Paul Greenberg Quotations

Paul Greenberg

A new intolerance divides us by Race and Gender and Ethnicity and Language, and into Minority and Majority, and generally makes many out of one, reversing that most American of mottos, E Pluribus Unum. Indeed, Al Gore, in one of his dimmer moments, once actually defined that phrase as 'out of one, many.' which is good enough for government work in these multicultural times.

But in this country, government has no rights. It may have power, authority, responsibility -- but only the people have rights. At least since 1776, the American government's legitimacy has depended on the consent of the governed.

[Clinton] had issued a classic waffle [about his support for the first Gulf War] that would allow him later to take whatever side looked popular whether we had won or lost that conflict. It was a very convoluted statement saying that he agreed with the minority that opposed the use of force, but at the same time he might have voted with the majority if his vote were really needed. In other words, it had so many escape clauses he would have had a hard time not coming out on top no matter how the war came out. We have a term for those escape clauses in Arkansas. Those are called "Clinton Clauses."

Democracy doesn't thrive in darkness, and neither does history. Both need sunlight.

Euphemism is the first sign that an advocate feels queasy about what he's really advocating.

Even now politicians use the phrase "federal dollars" as a synonym for "free money."

For years, the first president of the United States has been almost lost in the murky combo we've dubbed Presidents' Day, which seems to celebrate no president in particular. It was a very '90s thing -- to celebrate everything and therefore nothing. Widening the lens of history, we lost definition and hailed the result as ... Diversity! Washington, Lincoln, Millard Fillmore, Bill Clinton, why discriminate?

It was only when one listened to [Senator Kerry's] words closely that questions arose. If you just drifted along with him, it all sounded good enough for government work. Besides, he's a lot taller than the president.

Those present at the creation of our own young, struggling republic -- the Founding Fathers who gave us not only a Declaration of Independence but the Constitution -- understood that there is no liberty without law, no freedom without order.