Quotations about   representation

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Although in our country the Chief Magistrate must almost of necessity be chosen by a party and stand pledged to its principles and measures, yet in his official action he should not be the President of a part only, but of the whole people of the United States. While he executes the laws with an impartial hand, shrinks from no proper responsibility, and faithfully carries out in the executive department of the Government the principles and policy of those who have chosen him, he should not be unmindful that our fellow-citizens who have differed with him in opinion are entitled to the full and free exercise of their opinions and judgments, and that the rights of all are entitled to respect and regard.

James K. Polk (1795-1849) American lawyer, politician, US President (1845-1849)
Inaugural Address (4 Mar 1845)
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Added on 14-Oct-20 | Last updated 14-Oct-20
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Because a body of men holding themselves accountable to nobody, ought not to be trusted by anybody.

Thomas Paine (1737-1809) American political philosopher and writer
The Rights of Man (1791)
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Added on 14-Jan-20 | Last updated 14-Jan-20
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Speak out for those who cannot speak, for the rights of all the destitute. Speak out, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.

The Bible (14th C BC - 2nd C AD) Christian sacred scripture
Proverbs 31:8-9 [NRSV]
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  • KJV: "Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction. Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy."
  • GNT: "Speak up for people who cannot speak for themselves. Protect the rights of all who are helpless. Speak for them and be a righteous judge. Protect the rights of the poor and needy."
Added on 23-Apr-19 | Last updated 23-Apr-19
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Every defendant is entitled to a trial in which his interests are vigorously and conscientiously advocated by an able lawyer. A proceeding in which the defendant does not receive meaningful assistance in meeting the forces of the state does not, in my opinion, constitute due process.

Thurgood Marshall (1908-1993) American lawyer, US Supreme Court Justice (1967-1991)
Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668 (1984) [Dissenting]
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Added on 22-Oct-15 | Last updated 22-Oct-15
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Them as can do has to do for them as can’t. And someone has to speak up for them as has no voices.

Terry Pratchett (1948-2015) English author
The Wee Free Men (2003)
Added on 3-Jun-15 | Last updated 3-Jun-15
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The right to be heard would be, in many cases, of little avail if it did not comprehend the right to be heard by counsel. Even the intelligent and educated layman has small and sometimes no skill in the science of law. If charged with crime, he is incapable, generally, of determining for himself whether the indictment is good or bad. He is unfamiliar with the rules of evidence. Left without the aid of counsel he may be put on trial without a proper charge, and convicted upon incompetent evidence, or evidence irrelevant to the issue or otherwise inadmissible. He lacks both the skill and knowledge adequately to prepare his defense, even though he have a perfect one. He requires the guiding hand of counsel at every step in the proceedings against him. Without it, though he be not guilty, he faces the danger of conviction because he does not know how to establish his innocence. If that be true of men of intelligence, how much more true is it of the ignorant and illiterate, or those of feeble intellect.

George Sutherland (1862-1942) Anglo-American jurist, Supreme Court Justice (1922-1938)
Powell v. Alabama, 287 U.S. 45, 53 (1932) [majority opinion]
Added on 27-Aug-14 | Last updated 27-Aug-14
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Finally, I believe in an America with a government of men devoted solely to the public interests — men of ability and dedication, free from conflict or corruption or other commitment — a responsible government that is efficient and economical, with a balanced budget over the years of the cycle, reducing its debt in prosperous times — a government willing to entrust the people with the facts that they have — not a businessman’s government, with business in the saddle, as the late Secretary McKay described this administration of which he was a member — not a labor government, not a farmer’s government, not a government of one section of the country or another, but a government of, for and by the people.

John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) US President (1961-63)
Speech, Philadelphia (31 Oct 1960)
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Added on 9-Jun-14 | Last updated 9-Jun-14
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The true democracy, living and growing and inspiring, puts its faith in the people — faith that the people will not simply elect men who will represent their views ably and faithfully, but will also elect men who will exercise their conscientious judgment — faith that the people will not condemn those whose devotion to principle leads them to unpopular courses, but will reward courage, respect honor, and ultimately recognize right.

John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) US President (1961-63)
Profiles in Courage (1956; 1964 ed.)
Added on 3-Mar-14 | Last updated 3-Mar-14
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The voters selected us, in short, because they had confidence in our judgement and our ability to exercise that judgement from a position where we could determine what were their own best interest, as a part of the nation’s interest.

John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) US President (1961-63)
Profiles in Courage (1956)
Added on 24-Feb-14 | Last updated 24-Feb-14
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The death of democracy is not likely to be an assassination from ambush. It will be a slow extinction from apathy, indifference, and undernourishment.

Robert M. Hutchins (1899-1977) American educator and educational philosopher
Great Books: The Foundation of a Liberal Education (1954)
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Added on 13-Dec-13 | Last updated 15-Jul-20
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The true democracy, living and growing and inspiring, puts its faith in the people — faith that the people will not simply elect men who will represent their views ably and faithfully, but also elect men who will exercise their conscientious judgment — faith that the people will not condemn those whose devotion to principle leads them to unpopular courses, but will reward courage, respect honor, and ultimately recognize right.

John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) US President (1961-63)
Profiles in Courage, ch. 11 (1956; 1964 ed.)
Added on 13-Aug-09 | Last updated 2-Jan-14
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I am here to represent humanity: it is by no means necessary that I should live, but it is by all means necessary that I should act rightly.

Incorporated into “Essential Principles of Religion,” Lecture, Congregational Society, Boston (16 Mar 1862).

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
Journal (May 1854)
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Added on 26-Feb-04 | Last updated 10-Mar-20
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We all know that Art is not truth. Art is a lie that makes us realize truth, at least the truth that is given us to understand.

[Todos sabemos que el arte no es verdad. El arte es una mentira que no acerca a la verdad, al menos, a aquella verdad que se nos da para entendar.]

Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) Spanish painter and sculptor
“Picasso Speaks: A Statement by the Artist,” interview with Marius de Zayas, The Arts (May 1923)
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Discussing cubism. Translated in Quote Magazine (21 Sep 1958) as "Art is not truth; art is the lie which makes us see the truth."
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 10-Apr-20
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