Political Quotes


We have the best politicians that money can buy
Society is like a stew. If you don't stir it up every once in a while then a layer of scum floats to the top
A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government
Edward Abbey 1927-1989
The trouble with this country is that there are too many politicians who believe, with a conviction based on experience, that you can fool all of the people all of the time
Franklin Pierce Adams 1881-1960
Politics, as a practice, whatever its professions, has always been the systematic organization of hatred
Practical politics consists in ignoring facts
Henry Brooks Adams 1838-1918
The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty
While all other Sciences have advanced, that of Government is at a stand; little better understood; little better practiced now than three or four thousand years ago
Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity and happiness of the people; and not for the profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men:....
In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress
John Adams 1735-1826
You can never underestimate the stupidity of the general public
Scott Adams 1957
We hang the petty thieves, and appoint the great ones to public offices
Aesop 550 BC
The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane
Marcus Aurelius 161-180
Nothing doth more hurt in a state than that cunning men pass for wise
Francis Bacon 1561-1626
You cannot make a man by standing a sheep on its hind-legs. But by standing a whole flock of sheep in that position you can make a crowd of men
Max Beerbohm 1872-1956
History: an account mostly false, of events, mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers, mostly knaves, and soldiers, mostly fools
Idiot: a member of a large and powerful tribe whose influence in human affairs has always been dominant and controlling
Revolution: In politics, an abrupt change in the form of misgovernment
Ambrose Bierce 1842-1914
To enjoy a good reputation, give publicly and steal privately
Josh Billings [Henry Wheeler Shaw] 1818-1885
Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake
In politics stupidity is not a handicap
Napoleon Bonaparte 1769-1821
Peace is the skillful management of conflict
Kenneth Ewart Boulding 1910-1993
Sometimes the best way to be useful is to get out of somebody's way
Success for some people, depends on becoming well-known; for others, it depends on never being found out
My sources are unreliable, but their information is fascinating
Ashleigh Brilliant [Ashleigh Warren] 1933
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing
Edmund Burke 1729-1797
An honest politician is one who when he is bought will stay bought
Simon Cameron 1799-1889
The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants
What is a rebel? A man who says no
By definition, a government has no conscience. Sometimes it has a policy, but nothing more
Albert Camus 1913-1960
Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups
In fact, this country was founded by a group of slave owners who told us that all men are created equal
Conservatives say if you don't give the rich more money, they will lose their incentive to invest. As for the poor, they tell us they've lost all incentive because we've given them too much money
That's why they call it the American Dream, because you have to be asleep to believe it
George Carlin 1937-2008
Democracy means government by the uneducated, while aristocracy means government by the badly educated. [New York Times, 1931]
The reformer is always right about what is wrong. He is generally wrong about what is right
Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions
I've searched all the parks in all the cities and found no statues of committees
G.K. Chesterton 1874-1936
… jingoism, racism, fear, religious fundamentalism: these are the ways of appealing to people if you’re trying to organize a mass base of support for policies that are really intended to crush them
Naom Chomsky 1928
Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others
The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter
Sir Winston Churchill 1874-1965
An unjust peace is better than a just war
Marcus Tillius Cicero 106-43 BC
I have found some of the best reasons I ever had for remaining at the bottom simply by looking at the men at the top
Frank Moore Colby 1865-1925
In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of
Confucius 551-479BC
If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin
Charles Darwin 1809-1882
The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use the words
Philip K. Dick 1928-1982
From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step
Denis Diderot 1713-1784
A Conservative Government is an organized hypocrisy
He was one of those men who think that the world can be saved by writing a pamphlet
Benjamin Disraeli 1804-1881
Fear prophets and those prepared to die for the truth, for as a rule they make many others die with them, often before them, at times instead of them
Umberto Eco 1932-2016
Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind
The world is in greater peril from those who tolerate or encourage evil than from those who actually commit it
Evil triumphs when good people do nothing
The world is a dangerous place. Not because of the people who are evil; but because of the people who don't do anything about it
Blind belief in authority is the greatest enemy of truth
To punish me for my contempt for authority, fate made me an authority myself
Generations to come will find it difficult to believe that a man such as Gandhi ever walked the face of this earth
If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed
Albert Einstein 1879-1955
Foolish legislation is a rope of sand, which perishes in the twisting
Ralph Waldo Emerson 1803-1882
I would rather have questions that can't be answered than answers that can't be questioned
Richard Feynman 1918-1988
Three may keep a secret if two of them are dead
Half the truth is often a great lie
Well done is better than well said
He that falls in love with himself will have no rivals
Democracy is two wolves and sheep voting on what to have for dinner
Benjamain Franklin 1706-1790
If I wished to punish a province, I would have it governed by philosophers
Frederick II, [Frederick the Great] 1712-1786
What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi 1869-1948
Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. 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 greater danger.
Hermann Wilhelm Göring 1893-1946
In the end it may well be that Britain will be honoured by historians more for the way she disposed of an empire than for the way in which she acquired it
Lord Harlech [David Ormsby Gore] 1918-1985
Sometimes the best, and only effective, way to kill an idea is to put it into practice
Sydney J. Harris 1917-1986
Some men are born mediocre, some men achieve mediocrity and some men have mediocrity thrust upon them
Joseph Heller 1923-1999
We may not imagine how our lives could be more frustrating and complex--but Congress can
Cullen Hightower 1923-2008
What luck for rulers that men do not think
Adolf Hitler 1889-1945
Americans detest all lies except lies spoken in public or printed lies
Watson Howe 1853-1937
Failure - The man who can tell others what to do and how to do it, but never does it himself
Live truth instead of professing it
Elbert Hubbard 1859-1915
If you torture the data long enough, it will confess to anything 'How to Lie With Statistics' (1954)
Darrell Huff 1913-2001
Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored
In the past, personal and political liberty depended to a considerable extent upon government inefficiency. The spirit of tyranny was always willing; but its organization and material equipment were generally weak. Progressive science and technology have changed all that completely
Wherever the choice has had to be made between the man of reason and the madman, the world has unhesitatingly followed the madman
The propagandist's purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human
Aldous Huxley 1884-1963
A nation is a society united by delusion about its ancestry and by a common hatred of its neighbours
The enemies of freedom do not argue; they shout and they shoot
William Ralph Inge (Dean Inge of St Paul's London) 1860-1954
Tyranny is defined as that which is legal for the government, but illegal for the citizenry
I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies
When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny
Thomas Jefferson 1743-1826
Patriotism: The last refuge of the Scoundrel
Dr Samuel Johnson 1709-1784
In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends
He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it
Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity
Martin Luther King, Junior 1929-1968
The great nations have always acted like gangsters, and the small nations like prostitutes
Stanley Kubrick 1928-1999
The only thing worse than making a mistake is defending it
Shirish Kunder 1973
A lot of people mistake a short memory for a clear conscience
Doug Larson 1926
In the Soviet Union, capitalism triumphed over communism. In this country, capitalism triumphed over democracy
Fran Lebowitz 1950
While the State exists, there can be no freedom. When there is freedom there will be no State
Lenin [Vladimir Ilich Ulyanov] 1870-1924
If God had wanted us to vote, he would have given us candidates
Jay Leno 1950
I once said cynically of a politician, 'He'll doublecross that bridge when he comes to it
Oscar Levant 1906-1972
You can fool all of the people all of the time, if the advertising is right, and the budget is big enough
Joseph E. Levine (American Film Producer) 1905-1987
I believe he [Ronald Reagan] can make this country what it once was - a large Arctic region covered with ice
Steve Martin 1945
Those are my principles. If you don't like them ............. I have others
I have nothing but confidence in you, and very little of that
There is one way to find out if a man is honest; ask him! If he says yes you know he's crooked
Groucho Marx 1890-1977
The older I grow the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom
The only cure for contempt is counter-contempt
It is inaccurate to say that I hate everything. I am strongly in favour of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office
Don't overestimate the decency of the human race
Love is like war: easy to begin but very hard to stop
Adultery is the application of democracy to love
All government, of course, is against liberty
Most people want security in this world, not liberty
The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule
The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary
Democracy is also a form of worship. It is the worship of Jackals by Jackasses
Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard
Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods
I believe in only one thing: liberty; but I do not believe in liberty enough to want to force it upon anyone
The worst government is the most moral. One composed of cynics is often very tolerant and humane. But when fanatics are on top there is no limit to oppression
Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under
As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron 1920
Henry Louis Mencken 1880-1956
You'll worry less about what people think about you when you realize how seldom they do (1936)
Olin Miller 1918-2002
He who establishes his argument by noise and command shows that his reason is weak.
Michel de Montaigne 1533-1592
Rome lost its freedom because they focused on the tyrant and not the tyranny
Montesquieu 1689-1755
Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but they are not entitled to their own facts
Daniel Patrick Moynihan 1927-2003
The reason there are so few female politicians is that it is too much trouble to put makeup on two faces
Maureen Murphy 1952-2008
We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home
No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices
A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves
Our major obligation is not to mistake slogans for solutions
Edward R. Murrow 1908-1965
We build too many walls and not enough bridges
Isaac Newton 1642-1727
A politician divides mankind into two classes: tools and enemies
Everything the State says is a lie, and everything it has it has stolen
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche 1844-1900
Illegal aliens have always been a problem in the United States. Ask any Indian
Robert Orben 1927
During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act
Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear
Big Brother is watching you
A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves and traitors are not victims... but accomplices
As with the Christian religion, the worst advertisement for Socialism is its adherents
Political language... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind
Every war when it comes, or before it comes, is represented not as a war but as an act of self-defence against a homicidal maniac
It is almost universally felt that when we call a country democratic we are praising it; consequently, the defenders of every kind of regime claim that it is a democracy, and fear that they might have to stop using the word if it were tied down to any one meaning
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
The atom bombs are piling up in the factories, the police are prowling through the cities, the lies are streaming from the loudspeakers, but the earth is still going round the sun
All animals are created equal, but some animals are created more equal than others
George Orwell [Eric Blair] 1903-1950
Most people are not just comfortable in their ignorance, but hostile to anyone who points it out
Plato 428-348 BC
Believe nothing you hear, and only one half that you see
Edgar Allen Poe 1809-1849
True ignorance is not the absence of knowledge, but the refusal to acquire it
Karl Popper 1902-1994
SUSAN: And then Jack chopped down what was the world's last beanstalk, adding murder and ecological terrorism to the theft, enticement and trespass charges already mentioned and all the giant's children didn't have a daddy any more. But he got away with it and lived happily ever after without so much as a guilty twinge about what he had done. Which proves that you can be excused just about anything if you're a hero, because no one asks inconvenient questions
Hogfather
Evil begins when you begin to treat people as things
Terry Pratchett 1948-2015
The idea that 'the public interest' supersedes private interests and rights can have but one meaning: that the interests and rights of _some_ individuals take precedence over the interests and rights of others
The man who lets a leader prescribe his course is a wreck being towed to the scrap heap
Power-lust is a weed that grows only in the vacant lot of an empty mind
Do not ever say that the desire to 'do good' by force is a good motive. Neither power-lust nor stupidity are good motives
Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities (and the smallest minority on earth is the individual)
The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities
The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws
We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force
A government is the most dangerous threat to man's rights: it holds a legal monopoly on the use of physical force against legally disarmed victims
Ayn Rand 1905-1982
People talk peace. But men give their life's work to war. It wont stop till there is as much brains and scientific study put to aid peace as there is to promote war
Take diplomacy out of a war and the thing would fall flat in a week
Diplomats are just as essential to starting a war as soldiers are for finishing it
We will never have true civilization until we have learned to recognize the rights of others
Will Rogers 1879-1935
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts
Humankind has become so much one family that we cannot ensure our own prosperity except by ensuring that of everyone else. If you wish to be happy yourself, you must resign yourself to seeing others also happy (1950)
Bertrand Russell 1872-1970
Nothing has an uglier look to us than reason, when it is not on our side
George Savile (1st Marquess of Halifax) 1633-1695
Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful
Seneca 3BC-65AD
Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance
Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all others because you were born in it
When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty
Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man
Old men are dangerous it doesn't matter to them what is going to happen to the world
Alcohol is a very necessary article. It makes life bearable to millions of people who could not endure their existence if they were quite sober. It enables Parliament to do things at eleven at night that no sane person would do at eleven in the morning
A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul
MENDOZA: I am a brigand: I live by robbing the rich
TANNER: I am a gentleman: I live by robbing the poor
George Bernard Shaw 1856-1950
I am a citizen, not of Athens or Greece, but of the world
Socrates 469-399 BC
It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong
Thomas Sowell 1930
The white race is the cancer of human history; it is the white race and it alone --- its ideologies and inventions --- which eradicates autonomous civilizations wherever it spreads, which has upset the ecological balance of the planet, which now threatens the very existence of life itself
Authoritarian political ideologies have a vested interest in promoting fear, a sense of the imminence of takeover by aliens and real diseases are useful material
Susan Sontag 1933-2004
I know why the sun never sets on the British Empire, God would never trust an Englishman in the dark
Duncan Spaeth 1868-1954
The great thing about democracy is that it gives every voter a chance to do something stupid
Art Spander 1938
In the Soviet Army, it takes more courage to retreat than advance
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
Everyone imposes his own system as far as his army can reach
Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have guns, why should we let them have ideas
The idea of a concentration camp is excellent
Everybody has the right to be stupid, but some people abusive the privilege
Joseph Stalin 1879-1953
What is the difference between unethical and ethical advertising? Unethical advertising uses falsehoods to deceive the public; ethical advertising uses truth to deceive the public
Vilhjalmur Stefansson 1879-1962
In America, anybody can be president. That's one of the risks you take
Adlai Ewing Stevenson 1900-1965
The more corrupt the state, the more laws
A desire to resist oppression is implanted in the nature of man
Many who seem to be struggling with adversity are happy; many, amid great affluence, are utterly miserable
Rumour does not always err; it sometimes even elects a man
Cornelius Tacitus 56-117
I have a theory that the truth is never told during the nine-to-five hours
Hunter Stockton Thompson 1937-2005
Wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority share in it
Leo Tolstoy 1828-1910
Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason
Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness
Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect
Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself
I admire him [Cecil Rhodes], I frankly confess it; and when his time comes I shall buy a piece of the rope for a keepsake
To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence
All generalizations are false, including this one
Good breeding consists of concealing how much we think of ourselves and how little we think of the other person
Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society
It is by the goodness of God that in our country we have those three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence to never practice either of them
Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] 1835-1910
Politics is the art of preventing people from sticking their noses in things that are properly their business
Paul Valéry 1871-1945
[of Ronald Reagan] A triumph of the embalmer's art
Half of the American people have never read a newspaper. Half never voted for President. One hopes it is the same half
As societies grow decadent, the language grows decadent, too. Words are used to disguise, not to illuminate, action: you liberate a city by destroying it. Words are to confuse, so that at election time people will solemnly vote against their own interests
Gore Vidal 1925
In this country we find it pays to shoot an admiral from time to time to encourage the others
It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong
It is hard to free fools from the chains they revere
Nothing is more dangerous than ignorance and intolerance armed with power
It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets
To find out who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize
Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities
No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible
Voltaire [François-Marie Arouet] 1694-1778
As soon as men know that they can kill without fear of punishment or blame, they kill; or at least they encourage killers with approving smiles
What a country calls its vital economic interests are not the things which enable its citizens to live, but the things which enable it to make war. Petrol is more likely than wheat to be a cause of international conflict
Simone Weil 1909-1943
Voters don't decide issues, they decide who will decide issues
George Will 1941
Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that more than half of the people are right more than half of the time
The time not to become a father is eighteen years before a war
EB White 1899-1985
To disagree with three-fourths of the British public is one of the first requisites of sanity
Oscar Wilde 1854-1900
Politics: 'Poli' a Latin word meaning 'many'; and 'tics' meaning 'bloodsucking creatures'
Robin Williams 1952-2014
Liberty has never come from Government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of it. The history of liberty is a history of limitations of governmental power, not the increase of it
No nation is fit to sit in judgement upon any other nation
Woodrow Wilson 1856-1924
If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are oppressed, and loving the people doing the oppressing
Malcolm X [Malcolm Little] 1925-1965
Willing obedience always beats forced obedience
Xenophon 431-354 BC
When small men begin to cast big shadows, it means that the sun is about to set
Lin Yutang 1895-1976
This is why it is a universal truth about humanity that it is FAR easier to dupe someone than to convince them that they have been duped
John Ziegler 1967