— Franklin D. Roosevelt 32nd President of the United States 1882 - 1945
Context: The true conservative seeks to protect the system of private property and free enterprise by correcting such injustices and inequalities as arise from it. The most serious threat to our institutions comes from those who refuse to face the need for change. Liberalism becomes the protection for the far-sighted conservative.
Never has a Nation made greater strides in the safeguarding of democracy than we have made during the past three years. Wise and prudent men — intelligent conservatives — have long known that in a changing world worthy institutions can be conserved only by adjusting them to the changing time. In the words of the great essayist, "The voice of great events is proclaiming to us. Reform if you would preserve." I am that kind of conservative because I am that kind of liberal.
Roosevelt here slightly misquotes Thomas Babington Macaulay, who in a speech on parliamentary reform (2 March 1831) asserted: "The voice of great events is proclaiming to us, Reform, that you may preserve."