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Ulysses S. Grant

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God gave us Lincoln and Liberty, let us fight for both.
--
A toast made by Grant before his operations in the Vicksburg Campaign, (22 February 1863); as quoted in A Popular and Authentic Life of Ulysses S. Grant (1868) by Edward Deering Mansfield

 
Ulysses S. Grant

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No sir, anybody who went out and got into the front line trenches to fight for liberty was a goddamn fool and the guy who got him there was a liar. Next time anybody came gabbling to him about liberty — what did he mean next time? There wasn't going to be any next time for him. But the hell with that. If there could be a next time and somebody said "let's fight for liberty", he would say "mister my life is important. I'm not a fool and when I swap my life for liberty I've got to know in advance what liberty is, and whose idea of liberty we're talking about and just how much of that liberty we're going to have. And what's more mister — are you as much interested in liberty as you want me to be? And maybe too much liberty will be as bad as too little liberty and I think you're a goddamn fourflusher talking through your hat, and I've already decided that I like the liberty I've got right here. The liberty to walk and see and hear and talk and eat and sleep with my girl. I think I like that liberty better than fighting for a lot of things we won't get and ending up without any liberty at all. Ending up dead and rotting before my life is even begun good or ending up like a side of beef. Thank you mister. You fight for liberty. Me, I don't care for some.

 
Dalton Trumbo
 

The Declaration of Independence states that the Creator gave man the right to liberty. It seems man can realize that liberty only if he does not forget the One who endowed him with it.

 
Vaclav Havel
 

The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time; the hand of force may destroy, but cannot disjoin them.

 
Thomas Jefferson
 

Lincoln had an ally then of a kind that Obama could use now. Lincoln's old rival from Illinois, Stephen Douglas, whose party had been split by the fire-eaters and whom Lincoln defeated at the polls, became a wise and vital friend. In the months between the inauguration and Douglas’s early death in June 1861, the “little giant,” as he was known, spent many long hours talking to Lincoln about how best to preserve the Union—and compromise wasn’t part of the picture. … “You do not know the dishonest purposes of those men as I do,” he told Lincoln.
What both of those great politicians understood by then was that there may be better angels in the nature of some people, but there are others who are willing to weaken, even destroy a nation to serve their own self-righteous self-interest, and they will do it in the name of the Constitution. If Obama hasn’t learned that yet, perhaps it’s time he did.

 
Barack Obama
 

The theory of independence is as old as man himself, and it was not invented in this hall. But it was in this hall that the theory became a practice; that the word went out to all, in Thomas Jefferson's phrase, that "the God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time." And today this Nation--conceived in revolution, nurtured in liberty, maturing in independence--has no intention of abdicating its leadership in that worldwide movement for independence to any nation or society committed to systematic human oppression.

 
John F. Kennedy
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