“Our Government springs from and was made for the people — not the people for the Government. To them it owes allegiance; from them it must derive its courage, strength, and wisdom. But while the Government is thus bound to defer to the people, from whom it derives its existence, it should, from the very consideration of its origin, be strong in its power of resistance to the establishment of inequalities. Monopolies, perpetuities, and class legislation are contrary to the genius of free government, and ought not to be allowed. Here there is no room for favored classes or monopolies; the principle of our Government is that of equal laws and freedom of industry. Wherever monopoly attains a foothold, it is sure to be a source of danger, discord, and trouble.”
–Andrew Johnson, 17th President of the United States of America (more…)
“Equality is not a concept. It’s not something we should be striving for. It’s a necessity. Equality is like gravity. We need it to stand on this Earth as men and women, and the misogyny that is in every culture is not a true part of the human condition. It is life out of balance, and that imbalance is sucking something out of the soul of every man and women who’s confronted with it. We need equality, kinda now.”
“Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home – so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person; the neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm, or office where he works.
Such are the places where every man, woman, and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere.”
“Kinship among nations is not determined in such measurements as proximity of size and age. Rather we should turn to those inner things — call them what you will — I mean those intangibles that are the real treasures free men possess. To preserve his freedom of worship, his equality before law, his liberty to speak and act as he sees fit, subject only to provisions that he trespass not upon similar rights of others….”
–Dwight Eisenhower, 34th President of the United States of America
29 years ago today, in 1989, Mauerfall began when East and West Berliners joined together and began dismantling the Berlin Wall, which would eventually lead to the fall of the Iron Curtain and preceded the collapse of the Soviet Union.