Top 10 most inspiring quotes by Jeannette Rankin
- The greatest threat to peace is the barrage of rightist propaganda portraying war as decent, honorable, and patriotic.
- It is important for people to be able to read all sides of every question; for a feeling of national unity does not come from one-sided or inadequate information, but from a sense of freedom impartially secured and of opportunity equalized by a just government.
- Men and women are like right and left hands; it doesn’t make sense not to use both.
- We’d be the safest country in the world if the world knew we didn’t have a gun. Men are not killed because they get mad at each other. They’re killed because one has a gun.
- You take people as far as they will go, not as far as you would like them to go.
- There can be no compromise with war; it cannot be reformed or controlled; cannot be disciplined into decency or codified into common sense.
- It will be hard to convince people that their welfare is safe in the hands of a federal government when they feel themselves the victims of unjust sectional discrimination.
- If I had my life to live over, I would do it all again, but this time I would be nastier.
- We have to get it into our heads once and for all that we cannot settle disputes by eliminating human beings.
- War is the slaughter of human beings, temporarily regarded as enemies, on as large a scale as possible.
Jeannette Rankin (1880-1973) was an American politician and women’s rights advocate who played a significant role in the suffrage movement and became the first woman elected to the United States Congress. She was born on June 11, 1880, near Missoula, Montana Territory.
Rankin grew up on a ranch and attended the University of Montana, where she became involved in social and political causes. She worked as a social worker and a schoolteacher before becoming active in the women’s suffrage movement. Rankin was instrumental in the successful campaign for women’s suffrage in Montana, which became the first state to grant women the right to vote in 1914.
In 1916, Rankin ran for a seat in the United States House of Representatives and won, becoming the first woman to hold national office in the United States. Her election was seen as a landmark achievement for women’s rights and paved the way for future female politicians. During her first term, Rankin became known for her commitment to pacifism and was one of 50 members of Congress who voted against the United States’ entry into World War I.
After her initial term, Rankin did not seek re-election but continued to work for various causes, including advocating for women’s rights and social justice. She later made a bid for a Senate seat in Montana but was unsuccessful. Rankin’s political career had its ups and downs, and she faced criticism and opposition for her progressive stances and pacifist beliefs.
In 1940, Rankin made history once again by being elected to Congress, becoming the first woman to serve non-consecutive terms. However, her second term coincided with the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, and Rankin cast the sole vote against the United States’ entry into World War II. This vote led to significant backlash and criticism, and Rankin faced public outrage and political pressure, ultimately leading to her defeat in the next election.
After leaving Congress, Rankin remained active in politics and continued to speak out on issues such as civil rights and opposition to the Vietnam War. She co-founded the Jeannette Rankin Peace Center, which promoted nonviolence and social justice. Rankin lived a long life dedicated to her principles, and she passed away on May 18, 1973, in Carmel, California, leaving behind a legacy as a trailblazer for women in politics and a staunch advocate for peace.
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