Top 50+Robert Kennedy Quotes

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Who is Robert Kennedy

Robert Francis “Bobby” Kennedy, also called RFK, was the United States Attorney General from 1961 to 1964 and a US Senator from New York from 1965 until his assassination in 1968. He was one of US President John F. Kennedy’s younger brothers, and also one of his most trusted advisors and worked closely with the president during the Cuban Missile Crisis. He also made a significant contribution to the African-American Civil Rights Movement.

After his brother’s assassination in late 1963, Kennedy continued as Attorney General under President Johnson for nine months. He resigned in September 1964 and was elected to the United States Senate from New York that November. He broke with Johnson over the Vietnam War, among other issues.

Robert Kennedy quotes

1. Some men see things as they are, and ask why. I dream of things that never were, and ask why not

2. Every society gets the kind of criminal it deserves. What is equally true is that every community gets the kind of law enforcement it insists on

3. Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total; of all those acts will be written the history of this generation

4. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance

5. Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly

6. Progress is a nice word. But change is its motivator. And change has its enemies

7. Tragedy is a tool for the living to gain wisdom, not a guide by which to live

8. What has violence ever accomplished? What has it ever created? No martyr’s cause has ever been stilled by an assassin’s bullet. No wrongs have ever been righted by riots and civil disorders. A sniper is only a coward, not a hero; and an uncontrolled or uncontrollable mob is only the voice of madness, not the voice of the people

9. Ultimately, America’s answer to the intolerant man is diversity, the very diversity which our heritage of religious freedom has inspired

10. Elections remind us not only of the rights but the responsibilities of citizenship in a democracy

11. Whenever men take the law into their own hands, the loser is the law. And when the law loses, freedom languishes

12. But suppose God is black? What if we go to Heaven and we, all our lives, have treated the Negro as an inferior, and God is there, and we look up and He is not white? What then is our response

13. Let us dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world

14. All of us might wish at times that we lived in a more tranquil world, but we don’t. And if our times are difficult and perplexing, so are they challenging and filled with opportunity

15. There are people in every time and every land who want to stop history in its tracks. They fear the future, mistrust the present, and invoke the security of a comfortable past which, in fact, never existed

16. The right to vote is the easiest of all rights to grant

17. What is objectionable, what is dangerous about extremists, is not that they are extreme, but that they are intolerant. The evil is not what they say about their cause, but what they say about their opponents

18. The glory of justice and the majesty of law are created not just by the Constitution – nor by the courts – nor by the officers of the law – nor by the lawyers – but by the men and women who constitute our society – who are the protectors of the law as they are themselves protected by the law

19. One-fifth of the people are against everything all the time

20. Every generation inherits a world it never made; and, as it does so, it automatically becomes the trustee of that world for those who come after. In due course, each generation makes its own accounting to its children

21. People say I am ruthless. I am not ruthless. And if I find the man who is calling me ruthless, I shall destroy him

22. Martin Luther King dedicated his life to love and to justice between fellow human beings. He died in the cause of that effort

23. The tyranny of Communism is as old as the Pharaohs and the Pyramids – that the State stands above all men and their individual aspirations

24. In my judgment, physical fitness is basic to all forms of excellence and to a strong, confident nation

25. The most significant civil rights problem is voting. Each citizen’s right to vote is fundamental to all the other rights of citizenship and the Civil Rights Acts of 1957 and 1960 make it the responsibility of the Department of Justice to protect that right

26. Hand in hand with freedom of speech goes the power to be heard, to share in the decisions of government which shape men’s lives

27. It is not enough to understand, or to see clearly. The future will be shaped in the arena of human activity, by those willing to commit their minds and their bodies to the task

28. Since the days of Greece and Rome, when the word ‘citizen’ was a title of honor, we have often seen more emphasis put on the rights of citizenship than on its responsibilities

29. Lack of education, old age, bad health or discrimination – these are causes of poverty, and the way to attack it is to go to the root

30. We must continue to prove to the world that we can provide a rising standard of living for all men without loss of civil rights or human dignity to any man

31. The travail of freedom and justice is not easy, but nothing serious and important in life is easy. The history of humanity has been a continuing struggle against temptation and tyranny – and very little worthwhile has ever been achieved without pain

32. Communism counts its opportunities in terms of decades – not of weeks. Its means of aggression consist not only of nuclear weapons and missiles with enormous boosters, and not only of spies, agents and terrorists, but of great masses of men and women, deluded by a common ideology which inspires them with a false hope

33. One of the primary purposes of civilization – and certainly its primary strength – is the guarantee that family life can flourish in unity, peace, and order

34. The Gross National Product measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country. It measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile, and it can tell us everything about America – except whether we are proud to be Americans

35. In the last analysis, our every right is only worth what our lawyer makes it worth

36. No one needs to tell me about the importance of the free press in a democratic society or about the essential role a newspaper can play in its community

37. Tolerating organized crime promotes the cheap philosophy that everything is a racket. It promotes cynicism among adults. It contributes to the confusion of the young and to the increase of juvenile delinquency

38. If any man claims the Negro should be content… let him say he would willingly change the color of his skin and go to live in the Negro section of a large city. Then and only then has he a right to such a claim

39. We know that we cannot live together without rules which tell us what is right and what is wrong, what is permitted and what is prohibited. We know that it is law which enables men to live together, that creates order out of chaos. We know that law is the glue that holds civilization together

40. I believe that, as long as there is plenty, poverty is evil

41. The United States was born in revolution and nurtured by struggle. Throughout our history, the American people have befriended and supported all those who seek independence and a better way of life

42. We in the United States believe in the protection of minorities; we recognize the contributions that they can make and the leadership that they can provide; and we do not believe that any people – whether majority or minority, or individual human beings – are ‘expendable’ in the cause of theory or of policy

43. We develop the kind of citizens we deserve. If a large number of our children grow up into frustration and poverty, we must expect to pay the price

44. Everything that makes man’s life worthwhile – family, work, education, a place to rear one’s children and a place to rest one’s head – all this depends on the decisions of government; all can be swept away by a government which does not heed the demands of its people, and I mean all of its people

45. The history of antitrust law enforcement shows that successful antitrust prosecutions have often strengthened and brought vitality to extremely large companies and businesses

46. Desegregation of schools does not automatically transform them into better schools. It is only a step. The larger goal is to see that the education of our youth is not merely desegregated, but that it is excellent

47. When our forbears – yours and mine – came to America, they came because this country promised them something. It promised them an opportunity, nourished by education, not merely to grind for a bare living, but to strive for a good life

48. Freedom possesses many meanings. It speaks not merely in terms of political and religious liberty but also in terms of economic and social progress

49. If freedom makes social progress possible, so social progress strengthens and enlarges freedom

50. If I get to be president, what can I do anyway? With Congress and the press, what chance do I have to make basic changes

51. The poor man looks upon the law as an enemy, not as a friend. For him, the law is always taking something away

52. Now I can go back to being ruthless again

53. Lawyers have their duties as citizens, but they also have special duties as lawyers. Their obligations go far deeper than earning a living as specialists in corporation or tax law. They have a continuing responsibility to uphold the fundamental principles of justice from which the law cannot depart

54. We will find neither national purpose nor personal satisfaction in a mere continuation of economic progress, in an endless amassing of worldly goods. We cannot measure national spirit by the Dow Jones Average, nor national achievement by the Gross National Product

55. American books reflect our common heritage with many other nations and their influence upon our culture. The influences are endless, linking us with the rest of the world. Thus, they are good ambassadors for us

56. The world of sports knows no religious, racial or political differences. Athletes, from whatever land they come, speak the same language. The lessons of competition are lessons for life

57. America’s answer to the intolerant man is diversity – the very diversity which our heritage of religious freedom has inspired

58. Ultimately, Communism must be defeated by progressive political programs which wipe out the poverty, misery, and discontent on which it thrives

59. The free way of life proposes ends, but it does not prescribe means

60. I was the seventh of nine children. When you come from that far down you have to struggle to survive

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