"We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights: that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness..." (The Declaration of Independence, In Congress, July 4, 1776.)
"Society in every state is a blessing, but government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil..." (Thomas Paine in "Common Sense," published January 9, 1776.)
"What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too little..." (Thomas Paine in his second pamphlet, "The American Crisis," published in December, 1776. Perhaps his most famous line from that pamphlet is "These are the times that try men's souls.") Sometimes, it seems to this writer that some do, indeed, esteem their liberty too little.
"To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace." (George Washington, January 8, 1790, in his first annual message to Congress.)
"Determine never to be idle. No person will have occasion to complain of the want of time, who never loses any. It is wonderful how much may be done, if we are always doing." (Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to Martha Jefferson, May 5, 1787.)
"Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports." (George Washington, Farewell Address.)
"Adore G-d. Reverence and cherish your parents. Love your neighbor as yourself, and your country more than yourself. Be just. Be true..." (Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to Thomas Jefferson Smith, February 21, 1825.)
"Children should be educated and instructed in the principles of freedom." (John Adams, in "A Defense of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America," 1787.) This is the primary area where our country is falling far short. Many of our children need not recite the Pledge of Allegiance. They are taught only about America's faults, not its overwhelming goodness. Many know little or nothing of the Declaration of Independence nor the Constitution - the greatest governing document ever written.
"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." John Adams.
"In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself." (James Madison, The Federalist Papers No. 51.) Not something Obama and many other politicians appreciate. For many politicians, there should be no limit on their power.
Lastly, one of my personal favorites: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." (The First Amendment to the United States Constitution.) This one Amendment gives Americans rights that many around the world can only dream of. Some countries prohibit speech critical of their government. Some countries, even in Europe, have "hate speech" laws prohibiting certain speech. Some countries have an official state religion; and prohibit conversion to other religions.
G-d Bless the USA!