No matter for which team they batted, pretty much every president of the United States has said an inspiring quote or two. Where there are those, like Barack Obama (“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”) and John F. Kennedy (“Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.”), who could fill an entire set of encyclopedias with their inspirational presidential quotes, others, like George W. Bush and Ulysses S. Grant, may have a hard time doing so. This isn’t to suggest that they didn’t have some redeeming qualities, of course. I mean, George W. Bush does like to dance, and people love presidents who dance… so I hear.
While who you vote for and which political party you think is the sexiest is completely your business, when it comes to quotes that inspire you from commanders-in-chief, you'll need to jump party lines. You can’t rigidly deny a great, motivational quote, one that inspires millions, just because it comes from a Republican or a Democrat or even Gary Johnson.
So since we’re still all in the 2016 presidential election year together and it STILL isn’t over, here are 13 inspiring quotes from presidents of today and yesteryear.
1. “The ballot is stronger than the bullet.” — Abraham Lincoln
2. “Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.” — John F. Kennedy
3. “Try and fail, but don’t fail to try.” — John Quincy Adams
4. “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” — Barack Obama
5. “On matters of style, swim with the current, on matters of principle, stand like a rock.” ― Thomas Jefferson
6. “We become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic. Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes, different dreams.” — Jimmy Carter
7. "An honorable defeat is better than a dishonorable victory." — Millard Fillmore
8. “In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.” — Abraham Lincoln
9. “When our memories outweigh our dreams, it is then that we become old.” ― Bill Clinton
10. “Words without actions are the assassins of idealism.” ― Herbert Hoover
11. “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” ― Franklin D. Roosevelt
12. "We must dare to be great; and we must realize that greatness is the fruit of toil and sacrifice and high courage." — Teddy Roosevelt
13. “We need to internalize this idea of excellence. Not many folks spend a lot of time trying to be excellent.” — Barack Obama