J. William Fulbright

(James William Fulbright)

J. William Fulbright
J. William Fulbright
  • Born: April 9, 1905
  • Died: February 9, 1995
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Politician

79

Quotes

51

Citations

184

Concepts

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Videos

James William Fulbright was a United States Senator representing Arkansas from January 1945 until his resignation in December 1974. Fulbright is the longest serving chairman in the history of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. A Southern Democrat and a staunch multilateralist who supported the creation of the United Nations, he was also a segregationist who signed the Southern Manifesto. Fulbright opposed McCarthyism and the House Un-American Activities Committee and later became known for his opposition to American involvement in the Vietnam War. His efforts to establish an international exchange program eventually resulted in the creation of a fellowship program which bears his name, the Fulbright Program.

Quotes
Quote Topics Cited
…as the Cuban exiles intensify their activities aimed at overthrowing Castro, the more difficult it will become to conceal the U.S. hand.. Intelligence, Spying, Espionage & Covert Operations
A policy that can be accurately, though perhaps not prudently, defined as one of “peaceful co-existence.” Policy & Policy Making
A pre-emptive war in 'defense' of freedom would surely destroy freedom, because one simply cannot engage in barbarous action without becoming a barbarian, because one cannot defend human values by calculated and unprovoked violence without doing mortal damage to the values one is trying to defend War & Peace
He [the President] has the power, but that does not mean that he has the legitimate, constitutional right to use it. Power
I can't vote my own convictions on civil rights. If I did, I wouldn't be returned to the Senate. It's as simple as that. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
I think we Americans tend to put too high a price on unanimity ... as if there were something dangerous and illegitimate about honest differences of opinion honestly expressed by honest men. Oratory, Discussion & Debate
I think we Americans tend to put too high a value on unanimity, as if there were something dangerous and illegitimate about honest differences of opinion honestly expressed by honest men. Oratory, Discussion & Debate
If ... America is to become an empire, there is very little chance that it can avoid becoming a virtual dictatorship as well. Expansionism, Colonialism & Imperialism ;Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs ;Dictators, Despots, Autocrats, Autocracies & Dictatorships
If you really wish to be independent and make your own judgements about everything important, it is difficult to be a good team player —because a team has different criteria for making judgements about an issue. Detriments & Qualifications ;Public Office: Benefits
I'm sure that President [Lyndon] Johnson would never have pursued the war in Vietnam if he'd ever had a Fulbright [scholarship] to Japan, or say Bangkok, or had any feeling for what these people are like and why they acted the way they did. He was completely ignorant. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
In democracy dissent is an act of faith. Like medicine, the test of its value is not its taste, but its effect,... Democracies & Republics
In foreign affairs, a Senate cannot initiate or force large events, or substitute its judgment of them for that of the President, without seriously jeopardizing the ability of the nation to act consistently, and also without confusing the image and purpose of this nation in the eyes of others.? Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising ;Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
Insofar as international law is observed, it provides us with stability and order and with a means of predicting the behavior of those with whom we have reciprocal legal obligations. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement ;Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
Insofar as it represents a genuine conciliation of differences, a consensus is a fine thing; insofar as it represents the concealment of differences, it is a miscarriage of democratic procedure. Miscellaneous
Is the government well served when a Secretary of State misleads public opinion, confuses it, feeds it pap, tells it that ... Soviet triumphs are really defeats, and Western defeats are really triumphs? Compliments, Insults & Rebukes ;Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
It is a curiosity of human nature that lack of self-assurance seems to breed an exaggerated sense of power and mission. Human Nature
It is not our affluence, or our plumbing, or our clogged freeways that grip the imagination of others. Rather, it is the values upon which our system is built … liberty, … individual freedom … international peace … law and order … constructive social purpose. When we depart from these values, we do so at our peril. Miscellaneous
It is not our affluence, or our plumbing, or our clogged freeways that grip the imagination of others. Rather, it is the values upon which our system is built. These values imply our adherence not only to liberty and individual freedom, but also to international peace, law and order, and constructive social purpose. When we depart from these value, we do so at our peril. States. Nations & Nationhood
Nature—pitiless in a pitiless universe—is certainly not concerned with the survival of Americans or, for that matter, of any of the two billion people now inhabiting the earth. Environment & Environmentalism
Now, you know that's nonsense. How many Communists do you know at the Courthouse? Or among your teachers? Or preachers? .... Internal Communism is a very minor problem with us, and one I think the FBI can handle quite well. Miscellaneous
Only the President may invoke executive privilege but just about any of his subordinates may exercise it—they simply do not employ the forbidden words. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
Our foreign policy is inadequate, outmoded and misdirected .... If we go on as we are, soon—in the fashion of the cat on a hot tin roof—we shall be skipping from one crisis to another all over the globe, unable to get our footing anywhere. Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
Power confuses itself with virtue and tends also to take itself for omnipotence Power
Power tends to confuse itself with virtue, and a great nation is particularly susceptible to the idea that its power is a sign of God's favor. Power
Priorities are reflected in the things we spend money on... A nation's budget is full of moral implications; it tells what a society cares about and what it does not care about; it tells what it's values are. Budgets & Budgeting
The American people prefer military rockets to public schools and flights to the moon to urban renewal. Space Exploration
The Arrogance of Power Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
The biggest lesson I learned from Vietnam is not to trust government statements. I had no idea until then that you could not rely on them. Propaganda & Disinformation
The Castro regime is a thorn in the flesh, but it is not a dagger in the heart.... I have no evidence that the Cuban people are able and willing at this time to assist any invasion from the outside. Expansionism, Colonialism & Imperialism
The citizen who criticizes his country is paying it an implied tribute. Citizenship & Patriotism
The citizen who criticizes his country is paying it an implied tribute.... It means that he has not given up hope for his country, that he still has hope for it ... I do not think it is "selling America short" when we ask a great deal of her; on the contrary, it is those who ask nothing, those who see no fault, who are really selling America short! Citizenship & Patriotism
The citizen who criticizes his country is paying it an indirect tribute. Citizenship & Patriotism
The collective judgement of the Congress, with all its faults, could be superior to that of one man who makes the final decision, in the executive. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
The greatest single virtue of a strong legislature is not what it can do, but what it can prevent. Legislating & Legislative Process
The junior Senator from Wisconsin, by his reckless charges, has so preyed upon the fears and hatred of uninformed and credulous people that he has started a prairie fire, which neither he nor anyone else may be able to control. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
The making of peace is a continuing process that must go on from day to day, from year to year, so long as our civilization shall last. War & Peace ;Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
The President has full responsibility, which cannot be shared, for military decisions in a world in which the difference between safety and cataclysm can be a matter of hours or even minutes. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
The President professes a faith in the United Nations but his actions and statements are not designed to give life or vitality to that organization. United Nations
The price of democratic survival in a world of totalitarianism is to give up some of the democratic luxuries of the past. Democracies & Republics ;Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
The prospect must also be faced that an invasion of Cuba by exiles would encounter formidable resistance which the exiles, by themselves, might not be able to overcome. The question would then arise of whether the United States would be willing to let the enterprise fail (in the probably futile hope of concealing the U.S. role) or whether the United States would respond with progressive assistance as necessary to insure success. This would include ultimately the use of armed forces… Intergovernmental Relations
The Soviet Union has indeed been our greatest menace — not so much because of what it has done, but because of the excuses it has provided us for our own failures. Management & Managing Government
There has been a strong tradition in this country that it is not the function of the military to educate the public on political issues. Military & Veterans
To criticize one's country is to do it a service and to pay it a compliment. It is a service because it may spur the country to do better than it is doing; it is a compliment because it evidences a belief that the country can do better than it is doing. Oratory, Discussion & Debate
To deploy this [anti-ballistic missile system] would jeopardize our security rather than improve it. Defense & National Security
To give this activity [the Bay of Pigs] even covert support is of a piece with the hypocrisy and cynicism for which the United States is constantly denouncing the Soviet Union in the United Nations and elsewhere. This point will not be lost on the rest of the world-nor on our own consciences Intelligence, Spying, Espionage & Covert Operations
United States policy [concerning Vietnam] was marred by a lack of candor and by misinformation. Policy & Policy Making
We [the Senate] have the power to do any damn fool thing we want to do, and we seem to do it about every 10 minutes. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
We must dare to think “unthinkable” thoughts. We must learn to explore all the options and possibilities that confront us in a complex and rapidly changing world. We must learn to welcome and not to fear the voices of dissent. We must dare to think about ‘unthinkable’ things because when things become unthinkable, thinking stops and action becomes mindless. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
What a paradox if our own cleverness in science should force us to live underground with the moles. Nuclear, Chemical & Biological Weapons & Energy
When public men indulge themselves in abuse, when they deny others a fair trial, when they resort to innuendo and insinuation, to libel, scandal, and suspicion, then our democratic society is outraged, and democracy is baffled. It has no apparatus to deal with the boor, the liar, the lout, and the anti-democrat in general. Defense & National Security
You're bombing that little piss-ant country up there [Vietnam], and you think you can blow them up. You've been doing this all the time. It's a bunch of crap about wanting to negotiate. Negotiating & Negotiations
As a conservative power, the United States has a vital interest in upholding and expanding the reign of law in international relations. Power
I do not question the power of our weapons and the efficiency of our logistics; I cannot say these things delight me as the y seem to delight some of our officials, but they are certainly impressive. Power
I think we Americans tend to put too high a price on unanimity, as if there were something dangerous and illegitimate about honest differences of opinion honestly expressed by honest men.
I'm sure that President Johnson would never have pursued the war in Vietnam if he'd ever had a Fulbright to Japan, or say Bangkok, or had any feeling for what these people are like and why they acted the way they did. He was completely ignorant. War & Peace
In a democracy, dissent is an act of faith. Religion & God ;Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
In our excessive involvement in the affairs of other countries, we are not only living off our assets and denying our own people the proper enjoyment of their resources; we are also denying the world the example of a free society enjoying its freedom to the fullest. Society ;Freedom & Liberty
In the long course of history, having people who understand your thought is much greater security than another submarine. History
In the name of noble purposes men have committed unspeakable acts of cruelty against one another.
Law is the essential foundation of stability and order both within societies and in international relations.
Once imbued with the idea of a mission, a great nation easily assumes that it has the means as well as the duty to do God's work. Religion & God ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
Power confuses itself with virtue and tends also to take itself for omnipotence. Power
The biggest lesson I learned from Vietnam is not to trust our own government statements. I had no idea until then that you could not rely on them. Trust ;Government
The cause of our difficulties in southeast Asia is not a deficiency of power but an excess of the wrong kind of power which results in a feeling of impotence when it fails to achieve its desired ends. Power
The exchange program is the thing that reconciles me to all the difficulties of political life. Life
The junior senator from Wisconsin, by his reckless charges, has so preyed upon the fears and hatreds and prejudices of the American people that he has started a prairie fire which neither he nor anyone else may be able to control.
The price of empire is America's soul, and that price is too high.
The rapprochement of peoples is only possible when differences of culture and outlook are respected and appreciated rather than feared and condemned, when the common bond of human dignity is recognized as the essential bond for a peaceful world.
The Soviet Union has indeed been our greatest menace, not so much because of what it has done, but because of the excuses it has provided us for our failures.
There are many respects in which America, if it can bring itself to act with the magnanimity and the empathy appropriate to its size and power, can be an intelligent example to the world. Power
There has been a tendency through the years for reason and moderation to prevail as long as things are going tolerably well or as long as our problems seem clear and finite and manageable.
There is an inevitable divergence between the world as it is and the world as men perceive it.
To be a statesman, you must first get elected.
We are trying to remake Vietnamese society, a task which certainly cannot be accomplished by force and which probably cannot be accomplished by any means available to outsiders. Society
We have the power to do any damn fool thing we want to do, and we seem to do it about every 10 minutes. Power
We must dare to think 'unthinkable' thoughts. We must learn to explore all the options and possibilities that confront us in a complex and rapidly changing world.
What they fear, I think rightly, is that traditional Vietnamese society cannot survive the American economic and cultural impact. Society
When public men indulge themselves in abuse, when they deny others a fair trial, when they resort to innuendo and insinuation, to libel, scandal, and suspicion, then our democratic society is outraged, and democracy is baffled. Society
When we violate the law ourselves, whatever short-term advantage may be gained, we are obviously encouraging others to violate the law; we thus encourage disorder and instability and thereby do incalculable damage to our own long-term interests.