Jon Meacham quotes

  • We often talk too much & listen too little. The surer route to winning a friend isn't to convince them that you're right, but that you care what they think.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Winning #Thinking #Care

  • The perennial conviction that those who work hard and play by the rules will be rewarded with a more comfortable present and a stronger future for their children faces assault from just about every direction. That great enemy of democratic capitalism, economic inequality, is real and growing.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Children #Real #Hard Work

  • If a person is homosexual by nature - that is, if one's sexuality is as intrinsic a part of one's identity as gender or skin color - then society can no more deny a gay person access to the secular rights and religious sacraments because of his homosexuality than it can reinstate Jim Crow.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Religious #Gay #Color

  • Our greatest leaders are neither dreamers nor dictators: They are, like Jefferson, those who articulate national aspirations yet master the mechanics of influence and know when to depart from dogma.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Leader #Dreamer #Dogma

  • As a southerner born after the epic events of the civil rights movement, I've always wondered how on earth people of good will could have conceivably lived with Jim Crow - with the daily degradations, the lynchings in plain sight, and, as the movement gathered force, with the fire hoses and the police dogs and the billy clubs.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Dog #Epic #Sight

  • The past always seems somehow more golden, more serious, than the present. We tend to forget the partisanship of yesteryear, preferring to re-imagine our history as a sure and steady march toward greatness.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Greatness #Past #History

  • The fact is that America has been at her most prosperous when government and the private sector have been not at war, but in a wary, if often underplayed, alliance. History is unmistakable on this point.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #War #America #Government

  • The attacks of September 11 - and subsequent acts of terror from London to Madrid to Fort Hood, Texas - embody the most repulsive of human instincts, the will to power at the price of the lives of others.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Texas #September 11 #London

  • While we remain a nation decisively shaped by religious faith, our politics and our culture are, in the main, less influenced by movements and arguments of an explicitly Christian character than they were even five years ago. I think this is a good thing - good for our political culture.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Christian #Religious #Character

  • Part of what I loved - and love - about being around older people is the tangible sense of history they embody. I'm interested in military history, for instance, because both my grandfathers fought in World War II. I'm interested in writing because one of those grandfathers wrote books.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Military #War #Book

  • With the perspective afforded by the passage of time, where does 9/11 rank as a turning point in our national history? For the victims and their families, innocents going about their lives, suddenly and brutally murdered, no other day can ever matter as much.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Perspective #Doe #Matter

  • One of the central memories of my childhood is of hunting - not well; I am a terrible shot - quail and dove and grouse on a farm on the Tennessee River.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Memories #Hunting #Rivers

  • Once the cry and the cause of a generation of progressives to make America safer, fairer and cleaner, 'regulation' is now a dirty word in our politics. Even Democrats are quick to talk about cutting regulations; Republicans hate them with - how to put it? - evangelical fervor.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Hate #Dirty #Cutting

  • Mysteries and thrillers are not the same things, though they are literary siblings. Roughly put, I would say the distinction is that mysteries emphasize motive and psychology whereas thrillers rely more heavily on action and plot.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Sibling #Psychology #Plot

  • Justified or not, the Supreme Court has a kind of sacred status in American life. For whatever reason, Presidents can safely run against Congress, and vice versa, but I think there is an inherent popular aversion to assaults on the court itself. Perhaps it has to do with an instinctive belief that life needs umpires.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Running #Thinking #Umpires

  • It's possible that the 2012 general-election race will be the least overtly religious one since 1972, the last campaign before Roe v. Wade and the rise of Jimmy Carter brought evangelicalism into the political mainstream. That's because faith remains a complicated issue for Obama, who is still wrongly thought to be a Muslim in some quarters.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Religious #Issues #Race

  • It would be great if politics were fact-based, but it is not, and it is surely not nuance-based. What works in a classroom or a think tank does not work on Capitol Hill or in the White House. Obama sometimes seems to be running the Brookings Institution, not the country.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Running #Country #Thinking

  • Incumbent White House parties have won 10 of the last 18 presidential elections; the odds are tight, but they favor Obama in 2012. And so gloomy Democrats, check your despair; gleeful Republicans, watch the hubris.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Party #White #Odds

  • I do not believe 'Newsweek' is the only catcher in the rye between democracy and ignorance, but I think we're one of them, and I don't think there are that many on the edge of that cliff.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Believe #Ignorance #Thinking

  • Liberty is precious. But so is life. It should not be so difficult for men and women of good will and good heart and sound mind to find the right balance between the two.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Heart #Men #Two

  • Steadiness of faith, was, in the long run, as illuminating and essential as sophistication of thought.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Running #Long #Essentials

  • In rich and captivating prose, Jessica DuLong kindly invites the rest of us on the journey of her lifetime: from a dot-com job to the fabled waters of the Hudson River, where she became a fireboat engineer. This is an unusual and fascinating book.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Jobs #Book #Journey

  • We are exceptional not because of who we are but because of what we do and how we put the ideals of human dignity, individual freedom, and liberty under law into action.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Law #Liberty #Who We Are

  • As crucial as religion has been and is to the life of the nation, America's unifying force has never been a specific faith, but a commitment to freedom - not least freedom of conscience.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Commitment #America #Force

  • No government can be maintained without the principle of fear as well as duty.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Government #Principles #Duty

  • Jefferson was the rare leader who stood out from the crowd without intimidating it.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Leader #Crowds #Intimidating

  • Sometimes paranoids have enemies, and conspiracies are only laughable when they fail to materialize.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Enemy #Sometimes #Failing

  • An important thing to remember about the press is there is no ideological bias
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Important #Remember #Bias

  • Given that religious faith is an intrinsic element of human experience, it is best to approach and engage the subject with a sense of history and a critical sensibility.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Religious #Elements #Given

  • One wonders whether the Obama re-election campaign may be on the right track as it seeks to apply the you-break-it-you-own-it rule to Bush and the American economy. Hardly a day goes by without President Obama or his surrogates arguing that it takes longer than four years to recover from an economic crisis so long in the making.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Years #Long #Track

  • The way to put oneself in a position to take the harder, more honorable political path is to argue for one's virtues in a vigorous way.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Political #Way #Path

  • The government invented the Internet.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Government #Internet

  • It is true that traditional Christianity is losing some of its appeal among Americans, but that is a religious, not political, matter. It is worth remembering that the Jeffersonian 'wall of separation' between church and state has always been intended to protect the church from the state as much as the state from the church.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Religious #Wall #Political

  • There is nothing new under the sun.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Sun

  • We chose the most interesting image available to us to illustrate the theme of the cover, which is what we always try to do. We apply the same test to photographs of any public figure, male or female: does the image convey what we are saying? That is a gender-neutral standard.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Interesting #Trying #Males

  • A lot of people, including business leaders, think the future belongs to China. Globalization is not a zero-sum game, but we need to hone our skills to stay in play.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Zero #Thinking #Games

  • In the closed circle of the war cabinet, pounded by terrible report after terrible report, there had been uncertainty about whether he could fend off the drift to exploring a deal with Hitler. The determination of the larger group trumped the tentativeness of the smaller, and Churchill fulfilled his role as leader by disentangling himself from defeatism--one of his singular achievements at the end of May 1940.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Determination #War #Circles

  • I am an Episcopalian who takes the faith of my fathers seriously, and I would, I think, be disheartened if my own young children were to turn away from the church when they grow up. I am also a critic of Christianity, if by critic one means an observer who brings historical and literary judgment to bear on the texts and traditions of the church.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Children #Growing Up #Father

  • I am a huge admirer of Franklin Roosevelt's, and I believe social security has done untold good in alleviating the once-widespread issue of poverty among the elderly. FDR believed in the greatness and generosity of Americans - but he was also a cold-blooded politician.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Believe #Greatness #Issues

  • History tells us that America does best when the private sector is energetic and entrepreneurial and the government is attentive and engaged. Who among us, really, would, looking back, wish to edit out either sphere at the entire expense of the other?
    -- Jon Meacham

    #America #Government #Wish

  • I don't think anyone is qualified to answer questions of eternal fate definitively, much less pinpoint it to a given day.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Fate #Thinking #Answers

  • The problem for those who assert biblical authority in support of traditional definitions of marriage is that one could, with equal validity, assert that the lending of money or certain kinds of haircuts are forbidden by God, or that slavery and the subjugation of women are authorized by the Lord.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Biblical #Support #Slavery

  • The more we can do to support and promulgate the intellectual traditions of the Abrahamic faiths - of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam - the better armed we will be to fight fundamentalism.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Fighting #Support #Intellectual

  • The decline and fall of the modern religious right's notion of a Christian America creates a calmer political environment and, for many believers, may help open the way for a more theologically serious religious life.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Christian #Religious #Fall

  • Religious belief, like history itself, is a story that is always unfolding, always subject to inquiry and ripe for questioning. For without doubt there is no faith.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Religious #Doubt #Inquiry

  • One of the earliest resurrection scenes in the Bible is that of Thomas demanding evidence - he wanted to see, to touch, to prove. Those who question and probe and debate are heirs of the apostles just as much as the most fervent of believers.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Heirs #Debate #Resurrection

  • Cynically but accurately put, Americans oppose public intervention or regulation if it helps others, but favor it if it helps them - take social security, disaster relief, public works projects, for example.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Helping Others #Favors #Regulation

  • Barack Obama is many things; among them, he is a tough and even ferocious political warrior.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Warrior #Political #Tough

  • The central tenet of Christianity as it has come down to us is that we are to reach out when our instinct is to pull inward; to give when we want to take; to love when we are inclined to hate; to include when are tempted to exclude.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Hate #Giving #Inward

  • In America, now, let us - Christian, Jew, Muslim, agnostic, atheist, wiccan, whatever - fight nativism with the same strength and conviction that we fight terrorism. My faith calls on its followers to love one's enemies. A tall order, that - perhaps the tallest of all.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Christian #Atheist #Fighting

  • I've been accused of being old before my time more than once. It's true that I've always felt an affinity for, and been comfortable around, older people. I attribute this to a childhood spent around my grandparents - and even a great-grandparent or two. I wouldn't trade those experiences for anything.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Two #Grandparent #People

  • I believe that my children, who are young, will look back on the early years of the 21st century in rather the same way I look back on the middle of the 20th: as a time when seemingly respectable people supported discrimination against Americans simply because those Americans were different from themselves.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Children #Believe #Years

  • I am a southerner who grew up with and around guns. I own some still. My father gave me a .22 rifle when I was 9 and a single barrel .410 shotgun when I was 10.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Father #Gun #Rifles

  • An unexamined faith is not worth having, for fundamentalism and uncritical certitude entail the rejection of one of the great human gifts: that of free will, of the liberty to make up our own minds based on evidence and tradition and reason.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Rejection #Mind #Liberty

  • Without education, we are weaker economically. Without economic power, we are weaker in terms of national security. No great military power has ever remained so without great economic power.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Military #Economic #National Security

  • In the fullness of time, I suspect that bigotry against homosexuals will seem as repugnant as racial prejudice does today. Or so one hopes.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Doe #Prejudice #Today

  • President Obama is now losing to 'Republican Nominee' in polls - no name needed.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Names #President #Losing

  • Reagan is the Republican FDR, an exemplar of presidential greatness.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Greatness #Presidential #Republican

  • Here is a pretty good rule of thumb for Democratic Presidents: if it didn't work for Franklin D. Roosevelt, who won four terms and a World War, it probably won't work for you either.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #War #President #Thumbs

  • Given that sexual orientation is innate and that we are all, in theological terms, children of God, to deny access to some sacraments based on sexuality is as wrong as denying access to some sacraments based on race or gender.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Children #Race #Gender

  • From Jefferson to Jackson to Lincoln to FDR to Reagan, every great president inspires enormous affection and enormous hostility. We'll all be much saner, I think, if we remember that history is full of surprises and things that seemed absolutely certain one day are often unimaginable the next.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Thinking #Inspire #One Day

  • Extremists often derive their inspiration from literal interpretations of texts that should rightly be read not as Associated Press reports from the ancient world, but as theological and literary enterprises requiring independent intellectual assessment.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Inspiration #Independent #Assessment

  • Anyone weighing whether to re-elect the President should take the bin Laden operation into account: it is a powerful exhibit that Obama is a steely Commander in Chief - a critical test for many Americans.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Powerful #President #Tests

  • If heaven is understood more as God's space on earth than as an ethereal region apart from the essential reality we know, then what happens on earth matters even more than we think, for the Christian life becomes a continuation of the unfolding work of Jesus, who will one day return to set the world to rights.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Christian #Jesus #Reality

  • I believe history will come to view 9/11 as an event on par with November 22, 1963, the date on which John F. Kennedy was murdered, cutting short a presidency that was growing ever more promising. Dreams died that day in Dallas; it is easy to imagine the 1960s turning out rather differently had President Kennedy lived.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Dream #Believe #Cutting

  • Environmental concern is a little like dieting or paying off credit-card debt - an episodically terrific idea that burns brightly and then seems to fade when we realize there's a reason we need to diet or pay down our debt. The reason is that it's really, really hard, and too many of us in too many spheres of life choose the easy over the hard.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Ideas #Environmental #Cards

  • Among the many problems with taking the Bible literally is it reduces the most mysterious and complex of realities to simple - even simplistic - terms. Yes, scripture speaks of fire and damnation and eternal bliss, but the Bible is the product of human hands and hearts, and much of the imagery is allegorical, not meteorological.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Heart #Simple #Reality

  • World War II ended the Great Depression with one of the great public-private industrial collaborations in the history of man.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #War #Men #Collaboration

  • Whenever there is news of a terrible shooting, I wonder why America has so miserably failed to enact even common-sense gun legislation.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Gun #America #Common Sense

  • The Occupy Wall Street protests at last suggest that America's wealth gap is once again becoming an organizing political principle in the country.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Country #Wall #America

  • The middle class, one of the great achievements in history, is becoming more of a relic than a reality.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Reality #Class #Achievement

  • The American system of political spending is so unregulated that it might make Adam Smith rethink free markets.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Political #Might #Adam

  • Scripture is not inerrant; believers are called to interpret biblical texts in light of tradition and reason.
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Biblical #Light #Scripture

  • A wise nation should cultivate a political spirit that allows opponents to cooperate without fearing an automatic execution from their core supporters. Who knew that the real rogues in American politics would be the ones who dare to get along?
    -- Jon Meacham

    #Wise #Real #Political

You may also like: