Adlai Ewing Stevenson

Adlai Ewing

American Vice President, Congressman, Presidential Candidate

Author Quotes

What a man knows at fifty that he did not know at twenty is for the most part incommunicable.

My idea of a free society is a society where it is safe to be unpopular.

Our first, our greatest, our most relentless purpose is peace, for without peace there is nothing.

Knowledge alone is not enough. It must be leavened with magnanimity before it becomes wisdom.

A hungry man is not a free man.

Self-criticism is the secret weapon of democracy.

The really basic thing in government is policy. Bad administration… can destroy good policy, but good administration can never save bad policy.

Progress is what happens when inevitability yields to necessity. And it is an article of the democratic faith that progress is a basic law of life.

It is said that a wise person who stands firm is a statesman, and a foolish person who stands form is a catastrophe.

My definition of a free society is a society where it is safe to be unpopular.

It is not the years in your life but the life in your years that counts.

Government must be the trustee for the little man because no one else will be. The powerful can usually help themselves – and frequently do.

Generally speaking, all great societies have a come into being and have been maintained through the people’s acceptance of certain objective moral standards. Such standards aren’t created; they exist and cannot be displaced. They are stronger, indeed, than we are.

All progress has resulted from people who took unpopular positions.

Every age needs people who will redeem the time by living with a vision of things that are to be.

With the unlocking of the atom, mankind crossed one of the great watersheds of history. We have entered uncharted lands. The maps of strategy and diplomacy by which we guided ourselves until yesterday no longer reveal the way. Fusion and fission revolutionized the entire foundation of human affairs.

You will find that the truth is often unpopular and the contest between agreeable fancy and disagreeable fact is unequal. For, in the vernacular, we Americans are suckers for good news.

A free society is a place where it's safe to be unpopular.

We travel together, passengers on a little spaceship, dependent on its vulnerable reserves of air and soil; all committed for our safety to its security and peace; preserved from annihilation only by the care, the work and, I will say, the love we give our fragile craft.

Understanding human needs is half the job of meeting them.

We have confused the free with the free and easy.

Thinking implies disagreement; and disagreement implies nonconformity; and nonconformity implies heresy; and heresy implies disloyalty - so, obviously, thinking must be stopped.

Those who corrupt the public mind are just as evil as those who steal from the public purse.

The mind is the expression of the soul, which belongs to God and must be let alone by government.

The idea that you can merchandise candidates for high office like breakfast cereal - that you can gather votes like box tops - is, I think, the ultimate indignity to the democratic process.

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Adlai Ewing
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American Vice President, Congressman, Presidential Candidate