Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Political Quotes To Ponder...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth

Tired of the daily political bull**it? I don't know about you but I sure as he*l am. With the growing partisanship kn America and the resulting rancor between the wings of both g-damn major political parties perhaps you'll enjoy the following. On second thought, maybe not.

Here goes anyway...

The most perfect political community is one in which the middle class is in control, and outnumbers both of the other classes.


The first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency; the second is war. Both bring a temporary prosperity; both bring a permanent ruin. But both are the refuge of political and economic opportunists.

Ernest Hemingway

There will be no end to the troubles of states, or of humanity itself, till philosophers become kings in this world, or till those we now call kings and rulers really and truly become philosophers, and political power and philosophy thus come into the same hands.


When we blindly adopt a religion, a political system, a literary dogma, we become automatons. We cease to grow.

Anais Nin

The basis of our political system is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government.

George Washington

I am neither bitter nor cynical but I do wish there was less immaturity in political thinking.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Political tags - such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth - are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.

Robert A. Heinlein

He knows nothing and thinks he knows everything. That points clearly to a political career.

George Bernard Shaw

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).

Ayn Rand

All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome.

George Orwell

I hate all politics. I don't like either political party. One should not belong to them - one should be an individual, standing in the middle. Anyone that belongs to a party stops thinking.

Ray Bradbury

Idealism is the noble toga that political gentlemen drape over their will to power.

Aldous Huxley

In our age there is no such thing as 'keeping out of politics.' All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.

George Orwell

Till next time...


  1. It seems good quotes get better after the author is deceased.
    "Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for." Will Rogers

  2. Great addition BB Idaho! Thanks.

    Rogers did have a way of putting things in perspective. A great humorist.

  3. Good list. Wonder what rube is going to object. The best comments for this are those that make good additions, like BB just did.

  4. Thanks dmarks. Probably not many if any objections.

    I've found not many comments get generated with lists like this. Really doing it is more of a steam release and helps get me refocused.

    But yeah, added quotes like BB's addition are appreciated. From liberals, conservatives, and centrists alike.

  5. If anything, perhaps someone who doesn't understand Ayn Rand might froth at the mouth over that quote. I might have in the past, but that was before I understood Rand better, and in the past it would have been (as such frothing about Rand usually is) out of ignorance.

  6. Aristotle has impressed over 2,000 years. Charles Darwin said we were all school boys compared to him.

    1. And so it is Joe. A monumental intellect was Aristotle.

  7. I like FDR's quote the best. There is cause to be hopeful and optimistic about America and our future. It really is just immaturity standing in the way.


    1. I knew you would.

      As for hope? We'll see. It is definitely going to be rough going for the foreseeable future.

    2. FDR understood the futility of fear, and the idiocy that promulgates it. He is most despised by the Right for this. Without fear, there'd be no conservatism.


    3. Jersey said: "Without fear, there'd be no conservatism."

      Nor would there be liberalism.

    4. dmarks, your link is retarded.


    5. Jersey, your expression of hatred for the mentally disabled is a strange non-sequitur. Regardless, my link was very appropriate as just one of the countless pieces of evidence that shows that liberals/the left use the politics of fear just as conservatives do. It handily deflates your careless generalization. If there is any weakness, it is because the link was rather old. But that was done on purpose, as FDR was the subject at the time.

      Here is another quote from a great politician, this one a liberal also:

      "The moral test of government is how it treats those who are in the dawn of life . . . the children; those who are in the twilight of life . . . the elderly; and those who are in the shadow of life . . . the sick . . . the needy . . . and the disabled."

      I strongly agree with what Humphrey said, and always will.

      I doubt HHH would do as Jersey did here and use terms for the disabled as a generic and vague insult as if people with disabilities were to be despised.

  8. Andrew Jackson: The people are the government, administering it by their agents; they are the government, the sovereign power.

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

  9. Jefferson and Jackson: Excellent both.

    Good additions to the list. Thanks.

  10. Society in every state is a blessing, but government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one.
    Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1776

    1. One of my favorite. Paine was a brilliant political thinker for his day. We owe him much.

    2. Thomas Paine: For all men being originally equals, no one by birth could have the right to set up his own family in perpetual preference to all others forever, and tho' himself might deserve some decent degree of honours of his contemporaries, yet his descendants might be far too unworthy to inherit them.

      Thomas Paine: Personal property is the effect of society; and it is as impossible for an individual to acquire personal property without the aid of society, as it is for him to make land originally. Separate an individual from society, and give him an island or a continent to possess, and he cannot acquire personal property. He cannot be rich. So inseparably are the means connected with the end, in all cases, that where the former do not exist the latter cannot be obtained. All accumulation, therefore, of personal property, beyond what a man's own hands produce, is derived to him by living in society; and he owes on every principle of justice, of gratitude, and of civilization, a part of that accumulation back again to society from whence the whole came.

      Thomas Paine: I care not how affluent some may be, provided that none be miserable in consequence of it. But it is impossible to enjoy affluence with the felicity it is capable of being enjoyed, while so much misery is mingled in the scene.

      Thomas Paine: There are, in every country, some magnificent charities established by individuals. It is, however, but little that any individual can do, when the whole extent of the misery to be relieved is considered. He may satisfy his conscience, but not his heart. He may give all that he has, and that all will relieve but little. It is only by organizing civilization upon such principles as to act like a system of pulleys, that the whole weight of misery can be removed.

    3. Paine was riding the rails quite precariously with #2 on the list.

      I hold with Ayn Rand's quote provided by dmarks. Properly understood and applied of course.

      But that IS a discussion for another day.

  11. When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.
    Thomas Jefferson

    1. Right now the government does not fear the people nor do the people in majority fear their government. We are in a historical transitional time in the United States of America yet again.

      In time future generations shall live with our decisions today.


  12. "We must confine ourselves to the powers described in the Constitution, and the moment we pass it, we take an arbitrary stride towards a despotic Government."
    -- James Jackson, First Congress, 1st Annals of Congress

  13. However, we must be prudent in remembering that our founders, understanding they could not foresee the future, were wise enough to see the need for the amendment process and devise a government in which future generations were not hamstrung in responding to a changing and growing nation.

    That said, the intent of this quote is understood and bears keeping in mind within the context of our 21st century realities. Honest education of our youth, rather than ideological indoctrination will be the key to preserving our liberties.

    1. RN: That goes without saying. The amendment process has been there from the start.


    "The people have always some champion whom they set over them and nurse into greatness . . . This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs. When he first appears, he is a Protector . . . In the early days of his power he is full of smiles. . . When the tyrant has disposed of foreign enemies . . . and there is nothing to fear from them, then he is always stirring up some war or other in order that the people may require a leader. . . Has he not also another object . . . that they may be impoverished by taxes and thus compelled to devote themselves to their daily wants and [be] therefore less likely to conspire against him?"

    ~ Plato (427-347 B. C.)

    "Like the diet prescribed by doctors, which neither restores the strength of the patient nor allows him to succumb, so these doles that you are now distributing, neither suffice to ensure your safety nor allow you to renounce them and try something else."

    ~ Demosthenes (384-322 B. C.)

    "In general the art of government consists in taking as much money as possible from one class of citizens to give to the other."

    “Woe to the makers of literal translation, who by rendering every word weaken the meaning! It is, indeed, by doing so that we can say the letter kills and the spirit gives life.”

    ~ Voltaire (1694-1778)

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

    ~ Edmund Burke (1729-1797)

    Innately wise, highly intelligent human beings have always known what is wrong with "us," and what we need to do about it, but the vast majority of willful, deceptive, hideously self-serving morons -- and evil geniuses -- always seems to prevent WISDOM and TRUTH from prevailing.

  15. Excellent additions FreeThinke! Thank you for sharing them with us.

    A true leader, (and in the case of a representative republic such as the USA true leaders) will be humbled by the responsibility of governing the people who put him/her (them) in power. A true and wise leader understands that integrity engenders respect and trust and that only by gaining and retaining the respect and trust of the people will he/she (they) ultimately be successful.

    An effective leader understands the above and is effective because he/she (they) excersise the authority they have been given sparingly.

    All too frequantly power corrupts and it seems absolute power indeed corrupts absolutely.

  16. "“Without property rights, no other rights are possible. Since man has to sustain his life by his own effort, the man who has no right to the product of his effort has no means to sustain his life. The man who produces while others dispose of his product, is a slave”"
    -Ayn Rand.

    1. Lord Acton: Property is not the sacred right. When a rich man becomes poor it is a misfortune, it is not a moral evil. When a poor man becomes destitute, it is a moral evil, teeming with consequences and injurious to society and morality.

      Aristotle: The beginning of reform is not so much to equalize property as to train the noble sort of natures not to desire more, and to prevent the lower from getting more.

      Joseph Stalin: Mankind is divided into rich and poor, into property owners and exploited; and to abstract oneself from this fundamental division; and from the antagonism between poor and rich means abstracting oneself from fundamental facts.

      Woodrow Wilson: Property as compared with humanity, as compared with the red blood in the American people, must take second place, not first place.

  17. Many hold that property, specifically land, is made available by a divine creator who created the heavens and the earth. Therefore, it could be argued that property is "owned" in equal share by the inhabitants of the earth as he created all humankind equal.

    Or, given the earth was created by the omnipotent creator it is thus owened by him and merely on loan to humankind at his/her pleasure. Therefore no one can really own land.

    No, I'm not going off the rails here, as I consider both bunk. However I could argue both given the time to develop the argument. But I'll leave that to Mr. Dervish.

  18. How did I know Mr. Sanders would manage to slide a Stalin quote into the mix? One of the world's worst and most brutal tyrants. As well as a frigging hypocrite.

    1. One of the top 2 mass murderers of the 20th Century and wd is somehow gleaning wisdom from the fellow? That's embarrassing, even for wd (though it does confirm what we always knew about him; that he doesn't respect an individual's private property).

    2. Indeed Will. I was willing to give Mr. Sanders the benefit of the doubt... Until this. There can now be NO question as to this degenerates motives This dude is as bad as Nugent. Only in different ways.

    3. RN: Mr. Sanders' quotation from Stalin about " Mankind is divided into rich and poor" is ironic, but in a way Mr. Sanders probably does not recognize. This is because, more than any other man in human history (with the exception of Mao). the division between the rich (Stalin) and the poor (everyone else in the USSR) was the biggest. He was the "property owner" (again, from the quote) of every single inch of USSR land (and many colonies besides) and everyone else was exploited: all by his will and effort.

    4. Will said: "One of the top 2 mass murderers of the 20th Century and wd...." He has defended the other one, also. Just stating that fact and letting it sit there...perhaps it can be said that I am giving that dead horse a kick. But no, not going to saddle it up.


  19. Relevant to the theme of compromise and pragmatism that comes up on this blog from time to time:

    "Republicans and Democrats have used accounting gimmicks and competing government analyses to deceive the public into believing that 2 + 2 = 6. If our leaders cannot agree on the numbers, if 'facts' are fictional, how can they possibly have a substantive debate on solutions?"
    - Congressman J. C. Watts.

    Read more at"

  20. "Precisely because radio and TV have become our principal sources of news and information, we should accord broadcasters the utmost freedom in order to insure a truly free press." Mario Cuomo, 1993.

  21. and Les, how about wisdom from unlikely sources? As in, no-one tends to think of former President James Earl Carter as a great quotable mind. But here he is:

    "Jesus never said a word about homosexuality. In all of his teachings about multiple things - he never said that gay people should be condemned. I personally think it is very fine for gay people to be married in civil ceremonies."

    "War may sometimes be a necessary evil. But no matter how necessary, it is always an evil, never a good. We will not learn how to live together in peace by killing each other's children."

  22. "Conservative - a statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from a liberal, who wishes to replace then with others." Ambrose Bierce (brilliantly portrayed by Gregory Peck in the movie, "Old Gringo") - that's my personal favorite.......And I also like this one; "I predict future happiness for the American people if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them." Thomas Jefferson.

  23. Will, both are EXCELLENT quotes and so very true! Thanks for adding them to the list!

  24. In line with Will's statesmen quote:

    ""If you're not a liberal when you're 25, you have no heart. If you're not a conservative by the time you're 35, you have no brain."

    - Attributed, perhaps falsely, to Winston Churchill.

    Bierce is a source for a lot of cynical observations. His "Devil's Dictionary" has long since fallen into public domain and is easily found and searched. Here is one more from Bierce:

    "POLITICIAN, n. An eel in the fundamental mud upon which the superstructure of organized society is reared. When he wriggles he mistakes the agitation of his tail for the trembling of the edifice. As compared with the statesman, he suffers the disadvantage of being alive."

  25. Bierce was awesome and hopefully he didn't suffer too greatly at the hands of Villa and the Zapatistas.

  26. RN: I was willing to give Mr. Sanders the benefit of the doubt... Until this.

    Until what? Quoting someone is not "defending" them. What Stalin said is true, but RN's description of him is also true. And Dennis saying I defend the "other one also" is baloney as I've never defended any mass murderers, unlike him. I'm talking about the mass murderer that Dennis says "told the truth and saved lives", BTW. This is a fact that I am just stating and letting sit there.

  27. Who you gonna quote next, Hitler, Pol Pot, Idi Amin?

  28. Perhaps, Will, if we want to junk it up with more crazies who get stuff wrong as Stalin did. Or we could get back on track with some more wisdom like we consistently had here until the Stalin quote opened the crapgate. Got any more good ones, Will?

  29. Mr. Sanders, having made his point said he is letting it sit there. Thank you, nothing further need be said.

    dmarks & Will, having made your points it will be appreciated if they just sit there as well.

    Not desiring a food fight it is now best to move on to something positive again.

    Thank you,
    The Management

  30. George W. Bush: I think I was unprepared for war.

    Ayn Rand: There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil.

    Ronald Reagan: We're going to close the unproductive tax loopholes that allow some of the truly wealthy to avoid paying their fair share. In theory, some of those loopholes were understandable, but in practice they sometimes made it possible for millionaires to pay nothing, while a bus driver was paying ten percent of his salary, and that's crazy.

    Mark Udall: I brag on the Democratic Party. We're libertarian on social issues, it's live and let live. Fiscally, we're conservative and responsible, and were environmentally conscious.

  31. Ayn Rand: There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil.

    Of course as always Rand was correct. The key Mr. Sanders is determining which side is right based on sound philosophy and then siding with and fightg for the right side.

    Bada Bing!

    Now go back tO work Mr. Sanders.


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