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Political Quotes

Updated on August 21, 2012

The following quotes were not chosen in support of a particular party or issue. They were chosen to show how little things really change.

“It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly Native American criminal class except Congress.”

- Mark Twain

“The most alarming sign of the state of our society now is that our leaders have the courage to sacrifice the lives of young people in war but have not the courage to tell us that we must be less greedy and wasteful.”

- Wendell Berry

In a democracy the poor will have more power than the rich, because there are more of them, and the will of the majority is supreme.
- Aristotle

The most important political office is that of the private citizen.
- Louis D. Brandeis

“When one comes to think of it, there are no such things as divine, immutable, or inalienable rights. Rights are things we get when we are strong enough to make good our claim on them.”

- Helen Keller

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. The world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hope of its children…This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.” (Speech delivered before the American Society of Newspaper Editors, Washington, D.C. April 16, 1953)

- Dwight Eisenhower

"If you go to the city of Washington, you will find that almost all of those corporation lawyers and cowardly politicians, members of congress, and mis-representatives of the masses claim, in glowing terms, that they have risen from the ranks to places of eminence and distinction. I am very glad that I cannot make that claim for myself. I would be ashamed to admit that I had risen from the ranks. When I rise it will be with the ranks, and not from the ranks."

- Eugene Debs

The framers of our nation never imagined what could happen if big government, big publishing, and big broadcasters ever saw eye to eye in putting the public’s need for news second to their own interests — and to the ideology of market economics. The greatest moments in the history of the press came not when journalists made common cause with the state but when they stood fearlessly independent of it.”

- Bill Moyers

A fool and his money are soon elected.
- Will Rogers

"I served in all commissioned ranks from second lieutenant to Major General. And during that period I spent most of my time being a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer for capitalism. I suspected I was just part of the racket all the time. Now I am sure of it."

- Major General Smedley Butler (1881-1940)

During the great prairie revolt that swept the plains a century after the Constitution was ratified, the populist orator Mary Elizabeth Lease explained “Wall Street owns the country. Our laws are the output of a system which clothes rascals in robes and honesty in rags. The parties lie to us, and the political speakers mislead us,” because, she said, “money rules.”

- Bill Moyer

Alexander Hamilton started the U.S. Treasury with nothing, and that was the closest our country has ever been to being even.
- Will Rogers

Even when laws have been written down, they ought not always to remain unaltered.
- Aristotle

Republics decline into democracies and democracies degenerate into despotisms.
- Aristotle

Freedom is not procured by a full enjoyment of what is desired, but by controlling the desire.
- Epictetus

Our object in the construction of the state is the greatest happiness of the whole, and not that of any one class.
- Plato

The superior man understands what is right; the inferior man understands what will sell.
- Confucius

Govern a great nation as you would cook a small fish. Do not overdo it.
- Lao Tzu

Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself.
- Mark Twain

The Democrats are the party that says government will make you smarter, taller, richer, and remove the crabgrass on your lawn. The Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work and then they get elected and prove it.
- P. J. O'Rourke

If you have ten thousand regulations you destroy all respect for the law.
- Winston Churchill

Those who stand for nothing fall for anything.
- Alexander Hamilton

Conservative, n: A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal who wishes to replace them with others.
- Ambrose Bierce

Republicans have nothing but bad ideas and Democrats have no ideas.
- Lewis Black

Ninety percent of the politicians give the other ten percent a bad reputation.
- Henry A. Kissinger

Politics has become so expensive that it takes a lot of money even to be defeated.
- Will Rogers

Politics: A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.
- Ambrose Bierce

One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.
- Plato

Politics, it seems to me, for years, or all too long, has been concerned with right or left instead of right or wrong.
- Richard Armour

The largest party in America, by the way, is neither the Democrats nor the Republicans. It's the party of non-voters.
- Robert Reich

"The opposite for courage is not cowardice, it is conformity. Even a dead fish can go with the flow.”

-Jim Hightower

It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything.
- Joseph Stalin

A politician will do anything to keep his job - even become a patriot.
- William Randolph

Half of the American people have never read a newspaper. Half never voted for President. One hopes it is the same half.
- Gore Vidal

Politics have no relation to morals.
- Niccole Machiavelli

I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.
- Will Rogers

The only difference between the Democrats and the Republicans is that the Democrats allow the poor to be corrupt, too.
- Oscar Levant

The activist is not the man who says the river is dirty. The activist is the man who cleans up the river.
- Ross Perot

It is not once nor twice but times without number that the same ideas make their appearance in the world.
- Aristotle

Politics is not a game. It is an earnest business.
- Winston Churchill

When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators.
- P. J. O'Rourke

The idea that you can merchandise candidates for high office like breakfast cereal - that you can gather votes like box tops - is, I think, the ultimate indignity to the democratic process.
- Adlai E. Stevenson

I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.
- Thomas Jefferson

Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.
- Henry David Thoreau


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    • GNelson profile image

      GNelson 5 years ago from Florida

      xstatic, Yes we seem to be working in a circle and getting nowhere. I would love to hear discussions on issues but that upsets the donors.

    • xstatic profile image

      Jim Higgins 5 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      Great stuff here, and so timely, with the GOP convention...

    • GNelson profile image

      GNelson 5 years ago from Florida

      LauraD093, Thanks for the comment. Will Rogers is one of my favorites.

      ImKarn23, Thanks for sharing. This was an eye opener for me.

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 5 years ago

      THIS is fabulous! tweeting, sharing, and wahtever else i can do with it!

    • LauraD093 profile image

      Laura Tykarski 5 years ago from Pittsburgh PA

      A fool and his money are soon elected.

      - Will Rogers

      GNelson--- I really enjoyed this hub. The older I get the more politically burnt out I become. I agree with Sooner28 this hub is a keeper. I look forward to reading more of your hubs.

    • GNelson profile image

      GNelson 5 years ago from Florida


      Thanks, it is amazing to me how little things change.

    • profile image

      Sooner28 5 years ago

      Great hub. I'm saving this in my favorites.