Jon Meacham Quotes

- Notable Jon Meacham Quotes Index -

Born: May 20, 1969, Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA
Birth Country: USA
Occupation: Author

1.
A globalized world is by now a familiar fact of life. Building walls or moats may sound appealing, but the future belongs to those who tend to their people and then boldly engage the rest of the world, near and far.
- Jon Meacham

2.
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

3.
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

4.
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

5.
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

6.
Attacks on a politician's identity - questioning Romney's religion, say, or Obama's birthplace - tend to come when an opponent is desperate and can't sell himself.
- Jon Meacham

7.
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

8.
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

9.
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

10.
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

11.
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

12.
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

13.
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

14.
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

15.
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

16.
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

17.
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

18.
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

19.
Only the most unapologetic biblical fundamentalists, for instance, take every biblical injunction literally. If we all took all scripture at the same level of authority, then we would be more open to slavery, to the subjugation of women, to wider use of stoning. Jesus himself spoke out frequently against divorce in the strongest of terms.
- Jon Meacham

20.
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

21.
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

22.
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

23.
The bringing-about of order is the first and fundamental task of government. We accept limits on our rights for the sake of a larger social compact all the time.
- Jon Meacham

24.
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

25.
The government invented the Internet.
- Jon Meacham

26.
The middle class, one of the great achievements in history, is becoming more of a relic than a reality.
- Jon Meacham

27.
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

28.
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

29.
The power of the American system of republicanism lies in its capacity to allow religious belief to be a competing, not a controlling, factor in American life.
- Jon Meacham

30.
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

31.
The traditional religious right's failure to restore public-school prayer or pass an antiabortion constitutional amendment has likely helped fuel the spread of the more extreme dominionist school.
- Jon Meacham

32.
Whether one believes or not, religion is as real a force in the life of the world as economics or politics, and it demands fair-minded attention. Even if you think the entire religious enterprise is at best misguided and at worst counterproductive, it remains vital, inspiring great good and, sometimes, great evil.
- Jon Meacham

33.
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

34.
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

35.
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

36.
World War II ended the Great Depression with one of the great public-private industrial collaborations in the history of man.
- Jon Meacham

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