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Comment: There's a quote that's floated around the internet on various
blogs and messages boards attributed to Bill Clinton: "There's nothing
patriotic about hating your government or pretending you can hate your
government but love your country."

Most recent surfacing: http://www.lewrockwell.com/gregory/gregory71.html

This statement was supposedly made at a 1995 commencement address at
Michigan State University.

The odd thing is that no transcripts or "reliable sources" seem to back up
that this quote is real. If you use google or Yahoo!, blogs and message
boards (usually rightwing or libertarian) cite the quote but no legit
sources seem to exist.

Please help.

Posts: 36029 | From: Admin | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
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Hm...I can see where right-wingers are going with this. However, its a deaf point...I don't hate the government, I hate the President. He just happens to be IN the government.
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quote:
"There's nothing patriotic about hating your government or pretending you can hate your
government but love your country."

There is some difficulty in attributing this quote to Clinton. For those sites that do provide a reference, the 1995 Michigan State University convocation address is generally named. The Michigan State University archives did, at one time, provide a link for a full audio/text transcript of Clinton's address, but the link is no longer functioning.

As well, HighBeam Research provides a full transcript, but it is only available to paying users (which I am not); BugMeNot.com no longer has an applicable username/password to enter the free components of the site.

Finally, most blogs refer the quote to the book, The Tyranny of Gun Control, edited by Jacob G. Hornberger and Richard M. Ebeling. The quote, itself, appears on page one in the first essay of the book, titled, "Loving Your Country and Hating Your Government," by Jacob G. Hornberger. Hornberger, though, provides no reference, not even the 1995 commencement address, for the quote.

To be safe, I did check out the transcript for a 2001 address Clinton made at MSU, but the quote couldn't be found.

I'm very eager to see the 1995 address, if anyone can come by it. At that same event, Clinton is cited as also saying, "There is no right to resort to violence when you don't get your way. There is no right to kill people ... Those who claim such rights are wrong and un-American." And, of course, many right-wingers love to throw this quote in Clinton's face, retorting that he had called for the death penalty for those responsible for the Oklahoma City bombing and authorized the execution of Ricky Ray Rector during his presidential campaign in 1992; and thus, violence, in Clinton's mind, is quite allowable when applied to right-wing militia groups.

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http://web.archive.org/web/19970624135843/www.msu.edu/conv95/ad5.html

quote:
I say to you, all of you, the members of the Class of 1995, there is nothing patriotic about hating your country, or pretending that you can love your country but despise your government. There is nothing heroic about turning your back on America, or ignoring your own responsibilities. If you want to preserve your own freedom, you must stand up for the freedom of others with whom you disagree. But you also must stand up for the rule of law. You cannot have one without the other.

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