Daniel Patrick Moynihan

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Thomas L. Holdcroft
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Daniel Patrick Moynihan (March 16, 1927 - March 26, 2003) was a four-term U.S. Senator, ambassador, administration official, and academic.

Sourced

  • From the wild Irish slums of the 19th century Eastern seaboard, to the riot-torn suburbs of Los Angeles, there is one unmistakable lesson in American history; a community that allows a large number of men to grow up in broken families, dominated by women, never acquiring any stable relationship to male authority, never acquiring any set of rational expectations about the future -- that community asks for and gets chaos. Crime, violence, unrest, disorder -- most particularly the furious, unrestrained lashing out at the whole social structure -- that is not only to be expected; it is very near to inevitable. And it is richly deserved.
    • The Negro Family: The Case for National Action (1965)
  • [T]he nature of the new world system [] was not so different from the old. It was for the moment more stable, but a reasonable forecast would be that Africa in particular had a century of border wars ahead of it. On the other hand, such was the power of the anticolonial idea that great powers from outside a region had relatively little influence unless they were prepared to use force. China altogether backed Fretilin in Timor, and lost. In Spanish Sahara, Russia just as completely backed Algeria, and its front, known as Polisario, and lost. In both instances the United States wished things to turn out as they did, and worked to bring this about. The Department of State desired that the United Nations prove utterly ineffective in whatever measures it undertook. This task was given to me, and I carried it forward with not inconsiderable success.
    • A Dangerous Place, Little Brown, p. 247 (1980)
  • [S]uch was the power of the anticolonial idea that great powers from outside a region had relatively little influence unless they were prepared to use force. China altogether backed Fretilin [a Marxist group that had seized power] in Timor, and lost. In Spanish Sahara, Russia just as completely backed Algeria, and its front, known as Polisario, and lost. In both instances the United States wished things to turn out as they did, and worked to bring this about. The Department of State desired that the United Nations prove utterly ineffective in whatever measures it undertook. This task was given to me, and I carried it forward with no inconsiderable success.
    • A Dangerous Place, Little Brown, p. 247 (1980)
  • The institution of the family is decisive in determining not only if a person has the capacity to love another individual but in the larger social sense whether he is capable of loving his fellow men collectively. The whole of society rests on this foundation for stability, understanding and social peace.
    • Family and Nation, ch. 1 (1986)
  • A commonplace of political rhetoric has it that the quality of a civilization may be measured by how it cares for its elderly. Just as surely, the future of a society may be forecast by how it cares for its young.
    • Family and Nation, ch. 3 (1986)

Attributed

  • Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.
    • Variant: Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but they are not entitled to their own facts.
      • Quoted in Robert Sobel's review of Past Imperfect: History According to the Movies edited by Mark C. Carnes.
    • Variant: You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts.
      • Quoted in Timothy J. Penny, Facts Are Facts, National Review September 4, 2003.
    • Variant: You’re entitled to your own opinions. You’re not entitled to your own facts.
  • The central conservative truth is that it is culture, not politics, that determines the success of a society. The central liberal truth is that politics can change a culture and save it from itself.
  • I don't think there's any point in being Irish if you don't know that the world is going to break your heart eventually. I guess that we thought we had a little more time.
    • November 22, 1963; upon receiving news that President John F. Kennedy had died. (See A Thousand Days)
  • If we get into the mind-set where the good becomes the enemy of the best, we will get nothing.
    • July 23, 1987
  • There are some mistakes only someone with a Ph.D. can make.
  • If the news papers of a country are filled with good news, the jails of that country will be filled with good people.
  • The amount of violations of human rights in a country is always an inverse function of the amount of complaints about human rights violations heard from there. The greater the number of complaints being aired, the better protected are human rights in that country.

External links

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