Quotes About American Politics

Quotes tagged as "american-politics" (showing 1-30 of 30)
Seneca
“For it is dangerous to attach one's self to the crowd in front, and so long as each one of us is more willing to trust another than to judge for himself, we never show any judgement in the matter of living, but always a blind trust, and a mistake that has been passed on from hand to hand finally involves us and works our destruction. It is the example of other people that is our undoing; let us merely separate ourselves from the crowd, and we shall be made whole. But as it is, the populace,, defending its own iniquity, pits itself against reason. And so we see the same thing happening that happens at the elections, where, when the fickle breeze of popular favour has shifted, the very same persons who chose the praetors wonder that those praetors were chosen.”
Seneca

“My God, what do we want? What does any human being want? Take away an accident of pigmentation of a thin layer of our outer skin and there is no difference between me and anyone else. All we want is for that trivial difference to make no difference. What can I say to a man who asks that? All I can do is try to explain to him why he asks the question. You have looked at us for years as different from you that you may never see us really. You don’t understand because you think of us as second-class humans. We have been passive and accommodating through so many years of your insults and delays that you think the way things used to be is normal. When the good-natured, spiritual-singing boys and girls rise up against the white man and demand to be treated like he is, you are bewildered. All we want is what you want, no less and no more. (Chapter 13).”
Shirley Chisholm, Unbought And Unbossed

Glenn Greenwald
“Every time I do an interview people ask similar questions, such as "What is the most significant story that you have revealed?" […] There really is only one overarching point that all of these stories have revealed, and that is–and I say this without the slightest bit of hyperbole or melodrama; it's not metaphorical and it's not figurative; it is literally true–that the goal of the NSA and it's five eyes partners in the English speaking world–Canada, New Zealand, Australia and especially the UK–is to eliminate privacy globally, to ensure that there could be no human communications that occur electronically, that evades their surveillance net; they want to make sure that all forms of human communications by telephone or by Internet, and all online activities are collected, monitored, stored and analyzed by that agency and by their allies.

That means, to describe that is to describe a ubiquitous surveillance state; you don't need hyperbole to make that claim, and you do not need to believe me when I say that that's their goal. Document after document within the archive that Edward Snowden provided us declare that to be their goal. They are obsessed with searching out any small little premise of the planet where some form of communications might take place without they being able to invade it.”
Glenn Greenwald

Pew Research Center
“America isn't breaking apart at the seams. The American dream isn't dying. Our new racial and ethnic complexion hasn't triggered massive outbreaks of intolerance. Our generations aren't at each other's throats. They're living more interdependently than at any time in recent memory, because that turns out to be a good coping strategy in hard times. Our nation faces huge challenges, no doubt. So do the rest of the world's aging economic powers. If you had to pick a nation with the right stuff to ride out the coming demographic storm, you'd be crazy not to choose America, warts and all.”
Pew Research Center, The Next America: Boomers, Millennials, and the Looming Generational Showdown

David Niose
“When libertarian sentiments take a populist form, it looks like this: a mix of anger, fear, anti-intellectualism, and fierce government hostility. Welcome to the Tea Party movement.”
David Niose, Fighting Back the Right: Reclaiming America from the Attack on Reason

Markham Shaw Pyle
“Public life in this country is too damn dominated by people who’d read more if only their lips didn’t get so tired.”
Markham Shaw Pyle

Christopher Hitchens
“I've always regarded it as a test of character to dislike the Kennedys. I don't really respect anyone who falls for Camelot.”
Christopher Hitchens

John Barnes
“... they only trusted the wisdom of people brighter and more worldly than themselves when it was expressed in the vocabulary and style of rural idiots. In his guise as Brazenydol, he had once had a contract with DARPA to teach a team of physicists the basic terminology of tractor pulls so that they could give an acceptable explanation of omniwavelength stealth to a Congressional committee that didn’t understand tractor pulls, either.”
John Barnes, Raise the Gipper!

Austin Grossman
“People talk about Eisenhower's golden age.... It all happened without me. What is the vice presidency? The Constitution dictates only two duties: casting the deciding vote if the Senate is deadlocked and replacing the president if he dies or is impeached. apart from waiting for those two things to happen, you made the rest up and were duly forgotten by history. The exception being Aaron Burr, who shot someone, decisively lowering the bar for the rest of us.
What I remember is small pieces of the world: the West Wing, the insides of planes and hotel lobbies and conference rooms. My life was dinners with Pat and the children; airplane flights; placeholder meetings with foreign dignitaries during which I nodded and reminded them I had no power to make and agreement but would speak to the president. Stomach-turning formal breakfasts, speeches to party elders and tradesmen. I opened factories in Detroit and Akron, breathing the various stinks of canneries, slaughterhouses, or rubber plans and bestowing that vice presidential combination of glamour, flattery, and the tacit reminder that they didn't quite rate a visit from the top guy.”
Austin Grossman, Crooked

Austin Grossman
“What is it like to be made vice-president?
On one level, it's a nearly hallucinatory degree of success. I was barely forty years old, and a shaky, sixty-three-year-old heartbeat from the leadership of the entire Western world.
It was also like throwing up in convention-hall bathrooms before giving speeches, and after. It was sitting through dinners with men and women with whom I had nothing in common. Spending an enormous amount of time on trains. Promising thins and agreeing to things as advised by people I had barely met, on very little sleep. Huge sums of money were changing hands and everything happening on the grandest scale imaginable while still in most moments remaining pointless and usually outright seedy. I pretended to learn to fly-fish; I watched sporting events. In Maine I was assaulted by a lobster; it seized my lapel in a threatening manner. I tasted local foods and admired factories,farms, department stores, hotels, and (unless I'm misremembering) several empty plots of land....
It was like being given what was almost the nation's highest honor by a man you held in infinite esteem and regarded with perhaps a certain amount of terrified suspicion, a man who disliked you and clearly wanted nothing to do with you, who would scowl and change the subject at the mention of your name. And then being given a very important and very nasty job by that person, and despised for it, almost as much as you despised yourself.”
Austin Grossman, Crooked

“The premise that America’s power and influence was rooted in its wealth was wrong to begin with. To the contrary, our strength comes from America’s magical stuff. It is something intangible, something invulnerable, something no measure of evil, no amount of violence or bloodshed can destroy.”
Rick Elkin, Turn Right at Lost: Recalulating America

F. Scott Fitzgerald
“People try so hard to believe in leaders now, pitifully hard. But we no sooner get a popular reformer or politician or soldier or writer or philosopher—a Roosevelt, a Tolstoi, a Wood, a Shaw, a Nietzsche, than the cross-currents of criticism wash him away. My Lord, no man can stand prominence these days. It's the surest path to obscurity. People get sick of hearing the same name over and over...
We want to believe. Young students try to believe in older authors, constituents try to believe in their Congressmen, countries try to believe in their statesmen, but they can't. Too many voices, too much scattered, illogical, ill-considered criticism. It's worse in the case of newspapers. Any rich, unprogressive old party with that particularly grasping, acquisitive form of mentality known as financial genius can own a paper that is the intellectual meat and drink of thousands of tired, hurried men, men too involved in the business of modern living to swallow anything but predigested food. For two cents the voter buys his politics, prejudices, and philosophy. A year later there is a new political ring or a change in the paper's ownership, consequence: more confusion, more contradiction, a sudden inrush of new ideas, their tempering, their distillation, the reaction against them-”
F. Scott Fitzgerald

Pew Research Center
“There's no evidence from decades of Pew Research surveys that public opinion, in the aggregate, is more extreme now than in the past. But what has changed -- and pretty dramatically -- is the growing tendency of people to sort themselves into political parties based on their ideological differences.”
Pew Research Center, The Next America: Boomers, Millennials, and the Looming Generational Showdown

Anthony Everitt
“Rome became a republic in 509 B.C., after driving out its king and abolishing the monarchy. The next two centuries saw a long struggle for power between a group of noble families, patricians, and ordinary citizens, plebeians, who were excluded from public office. The outcome was a apparent victory for the people, but the old aristocracy, supplemented by rich pledeian nobles, still controlled the state. What looked in many ways like democracy was, in fact, an oligarcy modified by elections.”
Anthony Everitt, Augustus: The Life of Rome's First Emperor

Giannina Braschi
“What we have here is a war—the war of matter and spirit. In the classical era, spirit was in harmony with matter. Matter used to condense spirit. What was unseen—the ghost of Hamlet’s father—was seen—in the conscience of the king. The spirit was trapped in the matter of theater. The theater made the unseen, seen. In the Romantic era, spirit overwhelms matter. The glass of champagne can’t contain the bubbles. But never in the history of humanity has spirit been at war with matter. And that is what we have today. The war of banks and religion. It’s what I wrote in Prayers of the Dawn, that in New York City, banks tower over cathedrals. Banks are the temples of America. This is a holy war. Our economy is our religion. When I came back to midtown a week after the attack—I mourned—but not in a personal way—it was a cosmic mourning—something that I could not specify because I didn’t know any of the dead. I felt grief without knowing its origin. Maybe it was the grief of being an immigrant and of not having roots. Not being able to participate in the whole affair as a family member but as a foreigner, as a stranger—estranged in myself and confused—I saw the windows of Bergdorf and Saks—what a theater of the unexpected—my mother would have cried—there were only black curtains, black drapes—showing the mourning of the stores—no mannequins, just veils—black veils. When the mannequins appeared again weeks later—none of them had blond hair. I don’t know if it was because of the mourning rituals or whether the mannequins were afraid to be blond—targets of terrorists. Even they didn’t want to look American. They were out of fashion after the Twin Towers fell. To the point, that even though I had just dyed my hair blond because I was writing Hamlet and Hamlet is blond, I went back to my coiffeur immediately and told him—dye my hair black. It was a matter of life and death, why look like an American. When naturally I look like an Arab and walk like an Egyptian.”
Giannina Braschi

“I was once a statist, and then I researched The Holocaust. I am now a Libertarian.”
A.E. Samaan

“I think, therefore I am an individual... not a drone in a collective. I think, therefore I am... Libertarian.”
A.E. Samaan

Umberto Eco
“The great Bonaventure said that the wise must enhance conceptual clarity with the truth implicit in the actions of the simple...."
"Like the chapter of Perugia and the learned memories of Ubertino, which transform into theological decisions the summons of the simple to poverty." I said.
"Yes, but as you have seen, this happens too late, and when it happens, the truth of the simple has already been transformed into the truth of the powerful, more useful for the Emperor Louis than for a Friar of the Poor Life.”
Umberto Eco

Robert B. Reich
“If nothing is done to counter present trends, the major fault line in American politics will no longer be between Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives. It will be between the "establishment"--political insiders, power brokers, the heads of American business, Wall Street, and the mainstream media--and an increasingly mad-as-hell populace determined to "take back America" from them.”
Robert B. Reich, Aftershock: The Next Economy and America's Future

Ward Just
“This was one of the unfortunate consequences of exaggerating the enemy's evil. You were obligated to exaggerate your own virtues as well. To counter the enemy's fiendish subversion, you wielded a blunt instrument of righteousness. And then you got a congressional committee of yahoos with subpoena power and God on their side...If only, Axel thought. If only they weren't so god damned dumb.”
Ward Just

Tim Kreider
“I'm not issuing some naïve plea for civility or bipartisanship here, or pretending that the opposing sides in this fight are intellectually equal. We have irreconcilable visions of the kind of country we want this to be: some of us would just like to live in Canada with better weather; others want something more like Iran with Jesus. My cruelest hope for the Tea Party is that one of their candidates wins the nomination for the presidency and they implode of their hubristic stupidity. But at least when I hear about them now, instead of reflexively picturing some braying ignoramus like Michele Bachmann, I try to remember that Matt [a friend of the Author's, ed] is out in that crowd somewhere, too. God agreed to spare Sodom if ten good men could be found within its walls (Abraham had to haggle him down from fifty). He ended up napalming those perverts anyway but the basic principle of sparing the sinner for the sake of the righteous, or the shithead for the sake of the basically okay, remains sound.”
Tim Kreider, We Learn Nothing

“A rising sun died in America and the world on Nov. 22, 1963. Some say that we have never again seen such a rising sun in the sky as we did that morning. Even if it was cloudy or raining that day, the country and world were more innocent and optimistic at that moment than they have been since then. Some say that a piece of all of us – the hope that helps us get through another day - died that day. Others say the act just opened the eyes of many about what the U.S. government and other governments had done in our names for a long time.”
Kevin James Shay, Death of the Rising Sun: A Search for Truth in the John F. Kennedy Assassination

Rick Remender
“Shit, man, democracy failed before it started.

Who thought it was a good idea to let the masses of fucktards decide anything?

[Guess I've got more faith in people.]

People? The election of 2044 -- Curls Bellberry, a boy band presidency on the platform that the Earth is flat and that he'd nuke New York to save Social Security. There's a good reason he was the last president.

Problem with letting people pick a leader is they gravitate towards confident sociopaths no matter how stupid they are.

It's the perception of qualification that fools people.

At least by having corporate executives rule us we get folks who are good at business.

Life hurts, the world is fucked, and that's not going to change. . .”
Rick Remender, Tokyo Ghost, Vol. 2: Come Join Us

Aysha Taryam
“The long-term effect of Hillary’s loss could be more beneficial to the future of America than one might think. For if Obama’s reign placed hope in the hearts of the young and instilled in them a belief that differences must be embraced then Hillary’s crushing defeat has awakened them to the harsh realities of a hopeful indifference and raised their voices in opposition of all those ideals that would not only darken their future but the future of the entire world.”
Aysha Taryam

J.D. Vance
“There is a lack of agency here - a feeling that you have little control over your life and a willingness to blame everyone but yourself.”
J.D. Vance

James Buchanan
“To the new president, Abraham Lincoln: Sir, if on attaining the presidency you are as happy as I am upon leaving it, then, sir, you are a happy man indeed.”
James Buchanan

“A telling example of what it has all come to can be found in the person of Rick Santorum, the junior Republican senator from Pennsylvania. Elected to the House in 1990 and then the Senate in 1994, Santorum, forty, is the apotheosis of the brash newer member who imposes himself on the working order of the Senate, demonstrates little respect for the institution, becomes a one-man ideological enforcer, and brings down the level of civility. Toothy, with a shock of dark hair, Santorum looks the perfect pol for the television age. Unburdened by brilliance, he makes his impact through pestiferousness.”
Elizabeth Drew, Corruption of American Politics: What Went Wrong and Why

“It is a central characteristic of the American political system that a wheelbarrow fetishist could be mayor of Omaha.”
Charles L. Mee Jr.

“The primary elections are the cornerstones of the plebiscitary presidency. They strip away the veneer of party unity and expose the individuality of each candidate. As contemporary selection procedures force party leaders to compete with one another in the open, they prompt them to differentiate themselves publicly and to boast of their independence of mind. Pitting potential party spokespersons against one another in public combat, these procedures undercut the credibility of the candidate's affiliation with anything other than him- or herself.”
Stephen Skowronek, The Politics Presidents Make: Leadership from John Adams to Bill Clinton, Revised Edition

Phil Mitchell
“Patriotism" is that every child deserves a chance to live their own dream”
Phil Mitchell, A Bright New Morning: An American Story

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