If we are to give our utmost effort and skill and enthusiasm, we must believe in ourselves, which means believing in our past and in our future, in our parents and in our children, in that particular blend of moral purpose and practical inventiveness which is the American character.
I think it's a wonderful thing to have African-American characters. Look at life. It's not a white world or a black world; there are all kind of people in it. It's showing growth, and in today's world there are so many outlets.
We want the spirit of America to be efficient; we want American character to be efficient; we want American character to display itself in what I may, perhaps, be allowed to call spiritual efficiency - clear disinterested thinking and fearless action
Uncontrollable consumerism has become a watchword of our culture despite regular and compelling calls for its end. The United States has more malls than high schools; Americans spend more time shopping than reading. ... Some of the most insightful writing about the American character over the nation's history has been about neither freedom nor democracy but about the crazed impulse to acquire things.
I think the level of casualties is secondary... [A]ll the great scholars who have studied American character have come to the conclusion that we are a warlike people and that we love war... What we hate is not casualties but losing.
We are a people that have always celebrated other people's success so long as we always had the opportunity to meet that success ourselves. That is the American nature. That is the American character. That is one of the things that makes us different from the rest of the world. And I'm afraid we could lose that or are on the verge of losing that.
New pressures are causing ever more people to find their main satisfaction in their consumptive role rather than in their productive role. And these pressures are bringing forward such traits as pleasure-mindedness, self-indulgence, materialism, and passivity as conspicuous elements of the American character.