John F. KennedyJohn F. Kennedy, (1917-1963) 35th US President

Famous John F. Kennedy Quote

“And so, my fellow Americans: Ask not what your country can do for you -- ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: Ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.”

John F. KennedyJohn F. Kennedy
~ John F. Kennedy

Inaugural address, January 20, 1961

Ratings and Comments

Dave Wilber

Ask not what your country will do for you but ask what they will do to you if you fail to waive your rights on tax returns or file a truthful return, saying that you received no substance measured in dollard. The dollar was permanently fixed as a measure of silver in the coinage act of 1792 and has never been repealed or rescinded. See:

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Anon    1/23/09

Socialists have used the first part of this quote to promote their anti-freedom campaign by misinterpreting it for this generation and the one coming into believing J.F.K. believed in socialistic programs. Though I believe Kennedy didn't think it necessary I think he should have added to this half what he ended the second half with. "Ask what you can do for your country"....."for the freedom of man." The second part has to be kept low key because people might then ask why we are bailing out foreign nations with our tax debt. I know the question has been asked and answered with typical socialistic rhetoric that all ultimately boils down to the same thing which is "for the good of America". And as our leaders tell us under such "extrordinary circumstances" we have "no choice" but to further bankrupt our country to rescue it from bankruptcy. E Archer, you're the economic expert here. What do you say? Am I close?

Waffler, Smith, Arkansas

I have often had mixed feelings about this well worn phraseology of JFK's. I think the first part simply relates to the idea of Union, together we stand, divided we fall. Those who only think of profits, greed, self in effect and have no capacity to think of us, community, nation, is what he is talking about. In the same vain he is telling the nations of the world not to look to the USA selfishly but as a partner. And obviously in 2009 the world is freer and people have more freedom worldwide, need I comment on the fall of the Soviet Union or the somewhat new economic freedom of China etc. Because of my mixed feelings and the triteness and overworn use of this quote I give it only a three.

A.WOODS, Gloucester

Future historians may see his speech that day as a high point for the ideals the United States once aspired to. We have fallen very far from the tree.

E Archer, NYC

Seems apropos given the current trend to 'bail out' everybody. I think the one thing that patriotic Americans can do for their country is to stop treating it like an unlimited credit line. I think we should perfect Liberty in this country first before spreading our form of 'Freedom' in foreign lands -- what we are instituting in other countries like Iraq is NOT the form of government our Founders instituted for us!

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RBESRQ    1/25/09

JFK was way ahead of his time - and we still don't get it!

anonymous, san diego

i think hes a boss

Patrick Henry, Red Hill

A Sovereign Individual, by virtue of his or her Virtue, necessarily lives to act in his or her own, and the nation's, best interests.

Tony L., Maryland

The modern democrat party would throw him out on his butt for suggesting people should not ask the government for more.

Jim Kelly, Derry

When's the last you heard a leftist dem quote THOSE words of wisdom? My how pendulum has shifted. The democrats of the 60s are the far right of today!

Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown

What positive contribution can I do for my country?

Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown

What can we do together for the freedom of humankind?

Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown

You might be interested to understand that there are just two types of beings: the degenerated psychotic and the human socialist.
I am of the latter species.

Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown

What can I do for my country?

Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown

What else can I do for my country?

Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown

Where is the leadership?  The United States needs a national transport system to replace the destructive automobile.  A system of trains should be deployed.  Light rail in the towns and cities, and heavy rail between the towns and cities. Solar panels, windmills, and hydroelectric facilities should be fitted out to energize these facilitated electric train vehicles.  This innovation will reduce crime, pollution, and advance social and moral forces.

Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown

Where is the leadership?  The United States needs a national housing project.  A housing project to be put force to securely and safely house every American citizen.  Everyone should be put under the same guidelines.  No excessiveness and no one left out.  This again would dramatically reduce crime and degradation.

Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown

Where is the leadership?  The United States needs to take resources from private ownership and nationalize it in a planned economic distribution model.

Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown, USA

It is shame that President Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King, and Robert Kennedy were savagely assassinated.  These fellows no doubt committed terrible atrocities, but they deserved a fair trial.

Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown, USA

The previous comment brings up the subject of firearms.  Should we ban all firearms?  The answer would have to be, yes absolutely.  The rationale is as follows: the modern firearms supporter has failed to differentiate themselves and the assassins of our political individuals such as the one's mentioned in my previous comment, the shooters involved in the mass shootings around the world, or any person in prison or death row involved in a murder by firearm.  The reason being there is no difference.

Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown, USA

Ban all firearms and ban all nuclear weapons.

Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown

The United States of America needs to show it true humanitarianism and leadership.  It needs to display its educated stance and demonstrate the advance characteristic of mercy by putting an immediate and permanent end to capital punishment.   End the death penalty.  Children punish, Adults correct.


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