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Adlai Ewing Stevenson

Geburtstag: 5. Februar 1900
Todesdatum: 14. Juli 1965

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Adlai Ewing Stevenson war ein US-amerikanischer Politiker der Demokratischen Partei und zwischen 1949 und 1953 der 31. Gouverneur des Bundesstaates Illinois. Er war zweimal, nämlich 1952 und 1956, Kandidat seiner Partei für die Präsidentschaftswahl, musste sich beide Male aber Dwight D. Eisenhower geschlagen geben. Von 1961 bis 1965 war Stevenson US-Botschafter bei den Vereinten Nationen. Er war ein Enkel des früheren US-Vizepräsidenten Adlai Ewing Stevenson I.

Zitate Adlai Ewing Stevenson

„Nicht die Jahre in unserem Leben zählen, sondern das Leben in unseren Jahren.“

— Adlai Ewing Stevenson
Address at Princeton University, "The Educated Citizen". 22. März 1954. auch in: What I think. New York und London 1956. S. 172 ff. (die Rede), S. 179 (das Zitat)

„We must not burn down the house to kill the rats.“

— Adlai Stevenson
Context: The whole notion of loyalty inquisitions is a national characteristic of the police state, not of democracy. The history of Soviet Russia is a modern example of this ancient practice. I must, in good conscience, protest against any unnecessary suppression of our rights as free men. We must not burn down the house to kill the rats. Voicing opposition to the McCarran Internal Security Act of 1950

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„I think that one of our most important tasks is to convince others that there's nothing to fear in difference; that difference, in fact, is one of the healthiest and most invigorating of human characteristics without which life would become meaningless.“

— Adlai Stevenson
Context: I think that one of our most important tasks is to convince others that there's nothing to fear in difference; that difference, in fact, is one of the healthiest and most invigorating of human characteristics without which life would become meaningless. Here lies the power of the liberal way: not in making the whole world Unitarian, but in helping ourselves and others to see some of the possibilities inherent in viewpoints other than one's own; in encouraging the free interchange of ideas; in welcoming fresh approaches to the problems of life; in urging the fullest, most vigorous use of critical self-examination. As quoted in Challenge of a Liberal Faith (1988), by George N. Marshall, Ch. 3 : A Contemporary Religion, p. 34

„The problem of cat versus bird is as old as time. If we attempt to resolve it by legislation who knows but what we may be called upon to take sides as well in the age old problems of dog versus cat, bird versus bird, or even bird versus worm. In my opinion, the State of Illinois and its local governing bodies already have enough to do without trying to control feline delinquency.“

— Adlai Stevenson
Context: The problem of cat versus bird is as old as time. If we attempt to resolve it by legislation who knows but what we may be called upon to take sides as well in the age old problems of dog versus cat, bird versus bird, or even bird versus worm. In my opinion, the State of Illinois and its local governing bodies already have enough to do without trying to control feline delinquency. For these reasons, and not because I love birds the less or cats the more, I veto and withhold my approval from Senate Bill No. 93. Vetoing a Bill that would have imposed fines on owners who allowed cats to run at large. (23 April 1949)

„I believe in the infinite wisdom that envelops and embraces me and from which I take direction, purpose, strength.“

— Adlai Stevenson
Context: What do I believe? As an American I believe in generosity, in liberty, in the rights of man. These are social and political faiths that are part of me, as they are, I suppose, part of all of us. Such beliefs are easy to express. But part of me too is my relation to all life, my religion. And this is not so easy to talk about. Religious experience is highly intimate and, for me, ready words are not at hand. I am profoundly aware of the magnitude of the universe, that all is ruled by law, including my finite person. I believe in the infinite wisdom that envelops and embraces me and from which I take direction, purpose, strength. Essay in This I Believe : 2 (1952) edited by Edward R. Murrow, p. 142

„It was always accounted a virtue in a man to love his country. With us it is now something more than a virtue. It is a necessity.“

— Adlai Stevenson
Context: It was always accounted a virtue in a man to love his country. With us it is now something more than a virtue. It is a necessity. 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. Men who have offered their lives for their country know that patriotism is not the fear of something; it is the love of something. Speech to the American Legion convention, New York City (27 August 1952); as quoted in "Democratic Candidate Adlai Stevenson Defines the Nature of Patriotism" in Lend Me Your Ears : Great Speeches In History (2004) by William Safire, p. 81 - 82

„Every man has a right to be heard; but no man has the right to strangle democracy with a single set of vocal cords.“

— Adlai Stevenson
Context: The sound of tireless voices is the price we pay for the right to hear the music of our own opinions. But there is also, it seems to me, a moment at which democracy must prove its capacity to act. Every man has a right to be heard; but no man has the right to strangle democracy with a single set of vocal cords. Speech in New York City (28 August 1952)

„I do not believe it is man's destiny to compress this once boundless earth into a small neighborhood, the better to destroy it.“

— Adlai Stevenson
Context: I do not believe it is man's destiny to compress this once boundless earth into a small neighborhood, the better to destroy it. Nor do I believe it is in the nature of man to strike eternally at the image of himself, and therefore of God. I profoundly believe that there is on this horizon, as yet only dimly perceived, a new dawn of conscience. In that purer light, people will come to see themselves in each other, which is to say they will make themselves known to one another by their similarities rather than by their differences. Man's knowledge of things will begin to be matched by man's knowledge of self. The significance of a smaller world will be measured not in terms of military advantage, but in terms of advantage for the human community. It will be the triumph of the heartbeat over the drumbeat. These are my beliefs and I hold them deeply, but they would be without any inner meaning for me unless I felt that they were also the deep beliefs of human beings everywhere. And the proof of this, to my mind, is the very existence of the United Nations. Speech in Springfield Illinois (24 October 1952)

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„What counts now is not just what we are against, but what we are for. Who leads us is less important than what leads us — what convictions, what courage, what faith — win or lose.“

— Adlai Stevenson
Context: What counts now is not just what we are against, but what we are for. Who leads us is less important than what leads us — what convictions, what courage, what faith — win or lose. A man doesn't save a century, or a civilization, but a militant party wedded to a principle can. Address to the Democratic National Convention, Chicago, Illinois. (21 July 1952); published in Speeches of Adlai Stevenson (1952) p. 17

„You will find that the truth is often unpopular and the contest between agreeable fancy and disagreeable fact is unequal.“

— Adlai Stevenson
Context: 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. Commencement address at Michigan State University The New York Times (9 June 1958)

„What do I believe? As an American I believe in generosity, in liberty, in the rights of man.“

— Adlai Stevenson
Context: What do I believe? As an American I believe in generosity, in liberty, in the rights of man. These are social and political faiths that are part of me, as they are, I suppose, part of all of us. Such beliefs are easy to express. But part of me too is my relation to all life, my religion. And this is not so easy to talk about. Religious experience is highly intimate and, for me, ready words are not at hand. I am profoundly aware of the magnitude of the universe, that all is ruled by law, including my finite person. I believe in the infinite wisdom that envelops and embraces me and from which I take direction, purpose, strength. Essay in This I Believe : 2 (1952) edited by Edward R. Murrow, p. 142

„The whole notion of loyalty inquisitions is a national characteristic of the police state, not of democracy.“

— Adlai Stevenson
Context: The whole notion of loyalty inquisitions is a national characteristic of the police state, not of democracy. The history of Soviet Russia is a modern example of this ancient practice. I must, in good conscience, protest against any unnecessary suppression of our rights as free men. We must not burn down the house to kill the rats. Voicing opposition to the McCarran Internal Security Act of 1950

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„The really basic thing in government is policy. Bad administration, to be sure, can destroy good policy, but good administration can never save bad policy.“

— Adlai Stevenson
Context: In the tragic days of Mussolini, the trains in Italy ran on time as never before and I am told in their way, their horrible way, that the Nazi concentration-camp system in Germany was a model of horrible efficiency. The really basic thing in government is policy. Bad administration, to be sure, can destroy good policy, but good administration can never save bad policy. Speech to the Los Angeles Town Club, Los Angeles, California (11 September 1952); Speeches of Adlai Stevenson (1952), p. 36

„The knowledge he has acquired with age is not the knowledge of formulas, or forms of words, but of people, places, actions — a knowledge not gained by words but by touch, sight, sound, victories, failures, sleeplessness, devotion, love — the human experiences and emotions of this earth and of oneself and other men; and perhaps, too, a little faith, and a little reverence for things you cannot see.“

— Adlai Stevenson
Context: What a man knows at fifty that he did not know at twenty is, for the most part, incommunicable. The laws, the aphorisms, the generalizations, the universal truths, the parables and the old saws — all of the observations about life which can be communicated handily in ready, verbal packages — are as well known to a man at twenty who has been attentive as to a man at fifty. He has been told them all, he has read them all, and he has probably repeated them all before he graduates from college; but he has not lived them all. What he knows at fifty that he did not know at twenty boils down to something like this: The knowledge he has acquired with age is not the knowledge of formulas, or forms of words, but of people, places, actions — a knowledge not gained by words but by touch, sight, sound, victories, failures, sleeplessness, devotion, love — the human experiences and emotions of this earth and of oneself and other men; and perhaps, too, a little faith, and a little reverence for things you cannot see. Address at Princeton University, [http://infoshare1.princeton.edu/libraries/firestone/rbsc/mudd/online_ex/stevenson/adlai1954.html "The Educated Citizen" (22 March 1954)]

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

— Adlai Stevenson
Context: What a man knows at fifty that he did not know at twenty is, for the most part, incommunicable. The laws, the aphorisms, the generalizations, the universal truths, the parables and the old saws — all of the observations about life which can be communicated handily in ready, verbal packages — are as well known to a man at twenty who has been attentive as to a man at fifty. He has been told them all, he has read them all, and he has probably repeated them all before he graduates from college; but he has not lived them all. What he knows at fifty that he did not know at twenty boils down to something like this: The knowledge he has acquired with age is not the knowledge of formulas, or forms of words, but of people, places, actions — a knowledge not gained by words but by touch, sight, sound, victories, failures, sleeplessness, devotion, love — the human experiences and emotions of this earth and of oneself and other men; and perhaps, too, a little faith, and a little reverence for things you cannot see. Address at Princeton University, [http://infoshare1.princeton.edu/libraries/firestone/rbsc/mudd/online_ex/stevenson/adlai1954.html "The Educated Citizen" (22 March 1954)]

„I profoundly believe that there is on this horizon, as yet only dimly perceived, a new dawn of conscience. In that purer light, people will come to see themselves in each other, which is to say they will make themselves known to one another by their similarities rather than by their differences. Man's knowledge of things will begin to be matched by man's knowledge of self.“

— Adlai Stevenson
Context: I do not believe it is man's destiny to compress this once boundless earth into a small neighborhood, the better to destroy it. Nor do I believe it is in the nature of man to strike eternally at the image of himself, and therefore of God. I profoundly believe that there is on this horizon, as yet only dimly perceived, a new dawn of conscience. In that purer light, people will come to see themselves in each other, which is to say they will make themselves known to one another by their similarities rather than by their differences. Man's knowledge of things will begin to be matched by man's knowledge of self. The significance of a smaller world will be measured not in terms of military advantage, but in terms of advantage for the human community. It will be the triumph of the heartbeat over the drumbeat. These are my beliefs and I hold them deeply, but they would be without any inner meaning for me unless I felt that they were also the deep beliefs of human beings everywhere. And the proof of this, to my mind, is the very existence of the United Nations. Speech in Springfield Illinois (24 October 1952)

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