Quotations relating to government.
Showing 1 through 36 of 81 quotations in this category.
"Like NASCAR race drivers or PGA golfers, why not require each of the [US presidential] candidates to cover their clothing, briefcases and staff with the logo patches of their corporate sponsors?"
"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."
"It's naive and even irresponsible for a grownup today to get her or his information about foreign policy and war and peace exclusively from the administration in power. It's essential to have other sources of information, to check those against one's own common sense, and to form your own judgment as to whether we ought to go to or persist in war."
"Bush likes the democracy vs. terrorism contrast, of course, because it brings 'moral clarity,' that is to say, it paints one side as purely good and the other side as purely evil. The rest of the world cannot decide if this way of speaking is crude propaganda or crude propaganda mixed with self-delusion."
"Public access to government information is a fundamental prerequisite to a functioning democracy. A democratic system is based on the notion that government legitimacy requires the consent of the governed. To be meaningful that consent must be informed."
"The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter."
"Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat, but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires."
"Theocracy is the worst of all governments. If we must have a tyrant, a robber baron is far better than an inquisitor. The baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity at some point be sated; and since he dimly knows he is doing wrong he may possibly repent. But the inquisitor who mistakes his own cruelty and lust of power and fear for the voice of Heaven will torment us infinitely because he torments us with the approval of his own conscience and his better impulses appear to him as temptations."
"The Democratic Party has been in a tailspin ever since Michael Dukakis responded to Ronald Reagan's charge that he was a 'liberal' by insisting that he wasn't, rather than by claiming the mantle proudly."
"To me, the most sensible and pragmatic capitalist is a skeptical capitalist, one who recognizes the enormous power for good in the system but also recognizes that it is ultimately just a patchwork of conventions, laws and mores, cobbled together by disparate people with vastly different aims, and existing always in an uneasy tension. That, to me, is a simple statement of the reality of life, of human systems and their imperfections."
"Government works best under the glare of public scrutiny. Absent such scrutiny, abuses occur."
"If the War on Drugs is about morals and ethics, let's make it a Volunteer Army. See who keeps fighting, and who starts a hemp farm."
"One has to be insincere and promise something which you cannot fulfill. So you either have to be a fool who does not understand what you are promising, or deliberately be lying."
"Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies."
"Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote."
"I recognize and celebrate that our country is founded upon Judeo-Christian values. And I have pledged my life to defend America and all her values, the values that have made us the noblest experiment in history. But political intolerance by any political party is neither a Judeo-Christian nor an American value. The political tactics of division and slander are not our values. They are corrupting influences on religion and politics and those who practice them in the name of religion or in the name of the Republican Party or in the name of America shame our faith, our party and our country."
"We need a renewable energy policy in this country, so we stop sending all our oil money to the Saudis and the Iranians and the Syrians, where they recycle it back into terror."
"Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government."
"When Church and State are separate, the effects are happy, and they do not at all interfere with each other; but where they have been confounded together, no tongue nor pen can fully describe the mischiefs that have ensued."
"There is no other definition of socialism valid for us than that of the abolition of the exploitation of man by man."
"Members of legislative bodies are selected by political parties, largely financed or otherwise influenced by private capitalists who, for all practical purposes, separate the electorate from the legislature. The consequence is that the representatives of the people do not in fact sufficiently protect the interests of the underprivileged sections of the population."
"One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors."
"The point is that one can be certain of some things while listening to others, respecting their views, and understanding that they may be equally certain - and, indeed, may even be equally right (or at least equally safe from being proved wrong). And that the risk that democratic institutions are built to contain is the risk that certain people impose their certainty on those, well, less certain. In other words, I won't impose my certainty on you, if you won't impose yours on me. Instead, we face each other, argue, deliberate, compromise, and learn to be tolerant (and, in politics, vote). And I'll win some, and you'll win some, and that's OK - more than OK, it's probably better than either of us could have come up with on our own."
"We -- the people who cover politics, and the people who pay attention to politics -- are literalists. We believe, unimaginatively and credulously, with a deep lack of humour and irony, in what we write and what we read. We believe that the news of the day is real. Politicians, on the other hand, and even more so, the people whose business is politics pollsters, and managers, and communications directors, and media consultants are illusionists. They are engaged in a perceptual act designed to wow the literalists."
"We have a criminal jury system which is superior to any in the world; and its efficiency is only marred by the difficulty of finding twelve men every day who don't know anything and can't read."
"You cannot have an integrated world and have your say all the time. America can lead the world towards that, but we cannot dominate and run the world in that direction. There is a big difference."
"There's nothing wrong with patriotism, but too often we think just waving a flag and following submissively along with what our leaders tell us to do is enough. It's not. It's not even close."
"The best minds are not in government. If any were, business would steal them away."
"I hope you are alive and unsentimental enough to look honestly at yourselves as American citizens and say that it is insulting to you and your relatives and your fellow citizens to let Osama bin Laden so dazzle and possess our president and our government and our society that he and his war can so disrupt our economy and our way of life."
"The politicians don't just want your money. They want your soul. They want you to be worn down by taxes until you are dependent and helpless. When you subsidize poverty and failure, you get more of both."
"Congress is so strange. A man gets up to speak and says nothing. Nobody listens -- and then everybody disagrees."
"The minority, the ruling class at present, has the schools and press, usually the Church as well, under its thumb. This enables it to organize and sway the emotions of the masses, and make its tool of them."
"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."
"I am an anarchist! Wherefore I will not rule and also ruled I will not be."
"Assassination is the extreme form of censorship."
"If you think of yourselves as helpless and ineffectual, it is certain that you will create a despotic government to be your master. The wise despot, therefore, maintains among his subjects a popular sense that they are helpless and ineffectual."