John Wayne’s 10 Greatest Quotes About Being An American

Kaitlan Collins Contributor
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John Wayne was an American icon.

The actor was best known for his trademark roles as a tough-talking, no-nonsense, always-quotable cowboy, and although he died almost 40 years ago, Wayne still regularly ranks as one of the country’s favorite actors.

John Wayne

(Photo: GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)

These are his most classic quotes.

John Wayne

(Photo: STAFF/AFP/Getty Images)

  • “I think government is a necessary evil, like say, motion picture agents.”
  • “America is the land of freedom and that’s the way I enjoy living.”
  • “You’ve got the strongest hand in the world. That’s right. Your hand. The hand that marks the ballot. The hand that pulls the voting lever. Use it, will you.”
  • “Very few of the so-called liberals are open-minded…they shout you down and won’t let you speak if you disagree with them.”
  • On American spirit: “It’s an outlook, an attitude.”
  • “When I was a sophomore at USC, I was a socialist, pretty much to the left but not when I left the university. I quickly got wise. I’d read about what happened to Russia in 1917 when the Communists took over — Communism just doesn’t work.”
  • “Socialism isn’t going to stop the selfishness of human behavior. It isn’t going to stop the greed. If you take twenty dollars and give a dollar to every sunavabitch in a room and come back a year later, one of the bastards will have the most money. It’s just human nature and you’re not going to stop it with laws.”
  • “I believe in welfare — a welfare work program. I don’t think a fella should be able to sit on his backside and receive welfare. I’d like to know why well-educated idiots keep apologizing for lazy and complaining people who think the world owes them a living.”
  • “I am an old-fashioned, honest-to-goodness, flag-waving patriot.”
  • “It’s kind of a sad thing when a normal love of country makes you a super patriot. I do think we have a pretty wonderful country, and I thank God that He chose me to live here.”


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Kaitlan Collins