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Barack Hussein Obama Quotes

40 of the best book quotes from Barack Hussein Obama
  1. #1
    “We say we value the legacy we leave the next generation and then saddle that generation with mountains of debt.”
  2. #2
    “America has nothing to fear from these newcomers, that they have come here for the same reason that families came here 150 years ago—all those who fled Europe’s famines and wars and unyielding hierarchies, all those who may not have had the right legal documents or connections or unique skills to offer but who carried with them a hope for a better life.”
  3. #3
    “I began feeling the way I imagine an actor or athlete must feel when, after years of commitment to a particular dream...he realizes that he’s gone just about as far as talent or fortune will take him. The dream will not happen, and he now faces the choice of accepting this fact like a grownup and moving on to more sensible pursuits, or refusing the truth and ending up bitter, quarrelsome, and slightly pathetic. ”
  4. #4
    “And it’s safe to assume that those in power would think longer and harder about launching a war if they envisioned their own sons and daughters in harm’s way.”
  5. #5
    “But by the end of two years, most have either changed careers or moved to suburban schools - a consequence of low pay, a lack of support from the educational bureaucracy, and a pervasive feeling of isolation.”
  6. #6
    “No one is exempt from the call to find common ground.”
  7. #7
    “I wish the country had fewer lawyers and more engineers.”
  8. #8
    “There are a whole lot of religious people in America, including the majority of Democrats. When we abandon the field of religious discourse—when we ignore the debate about what it means to be a good Christian or Muslim or Jew; when we discuss religion only in the negative sense of where or how it should not be practiced, rather than in the positive sense of what it tells us about our obligations toward one another; when we shy away from religious venues and religious broadcasts because we assume that we will be unwelcome—others will fill the vacuum. And those who do are likely to be those with the most insular views of faith, or who cynically use religion to justify partisan ends.”
  9. #9
    “Lincoln, and those buried at Gettysburg, remind us that we should pursue our own absolute truths only if we acknowledge that there may be a terrible price to pay.”
  10. #10
    “Moreover, I believe that part of America’s genius has always been its ability to absorb newcomers, to forge a national identity out of the disparate lot that arrived on our shores. In this we’ve been aided by a Constitution that--despite being marred by the original sin of slavery--has at its very core the ideas of equal citizenship under the laws; and an economic system that, more than any other, has offered opportunity to all comers, regardless of status or title or rank.”
  1. #11
    “The stakes involved in Washington policy debates are often so high-- whether we send our young men and women to war; whether we allow stem cell research to go forward-- that even small differences in perspective are magnified. The demands of party loyalty, the imperative of campaigns, and the amplification of conflict by the media all contribute to an atmosphere of suspicion. Moreover, most people who serve in Washington have been trained either as lawyers or as political operatives-- professions that tend to place a premium on winning arguments rather than solving problems. I can see how, after a certain amount of time in the capital, it becomes tempting to assume that those who disagree with you have fundamentally different values-- indeed, that they are motivated by bad faith, and perhaps are bad people.”
  2. #12
    “We have no authoritative figure, no Walter Cronkite or Edward R. Murrow whom we all listen to and trust to sort out contradictory claims. Instead, the media is splintered into a thousand fragments, each with its own version of reality, each claiming the loyalty of a splintered nation.”
  3. #13
    “If we aren’t willing to pay a price for our values, if we aren’t willing to make some sacrifices in order to realize them, then we should ask ourselves whether we truly believe in them at all.”
  4. #14
    “No, what’s troubling is the gap between the magnitude of our challenges and the smallness of our politics--the ease with which we are distracted by the petty and trivial, our chronic avoidance of tough decisions, our seeming inability to build a working consensus to tackle any big problem.”
  5. #15
    “In few other professions are you required, each and every day, to weigh so many competing claims—between different sets of constituents, between the interests of your state and the interests of the nation, between party loyalty and your own sense of independence, between the value of service and obligations to your family. There is a constant danger, in the cacophony of voices, that a politician loses his moral bearings and finds himself entirely steered by the winds of public opinion.”
  6. #16
    “They are out there, I think to myself, those ordinary citizens who have grown up in the midst of all the political and cultural battles, but who have found a way-in their own lives, at least- to make peace with their neighbors, and themselves. [...] I imagine they are waiting for a politics with the maturity to balance idealism and realism, to distinguish between what can and cannot be compromised, to admit the possibility that the other side might sometimes have a point. They don’t always understand the arguments between right and left, conservative and liberal, but they recognize the difference between dogma and common sense, responsibility and irresponsibility, between those things that last and those that are fleeting. They are out there, waiting for Republicans and Democrats to catch up with them.”
  7. #17
    “We think of faith as a source of comfort and understanding but find our expressions of faith sowing division; we believe ourselves to be a tolerant people even as racial, religious, and cultural tensions roil the landscape. And instead of resolving these tensions or mediating these conflicts, our politics fans them, exploits them,and drives us further apart.”
  8. #18
    “Someone once said that every man is trying to live up to his father’s expectations or make up for their father’s mistakes....”
  9. #19
    “When Democrats rush up to me at events and insist that we live in the worst of political times, that a creeping fascism is closing its grip around our throats, I may mention the internment of Japanese Americans under FDR, the Alien and Sedition Acts under John Adams, or a hundred years of lynching under several dozen administrations as having been possibly worse, and suggest we all take a deep breath.”
  10. #20
    “No person, in any culture, likes to be bullied. No person likes living in fear because his or her ideas are different. Nobody likes being poor or hungry, and nobody likes to live under an economic system in which the fruits of his or her labor go perpetually unrewarded.”

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  1. #21
    “The emotions between the races could never be pure; even love was tarnished by the desire to find in the other some element that was missing in ourselves. Whether we sought out our demons or salvation, the other race would always remain just that: menacing, alien, and apart.”
  2. #22
    “At the time of his death, my father remained a myth to me, both more and less than a man.”
  3. #23
    “To be black was to be the beneficiary of a great inheritance, a special destiny, glorious burdens that only we were strong enough to bear.”
  4. #24
    “The emotions between the races could never be pure; even love was tarnished by the desire to find in the other some element that was missing in ourselves. Whether we sought out our demons or salvation, the other race would always remain just that: menacing, alien, and apart.”
  5. #25
    “But also because the underlying struggle - between worlds of plenty and worlds of want; between the modern and the ancient; between those who embrace our teeming, colliding, irksome diversity, while still insisting on a set of values that binds us together, and those who would seek, under whatever flag or slogan or sacred text, a certainty and simplification that justifies cruelty toward those not like us...”
  6. #26
    “‘Where there is no experience, I believe the wise man is silent.’”
  7. #27
    “She had taught me to disdain the blend of ignorance and arrogance that too often characterized Americans abroad.”
  8. #28
    “You might be locked into a world not of your own making, her eyes said, but you still have a claim on how it is shaped. You still have responsibilities.”
  9. #29
    “‘Attitudes aren’t so different in America,’ I told Francis. ‘You are probably right,’ he said. ‘But you see, a rich country like America can perhaps afford to be stupid.’”
  10. #30
    “‘There’s nobody to guide them through the process of becoming a man... to explain to them the meaning of manhood. And that’s a recipe for disaster.’”
  1. #31
    “‘I think perhaps education doesn’t do us much good unless it is mixed with sweat.’”
  2. #32
    “‘Sometimes you can’t worry about hurt. Sometimes you worry only about getting where you have to go.’”
  3. #33
    “Away from my mother, away from my grandparents, I was engaged in a fitful interior struggle. I was trying to raise myself to be a black man in America, and beyond the given of my appearance, no one around me seemed to know exactly what that meant.”
  4. #34
    “In politics, like religion, power lay in certainty - and that one man’s certainty always threatened another’s.”
  5. #36
    “My identity might begin with the fact of my race, but it didn’t, couldn’t, end there.”
  6. #37
    “That’s what the leadership was teaching me, day by day: that the self-interest I was supposed to be looking for extended well beyond the immediacy of issues, that beneath the small talk and sketchy biographies and received opinions, people carried with them some central explanation of themselves. Stories full of terror and wonder, studded with events that still haunted or inspired them. Sacred stories.”
  7. #38
    “I learned to slip back and forth between my black and white worlds, understanding that each possessed its own language and customs and structures of meaning, convinced that with a bit of translation on my part the two worlds would eventually cohere.”
  8. #39
    “‘I thought I could start over, you see. But now I know you can never start over. Not really. You think you have control, but you are like a fly in somebody else’s web. Sometimes I think that’s why I like accounting. All day, you are only dealing with numbers. You add them, multiply them, and if you are careful, you will always have a solution. There’s a sequence there. An order. With numbers, you can have control….’”
  9. #40
    “Without power for the group, a group larger, even, than an extended family, our success always threatened to leave others behind.”
Book Topics › politics
Children's Books About Politics

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