• La propriété, c'est le vol!
  • Translated: Property is theft!
    • Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, What is Property? (1840), Ch. I: "Method Pursued in this Work. The Idea of a Revolution". Alternately translated as "Property is robbery!"


  • I consider myself a citizen of the world! ~ Charlie Chaplin (refers to Socrates [?])

  • As a woman I have no country. As a woman, I want no country.


  • If I can't dance, I don't want to be part of your revolution.
    • Commonly attributed to Emma Goldman, apparently this is a paraphrase of ideas she expressed in Living My Life, (1931), p. 56

Bipartisanship, patriotism, and unity

  • America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves. ~ President Abraham Lincoln

  • Patriotism is in political life what faith is in religion. ~ Lord Acton Dalberg in 'Nationality', in The Home and Foreign Review (July 1862)

  • A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.
    • Dwight D. Eisenhower, First Inaugural Address, January 20, 1953

  • Republicans are nothing more than Democrats with poor judgment.
    • Jacob M. Appel, Arborophilia

  • I'll show you politics in America. Here it is, right here. "I think the puppet on the right shares my beliefs." "I think the puppet on the left is more to my liking." "Hey, wait a minute, there's one guy holding out both puppets!"
    • Bill Hicks, Rant in E-Minor (released posthumously, 1997)

  • Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.

  • Patriotism is a pernicious, psychopathic form of idiocy.
    • George Bernard Shaw, reported in Norman Thomas et al., eds., The World Tomorrow‎ (1934), p. 401.

  • Right wing (definition): As with the left wing, half the propulsive force of a flightless bird. ~ Richard Summerbell, Abnormally Happy (1985)

  • You're not supposed to be so blind with patriotism that you can't face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who says it. ~ Malcolm X

  • Why is it the Mongols of this world always tell us they're defending us against the Mongols? ~ Edward Whittemore, Nile Shadows (1983)

Business and economy

  • Aristocracy and exclusiveness tend to final overthrow, in language as in politics.
    • W. D. Whitney, Language and the Study of Language: Twelve Lectures on the Principles of Linguistic Science (1868), p. 150.

  • Idealism is fine, but as it approaches reality, the costs become prohibitive.
    • Attributed to William F. Buckley, Jr. by Jonathon Green, The Cynics' Lexicon: A Dictionary of Amoral Advice (1984) , p. 34

  • Political institutions are a superstructure resting on an economic foundation.
    • Nikolai Lenin, The Three Sources and Three Component Parts of Marxism (1913), p. 5.


  • An honest politician is one who, when he is bought, will stay bought.
    • Attributed to Simon Cameron by Allen Johnson, Chronicles of America Series, Yale University Press, 1918. (Cameron was forced to resign as United States Secretary of War in 1862, due to allegations of corruption.)

  • People say I steal. Well, all politicians steal. ~ Huey P. Long

  • POLITICS, n. A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. ~ Ambrose Bierce in The Devil's Dictionary

  • POLITICS, n. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage. ~ Ambrose Bierce in The Devil's Dictionary

  • All power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
    • Lord Acton, letter to Mandell Creighton, April 1887. Reprinted in John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton, Essays on Freedom and Power, 1949, Boston:The Becon Press, p. 364

  • A thief is more moral than a congressman; when a thief steals your money, he doesn't demand you thank him. ~ Walter Williams


  • In Switzerland, 500 years of democracy and peace. And what does it produce? The cuckoo clock. ~ Graham Greene, The Third Man

  • Socialism needs democracy like the human body needs oxygen. ~ Leon Trotsky

  • Democracy is more dangerous than fire. Fire can't vote itself immune to water. ~ Michael Z. Williamson

  • Apparently, a democracy is a place where numerous elections are held at great cost without issues and with interchangeable candidates.
    • Gore Vidal, "Gods and Greens" (1989), in A View from the Diner's Club (1991)

  • Because democracy is not a spectator sport. ~ US presidential election slogan, Democrats (2004)

  • Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.
    • H. L. Mencken, A Mencken Chrestomathy (1949)

  • The 20th century has been characterised by three developments of great political importance. The growth of democracy; the growth of corporate power; and the growth of corporate propaganda against democracy.
    • Alex Carey, Taking the Risk out of Democracy, 1997, University of Illinois Press, ch. 2 p. 18

  • The two greatest obstacles to democracy in the United States are, first, the widespread delusion among the poor that we have a democracy, and second, the chronic terror among the rich, lest we get it. ~ Edward Dowling, Editor and Priest, Chicago Daily News (28 July 1941)

  • Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.
    • Winston Churchill, Speech in the House of Commons: The Official Report, House of Commons (5th Series), 11 November 1947, vol. 444, cc. 206–07.

  • Votes count, but resources decide ~ Stein Rokkan

  • Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those others that have been tried. ~ Winston Churchill

Dictatorships, totalitarianism, and tyranny

  • If this were a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator. ~ CNN.com, (December 18, 2000) George Bush

  • Dictators ride to and fro upon tigers which they dare not dismount. And the tigers are getting hungry.
    • Winston Churchill, letter with unspecified recipient (November 11, 1937), reported in Winston Churchill, Step by Step: 1936-1939‎ (1939), p. 159.

  • The craziest of all political systems, the unique dictatorship, found its earned end. History will note for eternity that the German people were not able on their own initiative to shake off the yoke of the National Socialists. The victory of the Americans, English and Russians was a necessary occurrence to disrupt the National Socialists’ delusions and plans for world domination.
    • Friedrich Kellner, My Opposition, diary entry for May 1, 1945

  • I consider it completely unimportant who in the party will vote, or how; but what is extraordinarily important is this—who will count the votes, and how.
    • Russian: Я считаю, что совершенно неважно, кто и как будет в партии голосовать; но вот что чрезвычайно важно, это - кто и как будет считать голоса.
    • Joseph Stalin, 1923, as quoted in The Memoirs of Stalin's Former Secretary (1992) by Boris Bazhanov [Saint Petersburg] (Борис Бажанов. Воспоминания бывшего секретаря Сталина). (Text online in Russian).
    • Common paraphrase: "The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything."

  • There is only one difference between dictatorship and democracy. In democracy, you vote and then take orders; in dictatorship you don't waste time voting. ~ Charles Bukowski

  • Wherever you have an efficient government, you have a dictatorship.
    • President Harry S Truman, lecture at Columbia University (April 28, 1959).

  • What good fortune for governments that the people do not think ~ Adolf Hitler

  • Communism was a great system for making people equally poor. In fact, there was no better system in the world for that than communism. -The World is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman.

  • "Many of our moral and political policies are designed to preempt what we know to be the worst features of human nature. The checks and balances in a democracy, for instance, were invented in explicit recognition of the fact that human leaders will always be tempted to arrogate power to themselves. Likewise, our sensitivity to racism comes from an awareness that groups of humans, left to their own devices, are apt to discriminate and oppress other groups, often in ugly ways. History also tells us that a desire to enforce dogma and suppress heretics is a recurring human weakness, one that has led to recurring waves of gruesome oppression and violence. A recognition that there is a bit of Torquemada in everyone should make us wary of any attempt to enforce a consensus or demonize those who challenge it." ~ What is Your Dangerous Idea? (2007) ed., John Brockman, "Introduction," Steven Pinker, p. xxxi.

  • Man's capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man's inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary.
    • Reinhold Niebuhr, The Children of Light and the Children of Darkness, 1944

  • Ankh-Morpork had dallied with many forms of government and had ended up with that form of democracy known as One Man, One Vote. The Patrician was the Man; he had the Vote.
    • Discworld politics explained (Terry Pratchett, Mort)

Equality, freedom, liberty, and rights

  • All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.
    • George Orwell, Animal Farm (1955), Ch. 10, p. 148.

  • As soon as men live entirely in accord with the law of love natural to their hearts and now revealed to them, which excludes all resistance by violence, and therefore hold aloof from all participation in violence — as soon as this happens, not only will hundreds be unable to enslave millions, but not even millions will be able to enslave a single individual.
    • Leo Tolstoy A Letter to a Hindu (1908), p. 20.

  • Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting that vote.
    • Author unknown; reported in William F. Shughart, Robert D. Tollison, Policy Challenges and Political Responses (2005), p. 130 (noting that the quote is frequently attributed to Benjamin Franklin, but is anachronistic in that it contains the phrase "to have for lunch", a usage which does not appear until the 1840s).

  • Liberty is not a means to a higher political end. It is itself the highest political end.
    • Lord Acton, "Freedom in Antiquity", in The History of Freedom and Other Essays: And Other Essays‎ (1907), p. 22.

  • To refuse political equality is to rob the ostracized of all self-respect.
    • Elizabeth Cady Stanton, reported in Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Correspondence, Writings, Speeches (1981), p. 249.

  • Self government is preferable to good government.
    • Author unknown; variously reported as an old maxim or slogan, as reported in East Africa and Rhodesia‎ (1960), p. 1087, and Douglas Jay, Socialism in the New Society‎ (1962), p. 104; and attributed to authors such as Campbell Bannerman, reported in William White, Notes and Queries‎ (1942), p. 138; Alfred Milner, reported in Vernon McKenzie, Here Lies Goebbels! (1940), p. 184.

Government bureaucracy

  • Bureaucracy expands to meet the needs of the expanding bureaucracy.
    • Oscar Wilde

  • Politics is the art of postponing decisions until they are no longer relevant.
    • Henri Queuille, The Bureaucrat (1985)

  • The bigger the politics, the smaller the print.
    • Leonid S. Sukhorukov


  • Liberalism is the transformation of mankind into cattle. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
  • Liberalism is part of a religious disorder that demands a belief that life is controllable. ~ Ann Coulter in How to Talk to a Liberal if You Must (2004)

Men and women

  • It will be years — not in my time — before a woman will become Prime Minister. ~ Margaret Thatcher (1974)

Politics, laws of politics

  • Political technology determines political success. ~ Morton C. Blackwell in Laws of Politics

  • Sound doctrine is sound politics. ~ Morton C. Blackwell in Laws of Politics

  • In politics, you have your word and your friends; go back on either and you're dead. ~ Morton C. Blackwell in Laws of Politics

  • In volunteer politics, a builder can build faster than a destroyer can destroy. ~ Morton C. Blackwell in Laws of Politics

  • In politics, nothing moves unless it's pushed. ~ Morton C. Blackwell in Laws of Politics

  • Moral outrage is the most powerful motivating force in politics. ~ Morton C. Blackwell in Laws of Politics

  • A disordered currency is one of the greatest political evils. ~ Daniel Webster

  • A leader has to lead, or otherwise he has no business in politics.
  • Harry Truman, reported in Merle Miller, Plain Speaking: An Oral Biography of Harry S. Truman‎ (1974), p. 422.

  • We will stand by our friends and administer a stinging rebuke to men or parties who are either indifferent, negligent, or hostile, and, wherever opportunity affords, to secure the election of intelligent, honest, earnest trade unionists, with clear, unblemished, paid-up union cards in their possession.
    • Samuel Gompers, "Men of Labor! Be Up and Doing" (editorial), American Federationist (May 1906)

  • All growth, including political growth, is the result of risk-taking. ~ Jude Wanniski in The Wall Street Journal.

  • All political parties die at last of swallowing their own lies. ~ Dr. John Arbuthnot as quoted in Hoyts New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations (1922)

  • All politics are based on the indifference of the majority. ~ James Reston

  • The best politics is right action. ~ Mahatma Gandhi

  • Conscience has no more to do with gallantry than it has with politics. ~ Richard Brinsley Sheridan in The Duenna. Act ii. Sc. 4.

  • A cult is a religion with no political power.
    • Tom Wolfe, In Our Time, "Entr'actes and Canapes",1980

  • Don't follow leaders, watch your parkin' meters.
    • Bob Dylan, Subterranean Homesick Blues, 1965

  • The end move in politics is always to pick up a gun. ~ R. Buckminster Fuller

  • Envy is the cause of political division. ~ Democritus

  • Everything you do is political. ~ Nandor Tanczos

  • Finality is not the language of politics.
    • Benjamin Disraeli, speech in the House of Commons, 28 February 1859

  • Good politics are often inextricably intertwined. ~ Morris Udall

  • I have no faith in political arithmetic. ~ Adam Smith in Wealth of Nations

  • In politics an absurdity is not a handicap. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte

  • The key to understanding the American system is to imagine that you have the power to make nearly any law you want. But your worst enemy will be the one to enforce it. ~ Rick Cook

  • Man is by nature a political animal.
    • Aristotle, Politics, chapter 2 (Bekker I.1253a2)

  • The most important political office is that of private citizen. ~ Louis Dembitz Brandeis American Supreme Court Justice

  • No amount of political freedom will satisfy the hungry masses. ~ Vladimir Lenin (1917)

  • Nothing is so admirable in politics as a short memory. ~ John Kenneth Galbraith

  • Campaign promises are—by long democratic tradition—the least binding form of human commitment.
    • Antonin Scalia, Republican Party v. White, 536 U.S. 765 (2002) (majority opinion)

  • Politics and Religion are obsolete. The time has come for Science and Spirituality.
    • Often quoted by Arthur C. Clarke as one of his favorite remarks of Jawaharlal Nehru, though some of his earliest citations of it, in Voices from the Sky : Previews of the Coming Space Age (1967), p. 154 indicate that Nehru may himself been either quoting or paraphrasing a statement of Vinoba Bhave.

  • Politics is a concentric series of conspiracies in which the last party to conspire emerges victorious ~ George Obiozor

  • Die Politik is keine exakte Wissenschaft.
    • Politics is not an exact science.
    • Otto von Bismarck, speech to Prussian upper house (18 December 1863)
    • Variant: Die Politik is keine Wissenschaft, wie viele der Herren Proffessoren sieh einbilden, sondern eine Kunst.
      • Politics is not a science, as the professors are apt to suppose. It is an art.
      • Expression in the Reichstag (1884), as quoted in The Quote Verifier : Who Said What, Where, and When (2006) by Ralph Keyes.

  • Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedies. ~ Groucho Marx

  • Politics is the art of putting people under obligation to you. ~ Jacob L. Arvey (1990?)

  • Die Politic ist die Lehre von Möglichen.
    • Politics is the art of the possible.
    • Otto von Bismarck, remark to Meyer von Waldeck, 11 August 1867. Quoted in Heinz Amelung, Bismarck-Worte, 1918; as reported in The Yale Book of Quotations, Yale University Press, 2006. This is widely attributed to Bismarck but there is no firsthand account of his exact words, as discussed in Ralph Keyes, The Quote Verifier, Macmillan, 2006.

  • Politics is not the art of the possible. It consists in choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable.
    • John Kenneth Galbraith, letter to John F. Kennedy, 2 March 1962, printed in Galbraith's Ambassador's Journal (1969)

  • Politics is, as it were, the gizzard of society, full of grit and gravel, and the two political parties are its two opposite halves,—sometimes split into quarters, it may be, which grind on each other. Not only individuals, but States, have thus a confirmed dyspepsia, which expresses itself, you can imagine by what sort of eloquence.
    • Henry David Thoreau, "Life Without Principle", The Atlantic Monthly 12 71, October 1863: pp. 484–495

  • Politics is the skilled use of blunt objects. ~ Lester B. Pearson

  • Politics offers yesterday's answers to today's problems. ~ Marshall McLuhan

  • Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen. ~ Dwight Eisenhower

  • Stupidity is not a handicap in politics. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte

  • There is only one thing more useful in politics than having the right friends, and that is having the right enemies.
    • Anonymous, Economist 375: 8432 (25 June 2005), p. 84

  • Therefore, the good of man must be the end of the science of politics. ~ Aristotle

  • Transcend political correctness and strive for human righteousness. ~ Anthony D'Angelo, The College Blue Book

  • University politics are vicious precisely because the stakes are so small. ~ Henry Kissinger

  • We live in a world in which politics has replaced philosophy. ~ Martin L. Gross

  • What's real in politics is what the voters decide is real. ~ Ben J. Wattenberg

  • All social cooperation on a larger scale than the most intimate social group requires a measure of coercion.
    • Reinhold Niebuhr, Moral Man and Immoral Society: A Study of Ethics and Politics 1932

  • Yes, we have to divide up our time like that, between our politics and our equations. But to me our equations are far more important, for politics are only a matter of present concern. A mathematical equation stands forever. ~ Albert Einstein

Political jokes

  • The problem with political jokes is that they get elected.
    • Variously attributed to Will Rogers and George Bernard Shaw

  • … that is the nature of politics: poly, meaning more than one, and ticks, meaning blood-sucking parasites.
    • Kinky Friedman, attributed by him to "some guy in Corpus"
    • Quoted in
        • Alternative version quoted in
          • I don't make jokes. I just watch the Government and report the facts.
            • Will Rogers
            • Quoted in
              • What do you call a politician displaying his honesty in public? A rare work of art...
                • Anonymous

              Politicians and lawyers

              • The only way I can lose this election is if I'm caught in bed with either a dead girl or a live boy. ~ Edwin W. Edwards

              • A politician is an animal which can sit on a fence and yet keep both ears to the ground. ~ H.L. Mencken

              • Politician: A bundle of gaseous ambition cleverly packaged as a public servant or a corporate sales manager. ~ Rick Bayan, The Cynic's Dictionary

              • Politics is the entertainment industry for ugly people. ~ Mark Turpin

              • Politics is perhaps the only profession for which no preparation is thought necessary. ~ Robert Louis Stevenson

              • They [the people] may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel. ~ Carl W. Buechner

              • The greatest lesson in life is to know that even fools are right sometimes. ~ Winston Churchill

              Power and money

              • Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you really want to test his character, give him power. ~ Abraham Lincoln

              • In public policy, it matters less who has the best arguments and more who gets heard — and by whom. ~ Ralph Reed, head of Christian Coalition, in memo to Enron executives, (2000)

              • Talking to politicians is fine, but with a little money they hear you better. ~ Justin Dart, chairman, Port Industries (1982)

              • Politics has gotten so expensive that it takes a lot of money to even get beat with. ~ Will Rogers (1931)

              • There are two things you need for success in politics. Money and I can't think of the other. ~ Senator Mark Hannah (R-OH), 1903

              • Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.
                • P. J. O'Rourke, Parliament of Whores (1991)

              • All the perplexities, confusion and distress in America arise not from defects in their Constitution or Confederation, nor from the want of honor or virtue, so much as the downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit and circulation. ~ John Adams

              • If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks ill deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs. ~ Thomas Jefferson

              • History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling money and its issuance. ~ James Madison

              • If congress has the right under the Constitution to issue paper money, it was given them to use themselves, not to be delegated to individuals or corporations. ~ Andrew Jackson

              • The main mark of modern governments is that we do not know who governs, de facto any more than de jure. We see the politician and not his backer; still less the backer of the backer; or, what is most important of all, the banker of the backer. ~ J.R.R. Tolkien, in The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien

              • Throned above all, in a manner without parallel in all past, is the veiled prophet of finance, swaying all men living by a sort of magic, and delivering oracles in a language not understood of the people. ~ J.R.R. Tolkien, in The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien

              • Let me issue and control a nation's money, and I care not who writes its laws. ~ Mayer Amschel Rothschild (1790)


              • PRESIDENCY, n. The greased pig in the field game of American politics. ~ Ambrose Bierce in The Devil's Dictionary

              Public opinion and polls

              • That mysterious independent variable of political calculation, Public Opinion. ~ Thomas Huxley in "Universities, Actual & Ideal"

              • If we Americans are split into two meaningful camps, it is not conservative versus liberal. The two camps are the politically awake and the hypnotized. ~ Doris "Granny D" Haddock

              • In politics, there are things which you do but don't talk about them and things which you talk about but don't do anything. ~ Constantine Karamanlis

              Public safety, domestic security, and gun control

              • The streets are safe in Philadelphia — it's only the people who make them unsafe. ~ Frank Rizzo, ex-police chief and mayor of Philadelphia

              • Rifles, muskets, long-bows and hand-grenades are inherently democratic weapons. A complex weapon makes the strong stronger, while a simple weapon — so long as there is no answer to it — gives claws to the weak. ~ George Orwell

              • No freeman shall ever be debarred the use of arms. ~ Thomas Jefferson: Draft Virginia Constitution (1776)

              • [The Constitution preserves] the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation(where) the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms. ~ James Madison, The Federalist Papers, No. 46.

              • Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man gainst his own bosom. Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American. T]he unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people. ~ Tenche Coxe, The Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788.

              • The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the state shall not be questioned. ~ Pennsylvania's Constitution of 1790

              Public service

              • If there is anything a public servant hates to do it's something for the public. ~ Anonymous

              • Each generation is responsible to make the future of the next. ~ Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives (Speech at the Capitol Visitor Center, 07.12.2008)

              The "Masses"

              • They [governments] talk about the people and the proletariat, I talk about the fools and the suckers. ~ Graham Greene, The Third Man

              • The great masses of the people will more easily fall victim to a big lie, than to a small one. ~ Adolf Hitler


              • Politicians are all the same. They promise reforms then reform their promises. ~ Leonid S. Sukhorukov, All About Everything (2005)

              • Reason accepts no authority above itself and is necessarily subversive.~ Allan Bloom

              • Reform is not for the shortwinded. ~ Arthur Vanderbilt, New Jersey Supreme Court Justice (1949)

              • Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable. ~ President John F. Kennedy

              • You cannot impose ideologies on people who do not embrace it wholeheartedly. ~ Peter F. Hamilton (through character Endron) in The Neutronium Alchemist

              • A reform is a correction of abuses; a revolution is a transfer of power. ~ Edward Bulwer-Lytton

              • We must reform if we would conserve. ~ Franklin Delano Roosevelt

              Campaign finance reform

              • Today's political campaigns function as collection agencies for broadcasters. You simply transfer money from contributors to television stations. ~ Senator Bill Bradley, 2000

              • We've got a real irony here. We have politicians selling access to something we all own -our government. And then we have broadcasters selling access to something we all own — our airwaves. It's a terrible system. ~ Newton Minow, former Federal Communications Commission chairman (2000)

              • You're more likely to see Elvis again than to see this bill pass the Senate. ~ Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (1999) on the McCain-Feingold Bill on Campaign Reform

              • Unless we fundamentally change this system, ultimately campaign finance will consume our democracy. ~ Representative Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) (1996)

              • [Buckley v. Valeo is] one of the most weakly reasoned, poorly written, initially contradictory court opinions I've ever read. ~ Senator (and former federal district court judge) George J. Mitchell (D-ME) (1990)

              • We don't buy votes. What we do is we buy a candidate's stance on an issue. ~ Allen Pross, executive director, California Medical Association's PAC (1989)

              • Political action committees and moneyed interests are setting the nation's political agenda. Are we saying that only the rich have brains in this country? Or only people who have influential friends who have money can be in the Senate? ~ Senator Barry Goldwater (R-AZ) (1988)

              • The day may come when we'll reject the money of the rich as tainted, but it hadn't come when I left Tammany Hall at 11:25 today. ~ George Washington Plunkett (1905)

              • Who are to be the electors of the federal representatives? Not the rich, more than the poor, not the haughty heirs of distinguished names, more than the humble sons of obscure and propitious fortune. ~ James Madison, Federalist 57 (1788)

              Religion, separation of church and state

              • Difference of religion breeds more quarrels than difference of politics. ~ Wendell Phillips

              • Senator, when you took your oath of office, you placed your hand on the Bible and swore to uphold the Constitution. You did not place your hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible. ~ Jamie Raskin, 2006-03-01

              • The true destiny of America is religious, not political: it is spiritual, not physical. ~ Alvin R. Dyer in Ensign (November 1968)

              Voting and participation

              • Decisions are made by those who show up. ~ unknown; variously attributed to Woody Allen and Harry S Truman

              • Have you ever seen a candidate talking to a rich person on television? ~ Art Buchwald,Quotations for our Time by Laurence J. Peter (1977)

              • If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal. ~ Emma Goldman

              • If you don't believe in the resurrection of the dead, look at politicians seeking re-election. ~ Leonid S. Sukhorukov, All About Everything (2005)

              • It is not the function of our government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the government from falling into error. ~ Robert H. Jackson, United States Attorney General & Assoc. Justice

              • Things being investigated, knowledge became complete. Their knowledge being complete, their thoughts were sincere. Their thoughts being sincere, their hearts were rectified. Their hearts being rectified, their persons were cultivated. Their persons being cultivated, their families were regulated. Their families being regulated, their states were rightly governed. Their states being rightly governed, the whole kingdom was made tranquil and happy. ~ Confucius

              • Too bad all the people who know how to run the country are busy driving taxi cabs and cutting hair. ~ George Burns

              • Next time they give you all that civic bullshit about voting, keep in mind that Hitler was elected in a full, free democratic election. ~ George Carlin

              • Voter apathy was, and will remain the greatest threat to democracy." ~Hazen Pingree, former mayor of Detroit and governor of Michigan.

              • The French approach election differently than the Americans... they vote. ~ Bill Maher

              War, military, and peace

              • Politics is war without bloodshed while war is politics with bloodshed.
                • Mao Zedong, "On Protracted War" (May 1938)

              • Take the so-called politics of fear — the constant reference to risks, from hoodies on the street corner to international terrorism. Whatever the truth of these risks and the best ways of dealing with them, the politics of fear plays on an assumption that people cannot bear the uncertainties associated with them. Politics then becomes a question of who can better deliver an illusion of control.
                • Ex-vicar Mark Vernon; quoted in
                  • This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.
                    • Dwight Eisenhower, Farewell address, January 17, 1961; Final TV Talk 1/17/61 (1), Box 38, Speech Series, Papers of Dwight D. Eisenhower as President, 1953-61, Eisenhower Library; National Archives and Records Administration.

                  See also

                  • Censorship
                  • Diplomacy
                  • Education
                  • Freedom of speech
                  • United States Congress
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