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Calvin Coolidge Quotes About Progress and Patriotism

Calvin Coolidge was the 30th president of the United States and served in office from 1923 to 1929. These Calvin Coolidge quotes are collected from a man who was popular for his determination to preserve an old moral mindset in a world that was quickly becoming more material and promiscuous.

Coolidge served as vice president to President Harding and became president when Harding unexpectedly died of a heart attack.

Coolidge received the news of Harding’s death in the middle of the night while he was visiting family in Vermont. He was sworn into the presidency by his father and the family Bible at 2:30 in the morning, after which, he promptly went back to sleep.

President Coolidge was a quiet and solemn man who often sat silently through interviews, only offering “yes” and “no” responses when absolutely necessary.

He received both praise and criticism for his passive manner of leadership. However, when the Great Depression began shortly after his term concluded, many critics blamed Coolidge’s passive leadership as part of the cause.

Below is a list of Calvin Coolidge quotes about progress, business, patriotism, and more.

Calvin Coolidge quotes about progress

1. “We cannot do everything at once, but we can do something at once.” — Calvin Coolidge

2. “Little progress can be made by merely attempting to repress what is evil. Our great hope lies in developing what is good.” — Calvin Coolidge

3. “They criticize me for harping on the obvious; if all the folks in the United States would do the few simple things they know they ought to do, most of our big problems would take care of themselves.” — Calvin Coolidge

4. “Duty is not collective; it is personal.” — Calvin Coolidge

5. “Four-fifths of all our troubles would disappear if we would only sit down and keep still.” — Calvin Coolidge

6. “The only way I know to drive out evil from the country is by the constructive method of filling it with good.” — Calvin Coolidge

Calvin Coolidge quotes about business

7. “No enterprise can exist for itself alone. It ministers to some great need, it performs some great service, not for itself, but for others; or failing therein, it ceases to be profitable and ceases to exist.” — Calvin Coolidge

8. “Advertising is the life of trade.” — Calvin Coolidge

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9. “The business of America is business and the chief ideal of the American people is idealism.” — Calvin Coolidge

10. “Mass demand has been created almost entirely through the development of advertising.” — Calvin Coolidge

11. “Civilization and profit go hand in hand.” — Calvin Coolidge

12. “Industry cannot flourish if labor languish.” — Calvin Coolidge

13. “When more and more people are thrown out of work, unemployment results.” — Calvin Coolidge

14. “The man who builds a factory builds a temple, that the man who works there worships there, and to each is due, not scorn and blame, but reverence and praise.” — Calvin Coolidge

Calvin Coolidge quotes about government, politics, and the economy

15. “It is much more important to kill bad bills than to pass good ones.” — Calvin Coolidge

16. “I favor the policy of economy, not because I wish to save money, but because I wish to save people.” — Calvin Coolidge

17. “Collecting more taxes than is absolutely necessary is legalized robbery.” — Calvin Coolidge

18. “I sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis upon the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement.” — Calvin Coolidge

19. “We draw our Presidents from the people. It is a wholesome thing for them to return to the people. I came from them. I wish to be one of them again.” — Calvin Coolidge

20. “In the discharge of the duties of this office, there is one rule of action more important than all others. It consists in never doing anything that someone else can do for you.” — Calvin Coolidge

21. “We cannot improve the condition of the people or reform human nature by intruding the nation into the affairs of the states or despoiling the people of their business.” — Calvin Coolidge

22. “Prosperity is only an instrument to be used, not a deity to be worshipped.” — Calvin Coolidge

23. “Wealth comes from industry and from the hard experience of human toil. To dissipate it in waste and extravagance is disloyalty to humanity.” — Calvin Coolidge

Calvin Coolidge quotes about patriotism

24. “Patriotism is easy to understand in America; it means looking out for yourself by looking out for your country.” — Calvin Coolidge

25. “The nation which forgets its defenders will be itself forgotten.” — Calvin Coolidge

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26. “Those who do not want to be partakers of the American spirit ought not to settle in America.” — Calvin Coolidge

27. “This country would not be a land of opportunity, America could not be America, if the people were shackled with government monopolies.” — Calvin Coolidge

28. “When a man begins to feel that he is the only one who can lead in this republic, he is guilty of treason to the spirit of our institutions.” — Calvin Coolidge

29. “There is only one form of political strategy in which I have any confidence, and that is to try to do the right thing and sometimes be able to succeed.” — Calvin Coolidge

Wise quotes from Calvin Coolidge

30. “No one ever listened themselves out of a job.” — Calvin Coolidge

31. “It takes a great man to be a good listener.” — Calvin Coolidge

32. “Some people are suffering from lack of work, some from lack of water, many more from lack of wisdom.” — Calvin Coolidge

33. “If you don’t say anything, you won’t be called on to repeat it.” — Calvin Coolidge

34. “You can’t know too much, but you can say too much.” — Calvin Coolidge

35. “I have never been hurt by what I have not said.” — Calvin Coolidge

36. “The right thing to do never requires any subterfuge, it is always simple and direct.” — Calvin Coolidge

37. “Any man who does not like dogs and want them about does not deserve to be in the White House.” — Calvin Coolidge

38. “Never go out to meet trouble. If you just sit still, nine cases out of ten, someone will intercept it before it reaches you.” — Calvin Coolidge

39. “Perhaps one of the most important accomplishments of my administration has been minding my own business.” — Calvin Coolidge

40. “Don’t expect to build up the weak by pulling down the strong.” — Calvin Coolidge

More Calvin Coolidge quotes

41. “Men speak of natural rights, but I challenge anyone to show where in nature any rights existed or were recognized until there was established for their declaration and protection a duly promulgated body of corresponding laws.” — Calvin Coolidge

42. “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” — Calvin Coolidge

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43. “I have found it advisable not to give too much heed to what people say when I am trying to accomplish something of consequence. Invariably they proclaim it can’t be done. I deem that the very best time to make the effort.” — Calvin Coolidge

44. “Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers. It may not be difficult to store up in the mind a vast quantity of face within a comparatively short time, but the ability to form judgments requires the severe discipline of hard work and the tempering heat of experience and maturity.” — Calvin Coolidge

45. “Ultimately property rights and personal rights are the same thing.” — Calvin Coolidge

46. “One with the law is a majority.” — Calvin Coolidge

47. “The government of the United States is a device for maintaining in perpetuity the rights of the people, with the ultimate extinction of all privileged classes.” — Calvin Coolidge

48. “When people are bewildered they tend to become credulous.” — Calvin Coolidge

49. “If we judge ourselves only by our aspirations and everyone else only their conduct we shall soon reach a very false conclusion.” — Calvin Coolidge

50. “No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.” — Calvin Coolidge

Do you think it is better to stay quiet or to speak up?

While Calvin Coolidge was popular during his time in office, many critics believe that his passive leadership and determination to do nothing while in office helped to cause both the Great Depression as well as did little to prevent the rise of Nazis in Germany.

However, despite these harsh accusations, others still believed him to be a successful leader during his term. President Ronald Reagan later placed Coolidge’s portrait in the oval office and said that Coolidge was one of the most underrated presidents, claiming that “He got things done in a quiet way.”

Did you enjoy these Calvin Coolidge quotes and sayings? Which quote was your favorite? Let us know in the comments below.

Sckylar Gibby-Brown
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  1. Dennis Walsh

    February 10, 2021 at 2:47 AM

    Here are a few of my favorites:
    17. “Collecting more taxes than is absolutely necessary is legalized robbery.” — Calvin Coolidge
    47. “The government of the United States is a device for maintaining in perpetuity the rights of the people, with the ultimate extinction of all privileged classes.” — Calvin Coolidge
    49. “If we judge ourselves only by our aspirations and everyone else only by their conduct, we shall soon reach a very false conclusion.” — Calvin Coolidge
    50. “No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.” — Calvin Coolidge

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