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Quotations for life and politics

Updated on April 29, 2015

Lord Emerich Edward Acton


Since it seems to me that we have lost track of so many basic principles in our politics and society I have gathered a random array of observations that appeal to me. They are in no particular order. Some of you may find some relation to our current national situation. All quotes are from The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations-Third Edition

Abraham Lincoln 1809-1865

You can fool all of the people some of the time,

And some of the people all the time,

But you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.

Lord Acton 1534-1902

Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Edmund Burke


G.W.E. Russell

Child: Mama are Tories born wicked, or do they grow wicked afterward?

 Mother: They are born wicked and grow worse.

Edmund Burke 1729-1797


Among a people generally corrupt, liberty cannot long exist.

Bad laws are the worst sort of tyranny.

The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion.

People will not look forward to posterity, who never looked backward to their ancestors.

Man is by his constitution a religious animal.

Lewis Carroll 1832-1898

‘Curiouser and curiouser!’ cried Alice.

Cicero 106-43 BC

The good of the people is the chief law.

William Cobbett 1760-1835

…I had imbibed the opinion, that it was every man’s duty to do all that lay in his power to leave his country as good as he had found it.

Calvin Coolidge 1872-1933


The business of America is business.

Ralph Waldo Emerson 1803-1882


The louder he talked about his honour, the faster we counted the spoons.

Nothing astonishes men so much as common sense and plain dealing.

 One statesman said ‘the curse of this country is eloquent men.’

Edward Gibbon 1737-1794

 The first of earthly business, independence.

Thomas Jefferson 1743-1826

 If the principle were to prevail of a common law (i.e., a single government) being in force it the United States…it would become the most corrupt government on the earth.

 When a man assumes a public trust, he should consider himself public property.

© 2010 Don A. Hoglund


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    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 3 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      Thanks for commenting, Perspycarous. I am sure I will do other hubs of quotations when the mood hits me. Probably no society survives unless the citizens care enough to preserve it.

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 3 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      I hope you will take occasion to do a second and third collection. I believe you commented on my Washington speaking to today's Americans. What he warned us of is plainly evident today.

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      Thank you for the comment. They are guotes that appeal to me and hopefully to others.

    • sweetie1 profile image

      sweetie1 6 years ago from India

      Very nice quotes, though most are famous quotes but i didn't know who said it. Very nice

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 7 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      Glad you enjoyed it. Emerson was an interesting person.Thanks for the comment and rating.

    • justmesuzanne profile image

      justmesuzanne 7 years ago from Texas

      Great HUB! I especially like Emerson's thoughts. Voted up and rated! :)

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 7 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      No, I don't think so either.

    • Rod Marsden profile image

      Rod Marsden 7 years ago from Wollongong, NSW, Australia

      You're probably right dahoglund. Not sure if that gets Butler off the hook.

    • profile image

      dahoglund 7 years ago

      Thanks for visiting and commenting.I think Emerson had in mind glib people who soung good but can't be trusted.

    • Rod Marsden profile image

      Rod Marsden 7 years ago from Wollongong, NSW, Australia

      Not a bad selection.

      I particularly liked the Emerson quote about spoons. It reminded me that the 'beast of New Orleans' Benjamin Franklin Butler was also nick-named 'spoons' because he had a reputation for making off with the silverware. Not the most popular northern officer during the American Civil War. Maybe Emerson had him in mind.

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 7 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      Peggy W

      The nastiness part I am not sure of. Some pretty strong stuff was said and accusations made in early political campaigns.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I am in full agreement with how you responded. Why is it that sometimes millions of dollars are spent to get into office? It is for the lifetime benefits of what they know they will be receiving. The goal of serving the best interests of the country is somehow secondary as motivation I am afraid. If they simply did it for a short term...doing the best that they could for the country with the intent of going back to whatever kind of business they ordinarily did, we would not have the situation we have today. There would also not be the nastiness we have to endure with them fighting to get into or retain those offices. Sad!

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 7 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids


      Thank you for reading and commenting.

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 7 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      Hi Peggy W

      No, the founding fathers definitely would not approve of politics as a career. George Washington set the precedent of turning down further time in office.A revolt against taxes is what started the revolution so they would not favor the taxing going on now.Their idea was sevice. To spend a few years serving your government and then going back to whatever you did. This might have gone a bit far when early presidents like U.S. grant was left broke after retirement.Mark Twain helped him by publishing his memoirs.However, I think today's presidents are being overcompensated.

      Your comments are always appreciated.

    • dallas93444 profile image

      Dallas W Thompson 7 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      Wisdom... succinct. Thanks for sharing.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      These are excellent quotes and worth reiterating. Do you think that the originators of our Constitution meant for men/women to become politicians as a life time career or to be exempt from the laws that are deemed good for the rest of us? I personally think that we have strayed way off course as to the original intent of our founding fathers idea of government. They would probably be rolling over in their graves!

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 7 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids


      I think Lord Afton's saying pretty much covers that.Power tends to corrupt.Note:power doesn't always corrupt and I think we should try to reward those who stay true to their service to the people.

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 7 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids


      Thank you for reading this and your comment.

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 7 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids


      I do feel that since the New Deal we have lost track of where we were supposed to go. Thanks for your comment.

    • rafken profile image

      rafken 7 years ago from The worlds my oyster

      Good hub. I noticed there have been few good quotes this century, so see if this will make one. Do you have to be corrupt to be a politian or does being a politian make you corrupt.

    • creativeone59 profile image

      benny Faye Douglass 7 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

      Thank you for an eye opening hub on quotations for life politics. Thank you for sharing.Godspeed. creativeone59

    • Coolmon2009 profile image

      Coolmon2009 7 years ago from Texas, USA

      It is a shame how U.S. History has been systematically rewritten and trivialized over the last 100 years.It is refreshing to see the words of Lincoln, Jefferson and other greats in print. Good article

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 7 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids


      Yes, that is perpetual throughout political campaigns, I think.Thanks for contributing.


      Yes, I believe so.What scares me is the attitude that the administration has that a bad law is better than no law. Thanks for commenting.

    • eovery profile image

      eovery 7 years ago from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa

      About bad laws. We have had a lot of them lately.

      Keep on hubbing!

    • profile image

      Vern Borth 7 years ago


      Given the current spate of attack ads on television by candidates of both major parties, perhaps another quote is the one from the Bible that says, "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor."


    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 7 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      Thanks. I felt that these were things we needed reminding of.

    • Tom Whitworth profile image

      Tom Whitworth 7 years ago from Moundsville, WV


      Great Hub of men with the kind of values that made America great!!!!!!!!!!!!


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