Educational exchange can turn nations into people, contributing as no other form of communication can to the humanizing of international relations

— J. William Fulbright

The most whopping J. William Fulbright quotes to get the best of your day

We must dare to think 'unthinkable' thoughts.

We must learn to explore all the options and possibilities that confront us in a complex and rapidly changing world.


In the long course of history, having people who understand your thought is much greater security than another submarine.


To give [the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba] even covert support is on a par with the hypocrisy and cynicism for which the United States is constantly denouncing the Soviet Union in the United Nations and elsewhere. This point will not be lost on the rest of the world, nor on our own consciences.


The Program further aims to make the benefits of American culture and technology available to the world and to enrich American life by exposing it to the science and art of many societies.


In a democracy dissent is an act of faith.

Like medicine, the test of its value is not in its taste, but in its effects.


The price of empire is America's soul, and that price is too high.


To criticize one's country is to do it a service.

... Criticism, in short, is more than a right; it is an act of patriotism-a higher form of patriotism, I believe, than the familiar rituals and national adulation.


When public men indulge themselves in abuse, when they deny others a fair trial, when they resort to innuendo and insinuation, to libel, scandal, and suspicion, then our democratic society is outraged, and democracy is baffled. It has no apparatus to deal with the boor, the liar, the lout, and the antidemocrat in general.


I'm sure that President Johnson would never have pursued the war in Vietnam if he'd ever had a Fulbright to Japan, or say Bangkok, or had any feeling for what these people are like and why they acted the way they did. He was completely ignorant.


Education is a slow-moving but powerful force.

It may not be fast enough or strong enough to save us from catastrophe, but it is the strongest force available for that purpose and in its proper place, therefore, is not at the periphery, but at the center of international relations.


"The making of peace is a continuing process that must go on from day to day, from year to year, so long as our civilization shall last."


We must care to think about the unthinkable things, because when things become unthinkable, thinking stops and action becomes mindless.


About J. William Fulbright

Quotes 71 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Politician
Birthday October 16

In a democracy, dissent is an act of faith.


The citizen who criticizes his country is paying it an implied tribute.


As a conservative power, the United States has a vital interest in upholding and expanding the reign of law in international relations.


I think we Americans tend to put too high a price on unanimity, as if there were something dangerous and illegitimate about honest differences of opinion honestly expressed by honest men.


There has been a strong tradition in this country that it is not the function of the military to educate the public on political issues.


There is an inevitable divergence between the world as it is and the world as men perceive it.


The greatest single virtue of a strong legislature is not what it can do, but what it can prevent.


The great majority of the Senate of the United States.

..somewhere around 80 percent...are completely in support of Israel, anything Israel wants. This has been demonstrated time and again, and this has made it difficult.


The biggest lesson I learned from Vietnam is not to trust [our own] government statements.


Finally, the Program aims, through these means, to bring a little more knowledge, a little more reason, and a little more compassion into world affairs and thereby to increase the chance that nations will learn at last to live in peace and friendship.


The case for government by elites is irrefutable.


We have the power to do any damn fool thing we want to do, and we seem to do it about every ten minutes.


The cause of our difficulties in southeast Asia is not a deficiency of power but an excess of the wrong kind of power which results in a feeling of impotence when it fails to achieve its desired ends.


We must dare to think unthinkable thoughts.


When we violate the law ourselves, whatever short-term advantage may be gained, we are obviously encouraging others to violate the law; we thus encourage disorder and instability and thereby do incalculable damage to our own long-term interests.


Once imbued with the idea of a mission, a great nation easily assumes that it has the means as well as the duty to do God's work.


Power confuses itself with virtue and tends also to take itself for omnipotence.


There has been a tendency through the years for reason and moderation to prevail as long as things are going tolerably well or as long as our problems seem clear and finite and manageable.


Insofar as it represents a genuine reconciliation of differences, a consensus is a fine thing; insofar as it represents a concealment of differences, it is a miscarriage of democratic procedure.


To ask for overt renunciation of a cherished doctrine is to expect too much of human nature. Men do not repudiate the doctrines and dogmas to which they have sworn their loyalty. Instead they rationalize, revise, and re-interpret them to meet new needs and new circumstances, all the while protesting that their heresy is the purest orthodoxy.


Israel's shooting down of a civilian airplane and then the killing of 107 innocent peopel aboard, and their raid into neutral Lebanon are very dangerous developments. There's only one way I can see to stop for the United States to take a very strong stand that this has to be settled...politically settled.


One simply cannot engage in barbarous action without becoming a barbarian, because one cannot defend human values by calculated and unprovoked violence without doing mortal damage to the values one is trying to defend.


It is a curiosity of human nature that lack of self-assurance seems to breed an exaggerated sense of power and mission.


I do not think it is "selling America short" when we ask a great deal of her;

on the contrary, it is those who ask nothing, those who see no fault, who are really selling America short!


To be a statesman, you must first get elected.


This is regrettable indeed for a nation that aspires to teach democracy to other nations, because, as Burke said: "Example is the school of mankind, and they will learn at no other."


What a curious picture it is to find man, homo sapiens, of divine origin, we are told, seriously considering going underground to escape the consequences of his own folly. With a little wisdom and foresight, surely it is not yet necessary to forsake life in the fresh air and in the warmth of the sunlight. What a paradox if our own cleverness in science should force us to live underground with the moles.


The junior senator from Wisconsin, by his reckless charges, has so preyed upon the fears and hatreds and prejudices of the American people that he has started a prairie fire which neither he nor anyone else may be able to control.


It is amazing how soon one becomes accustomed to the sound of ones voice, when forced to repeat a speech five or six times a day. As election day approaches, the size of the crowds grows; they are more responsive and more interested; and one derives a certain exhilaration from that which, only a few weeks before, was intensely painful. This is one possible explanation of unlimited debate in the Senate.


The exchange program is the thing that reconciles me to all the difficulties of political life.


A nation's budget is full of moral implications;

it tells what a society cares about and what it does not care about; it tells what its values are.


"Our government will soon become what it is already a long way toward becoming, an elective dictatorship.


We are inclined to confuse freedom and democracy, which we regard as moral principles, with the way in which they are practiced in America with capitalism, federalism, and the two-party system, which are not moral principles but simply the preferred and accepted practices of the American people.


Well, we have the leverage in the sense that we supply all the wherewithal.

..or a major part of the wherewithal to finance or to pay for everything Israel does. We don't have any leverage in the sense that Israel controls the Senate. The Senate is at least...a subservient, in my opinion, much too much. We should be more concerned about the United States' interest, rather than doing the bidding of Israel. This is a most unusual development.


The American public has become so conditioned by crises, by warnings, by words, that there are few, other than the young, who protest against what is happening.


Naturepitiless in a pitiless universeis certainly not concerned with the survival of Americans or, for that matter, of any of the two billion people now inhabiting this earth. Hence, our destiny, with the aid of God, remains in our own hands.


Education is the best means-probably the only means-by which nations can cultivate a degree of objectivity about each other's behavior and intentions. It is the means by which Russians and Americans can come to understand each others' aspirations for peace and how the satisfactions of everyday life may be achieved.

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