25 More Classic Conservative Quotes

Note: Not everyone on this list could fairly be called a “conservative,” but all of the quotes represent classic examples of conservative thinking.

1) I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. — John Adams

2) All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. — Edmund Burke

3) People crushed by laws, have no hope but to evade power. If the laws are their enemies, they will be enemies to the law; and those who have most to hope and nothing to lose will always be dangerous. — Edmund Burke

4) Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it. — Edmund Burke

5) Don’t expect to build up the weak by pulling down the strong. — Calvin Coolidge

6) One and God make a majority. — Frederick Douglass

7) History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid. — Dwight Eisenhower

8) I have one yardstick by which I test every major problem – and that yardstick is: Is it good for America? — Dwight Eisenhower

9) When everybody owns something, nobody owns it, and nobody has a direct interest in maintaining or improving its condition. That is why buildings in the Soviet Union — like public housing in the United States — look decrepit within a year or two of their construction… — Milton Friedman

10) If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand. — Milton Friedman

11) By government giveaway programs, individuals are often hurt far more than they are helped. The recipients of these programs become dependent on the government and their dignity is destroyed. Is it compassionate to enslave more and more people by making them a part of the government dependency cycle? I think compassion should be measured by how many people no longer need it. Helping people to become self-sufficient is much more compassionate than drugging them with the narcotic of welfare. — Rush Limbaugh

12) America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves. — Abe Lincoln

13) One can make this generalization about men: they are ungrateful, fickle, liars, and deceivers, they shun danger and are greedy for profit; while you treat them well, they are yours. They would shed their blood for you, risk their property, their lives, their children, so long, as I said above, as danger is remote; but when you are in danger they turn against you. — Niccolo Machiavelli

14) Is there no virtue among us? If there be not, we are in a wretched situation. No theoretical checks-no form of government can render us secure. To suppose that any form of government will secure liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people, is a chimerical idea, if there be sufficient virtue and intelligence in the community, it will be exercised in the selection of these men. So that we do not depend on their virtue, or put confidence in our rulers, but in the people who are to choose them. –James Madison

15) The size of the federal budget is not an appropriate barometer of social conscience or charitable concern. — Ronald Reagan

16) The best social program is a productive job for anyone who’s willing to work. — Ronald Reagan

17) The first requisite of a good citizen in this republic of ours is that he shall be able and willing to pull his own weight. — Teddy Roosevelt

18) It is not the critic that counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or the doer of deeds could have them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the Arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but he who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great devotion; who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails while daring greatly, knows that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls, who know neither victory nor defeat. — Teddy Roosevelt

19) The man who loves other countries as much as his own stands on a level with the man who loves other women as much as he loves his own wife. — Teddy Roosevelt

20) Next to the right of liberty, the right of property is the most important individual right guaranteed by the Constitution and the one which, united with that of personal liberty, has contributed more to the growth of civilization than any other institution established by the human race. — William Howard Taft

21) Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. — Voltaire

22) Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action. — George Washington

23) There can be no greater error than to expect, or calculate upon real favours from Nation to Nation. ‘Tis an illusion which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard. –George Washington

24) Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle. — George Washington

25) Liberty has never come from the government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of government. The history of liberty is the history of resistance. The history of liberty is a history of the limitation of governmental power, not the increase of it. — Woodrow Wilson

Also see,

40 Classic Conservative Quotes

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