"He who saves his country violates no law." -- Napoleon
"In the history of mankind many republics have risen, have flourished for a lesser or greater time, and then have fallen because their citizens lost the power of governing themselves and thereby of governing their state; and in no way has this loss of power been so often and so clearly shown as in the tendency to turn the government into a government primarily for the benefit of one class, a ruling class, instead of a government for the benefit of the people as a whole." -- Theodore Roosevelt
"Whenever the legislators endeavor to take away the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any farther obedience, and are left to the common refuge which God hath provided for all men against force and violence."
-- John Locke
"The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil Constitution, are worth defending at all hazards; and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors: they purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood, and transmitted them to us with care and diligence.
It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men." -- Samuel Adams
"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have." -- Thomas Jefferson
"Men who look upon themselves born to reign, and others to obey, soon grow insolent; selected from the rest of mankind their minds are early poisoned by importance; and the world they act in differs so materially from the world at large, that they have but little opportunity of knowing its true interests, and when they succeed to the government are frequently the most ignorant and unfit of any throughout the dominions." -- Thomas Paine
In free governments, the rulers are the servants and the people their superiors. For the former to return among the latter does not degrade, but rather promotes them. -- Benjamin Franklin
"The American republic is once again at risk. This time the threat lies not in internal disorder or foreign predators but in the contemporary exigencies of professionalism and careerism that dominate American politics. Those exigencies poison the prospects for real political representation in America and threaten the promise of democratic government."
-- Mark Petracca, University of California
"The representative of the people must be wary of becoming a professional politician. The more complex and gigantic our government, the more essential that the layman's point of view have eloquent voices."
-- Daniel Boorstin
"It is difficult to overstate the extent to which term limits would reform Congress. Term limits are supported by large majorities of most American demographic groups; and they are opposed primarily by incumbent politicians and the wealthy special interest groups which depend on them to accomplish their own goals.
Term limits would ameliorate many of America's most serious political problems by eliminating most incumbent election advantages, ensuring more congressional turnover, securing more independent congressional judgment, and reducing reelection related incentives for wasteful government spending.
The recent term limits phenomenon is a tribute to public involvement in politics and is one of the few reforms devised and implemented by people who live beyond the Beltway. It is substantive, not cosmetic; both allies and enemies concede that congressional service terms would create favorable and fundamental change in American politics."
-- Arkansas Assemblyman Dan Greenberg
"Asking an incumbent member of Congress to vote for (congressional) term limits is a bit like asking a chicken to vote for Colonel Sanders."
-- Congressman Bob Inglis
"It's a sad day when members of Congress, who are literally criminals, go undisciplined by their colleagues. It's no wonder that people look at Washington and know that this city is broken." -- Senator John Kerry
"Mothers all want their sons to grow up to be president, but they don't want them to become politicians in the process." -- John F. Kennedy
"I have never seen more senators express discontent with their jobs. I think the major cause is that, deep down in our hearts, we have been accomplices to doing something terrible and unforgivable to this wonderful country. Deep down in our hearts, we know that we have bankrupted America and that we have given our children a legacy of bankruptcy. ... We have defrauded our country to get ourselves elected."
-- Senator John Danforth
"I am persuaded that in the case of Congress, the overwhelming temptation is to conclude that it is more important for your constituents that you be reelected than to deal honestly with them." -- Senator James L. Buckley
"The liberties of a people never were, or ever will be, secure when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them." -- Patrick Henry
"Term limitation would create a climate in which talented men and women from businesses and professions would want to run, since they would know they would reach a position of significant influence in a few short years instead of having to make a career of politics if they wanted to play a major role. Citizen-legislators would come to government briefly, then many would return to private life and live with the consequences of the laws they had passed." -- John H. Fund, American journalist
"A decent and manly examination of the acts of government should be not only tolerated, but encouraged." -- William Henry Harrison
"Our safety, our liberty, depends upon preserving the Constitution of the United States as our fathers made it inviolate. The people of the United States are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts; not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution." -- Abraham Lincoln
"The natural cure for an ill administration, in a popular or representative constitution, is a change of men." -- Alexander Hamilton
"Four score 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. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure... and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." -- Abraham Lincoln
"Sex! Lies! Drugs! Money! Power! Corruption! God, I love Congress!"
"If Congress errs in too much talking, how can it be otherwise in a body to which the people send one hundred and fifty lawyers, whose trade it is to question everything, produce nothing, and talk by the hour?"
-- Thomas Jefferson
"What do we mean by patriotism in the context of our times? I venture to suggest that what we mean is a sense of national responsibility... a patriotism which is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime." -- Adlai Stevenson
"One thing our founding fathers could not foresee... was a nation governed by professional politicians who have a vested interest in getting reelected. They probably envisioned a fellow serving a couple of hitches and then looking forward to getting back to the farm." -- Ronald Reagan
"Given the difficulty of resisting such temptations (corruption) over the longer run, a proper concern for the welfare of congressional souls may well be the ultimate argument in favor of term limitations."
-- Senator James L. Buckley
"Democracy is a device that insures we shall be governed no better than we deserve." -- George Bernard Shaw
"Term limits would increase the likelihood that people who come to Congress would anticipate returning to careers in the private sector and therefore would, as they legislate, think about what it is like to live under the laws they make." -- George Will
"I wish that someone had told me about the problems of running a business; that I would have to pay taxes, meet a payroll, deal with government... I wish I had had a better sense of what it took to do that when I was in Washington." -- Senator George McGovern
"It could probably be shown in facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress." -- Mark Twain
"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." -- Daniel Webster
"On every unauthoritative exercise of power by the legislature, must the people rise in rebellion or their silence be construed into a surrender of that power to them? If so, how many rebellions should we have had already?"
-- Thomas Jefferson
"No man's life, liberty or fortune is safe while our legislature is in session." -- Benjamin Franklin
"If we were left solely to the wordy wit of legislators in Congress for our guidance, uncorrected by the seasoned experience and the effectual complaints of the people, America would not long retain her rank among the nations." -- Henry David Thoreau
"It is the duty of all citizens, irrespective of party, to denounce, and, so far as may be, to punish crimes against the public on the part of politicians or officials." -- Theodore Roosevelt
"Nothing is more important today than reversing the pernicious rise of a professional political class." -- Doug Bandow, Cato Institute
"Representative democracy requires electoral competition and the dependence of legislators on the people. But electoral competition is no longer possible in a system where the benefits and power of incumbency
virtually guarantee a lifelong career as a legislator. The problem is not individual incumbents, but rather, chronic incumbency."
-- Professor Mark Petracca, University of California
"Americans know real change in Washington will never happen until we end the era of permanent politicians. As long as members of Congress have the chance to spend their lives in Washington, their interests will always skew toward spending taxpayer dollars to pay off special interest supporters, covering over corruption in the bureaucracy, fund-raising, relationship-building with lobbyists, and trading favors for pork; in short, amassing their own power." -- Senator Jim DeMint
"The inside operation of Congress - the deals, the compromises, the selling out, the co-opting, the unprincipled manipulating, the self-serving career-building - is a story of such monumental decadence, I believe that if people find out about it they will demand an end to it." -- Bella Abzug
"Do you pray for the Senators, Dr. Hale?", someone asked, "No, I look at the Senators and I pray for our country." -- Reverend Edward E. Hale
"In Congress, accountability is just a catch phrase, usually directed elsewhere. Congressional demands for more personal responsibility and corporate accountability abound, but demands for more congressional accountability or fiscal responsibility are rare indeed." -- Anonymous
"No country can be well governed unless its citizens, as a body, keep religiously before their minds that they are the guardians of the Law and that Congress is only the machinery for its execution, nothing more."
-- Mark Twain
"Nothing scares members of Congress more than angry freedom-loving Americans." -- Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann
"Deep down in their hearts, I am certain many congressional incumbents also believe that term limits would cure many of the ills suffered by our government, and would be a blessing for both the people and themselves. Compelling them to act on these beliefs and actually vote term limits into law is our job." -- Joe Londot, Chairman - ACT NOW!
"A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against government." -- Edward Abbey
"It is time to remind members of Congress that we citizens put them there to serve the country, and not themselves. It is time to remind them that government exists to serve the people, and not the politicians."
-- Rense Johnson, Citizens for Term Limits
"Congress is the finest body of men money can buy." -- Will Rogers
"Of all the reforms the freshmen (congressmen) wanted to bring to Washington, I believed setting term limits was by far the most important. Nothing would change the culture, the policies, more than replacing career politicians with citizen legislators. Political careerism, more than anything else, has separated Washington from the people. Careerism perpetuates big government and is a constant corrupting force in the system."
-- Senator Dr. Tom Coburn
"Everyone complains about the weather, but no one ever does anything about it." -- Mark Twain
"Cowardice asks the question 'Is it safe?' Expediency asks the question 'Is it politic?' But conscience asks the question, 'Is it right?' And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but because conscience tells one it is right."
-- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
"To become the master, the politician poses as the servant."
-- Charles de Gaulle
"The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people; it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government - lest it come to dominate our lives and interests." -- Patrick Henry
"We have therefore resolved to conquer or die: Our won Country's Honor, all call upon us for vigorous and manly exertion, and if we now shamefully fail, we shall become infamous to the whole world. Let us therefore rely upon the goodness of the Cause, and the aid of the supreme Being in whose hands Victory is, to animate and encourage us to great and noble Actions." -- George Washington