John AdamsJohn Adams, (1735-1826) Founding Father, 2nd US President

John Adams Quote

“Be not intimidated... nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your liberties by any pretense of politeness, delicacy, or decency. These, as they are often used, are but three different names for hypocrisy, chicanery and cowardice.”

John AdamsJohn Adams
~ John Adams

A Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law, 1765

Ratings and Comments

S. Engel, Fredericksburg

Especially applicable today, when attempts to point out that the emperor has no clothes are met with the response, "Shut up. Your comments offend me".

Greg Walton, Eustis, FL

This should be the rallying cry of all who are concerned about the continual erosion of our rights and the decay of the moral fiber of this country.

Gölök Z. L. F. Buday, Vancouver, BC(SU), USoEh!(USoA)

Damn straight, there's no room in a free federal constitutional republic for ass kissing. God bless America, and May Windsor be cast to hell!

Tatiana, Loudoun County, VA, USA

I agree with Greg here. Decency's check box is still blank, and so is that of politeness! The moralists are the ones who are actually "rebelling" instead of the so-called "hip/cool" people. May those words ring out forever in the "rebelling" moralist! Even as an 11-year-old, I feel deep in my heart that this has to be made public once and for all.

Anonymous, orangeville ontario

I live it every day espescially in Christianity politeness is evil most of the time

Mike, Norwalk

Intimidating pretenses that implement and support political correctness, the welfare state, forced charity, victimless crimes, compelled compliance, and mandatory insurance, vain claimed by way of delicacy and decency, are but a few of the liberty robbing hypocrisies, chicanery and cowardice that prove the quote absolutely correct.

Waffler, Smith, Arkansas

Politeness, delicacy, decency are generally considered to be good qualities. Beware of the phonies who cannot look you straight in the eye.

E Archer, NYC

The primary reason for wheedling us out of our liberties is 'security' and the technique is through fear-mongering. Courage is still the most necessary of all human virtues. With courage, we do not need the 'protection' of the state at the expense of our own responsibilities. The nanny-state has to go -- and there will be a lot of cry-babies who long for the teat of statism -- too bad, let them cry and learn to take care of themselves like they are supposed to.

  • 1
  • Reply
RobertSRQ    1/24/08

Today the government's wheedling is the Patriot Act

warren, olathe

No it is political correctness from the fascist left, not the wimpy Patriot Act. He is clearly talking about the thought police. If he were talking about things like the patriot act he would be referring to giving up freedoms in exchange for security. It is one thing to loose some liberty because of the need to defend against the acts of tyrants, but something else to just give them up to avoid a stern word or look from someone that seeks to control you.

warren, olathe

Tatiana and Mike - right on.

Matthew, Kettering

I don't know what the extent of the PC problem is in America but in Europe it is so much worse, Xenophobia is actually a crime in the EU and because of the setting up of a common jurisdiction we in Britain are now subject to it. I don't know what you call that other than injustice.

Bob Gingrich, Overland Park

I don't believe this is a John Adams quote. What is the source?

H Rearden, Burr Ridge Ill

Beware the phony who can look straight into the camera and read the teleprompter, chiding us and lecturing us. Staycations for the masses, Marbella and Martha's Vineyard for Michelle Antoinette. The Bamster would like to see 6 dollar a gallon gas, so the masses learn to conserve...but remember the masses are buying his gas for him...and his limos.. and busses...and Air Force One.

jim k, Austin, Tx

Bob, stop nitpicking, this is a great quote. H Reardon, you summed it up very well.

J Carlton, Calgary

Manners are integral to better social graces. But they're not to be confused with "political correctness" that is designed to stifle public opinion and allow the control freak socialists to push their idiotic agenda onto decent people. Speak your one has the right not to be offended.

J Allen, Arlington, Va

Individual liberty is the greatest possession for any person. To trade it for anything else is a bad bargain.

Editor, Liberty Quotes

Bob, the source has been added: A Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law, 1765

Kimo, US of A

Actions, always speak louder, than words, and we see the actions, every day.

Kimo, USA
  • Reply
    Kimo, USA    9/14/11

    Mathew, we watch, and we are sad, that they took ur weapons, that you are reduced to bats to defend yourselves. Perhaps, someday, America will again come to the aid of our English friends.I bet ya, that the MB has plenty of AK s , put away, as in thier culture, firearms are a basic right, under thier laws too. What a mess.

    Dawn, Newport, MI

    Waffler (Smith, Arkansas) - Be even MORE wary of the phonies who CAN look you straight in the eye. ; )

    Ronw13, OR

    It is the educated Tyrant who hides behind such, till it fails. Then the smear tactics,as with the current SCOTUS confirmation. 


    Get a Quote-a-Day!

    Liberty Quotes sent to your mail box daily.