a Comparison in Quotations of the Policies and Politics
of the Founding Fathers and George W. Bush

    II. Like Father Like Son

    The only two father and son pairs to ascend to the U.S. Presidency were John Adams and John Quincy Adams, and George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.


    GEORGE H. W. BUSH: "I will never apologize for the United States, ever. I don't care what the facts are."

    ---August 2, 1988, commenting on the U.S. Navy warship Vincennes having shot down Iran Air Flight 655 in a commercial corridor on July 3, killing 290 civilians

    GEORGE W. BUSH: "We're too great a nation to allow the evildoers to affect our soul.”

    ---September 18, 2001

    JOHN ADAMS: “If the public interest, liberty and happiness have been in danger from the ambition or avarice of any great man, whatever may be his politeness, address, learning, ingenuity, and, in other respects integrity and humanity, you have done yourselves honor and your country service by publishing and pointing out that avarice and ambition.”

    --- “A Dissertation On The Canon And Feudal Law,” 1765

    JOHN QUNICY ADAMS: “I cannot ask of heaven success, even for my country, in a cause where she should be in the wrong. . . . My toast would be, may our country always be successful; but, whether successful or otherwise, always right.”

    ---Letter to John Adams, August 1, 1816

    Executive Powers

    In a press conference on January 9, 1991, President George H. W. Bush was asked if he believed that he needed congressional authorization in order to begin offensive operations against Iraq. He answered:

    GEORGE H. W. BUSH: “I don't think I need it. I think Secretary Cheney expressed it very well the other day. There are different opinions on either side of this question, but Saddam Hussein should be under no question on this: I feel that I have the authority to fully implement the United Nations resolutions."

    ---President's News Conference on the Persian Gulf Crisis, January 9, 1991

    GEORGE H. W. BUSH: ”I didn't have to get permission from some old goat in the United States Congress to kick Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait.”

    ---Before the Texas State Republican Convention, Federal News Service, June 20, 1992

    GEORGE W. BUSH: "I'm the person who gets to decide, not you."

    ---To a reporter, about whether or not the U.S. would be invading Iraq, February 2, 2002

    GEORGE W. BUSH: "Fuck Saddam, we’re taking him out!"

    ---March, 2002, to National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, in a meeting with three U.S. Senators to discuss how to deal with Iraq through the United Nations, reported in Time Magazine and CNN/Inside Politics

    JOHN ADAMS: “Power always thinks it has a great soul and vast views beyond the comprehension of the weak; and that it is doing God's service when it is violating all His laws.”

    ---Letter to Jefferson, February 2, 1816

    JOHN ADAMS: “A government of laws, and not of men.”

    ---"Novanglus" papers, Boston Gazette, No. 7, 1774

    JOHN ADAMS: “The fundamental article of my political creed is that despotism, or unlimited sovereignty, or absolute power, is the same in a majority of a popular assembly, an aristocratical council, an ogliarchical junto, and a single emperor.”

    ---Letter to Thomas Jefferson, November 13, 1815

    JOHN QUINCY ADAMS: “America, in the assembly of nations, since her admission among them, has invariably . . . held forth to them the hand of honest friendship, of equal freedom, of generous reciprocity. She has uniformly spoken . . . the language of equal liberty, of equal justice, and of equal rights. She has, in the lapse of nearly half a century, without a single exception, respected the independence of other nations while asserting and maintaining her own. She has abstained from interference in the concerns of others, even when conflict has been for principles to which she clings.”

    ---Independence Day Address, 1821


    GEORGE H. W. BUSH: "If you believe there is no such thing as a winner in a nuclear exchange, that argument [of nuclear overkill] that argument makes no sense. I don't believe that. You have a survivability of command and control, survivability of command and control . . . industrial potential, protection of a percentage of your citizens, and you have a capacity that inflicts more damage on the opposition than it can inflict upon you. That's the way you can have a winner [in a nuclear war]."

    ---quoted in Robert Scheer, "With Enough Shovels: Reagan, Bush and Nuclear War," 1982

    GEORGE W. BUSH: “I believe the role of the military is to fight and win war and, therefore, prevent war from happening in the first place.”

    ---Presidential Debate in Boston, October 3, 2000

    GEORGE W. BUSH: “Yes, if you heard the bombs falling, you'll know that democracy is on the march in the Middle East. “

    ---Outside the White House, March 25, 2003

    JOHN ADAMS: “What do we mean by the American Revolution? Do we mean the American war? The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments, of their duties and obligations. . . . This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people was the real American Revolution.”

    ---Letter to H. Niles, February 13, 1818

    JOHN ADAMS: “War necessarily brings with it some virtues, and great and heroic virtues, too. . . . What horrid creatures we men are, that we cannot be virtuous without murdering one another?”

    ---Letter to Benjamin Rush, March 23, 1809

    JOHN ADAMS: “Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war.”

    ---Letter to Abigail Adams, May, 1794, quoted by John Patrick Diggin, John Adams, p. 147; David McCulough, John Adams, p. 515

    JOHN QUINCY ADAMS: “America does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy.”

    ---Independence Day Address, 1821

    JOHN QUINCY ADAMS: “She [America] well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom. The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force.”

    ---Independence Day Address, 1821

    JOHN QUINCY ADAMS: “Her brows would no longer beam with the ineffable splendor of freedom and independence; but in its stead would soon be substituted an imperial diadem, flashing in false and tarnished lustre the murky radiance of dominion and power. She might become the dictatress of the world; she would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit. . . . Her glory is not dominion, but liberty. Her march is the march of the mind.”

    ---Independence Day Address, 1821

    Family Values

    GEORGE H. W. BUSH: “You don't have to go to college to be a success. . . . We need the people who run the offices, the people who do the hard physical work of our society. “

    ---May 5, 1988, to the inner-city students of East Los Angeles' Garfield High School

    GEORGE W. BUSH: "One of the great things about books is sometimes there are some fantastic pictures."

    ----U.S. News & World Report; January 3, 2000

    JOHN ADAMS: “You will never be alone with a poet in your pocket.”

    ---Letter to John Quincy Adams, May 14, 1781

    JOHN QUINCY ADAMS: “To furnish the means of acquiring knowledge is . . . the greatest benefit that can be conferred upon mankind. It prolongs life itself and enlarges the sphere of existence.”

    ---Report on the establishment of the Smithsonian Institution, c. 1846

    GEORGE H. W. BUSH: “We love your adherence to democratic principles and to the democratic process.”

    ---1981 toast to Philippine Dictator Ferdinand Marcos, who maintained power for 21 years by means of repression, corruption and martial law

    GEORGE W. BUSH: “Please, don't kill me!”

    ---mocking executed reformed killer Karla Faye Tucker, complete with whimpering voice, in an interview with Talk Magazine's Tucker Carlson, September, 1999

    JOHN ADAMS: “I pray Heaven to bestow the best of blessings on this house [the White House] and all that shall hereafter inhabit it. May none but honest and wise men ever rule under this roof.”

    ---Letter to Abigail Adams, November 2, 1800, moving from the Capitol in Philadelphia to the just-completed White House

    JOHN QUINCY ADAMS: “Think of your forefathers! Think of your posterity!”

    ---Speech at Plymouth, December 22, 1802


    GEORGE H. W. BUSH: “No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God.”

    --- August 27, 1987

    GEORGE W. BUSH: “I’m here for a reason, and this is how we’re going to be judged.”

    ---To Karl Rove in Oval Office shortly after 9/11, quoted by Bob Woodward, Bush At War, p. 205

    GEORGE W. BUSH: “From the day of our Founding, we have proclaimed that every man and woman on this earth has rights, and dignity, and matchless value, because they bear the image of the Maker of Heaven and earth. “

    ---Second inaugural Address, January 20, 2005

    GEORGE W. BUSH: “Well, the jury is still out on evolution, you know.”

    ---George W. Bush answering a question regarding the case about how the evolution of man should be taught in schools, September 2005

    GEORGE W. BUSH: “It’s not a dictatorship in Washington, but I tried to make it one in that instance.”

    ---Describing his executive order making faith-based groups eligible for federal subsidies, New Orleans, Louisiana, Jan. 15, 2004

    JOHN ADAMS: “The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. . . . It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven. . . it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses.

    ---“A Defense of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America,” 1787-1788

    JOHN ADAMS: “The blackest billingsgate, the most ungentlemanly insolence, the most yahooish brutality, is patiently endured, countenanced, propagated, and applauded. But touch a solemn truth in collision with a dogma of a sect, though capable of the clearest proof, and you will find you have disturbed a nest, and the hornets will swarm about your eyes and hand, and fly into your face and eyes.”

    ---Letter to John Taylor, “On Government,” No. XXXI, 1814

    JOHN ADAMS: “The question before the human race is, whether the God of nature shall govern the world by his own laws, or whether priests and kings shall rule it by fictitious miracles?”

    ---Letter to Thomas Jefferson, June 20, 1815

    JOHN ADAMS: “Jesus is benevolence personified, an example for all men. . . . The Christian religion, in its primitive purity and simplicity, I have entertained for more than sixty years. It is the religion of reason, equity, and love; it is the religion of the head and the heart.”

    ---Letter to F.A. Van Der Kemp, December 27, 1816

    JOHN ADAMS: “We have now, it seems a National Bible Society, to propagate King James's Bible, through all nations. Would it not be better to apply these pious subscriptions to purify Christendom from the corruptions of Christianity than to propagate those corruptions in Europe Asia, Africa and America!”

    ---Letter to Thomas Jefferson, November 4, 1816

    JOHN ADAMS: “Let the human mind loose. It must be loose. It will be loose. Superstition and dogmatism cannot confine it.”

    ---Letter to his son, John Quincy Adams, November 13, 1816

    JOHN QUNICY ADAMS: “America, with the same voice which spoke herself into existence as a nation, proclaimed to mankind the inextinguishable rights of Human Nature, and the only lawful foundations of government.”

    ---Independence Day address, 1821

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Author: Steve Coffman

Paperback: 192 pages

Publisher: One World Studios

Language: English

ISBN: 978-0979727207

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