the public affairs. I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical. Unsuccessful rebellions, indeed, generally establish the encroachments on the rights of the people which have produced them. An observation of this truth should render honest republican governors so mild in their punishment of rebellions as not to discourage them too much. It is a medicine necessary for the sound health of government.”

— President Thomas Jefferson (1787)

lincoln.jpg“This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people inhabit it. Whenever 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.”

— President Abraham Lincoln (Inaugural Address, 1861)

“The right of Revolution is an inherent one. When people are oppressed by their government, it is a natural right they enjoy to relieve themselves of the oppression if they are strong enough, either by withdrawing from it, or by overthrowing it and substituting a government more acceptable. But any people or part of a people who resort to this remedy, stake their lives, their property, and every claim for protection given by citizenship—on the issue. Victory, or the conditions imposed by the conqueror—must be the result.”

— President Ulysses S. Grant (1885)

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”

— President John F Kennedy (1962)

Ryan Hirsch, an Occupy Wall Street protester, hands President Barack Obama a note as he greets audience members after speaking about jobs in Manchester, N.H., Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2011.
“We cannot ignore the fact that our own government originated in revolution, and is legitimate only if overthrow by force can sometimes be justified. That circumstances sometimes justify it is not Communist doctrine, but an old American belief. The men who led the struggle forcibly to overthrow lawfully constituted British authority found moral support by asserting a natural law under which their revolution was justified, and they bravely proclaimed their belief in the document basic to our freedom. Such sentiments have also been given ardent and rather extravagant expression by Americans of undoubted patriotism. “

        — U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson (1950) 


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