Politics and Government
A collection of quotations (A to Z by author) on the economy, government,
the law, politics and politicians.
"Anarchism is founded on the observation that since few men are wise enough to rule themselves, even fewer are wise enough to rule others."
Edward Abbey
"As the happiness of the people is the sole end of government, so the consent of the people is the only foundation of it."
John Adams
"There is but one element of government, and that is THE PEOPLE. From this element spring all governments. For a nation to be free, it is only necessary that she wills it. For a nation to be slave, it is only necessary that she wills it."
John Adams
"There never was a democracy that did not commit suicide."
Samuel Adams
"Those who voluntarily put power into the hands of a tyrant or an enemy, must not wonder if it be at last turned against themselves."
"Democracy means government by discussion, but it is only effective if you can stop people talking."
Clement Richard Atlee
"Of all the varieties of virtues, liberalism is the most beloved."
"A democracy is a government in the hands of men of low birth, no property, and vulgar employments."
"A politician is a person who can make waves and then make you think he's the only one who can save the ship."
Ivern Ball
"The control of the production of wealth is the control of human life itself."
Hilaire Belloc
"We must develop a fair appreciation for the real strengths and limitations of government effort on behalf of children. Government, obviously, cannot fill a child's emotional needs. Nor can it fill his spiritual and moral needs. Government is not a father or mother. Government has never raised a child, and it never will."
William J. Bennett
Conservative, n. - "A statesman who is enamoured of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others."
Ambrose Bierce
Diplomacy: "The patriotic art of lying for one's country."
Ambrose Bierce
Lawyer, n. "One skilled in the circumvention of the law."
Ambrose Bierce
Politics: "The conduct of public affairs for private advantage."
Ambrose Bierce
Revolution, n. "In politics, an abrupt change in the form of misgovernment."
Ambrose Bierce
"In politics an absurdity is not a handicap."
Napoleon Bonaparte
"The marvel of all history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments."
William H. Borah
"The most important political office is that of private citizen."
Justice Louis D. Brandeis
"Our government...teaches the whole people by its example. If the government becomes the lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy."
Justice Louis D. Brandeis
"The modern definition of 'racist' is someone who is winning an argument with a liberal."
Peter Brimelow
"Take away the right to say 'f#@k' and you take away the right to say 'f#@k the government.'"
Lenny Bruce
"I would like to electrocute everyone who uses the word 'fair' in connection with income tax policies."
William F. Buckley
"Democracy is being allowed to vote for the candidate you dislike least."
Robert Byrne
"An honest politician is one who, when he is bought, will stay bought."
Simon Cameron
"Every time I hear a political speech or I read those of our leaders, I am horrified for having, for years, heard nothing which sounded human. It is always the same words telling the same lies. And the fact that men accept this, that the people's anger has not destroyed these hollow clowns, strikes me as proof that men attribute no importance to the way they are governed; that they gamble -- yes, gamble -- with a whole part of their life and their so-called "vital interests."
Albert Camus
"Diplomacy --- the art of saying "Nice doggie" 'til you can find a stick."
Wynn Catlin
"I have discovered the art of deceiving diplomats. I speak the truth, and they never believe me."
Conte Camillo Benso di Cavour
"Politicians should read science fiction, not westerns and detective stories."
Arthur C Clarke
"Propaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state."
Avram Noam Chomsky
"It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried."
Winston Churchill
"I gather, young man, that you wish to be a Member of Parliament. The first lesson that you must learn is, when I call for statistics about the rate of infant mortality, what I want is proof that fewer babies died when I was Prime Minister than when anyone else was Prime Minister. That is a political statistic."
Winston Churchill
"The national budget must be balanced. The public debt must be reduced; the arrogance of the authorities must be moderated and controlled. Payments to foreign governments must be reduced, if the nation doesn't
want to go bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance."
Marcus Tullius Cicero
"Isn't it strange? The same people who laugh at gypsy fortune tellers take economists seriously."
Cincinnati Enquirer
"There is no passion like that of a functionary for his function."
Georges Clemenceau
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."
Constitution of the United States of America
"The tendencies of democracies are, in all things, to mediocrity, since the
tastes, knowledge and principles of the majority form the tribunal of appeal."
James Fenimore Cooper
"You can only govern men by serving them. The rule is without exception."
Victor Cousin
"Historic responsibility has to make up for the want of legal responsibility. Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."
First Baron John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton
"When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I'm beginning to believe it."
Clarence Darrow
"All power is a trust."
Benjamin Disraeli
"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics."
Benjamin Disraeli
"A Conservative Government is an organised hypocrisy."
Benjamin Disraeli
"No Government can be long secure without a formidable Opposition."
Benjamin Disraeli
"When men are pure, laws are useless; when men are corrupt, laws are broken."
Benjamin Disraeli
"As soon as liberty is complete it dies in anarchy."
Will Durant
"[There is] a duty in refusing to cooperate in any undertaking that violates the Constitutional rights of the individual. This holds in particular for all inquisitions that are concerned with the private life and the political affiliations of the citizens..."
Albert Einstein
"The prestige of government has undoubtedly been lowered by considerably by the Prohibition law. For nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced. It is an open secret that the dangerous increase of crime in this country is closely
connected with this."
Albert Einstein
"A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both."
Dwight D Eisenhower
"The less government we have the better."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Democracy becomes a government of bullies tempered by editors."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Scitum est inter caecos luscum regnare posse."
(It is well known, that among the blind the one-eyed man is king.)
Desiderius Erasmus
"Ask five economists and you'll get five different answers (six if one went to Harvard)."
Edgar R. Fiedler
"I never vote for anyone; I always vote against."
W.C. Fields
"The whole dream of democracy is to raise the proletarian to the level of stupidity attained by the bourgeois."
Gustave Flaubert
"Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program."
Milton Friedman
"Governments never learn. Only people learn."
Milton Friedman
"A liberal is a man too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel."
Robert Frost
"The politician is someone who deals in man's problems of adjustment. To ask a politician to lead us is to ask the tail of a dog to lead the dog."
Richard Buckminster Fuller
"Nothing is so admirable in politics as a short memory."
John Kenneth Galbraith
"Economics is extremely useful as a form of employment for economists."
John Kenneth Galbraith
"Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it's just the opposite."
John Kenneth Galbraith
"Politics is not the art of the possible. It consists in choosing between the
disastrous and the unpalatable."
John Kenneth Galbraith
"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."
John Kenneth Galbraith
"There is just one rule for politicians all over the world: Don't say in Power what you said in Opposition; if you do, you only have to carry out what the other fellows have found impossible."
John Galsworthy
"Capital as such is not evil; it is its wrong use that is evil."
Mahatma Gandhi
"Throughout the history of mankind there have been murderers and tyrants; and while it may seem momentarily that they have the upper hand, they have
always fallen. Always."
Mahatma Gandhi
"In order to become the master, the politician poses as the servant."
Charles de Gaulle
"How can you govern a country which has 246 varieties of cheese?"
Charles de Gaulle
"I have come to the conclusion that politics are too serious a matter to be left to the politicians."
Charles de Gaulle
"Liberalism is trust of the people, tempered by prudence; conservatism, distrust of people, tempered by fear."
William Gladstone
"It is the absolute right of the State to supervise the formation of public opinion."
Joseph Goebbels
"Naturally the common people don't want war... but after all it is the leaders of a country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along ... All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger."
Hermann Goering
"What government is the best? That which teaches us to govern ourselves."
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
"Diplomacy is to do and say the nastiest thing in the nicest way."
Isaac Goldberg
"A government that is big enough to give you all you want is big enough to take it all away."
Barry Morris Goldwater
"The market is not an invention of capitalism. It has existed for centuries. It is an invention of civilization."
Mikhail Gorbachev
"The warning message we sent the Russians was a calculated ambiguity that would be clearly understood."
Alexander Haig
"Why has government been instituted at all? Because the passions of man will not conform to the dictates of reason and justice without constraint."
Alexander Hamilton
"The word 'politics' is derived from the word 'poly' meaning 'many', and the word 'ticks' meaning 'blood sucking parasites'."
Larry Hardiman
"I believe and I say it is true Democratic feeling, that all the measures of the Government are directed to the purpose of making the rich richer and the poor poorer."
William Henry Harrison
"It is of the essence of the demand for equality before the law that people should be treated alike in spite of the fact that they are different."
Friedrich Hayek
"The more the state "plans" the more difficult planning becomes for the individual."
Friedrich Hayek
"Taxes are not levied for the benefit of the taxed."
Robert Heinlein
"We may not imagine how our lives could be more frustrating and complex--but Congress can."
Cullen Hightower
"The best political weapon is the weapon of terror. Cruelty commands respect. Men may hate us. But, we don't ask for their love; only for their fear."
Heinrich Himmler
"What luck for the rulers that men do not think."
Adolf Hitler
"Humanitarianism is the expression of stupidity & cowardice."
Adolf Hitler
"The size of the lie is a definite factor in causing it to be believed, for the vast masses of a nation are in the depths of their hearts more easily deceived then they are consciously & intentionally bad. The primitive simplicity of their minds renders them more easily prey to a big lie then a small one, for they themselves often tell little lies but would be ashamed to tell a big one."
Adolf Hitler, "Mein Kampf," 1923
"The first duty of a revolutionary is to get away with it."
Abbie Hoffman
"Understand that legal and illegal are political, and often arbitrary, categorizations; use and abuse are medical, or clinical, distinctions."
Abbie Hoffman
"Justice is incidental to law and order."
J. Edgar Hoover
"When dictatorship is a fact, revolution becomes a right."
Victor Hugo
"The impersonal hand of government can never replace the helping hand of a neighbor."
Hubert H Humphrey
"Every great advance in natural knowledge has involved the absolute rejection of authority."
Thomas Huxley
"Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God."
Thomas Jefferson
"I hold it, that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing..."
Thomas Jefferson
"Most bad government has grown out of too much government."
Thomas Jefferson
"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground."
Thomas Jefferson
"A society that will trade a little liberty for a little order will lose both, and deserve neither."
Thomas Jefferson
"Whenever a man has cast a longing eye on them [public offices], a rottenness
begins in his conduct."
Thomas Jefferson
The tree of liberty must be watered periodically with the blood of tyrants and patriots alike. It is its natural manure."
Thomas Jefferson
"Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others?"
Thomas Jefferson
"The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive."
Thomas Jefferson
"The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."
Thomas Jefferson
"Still one more thing, fellow citizens: a wise and frugal government, which shall refrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government."
Thomas Jefferson
"If one morning I walked on top of the water across the Potomac River, the headline that afternoon would read: PRESIDENT CAN'T SWIM."
Lyndon B. Johnson
"You do not examine legislation in the light of the benefits it will convey if properly administered, but in the light of the wrongs it would do and the harms it would cause if improperly administered."
Lyndon Johnson
"We, the people, are not free. Our democracy is but a name. We vote? What does that mean? We choose between Tweedledum and Tweedledee."
Helen Keller
"When I became President, what surprised me most was that things were just as bad as I'd been saying they were."
John F. Kennedy
"Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone."
John Maynard Keynes
"Politicians are the same the world over: they promise to build a bridge even when there is no river."
Nikita Khrushchev
"All we know about the new economic world tells us that nations which train engineers will privail over those which train lawyers. No nation has ever sued its way to greatness."
Richard Lamm
"It is true that liberty is precious - so precious that it must be rationed."
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin
"Can a nation be free if it oppresses other nations? It cannot."
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin
"While the State exists, there is no freedom. When there is freedom, there is no State."
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin
"What is conservativism? Is it not the aherence to the old and tried against the new and untried?"
Abraham Lincoln
"Prohibition goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man's appetite by legislation and makes crimes out of things that are not crimes. A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded."
Abraham Lincoln
"I have never found, in a long experience of politics, that criticism is ever inhibited by ignorance."
Harold Macmillan
"I'm fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in."
George McGovern
"It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage, than the creation of a new system. For the initiator has the enmity of all who would profit by the preservation of the old institutions and merely lukewarm defenders in those who would gain by the new ones."
Niccolo Machiavelli
"In truth, there never was any remarkable lawgiver amongst any people who did not resort to divine authority, as otherwise his laws would not have been accepted by the people; for there are many good laws, the importance of which is known to be the sagacious lawgiver, but the reasons for which are not sufficiently evident to enable him to persuade others to submit to them; and therefore do wise men, for the purpose of removing this difficulty, resort to divine authority."
Niccolo Machiavelli
"Public opinion sets bounds to every government, and is the real sovereign in every free one."
James Madison
"The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse."
James Madison
"Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it, misdiagnosing it and then misapplying the wrong remedies."
Groucho Marx
"There is only one way to kill capitalism - by taxes, taxes, and more taxes."
Karl Marx
"The oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class are to represent and repress them."
Karl Marx
"A good politician is quite as unthinkable as an honest burglar."
H L Mencken
"Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under."
H L Mencken
"Democracy is the art of running the circus from the monkey cage."
H L Mencken
"Democracy is also a form of worship. It is the worship of jackals by jackasses."
H L Mencken
"Economic independence is the foundation of the only sort of freedom worth a damn."
H L Mencken
"Government under democracy is thus government by orgy, almost by orgasm."
H L Mencken
"I believe that all government is evil, and that trying to improve it is largely a waste of time."
H L Mencken
"In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican."
H L Mencken
"Giving every man a vote has no more made men wise and free than Christianity has made them good."
H L Mencken
"Unquestionably, there is progress. The average American now pays out twice as much in taxes as he formerly got in wages."
H L Mencken
"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."
H L Mencken
"It is inaccurate to say I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office."
H L Mencken
"They have taken the care and upbringing of children out of the hands of parents, where it belongs, and thrown it upon a gang of irresponsible and unintelligent quacks."
H L Mencken
"The argument that capital punishment degrades the state is moonshine, for if that were true then it would degrade the state to send men to war... The state, in truth, is degraded in its very nature: a few butcheries cannot do it any further damage."
H L Mencken
"A professional politician is a professionally dishonorable man. In order to get anywhere near high office he has to make so many compromises and submit to so many humiliations that he becomes indistinguishable from a streetwalker."
H L Mencken
"A Galileo could no more be elected president of the United States than he could be elected Pope of Rome. Both high posts are reserved for men favored by God with an extraordinary genius for swathing the bitter facts of life in bandages of self-illusion."
H L Mencken
"I believe there is a limit beyond which free speech cannot go, but it's a limit that's very seldom mentioned. It's the point where free speech begins to collide with the right to privacy. I don't think there are any other conditions to free speech. I've got a right to say and believe anything I please, but I haven't got a right to press it on anybody else. .... Nobody's got a right to be a nuisance to his neighbors."
H L Mencken
"It is the invariable habit of bureaucracies, at all times and everywhere, to assume...that every citizen is a criminal. Their one apparent purpose, pursued with a relentless and furious diligence, is to convert the assumption into a fact. They hunt endlessly for proofs, and, when proofs are lacking, for mere suspicions. The moment they become aware of a definite citizen, John Doe, seeking what is his right under the law, they begin searching feverishly for an excuse for withholding it from him."
H L Mencken
"Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives."
John Stuart Mill
"The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not sufficient warrant."
John Stuart Mill
"In political discussion heat is in inverse proportion to knowledge."
J.G.C. Minchin
"Useless laws weaken the necessary laws."
Charles de Secondat Montesquieu
"The tyranny of a prince in an oligarchy is not so dangerous to the public welfare as the apathy of a citizen in a democracy."
Charles de Secondat Montesquieu
"We would like to apologize for the way in which politicians are represented in this programme. It was never our intention to imply that politicians are weak-kneed, political time-servers who are more concerned with their personal vendettas and private power struggles than the problems of government, nor to suggest at any point that they sacrifice their credibility by denying free debate on vital matters in the mistaken impression that party unity comes before the well-being of the people they supposedly represent, nor to imply at any stage that they are squabbling little toadies without an ounce of concern for the vital social problems of today. Nor indeed do we intend that viewers should consider them as crabby ulcerous little self-seeking vermin with furry legs and an excessive addiction to alcohol and certain explicit sexual practices which some people might find offensive. We are sorry if this impression has come across."
Monty Python
"The forces of a capitalist society, if left unchecked, tend to make the rich richer and the poor poorer."
Jawaharlal Nehru
"Crime does not pay ... as well as politics."
Alfred E. Neuman
"Live people are being sacrificed because of what dead people did."
New York Times (regarding affirmative action and reverse discrimination).
"The single most exciting thing you encounter in government is competence, because it's so rare."
New York Times
"The Ten Commandments contain 297 words, the Bill of Rights 463 words, and Lincoln's Gettysburg Address 266 words. A recent federal directive regulating the price of cabbage contains 26,911 words."
New York Times
"Man¹s capacity for justice makes democracy possible; but man¹s inclination to injustice makes democracy neccessary."
Reinhold Niebuhr
"The better the state is established, the fainter is humanity."
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
"Sure there are dishonest men in local government. But there are dishonest men in national government too."
Richard M. Nixon
"A little government and a little luck are necessary in life, but only a fool trusts either of them."
P J O'Rourke
"Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys."
P. J. O'Rourke
"The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them."
George Orwell
"Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one. Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence; the palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise."
Thomas Paine
"It has been the scheme of the Christian Church, and of all the other invented systems of religion, to hold man in ignorance of the Creator, as it is of Governments to hold man in ignorance of his rights. The systems of the one are as false as those of the other, and are calculated for mutual support."
Thomas Paine
"No poor bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making other poor bastards die for their country."
General George S Patton
"Democracy is a process by which people are free to choose the man who will get the blame."
Laurence J. Peter
"Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber."
"The rulers of the State are the only ones who should have the privilege of lying, whether at home or abroad; they may be allowed to lie for the good of the State."
"...But when he [the people's champion] has disposed of foreign enemies by conquest or treaty, and there is nothing to fear from them, then he is always stirring up some war or other, in order that the people may require a leader."
"Once a ruler becomes religious, it [becomes] impossible for you to debate with him. Once someone rules in the name of religion, your lives become hell."
Colonel Moamar al Qaddafi
"Politicians are people who, when they see light at the end of the tunnel, go out and buy some more tunnel."
John Quinton
"Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first."
Ronald Reagan
"A government is the only known vessel that leaks from the top."
James Reston
"The more you observe politics, the more you've go to admit that each party is worse than the other."
Will Rogers
"I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts."
Will Rogers
"Take the diplomacy out of war and the thing would fall flat in a week."
Will Rogers
"There's no trick to being a humorist when you have the whole government working for you."
Will Rogers
"Government investigations have always contributed more to our amusement than they have to our knowledge."
Will Rogers
"One must respect public opinion insofar as is necessary to avoid starvation and keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny."
Bertrand Russell
"I think it's about time we voted for senators with breasts. After all, we've been voting for boobs long enough."
Clarie Sargent (Arizona senatorial candidate on female candidates)
"The art of government is the organization of idolatry."
George Bernard Shaw
"Democracy is a device that insures we shall be governed no better than we deserve."
George Bernard Shaw
"If all the economists in the world were laid end to end, they wouldn't reach any conclusion."
George Bernard Shaw
"Democracy is a form of government that substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few."
George Bernard Shaw
"Fascism is Capitalism plus Murder."
Upton Sinclair
"Democracy is a form of government in which it is permitted to wonder aloud what the country could do under first-class management."
Senator Soaper
"Our elections are free--it's in the results where eventually we pay."
Bill Stern
"A free society is a place where it's safe to be unpopular."
Adlai Stevenson
"Every government is run by liars and nothing they say should be believed."
I.F. Stone
"The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws."
Cornelius Tacitus
"You don't tell deliberate lies, but sometimes you have to be evasive."
Margaret Thatcher
"The law will never make men free; it is men who have got to make the law free."
Henry David Thoreau
"Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves."
Henry David Thoreau
"Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison."
Henry David Thoreau
"I heartily accept the motto, 'That government is best which governs least'; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which I also believe, - 'That
government is best which governs not at all.'"
Henry David Thoreau
"Ninety-eight percent of the adults in this country are decent, hard-working, honest Americans. It's the other lousy two percent that get all the publicity. But then--we elected them."
Lily Tomlin
"In a country where the sole employer is the State, opposition means death by slow starvation. The old principle: Who does not work does not eat, has been replaced by a new one: Who does not obey shall not eat."
Leon Trotsky
"A statesman is a politician who's been dead 10 or 15 years."
Harry S Truman
"Wherever you have an efficient government you have a dictatorship."
Harry S Truman
"No man's life, liberty or property are safe while the legislature is in session."
Judge Gideon J. Tucker
"It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly American criminal class except Congress."
Mark Twain
The motto ("In God We Trust") stated a lie. If this nation ever trusted in God, that time has gone by; for nearly half a century its entire trust has been in the Republican Party and the dollar - mainly the dollar.
Mark Twain
"Politics is the art of preventing people from taking part in affairs which properly concern them."
Paul Valery
"Half of the American people have never read a newspaper. Half never voted for President. One hopes it is the same half."
Gore Vidal
"Whether you have an abortion, what you put in your own body, with whom you have sex - these are _not_ the affairs of the state. A government does not exist to control the citizens. When it does, it is a tyranny, and must be fought. The tree of liberty, Jefferson warned us, must be refreshed with the blood of tyrants and patriots."
Gore Vidal
"It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong."
"The art of government consists in taking as much money as possible from one class of the citizens to give to the other."
"I've seen many politicians paralyzed in the legs as myself, but I've seen more of them who were paralyzed in the head."
George Wallace
"Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that more than half of the people are right more than half the time."
E. B. White
"Government expands to absorb revenue - and then some."
Tom Wicker
"Democracy is the bludgeoning of the people, by the people, for the people."
Oscar Wilde
"No one who has read official documents needs to be told how easy it is to conceal the essential truth under the apparently candid and all-disclosing phrases of a voluminous and particularizing report...."
Woodrow Wilson
"An ambassador is an honest man sent abroad to lie for his country."
Sir Henry Wotton
"Politics is the entertainment branch of industry."
Frank Zappa
"Americans like to talk about (or be told about) Democracy but, when put to the test, usually find it to be an 'inconvenience.' We have opted instead for an authoritarian system *disguised* as a Democracy. We pay through the nose for an enormous joke-of-a-government, let it push us around, and then wonder how all those assholes got in there."
Frank Zappa
"Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun."
Mao Zedong
"Practice safe government. Use kingdoms."
"Pro is to con as progress is to Congress."
"Don't vote for the bastards it only encourages them."
"Fleas can be taught nearly anything that a congressperson can."
"We lie to you by not telling you things. We don't lie by telling you things that aren't true."
U.S. official to the Washington Post
"With Congress, every time they make a joke it's a law; and every time they make a law it's a joke."
"This last Presidential election was something like the sex life of many people. They had to settle for what they could get."
"Every culture has its distinctive and normal system of government. Yours is democracy, moderated by corruption. Ours is totalitarianism, moderated by assassination."
Unknown Russian
"There is a certain inevitability to a couple of things. Death and taxes come to mind. However, death doesn't get worse every time the legislators come together."

Copyright: Kevin Harris 1995 (may be freely distributed with this acknowledgement)