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Home » 115 Bill Clinton Quotes on Knowledge, Philosophy, and Wisdom

115 Bill Clinton Quotes on Knowledge, Philosophy, and Wisdom

Bill Clinton Quotes: The importance of maintaining meaningful relationships with others is emphasized throughout this selection of quotes attributed to former President Bill Clinton. We’ve taken some of his most memorable quotes from interviews, speeches, and articles that he’s written and compiled them into this list. Make it a point to read some of the books written by the 42nd President of the United States, who is also the author of titles such as Between Hope and History, Back to Work, and The President is Missing. He has some invaluable advice to offer.

Bill Clinton Quotes on Knowledge Philosophy and Wisdom

Have Any of These Quotes from Bill Clinton Inspired You to Share Your Life with Others? Bill Clinton was a skilled storyteller, and he was a firm believer that everyone has their own story to tell and their own story to live out. He also believed that everyone should tell their own stories. As president of his country, he never forgot the promise he made to put an end to the discrimination that had become pervasive throughout his country. And despite the fact that a great number of people may have voiced their disapproval of his administration, he maintained his ability to inspire hope. He never stopped showing respect for other people, and he always encouraged others to let the stories of their lives unfold naturally. This is primarily what people remember former President Bill Clinton for today. Which of these quotations do you find most meaningful and why? Do you know of any other Bill Clinton quotes that you’d like us to add to this article?

1. “Participation in our democracy seems to be driven by the instant-gratification worlds of Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook, and the twenty-four-hour news cycle.” — Bill Clinton

2. “If you want to live like a Republican, vote like a Democrat.” — Bill Clinton

3. “We cannot build our own future without helping others to build theirs.” — Bill Clinton

Inspirational Quotes From Bill Clinton

4. “Respectful arguments are a waste of time.” — Bill Clinton

5. “The freedoms enshrined in the Bill of Rights and the checks and balances in our Constitution were designed to prevent the self-inflicted wounds we face today.” — Bill Clinton

6. “I think about where I’m going—the person I’m about to see—and invariably my mind wanders back.” — Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton Quotes

7. “A whole host of functions that were once performed without the internet now can only be performed with the internet. There is no fallback.” — Bill Clinton

8. “The media knows what sells—conflict and division.” — Bill Clinton

9. “In other words, our constitution was designed by people who were idealistic, but not ideological. There’s a big difference.” — Bill Clinton

Famous Bill Clinton Quotes To Ponder Over

10. “Look happy, they tell you. Happiness, they say, is the optimal emotion to project when under surveillance, the least likely to arouse suspicion.” — Bill Clinton

11. “There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America.” — Bill Clinton

12. “One thing they never tell you about this job is how much it’s like your first roller-coaster ride—thrilling highs, lows lower than a snake’s belly.” — Bill Clinton

13. “What does it mean to be an American today? It’s a question that will answer itself if we get back to what’s brought us this far—widening the circle of opportunity, deepening the meaning of freedom, and strengthening bonds of community. Shrinking the definition of them and expanding the definition of us.” — Bill Clinton

14. “We pursue activities, both positive and negative, that we hope will lift us beyond the chains of ordinary existence and perhaps endure after we are gone.” — Bill Clinton

15. “If the stakes are high, you have to do what you think is right and hope the political tide will turn. It’s the job you promised to do.” — Bill Clinton

16. “A lot of your life is shaped by the opportunities you turn down as much as those you take up.” — Bill Clinton

17. “I’d never known intimacy so raw and cathartic.” — Bill Clinton

18. “I will study and get ready, and perhaps my chance will come.” — Bill Clinton

19. “The advancements of mankind can make us more powerful and yet more vulnerable at the same time.” — Bill Clinton

20. “Gerald Ford once said that an impeachable offense is whatever a majority of the House of Representatives says it is.” — Bill Clinton

21. “You can think whatever you want, Mr. Speaker, but you should show respect—if not for me, then for all the other people who dedicate their lives to stopping terrorism and keeping our country safe. We aren’t perfect, and we never will be. But we will never stop doing our best.” — Bill Clinton

22. “The greater the power, the greater the vulnerability.” — Bill Clinton

23. “We live in a completely interdependent world, which simply means we can not escape each other.” — Bill Clinton

24. “Follow the trend lines, not the headlines.” — Bill Clinton

25. “I’m out of rabbits and hats to pull them out of.” — Bill Clinton

26. “I learned that everyone has a story—of dreams and nightmares, hope and heartache, love and loss, courage and fear, sacrifice and selfishness.” — Bill Clinton

27. “Mankind is predictable.” — Bill Clinton

28. “If there is nothing else to learn from history, it’s that from humans to animals, from the most primitive to the most civilized, most individuals want to be led. Take out the leader, and the rest of the pack panics.” — Bill Clinton

29. “In America, racism is our oldest curse. But there are other divides—over religion, immigration, sexual identity.” — Bill Clinton

30. “And you hear me, you unelected flunky. I only take orders from the President.” — Bill Clinton

31. “And now she’s a parasite, living off her host. If he makes a mistake, she made the mistake.” — Bill Clinton

32. “Being President is like being the groundskeeper in a cemetery—there are a lot of people under you, but none of them are listening.” — Bill Clinton

33. “You can put wings on a pig, but that doesn’t make it an eagle.” — Bill Clinton

34. “How we respond to AIDS depends, in part, on whether we understand this interdependence. It is not someone else’s problem. This is everybody’s problem.” — Bill Clinton

35. “And to the memory of my grandfather, who taught me to look up to people others looked down on, because we’re not so different after all.” — Bill Clinton

36. “We have honest differences. We need vigorous debates. Healthy skepticism is good. It saves us from being too naive or too cynical.” — Bill Clinton

37. “This is a practical country. We have ideals, we have philosophies. But the problem with any ideology is that it gives the answer before you look at the evidence.” — Bill Clinton

38. “We’re using modern technology to revert to primitive kinds of human relations.” — Bill Clinton

39. “Just as the women in this book were empowered by the efforts and example of those who came before them, a new generation will be inspired and encouraged by the spirit and achievements of this remarkable group.” — Bill Clinton

40. “According to Becker, as we grow up, at some point we become aware of death; then the fact that people we know and love die, then the fact that someday we, too, will die. Most of us do what we can to avoid it.” — Bill Clinton

41. “Even when we try to do that, we’re often drowned out by the passion of the day.” — Bill Clinton

42. “But with no incentive to actually accomplish something, more and more politicians just go with the flow, fanning the flames of anger and resentment, when they should be acting as the fire brigade.” — Bill Clinton

43. “Character is a journey, not a destination.” — Bill Clinton

44. “We all do better when we work together.” — Bill Clinton

45. “When our memories outweigh our dreams, it is then that we become old.” — Bill Clinton

46. “The idea that power was an end in itself, rather than a means to provide the security and opportunity necessary for the pursuit of happiness, seemed to him stupid and self-defeating.” — Bill Clinton

47. “It’s how you handle adversity, not how it affects you.” — Bill Clinton

48. “They intended to use America’s absence from the world scene to overthrow the Saudi king, expropriate the wealth of his branch of the royal family and its supporters, reconcile with Iran and Syria, and establish a modern technocratic caliphate using science and technology to raise the standing of the Muslim world to heights not seen in a thousand years.” — Bill Clinton

49. “The built-up molehills also have large benefits—increased coverage on the evening news, millions of retweets, and more talk-show fodder.” — Bill Clinton

50. “Scholars call this false equivalency. It means that when you find a mountain to expose in one person or party, you have to pick a molehill on the other side and make it into a mountain to avoid being accused of bias.” — Bill Clinton

51. “Leaving no one behind, left out, looked down on—we must get back to that mission. And do it with both energy and humility, knowing that our time is fleeting and our power is not an end in itself, but a means to achieve more noble and necessary ends.” — Bill Clinton

52. “Strength and wisdom are not opposing values.” — Bill Clinton

53. “Each bloodletting hastens the next, and as the value of human life is degraded and violence becomes tolerated, the unimaginable becomes more conceivable.” — Bill Clinton

54. “There is nothing I value more in subordinates than their willingness to tell me I’m wrong, to challenge me, to sharpen my decision making.” — Bill Clinton

55. “May God bless the United States of America and all who call it home.” — Bill Clinton

56. “The real differences are between those who embrace peace and those who would destroy it; between those who look to the future and those who cling to the past; between those who open their arms and those who are determined to clench their fists.” — Bill Clinton

57. “The first two times you heard me speak, I sounded like a fool. I made about as much sense as a top hat on a mule. I wasn’t sure a third attempt would do me any better, so I decided that I’d put my thoughts down in a letter.” — Bill Clinton

58. “That boy’s so dumb he couldn’t pour piss out of a boot if the directions were on the bottom.” — Bill Clinton

59. “Our democracy cannot survive its current downward drift into tribalism, extremism, and seething resentment.” — Bill Clinton

60. “If you possess the absolute truth, those who disagree are by definition wrong, and evidence of success or failure is irrelevant.” — Bill Clinton

61. “Our democracy must be not only the envy of the world, but the engine of our own renewal.” — Bill Clinton

62. “Today, it’s ‘us versus them’ in America.” — Bill Clinton

63. “Foot forward, weight forward, stop and listen.” — Bill Clinton

64. “The anti-government paradigm blinds us to possibilities that lie outside its ideological litmus tests and prevents us from creating new networks of cooperation that can restore economic growth, bring economic opportunity to more people and places, and increase our ability to lead the world to a better future.” — Bill Clinton

65. “Our society has become completely reliant on technology.” — Bill Clinton

66. “Psychologically, we’re all a complex mixture of hopes and fears.” — Bill Clinton

67. “Her eyes drift up and away, enlarging them—a beautiful copper color. It makes her look even younger. Less of the hardened image she’s trying to project and more the scared kid she must be, underneath it all.” — Bill Clinton

68. “You can have a philosophy that tends to be liberal or conservative, but still be open to evidence, experience, and argument. That enables people with honest differences to find practical, principled compromise.” — Bill Clinton

69. “You are carrying the future of America in your heart and your mind.” — Bill Clinton

70. “Our differences do matter, but our common humanity matters more.” — Bill Clinton

71. “That depends on what your definition of ‘is’ is.” — Bill Clinton

72. “If you live long enough, you’ll make mistakes. But if you learn from them, you’ll be a better person.” — Bill Clinton

73. “He likes to wear bow ties so we’ll all know how intelligent he is. Personally, I’ve seen Post-it notes with more depth.” — Bill Clinton

74. “It is impossible to preserve democracy when the well of trust runs completely dry.” — Bill Clinton

75. “Do as much as you can for as many as you can, every day.” — Bill Clinton

76. “Surrounding yourself with sycophants and bootlickers is the surest route to failure.” — Bill Clinton

77. “After being married for nearly thirty years and observing my friends’ experiences with separations, reconciliations, and divorces, I’ve learned that marriage, with all its magic and misery, its contentments and disappointments, remains a mystery, not easy for those in it to understand and largely inaccessible to outsiders.” — Bill Clinton

78. “Freedom is difficult, but we have never had to put a wall up to keep the people in.” — Bill Clinton

79. “People are more impressed by the power of our example rather than the example of our power.” — Bill Clinton

80. “His knowledge of war has fed a passion for peace.” — Bill Clinton

81. “Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of, but stigma and bias shame us all.” — Bill Clinton

82. “The American dream works when our common humanity matters more than our interesting differences, and when together they create endless possibilities. That’s an America worth fighting—even dying—for. And, more important, it’s an America worth living and working for.” — Bill Clinton

83. “Savagery in the quest for power is older than the Bible, but some of my opponents really hate my guts.” — Bill Clinton

84. “Even on the bad days, there’s always something good you can do.” — Bill Clinton

85. “Governments mistreat people—their own people and others. They always have, and they always will. So the people react. There is action and reaction. This is how history has progressed and how it always will.” — Bill Clinton

86. “Live your dreams and remember—whatever you choose to do with your life, you must also be a citizen of your country, your nation, and our interdependent world.” — Bill Clinton

87. “I’ve learned the hard way that no matter how prepared you are, there are few defenses that work against predators. At some point, there’s nothing you can do but jump in and fight back.” — Bill Clinton

88. “That’s the permanent mission our Founding Fathers left us—moving toward the more perfect union.” — Bill Clinton

89. “Everybody knows it’s wrong, but the immediate rewards are so great we stagger on, just assuming that our Constitution, our public institutions, and the rule of law can endure each new assault without doing permanent damage to our freedoms and way of life.” — Bill Clinton

90. “A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons.” — Bill Clinton

91. “If we don’t succeed, we run the risk of failure.” — Bill Clinton

92. “Our job is to live as well and as long as we can, and to help others to do the same. What happens after that and how we are viewed by others is beyond our control.” — Bill Clinton

93. “The main thing is never quit, never quit, never quit.” — Bill Clinton

94. “All too often, anger works better than answers; resentment better than reason; emotion trumps evidence.” — Bill Clinton

95. “All my life, I’ve been interested in other people’s stories. I wanted to know them, understand them, feel them. When I grew up into politics, I always felt the main point of my work was to people a chance to have better stories.” — Bill Clinton

96. “No one is perfect, but most people are good; that people can’t be judged by their worst or weakest moments; that harsh judgements can make hypocrites of us all; that a lot of life is just showing up and hanging on; that laughter is often the best, and sometimes the only response to pain.” — Bill Clinton

97. “The accomplishments of the women in ‘The Counselors’ are a testament to the power and promise of the American Dream and are sure to resonate deeply with many young women who have the desire and the ability to make their own unique contributions to this legacy of progress.” — Bill Clinton

98. “There is nothing to learn from the experience of other countries.” — Bill Clinton

99. “Our willingness to believe the worst about everyone outside our own bubble is growing, and our ability to solve problems and seize opportunities is shrinking. We have to do better.” — Bill Clinton

100. “A man is more than the sum of all the things he can do.” — Bill Clinton

101. “Politics is little more than blood sport.” — Bill Clinton

102. “I stroke the hair of my brilliant, strong, independent girl. She is a woman now, with her mother’s beauty and brains and spirit, but she will always be the little girl who lit up when she saw me, who squealed when I’d bombard her with kisses, who couldn’t fall back asleep after a nightmare unless Daddy held her hand.” — Bill Clinton

103. “Sometimes the ‘them’ strategy is just a narcotic to feed the beast in all of us.” — Bill Clinton

104. “If your policies fail, you don’t abandon them; instead, you double down—asserting that they would have worked if only they had been carried to their logical extreme.” — Bill Clinton

105. “Someday, we hope to liberate every man on earth from the tendency as old as human history to identify our strength and manhood with the ability to control the lives, limit the chances, and doom the dreams of women and girls.” — Bill Clinton

106. “Each day, we wake up with the scales tipping a bit one way or the other. If they go too far toward hopefulness, we can become naive and unrealistic. If the scales tilt too far the other way, we can get consumed by paranoia and hatred.” — Bill Clinton

107. “I have been assaulted by cleverness on all fronts.” — Bill Clinton

108. “Obama doesn’t know how to be president. He doesn’t know how the world works. He’s incompetent. He’s an amateur!” — Bill Clinton

109. “‘Mourn your losses later, after the fight’s over,’ Sergeant Melton used to say. When you’re in the fight, fight.” — Bill Clinton

110. “If one candidate is appealing to your fears, and the other one’s appealing to your hopes, you’d better vote for the person who wants you to think and hope!” — Bill Clinton

111. “Meanwhile, in ways we understand only dimly, if at all, we embrace identities and the illusion of self-sufficiency.” — Bill Clinton

112. “Today, the changes are happening so fast in an environment so covered in a blizzard of information and misinformation, that our very identities are being challenged.” — Bill Clinton

113. “Anybody who tries to make you mad and stop you from thinking is not your friend. There’s a lot to be said for thinking.” — Bill Clinton

114. “There is a reason that the founders of our country put a civilian in charge of the military. Because it is not only about military effectiveness. It’s also about policy, about values, about what we stand for as a nation.” — Bill Clinton

115. “She always said, ‘You boys aren’t rich enough to afford not to pay attention.’” — Bill Clinton

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