This Week’s Quote

This week’s quote is attributed to the 9th President of the United States, William Henry Harrison.  Harrison is notable for serving the shortest term of any President.  He served for only 31 days after contracting pneumonia.

“There is nothing more corrupting, nothing more destructive of the noblest and finest feelings of our nature, than the exercise of unlimited power.”

What are your thoughts on this quote?

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36 responses to “This Week’s Quote

  1. Lyndon Jackson

    I believe his saying, “absolute power corrupts absolutely.” That if you give someone unlimited power, no matter how virtuous they are, they will eventually become morally bankrupt.

  2. I think that he is trying to say that having unlimited power is corrupt and bad. When having unlimited power, it leads to bad acts and bad ideas due to the thought of nothing is going to stop it.

  3. Nikki Thompson

    i think that he is trying to say that there is nothing more corrupt then having unlimited power is corrupt. With having all the power there is to have, it makes things more chaotic then things should be.

  4. Graziella LiVolsi

    I couldn’t agree more with Harrison’s quote because history has shown time and time again rulers and tyrants who have taken advantage of their power for all the wrong reasons. Even for the most virtuous of men and women, having the idea that they can do whatever they please will eventually tarnish their values. Unlimited power and greed go hand-in-hand, and can bring out the worst in people.

  5. Ahlam Fayyumi

    This is so very true because too much power and in the hands of the wrong person can be very destructive. Too much power leads to arrogance,violence,oppresion and countless destructions. Too much power may be abused and used passed its limit.

  6. Osman Dzabiri

    I would say that this is true. As childish as this may sound, it’s like the evildoers in a movie that obtain so much power, that they go on a destructive rampage because they have the power. I believe people that have too much political power do the same. Perhaps not in a way Hollywood would, but they would raise taxes, refuse new books for schools, and so on. So I do believe that having an unlimited amount of power could be a sign of danger and could be quite intimidating.

  7. Peter Makarski

    Having unlimited power is a everything goes free for all. Someone with unlimited power craves having the final word which leads to corruption and a destruction of morals. No one person can be responsible with unlimited power.

  8. Taylor Sonichsen

    In my opinion what he is saying is that the government had the most power. Whether its the states or the national government. The unlimited power he is saying is what is damaging the world. The government gets more and more corrupt because of the powers they have.

  9. I think that he is saying that unlimited power is bad for anyone. Anyone who achieves/gets unlimited power will abuse it and cause issues to arise that were never there before,its bad for anyone and eventually he will go crazy with all the power he has.

  10. I think that what he was saying was that unlimited power can destruct anyone and everything. Someone noble, with good intentions can be corrupted once knowing that they are capable of basically doing anything. Having unlimited power can get into someone’s head and change what they stand for and who they are.

  11. Ryan Whitcomb

    I think its a strong yet highly influential quote. It shows how power can change a person’s ideas and viewpoints. It also shows that power can basically, destroy a person and his or her reputation.

  12. I would agree. Sometimes, many who have a certain amount of power believe they are ‘above the law’ and can get away with anything. That’s unfortunate. In addition, during the early years of our country, the laws of checks and balances was just being formed so it was much simpler for a leader to get away with more – at least so they thought.

  13. In my opinion his trying to say that having absolute power will lead to corruption. I believe that when someone has the power to do something they will always do it no matter what. Therefore I think that having the power to do what ever is dangerous to everyone.

  14. I think this quote is absolutely correct. People that are given authority or power to control something or someone abuse it in so many different ways. They use the power to benefit themselves when they should be using their power to effectively do their job. If power is given to the wrong person, it can lead to many problems.

  15. People think that once they aultimate power they can fix everything. With all that power that person thinks that all their ideas are the right ones and he or she puts those ideas into affect. They don’t realize that their ideas can be wrong and cause harm to people. So ultimate power causes more problems.

  16. Having unlimited power can corrupt the most kind and honest person. Know matter who you are, everyone is curious to see how far they can go with unlimited power. So I think this quote is true. With unlimited power people don’t think they just do. Given unlimited power is not easy. With all that power some people go crazy.

  17. I believe he is saying that with great power, the potential of corruption is high. In this theory, I believe it’s true because once someone feels untouchable, they believe every crime they commit, will go on forgiven. It is up to our court system to hold those in government seats responsible for their actions. Regardless of who that individual is, actions must be taken to punish them depending on what offense they have committed. By setting an example of one individual, that can possible deter others from abusing their power.

  18. Martha martinez

    I agree, like it or not the government is corrupted. It involves money and brings out the “ugly side” of people. Once you break someone it is very hard for them to gain power, the person that brings them down at the moment seems to have the most power

  19. This quote reminds me another quote that states, “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” I do sincerely believe that an excessive amount of power can ruin a person’s sense of morality, but that means they must have morality to begin with. I believe the main problem behind corruption is that there are those who profit from corruption and go unpunished and those who try to be moral, but cannot win. I could then argue that everyone needs to be watched and held accountable for corruption, but who watches the watchmen? Maybe to fight corruption and the appeal that corruption has for those with power, we can imbed a sense of morality mixed with pride. Morals can be argued and justified, but when mixed with pride it hardens into a sense of one’s self and what they can sustain. To go back to the quote, it is not just power that helps spread corruption, but also character flaws that allow weak-willed individuals to be corrupted.

  20. Michael Wozniak

    To my honest opinion, what William Henry Harrison is saying is that as human beings we seek an unlimited number of power in society. With that infinite power people begin to believe they can do whatever they want without any trying to stop them, this scenario has happen to many leaders who had power that effected the lives of their people completely to where in the end destruction made its way to bring a stop to the leaders power.

  21. This quote is saying something that is true 100%. Whether it is in politics or any other form of being able to obtain power this becomes true. When one gets the idea of having all that power, not all but some will use it for bad because they believe it is okay to do so. They could possibly think “I was given this power because I’m trusted and well have support.”

  22. I believe in this quote. Power is a deceiving thing and needs to be watched carefully. We can see this with the BP oil company. I watched a documentary about BP, and a person who studies this company thoroughly said that people never go into this company stained, but when they come out they are bleeding with wealth, power, and lies. Power corrupts us all.

  23. this quote made me wonder what it would feel like to be able to do whatever i wanted. maybe the point of life isnt to be all powerful. i feel like i would have an empty feeling even with all that power. the only thing that can truly fill people up is helping others

  24. This is such a powerful quote coming from an important person who regardless of the time being, he was elected president. I couldn’t agree more on it. Not only politically but economically, imagine having so much money in the world you could afford anything, there would be nothing for you to want. Instead, the more money you had the more ambitious you would be and the more you would want. Same as power, once you’ve made it to the top and have control over everything, what’s next? are you doing the right thing with the power that you have or is it jet for the pleasure of you being high above the rest? and the “There is nothing more corrupting” part i think is him saying that there really is nothing more corrupting than someone having the chance to make things right and instead is all flushed down the drain.

  25. Matthew Knight

    What Harrison is trying to say is that power has the ability to corrupt anyone, regardless of their nature before experiencing this power. Somebody could be the most kind, thoughtful, or generous person on the face of the Earth, but unlimited power could potentially corrupt even that person. I would have to say that the same is true on a lesser scale. There are many people out there that are entrusted minimal power, but still manage to grossly abuse that. It is always important to ensure power, no matter what degree of it, is given to those that can handle it, and handle it righteously.

  26. I would agree with this quote. Obtaining unlimited power could wreak havoc on the thoughts and ideas of even the most trustworthy person in the world. I think having the thought of even being able to have unlimited power would corrupt anyone. Unlimited power would bring out someone’s true colors and intentions.

  27. I think the meaning behind the quote is that power can potentially corrupt anyone. The government is an example for this quote, as they have a lot of power and they tend to take advantage of it. If there is power there is also chaos along the way, with too much power in ones hands.

  28. I think this quote means that having unlimited power can be a bad thing and cause big problems that lead to corruption. This goes for everything and not just politics. Unlimited power can go to someone’s head and cause them to make some good and bad decisions.

  29. I agree with this quote. Eventually even the most noble people loose themselves in all the power they are given. I would never want so much power I wouldn’t know what to do with it!

  30. I would have to agree with his quote. Even the most level headed people can get caught up when given too much power, let alone absolute power. Just look at the prison experiment done at Stanford. Students were split into two groups, the guards and the inmates. The students assigned as guards were given all the power over the inmates and they took full advantage of it. These normal students who were all of a sudden behaving hostile and aggressive towards the students assigned as inmates. Now imagine a person given all that power who isn’t just part of an experiment. It’s kind of scary when you really think about it.

  31. i agree with this quote. Those with power usually have the intention of bettering what ever it is the power over. Once they realize they could use their power to help themselves out, they begin to lose interest in what they were fighting for in the beginning and soon start focusing on what they could do to benefit themselves.

  32. I agree with this quote because he states that unlimited power will corrupt a person and it is true. History has shown us this outcome many times with politicial leaders. Even present day from celebrities, and managers at the place your work. Power can corrupt many.

  33. the meaning of that quote is that unlimited power will consume you. Being able to do anything you want can make you a person you are not. I also feel like it could be used for good if unlimited power was used correctly. Usually it would not end well if someone had that power.

  34. It sounds like common sense to me. “Power corrupts” is something we hear often from an early age and for good reason. The corrupting force of power has been observed not only by regular citizens who have to deal with the actions of those who get carried away but by psychologists who have devoted a hefty amount of time to figuring out how true this is and why it happens.

  35. From my understanding of Mr. Harrisons quote, it sounds as if he is inferring that he feels like he has unlimited power, and he knows how corrupt power can be if not applied correctly. Also, he knows how, and why tyrants, and dictators become to be terrible human beings, in addition to terrible leaders for a nation to look up to.

  36. Katie Peterson

    I believe that he is saying that there isn’t anything worse than one individual capable of unlimited power. They not only have no restrictions, but they also become a totally different person. Many start to believe that there is nothing greater than themselves, therefore, the way they perceive their surroundings totally changes. There should never be anyone that is given unlimited powers, no matter what position in politics they hold.

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