It means that if the conservatives sit around complaining but take no action, then the US will go to hell in a handbasket but he was referring to the revolution and the beginning days of our nation although it is appropriate now (and many other times in our history, think about if good men had sat around and done nothing prior to the civil war)
''Gateway to citizenship'' by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (1943) cites Edmund Burke as having wrote that. But according to a wiki entry on Burke, that quotation does not appear in any of his surviving writings or speeches.
However, in "Thoughts on the Cause of Present Discontents" (1770), Burke did write, "When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle."
It's been said that's the most likely source of Burke's original quote.
As to what he meant by it?
It was from a line in an article he wrote on a theory of revolution.
Here's the original text:
''When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.
"It is not enough in a situation of trust in the commonwealth, that a man means well to his country; it is not enough that in his single person he never did an evil act, but always voted according to his conscience, and even harangued against every design which he apprehended to be prejudicial to the interests of his country.
"This innoxious and ineffectual character, that seems formed on a plan of apology and disculpation, falls miserably short of the mark of public duty. That duty demands and requires, that what is right should not only be made known, but made prevalent; that what is evil should not only be detected, but defeated.''
Edmund Burke is not correct. Misattribution. NO ONE ever said that, at least no one famous. It's a false attribution.
Do research before you quote people.
I always thought it was said by John Locke, a member of Parliament during the 1700s and who's ideas were used by American Founding Fathers (Although a member of Parliament, he favored the Americans and defended them during the Revolution)
Good timing to bring this question to the front. We can't deny its truth and it's amazing that now with the pressures of work and raising a family... we have to really start paying attention to our leaders. Aren't they suppose to do the right thing so we can focus on the other things in life?
It means we are so apathetic as a society, that someone had to come up with that catchy phrase to make people notice...
Edmund Burke...according to google haha.
A god-damn fool