It's occurred to me that today's America isn't really the same as what America has the potential to be, or arguably what it should be. Indeed, it's probably not the America that the great minds of America's past envisioned when they gave us some of the most well known quotes in American history. As such, I've updated some of these quotes below, to better reflect the America that is, rather than the America that is embodied by the quotes.

Some of the quotes contained herein may not be that well known, but I hope you won't let that stop you from enjoying it.

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness--as long as they can afford it

--Thomas Jefferson

Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door! But only for those who ask me first.

-- Emma Lazarus from her poem The New Colossus, now on the Statue of Liberty

When an American says that he loves his country, he means not only that he loves the New England hills, the prairies glistening in the sun, the wide and rising plains, the great mountains, and the sea. He means that he loves an inner air, an inner light in which freedom lives and in which a man can draw the breath of self-respect. And as long as he pays his taxes, he may continue to see those things.

-- Adlai Stevenson

I think there is one higher office than president and I would call that patriot. But if you weren't born here, you can kiss being president goodbye.

-- Gary Hart

There are those, I know, who will say that the liberation of humanity, the freedom of man and mind, is nothing but a dream. They are right. It is the American dream. The dream of those being held in prison without cause.

-- Archibald MacLeish

America is much more than a geographical fact. It is a political and moral fact - the first community in which men set out in principle to institutionalize freedom, responsible government, and human equality, as long as they're not Mexican.

-- Adlai Stevenson

Sometimes people call me an idealist. Well, that is the way I know I am an American. America is the only idealistic nation in the world. If only the people who represent us on T.V. were competent.

-- Woodrow Wilson

This, then, is the state of the union: free and restless, growing and full of hope. So it was in the beginning. So it shall always be, while God is willing, and we are strong enough to keep the faith, and hungry enough to keep going to McDonald's.

-- Lyndon B. Johnson

This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in. If that means expelling students for taking birth control pills, then so be it.

-- Theodore Roosevelt

He loves his country best who strives to make it best, just as long as he's willing to provide a birth certificate.

-- Robert G. Ingersoll

My God! How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy! Just don't mention health care to the wrong 15% of them

-- Thomas Jefferson

There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America and warrantless wire tapping.

-- William J. Clinton

Our country is not the only thing to which we owe our allegiance. It is also owed to justice and to humanity. Patriotism consists not in waving the flag, but in striving that our country shall be righteous as well as strong, overweight and uninformed.

-- James Bryce

Our great modern Republic. May those who seek the blessings of its institutions and the protection of its flag remember the obligations they impose, and that anything that includes a word that sounds like "socialism" is inherently bad.

-- Ulysses S. Grant

I believe in America because we have great dreams - and because we have the opportunity to make those dreams come true by paying up to 50% of our income in tax.

-- Wendell L. Wilkie

We need an America with the wisdom of experience. But we must not let America grow old in spirit, as Medicare is run by the government, which can't run health care because it can't buy inefficient cars properly.

-- Hubert H. Humphrey

We have enjoyed so much freedom for so long that we are perhaps in danger of forgetting how much blood it cost to establish the Bill of Rights. And if you try to take my guns from me, I'll spill some more.

-- Felix Frankfurter

Intellectually I know that America is no better than any other country; emotionally I know she is better than every other country; health care-wise I know she is better than Slovenia.

-- Sinclair Lewis

May I never wake up from the American dream. The reality is terrifying

-- Carrie Latet

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