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Quote of the day January 1–16, 2021

Top quotes for this month, selected by Wikiquote contributors.

January 16

It is not suffering as such that is most deeply feared but suffering that degrades.

~ Susan Sontag ~

January 15

An individual has not begun to live until he can rise above the narrow horizons of his particular individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity. And this is one of the big problems of life, that so many people never quite get to the point of rising above self. And so they end up the tragic victims of self-centeredness. They end up the victims of distorted and disrupted personality. … These are the people who cannot face disappointments. These are the people who cannot face being defeated. These are the people who cannot face being criticized. These are the people who cannot face these many experiences of life which inevitably come because they are too centered in themselves.

~ Martin Luther King, Jr. ~

January 14

President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of Government. He threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperiled a coequal branch of Government. He thereby betrayed his trust as President, to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.… Donald John Trump thus warrants impeachment and trial, removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States.

~ The United States House of Representatives ~

January 13

Rosalynn and I are troubled by the violence at the U.S. Capitol today. This is a national tragedy and is not who we are as a nation. Having observed elections in troubled democracies worldwide, I know that we the people can unite to walk back from this precipice to peacefully uphold the laws of our nation, and we must. We join our fellow citizens in praying for a peaceful resolution so our nation can heal and complete the transfer of power as we have for more than two centuries.

~ Jimmy Carter ~

January 12

We faced an unprecedented assault on our Capitol, our Constitution, and our country. The assault was fueled by more than four years of poison politics spreading deliberate misinformation, sowing distrust in our system, and pitting Americans against one another. The match was lit by Donald Trump and his most ardent enablers, including many in Congress, to overturn the results of an election he lost. The election was free, the count was fair, the result is final. We must complete the peaceful transfer of power our Constitution mandates.

~ Bill Clinton ~

January 11

I am appalled by the reckless behavior of some political leaders since the election and by the lack of respect shown today for our institutions, our traditions, and our law enforcement. The violent assault on the Capitol — and disruption of a Constitutionally-mandated meeting of Congress — was undertaken by people whose passions have been inflamed by falsehoods and false hopes.

~ George W. Bush ~

January 10

Today’s violent assault on our Capitol, an effort to subjugate American democracy by mob rule, was fomented by Mr. Trump. His use of the Presidency to destroy trust in our election and to poison our respect for fellow citizens has been enabled by pseudo political leaders whose names will live in infamy as profiles in cowardice. Our Constitution and our Republic will overcome this stain and We the People will come together again in our never-ending effort to form a more perfect Union, while Mr. Trump will deservedly be left a man without a country.

~ Jim Mattis ~

January 9

We gather due to a selfish man's injured pride, and the outrage of supporters who he has deliberately misinformed for the past two months and stirred to action this very morning. What happened here today was an insurrection incited by the President of the United States. Those who choose to continue to support his dangerous gambit by objecting to the results of a legitimate democratic election will forever be seen as being complicit in an unprecedented attack against our democracy. … For any who remain insistent on an audit in order to satisfy the many people who believe that the election was stolen, I'd offer this perspective — no Congressional audit is ever going to convince these voters, particularly when the President will continue to say that the election was stolen. The best way we could show respect for the voters who were upset is by telling them the truth. That's the burden, that's the duty of leadership. The truth is that President-elect Biden won the election, President Trump lost.

~ Mitt Romney ~

January 8

It is my considered judgment that my oath to support and defend the Constitution constrains me from claiming unilateral authority to determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not.

~ Mike Pence ~

January 7

We're debating a step that has never been taken in American history. Whether Congress should overrule the voters and overturn a Presidential election. … President Trump claims the election was stolen. The assertions range from specific local allegations to Constitutional arguments to sweeping conspiracy theories. I supported the President's right to use the legal system, dozens of lawsuits received hearings in courtrooms all across our country, but over and over, the courts rejected these claims, including all-star judges whom the President himself has nominated. … The voters, the courts, and the states have all spoken. They've all spoken. If we overrule them, it would damage our republic forever. … If this election were overturned by mere allegations from the losing side, our democracy would enter a death spiral. Self-government, my colleagues, requires a shared commitment to the truth and a shared respect for the ground rules of our system. We cannot keep drifting apart into two separate tribes with a separate set of facts and separate realities, with nothing in common except our hostility towards each other and mistrust for the few national institutions that we all still share. Congress will either override the voters, overrule them, the voters, the states, and the courts for the first time ever, or honor the people's decision. I will not pretend such a vote would be a harmless protest gesture while relying on others to do the right thing. I will vote to respect the people’s decision and defend our system of government as we know it.

~ Mitch McConnell ~

January 6

I believe that life has meaning. We are not on earth by chance; we do not come from nowhere to go to nowhere. This is a statement; it cannot be proved. Meaning implies both orientation and significance. Not every event or act or word has meaning, but everything is set in that orientation and signification.

~ Jacques Ellul ~

January 5

Philosophies can be judged, at most, on the grounds of the perspicacity with which they decide that something is worthy of becoming the starting point for a global explanatory hypothesis. Thus I do not think that the sign (or any other suitable object for a general semiotics) is a mere figment.

~ Umberto Eco ~

January 4

All you hear is time stand still in travel And feel such peace and absolute The stillness still that doesn't end But slowly drifts into sleep The stars are the greatest thing you've ever seen And they're there for you For you alone you are the everything.

~ R.E.M. ~

January 3

Salvation changes not, nor yet destroys, garden nor gardener, children nor their toys. Evil will not see, for evil lies not in God's picture but in crooked eyes, not in the source but in malicious choice, and not in sound but in the tuneless voice. In Paradise they no more look awry; and though they make anew, they make no lie. Be sure they still will make, not being dead, and poets shall have flames upon their head, and harps whereon their faultless fingers fall: there each shall choose for ever from the All.

~ J. R. R. Tolkien ~

January 2

In memory yet green, in joy still felt, The scenes of life rise sharply into view. We triumph; Life’s disasters are undealt, And while all else is old, the world is new.

~ Isaac Asimov ~

January 1

I pray you to forgive Both bad and good. Last season's fruit is eaten And the fullfed beast shall kick the empty pail. For last year's words belong to last year's language And next year's words await another voice.

~ T. S. Eliot in Four Quartets, "Little Gidding" ~
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