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|Quotes are organized by Name and Category.|
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Indexed quotes by Author or Speaker.
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|Franklin P. Adams||When the political columnists say 'Every thinking man' they mean themselves, and when candidates appeal to 'Every intelligent voter' they mean everybody who is going to vote for them.|
|John Adams||Were I to define the British constitution, therefore, I should say it is a limited monarchy, or a mixture of the three forms of government commonly known in the schools [monarchical, aristocratical, and democratical] ... And it is [the] reservation of fundamentals, of the right of giving instructions, and of new elections, which creates a popular check, upon the whole government which alone secures the constitution from becoming an aristocracy, or a mixture of monarchy and aristocracy only.|
|John Adams||In the midst of these pleasing ideas we should be unfaithful to ourselves if we should ever lose sight of the danger to our liberties if anything partial or extraneous should infect the purity of our free, fair, virtuous, and independent elections.|
|John Adams||Elections, especially of representatives and counselors, should be annual, there not being in the whole circle of the sciences a|
maxim more infallible than this, “where annual elections end, there slavery begins.” These great men ... should be (chosen) once a year—Like
bubbles on the sea of matter bourne, they rise, they break, and to the sea return. This will teach them the great political virtues of humility, patience,
and moderation, without which every man in power becomes a ravenous beast of prey.
|John Adams||We should be unfaithful to ourselves if we should ever lose sight of the danger to our liberties if anything partial or extraneous should infect the purity of our free, fair, virtuous, and independent elections.|
|John Quincy Adams||Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.|
|Woody Allen||We stand today at a crossroads: One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other leads to total extinction. Let us hope we have the wisdom to make the right choice.|
|Michael Badnarik||If I give you a forty five percent chance at lethal injection, a fifty percent chance at the electric chair, and a five percent chance for escape which are you going to vote for? The electric chair, because you're likely to win?|
|Ben H. Bagdikian||In the US, voters cast ballots for individual candidates who are not bound to any party program except rhetorically, and not always then. Some Republicans are more liberal than some Democrats, some libertarians are more radical than some socialists, and many local candidates run without any party identification. No American citizen can vote intelligently without knowledge of the ideas, political background, and commitments of each individual candidate.|
|Sarah Evans Barker||To permit every interest group, especially those who claim to be victimized by unfair expression, their own legislative exceptions to the First Amendment so long as they succeed in obtaining a majority of legislative votes in their favor demonstrates the potentially predatory nature of what defendants seek through this Ordinance.|
|Ambrose Bierce||Vote: The instrument and symbol of a free man's power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his country.|
|Ambrose Bierce||An election is nothing more than the advanced auction of stolen goods.|
|James Buchanan||I like the noise of democracy.|
|Edmund Burke||To govern according to the sense and agreement of the interests of the people is a great and glorious object of governance. This object cannot be obtained but through the medium of popular election, and popular election is a mighty evil.|
|Edmund Burke||Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.|
|Edmond Cahn||The people’s right to obtain information does not, of course, depend on any assured ability to understand its significance or use it wisely. Facts belong to the people simply because they relate to interests that are theirs, government that is theirs, and votes that they may desire to cast, for they are entitled to an active role in shaping every fundamental decision of state.|
|Al Capone||Remember to vote early -- and often.|
|Orson Scott Card||If pigs could vote, the man with the slop bucket would be elected swineherd every time, no matter how much slaughtering he did on the side.|
|Jonathan D. Casper||The freedom to express varying and often opposing ideas is essential to a variety of conceptions of democracy. If democracy is viewed as essentially a process – a way in which collective decisions for a society are made – free expression is crucial to the openness of the process and to such characteristics as elections, representation of interests, and the like.|
|Sir Winston Churchill||The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.|
|Bill Clinton||There's just no such thing as truth when it comes to him. He just says whatever sounds good and worries about it after the election.|
|Mark B. Cohen||Nothing can so alienate a voter from the political system as backing a winning candidate.|
|Alan Corenk||Democracy consists of choosing your dictators, after they've told you what you think it is you want to hear.|
|Florida Supreme Court||We consistently have adhered to the principle that the will of the people is the paramount consideration. Our goal today…[is] to reach the result that reflects the will of the voters…. The laws are intended to facilitate and safeguard the right of each voter to express his or her will in the context of our representative democracy. Technical statutory requirements must not be exalted over the substance of this right.|
|Richard Henry Dana, Jr.||Our experience has shown us that in the excitement of great popular elections, deciding the policy of the country, and its vast patronage, frauds will be committed, if a chance is given for them. If these frauds are allowed, the result is not only that the popular will may be defeated, and the result falsified, but that the worst side will prevail. The side which has the greater number of dishonest men will poll the most votes. The war cry, "Vote early and vote often!" and the familiar problem, "how to cast the greatest number of votes with the smallest number of voters", indicate the direction in which the dangers lie.|
|Clarence S. Darrow||When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I'm beginning to believe it.|
|Alexis de Tocqueville||The electors see their representative not only as a legislator for the state but also as the natural protector of local interests in the legislature; indeed, they almost seem to think that he has a power of attorney to represent each constituent, and they trust him to be as eager in their private interests as in those of the country.|
|Will Durant||Forced to choose, the poor, like the rich, love money more than political liberty; and the only political freedom capable of enduring is one that is so pruned as to keep the rich from denuding the poor by ability or subtlety and the poor from robbing the rich by violence or votes.|
|Eric Felton||Legislators like pork because it helps them get reelected. They are interested in administrative details because long tenure promotes narrow specialization. The constituent service racket allows lawmakers to ignore big problems by fixing small ones. In becoming ombudsman -- glorified errand boys, -- incumbents build up enough good will for most to survive even a watershed year like 1992. By ending congressional careerism, term limits will encourage attention to larger legislative issues. By changing the understanding of the legislator's role, term limits are probably the most effective single reform that can be imposed on Congress. And imposed it will have to be: While great majorities of the American people support term limits, lawmakers oppose them in even larger proportions. With a career Congress, voters face a dilemma: They do not like paying taxes to Washington and hoping to get them back in the form of pork and entitlements, but as long as the system is rigged, it makes sense to vote for the incumbent to maximize your own take. Congressmen face a similar dilemma: Take the easy road to reelection or face the often difficult choices of balancing local and national interests. Take away the career mindset and both representatives and voters can make choices based on the merits of each case. ... In fact, one of the biggest benefits of non-professional legislators is that they would be unlikely to join with the bureaucrats and special interests in blowing smoke at the voters.|
|Benjamin Franklin||Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!|
|Benjamin Franklin||When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.|
|John Kenneth Galbraith||Politics is not the art of the possible. It consists in choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable.|
|John Kenneth Galbraith||When people put their ballots in the boxes, they are, by that act, inoculated against the feeling that the government is not theirs. They then accept, in some measure, that its errors are their errors, its aberrations their aberrations, that any revolt will be against them. It's a remarkably shrewd and rather conservative arrangement when one thinks of it.|
|Barry Goldwater||How did it happen? How did our national government grow from a servant with sharply limited powers into a master with virtually unlimited power? In part, we were swindled. There are occasions when we have elevated men and political parties to power that promised to restore limited government and then proceeded, after their election, to expand the activities of government. But let us be honest with ourselves. Broken promises are not the major causes of our trouble. Kept promises are. All too often we have put men in office who have suggested spending a little more on this, a little more on that, who have proposed a new welfare program, who have thought of another variety of 'security.' We have taken the bait, preferring to put off to another day the recapture of freedom and the restoration of our constitutional system. We have gone the way of many a democratic society that has lost its freedom by persuading itself that if 'the people' rule, all is well.|
|Barry Goldwater||There is no position on which people are so immovable as their religious beliefs. There is no more powerful ally one can claim in a debate than Jesus Christ, or God, or Allah, or whatever one calls this supreme being. But like any powerful weapon, the use of God's name on one's behalf should be used sparingly. The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom. They are trying to force government leaders into following their position 100 percent. If you disagree with these religious groups on a particular moral issue, they complain, they threaten you with a loss of money or votes or both. I'm frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in 'A,' 'B,' 'C,' and 'D.' Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me?|
|Gus Hall||Socialism in America will come through the ballot box.|
|Paul Hayes||The authority of local government was similarly attacked. The not inconsiderable power of the Länder disappeared as a result of the decree of 28 February  and the manipulated elections which followed. Control of the police passed into the hands of the NSDAP. ... Local elections were abolished and Reich Administrators ... were appointed to rule in place of the locally elected heads of government. On 30 January 1934 all local assemblies were abolished, and states were made totally subservient to central rule.|
|Justice Robert H. Jackson||The very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts. One's right to life, liberty, and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.|
|Thomas Jefferson||I am not among those who fear the people. They, and not the rich, are our dependence for continued freedom. And to preserve their independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debts, as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessities and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our calling and our creeds, as the people of England are, our people, like them, must come to labor sixteen hours in the twenty-four, give the earnings of fifteen of these to the government for their debts and daily expenses; and the sixteenth being insufficient to afford us bread, we must live, as they now do, on oatmeal and potatoes; have no time to think, no means of calling the mismanagers to account; but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow suffers. Our land-holders, too, like theirs, retaining indeed the title and stewardship of estates called theirs but held really in trust for the treasury, must wander, like theirs, in foreign countries, and be contented with penury, obscurity, exile, and the glory of the nation. This example reads to us the salutary lesson, that private fortunes are destroyed by public as well as by private extravagances. And this is the tendency of all human governments. A departure from principle in one instance becomes a precedent for the second; that second for a third; and so on, till the bulk of the society is reduced to mere automatons of misery, to have no sensibilities left but for sinning and suffering. Then begins, indeed, the bellum omnium in omnia, which some philosophers observing to be so general in this world, have mistaken for the natural, instead of the abusive state of man. And the fore horse on this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression.|
|Thomas Jefferson||I could think of no worse example for nations abroad, who for the first time were trying to put free electoral procedures into effect, than that of the United States wrangling over the results of our presidential election, and even suggesting that the presidency itself could be stolen by thievery at the ballot box.|
|Thomas Jefferson||We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debt, as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our calling and our creeds...[we will] have no time to think, no means of calling our miss-managers to account but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers... And this is the tendency of all human governments. A departure from principle in one instance becomes a precedent for[ another]... till the bulk of society is reduced to be mere automatons of misery... And the fore-horse of this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression.|
|Gerald W. Johnson||We are reluctant to admit that we owe our liberties to men of a type that today we hate and fear -- unruly men, disturbers of the peace, men who resent and denounce what Whitman called 'the insolence of elected persons' -- in a word, free men. |
|Walter H. Judd||People often say that, in a democracy, decisions are made by a majority of the people. Of course, that is not true. Decisions are made by a majority of those who make themselves heard and who vote -- a very different thing.|
|Juvenal||Now that no one buys our votes, the public has long since cast off its cares; for the people that once bestowed commands, consulships, legions, and all else, now meddles no more and longs eagerly for just two things -- bread and circuses.|
|John F. Kennedy||I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute -- where no Catholic prelate would tell the president (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishoners for whom to vote -- where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference -- and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the president who might appoint him or the people who might elect him.|
|Abraham Lincoln||Ballots are the rightful, and peaceful, successors of bullets; and that when ballots have fairly, and constitutionally, decided, there can be no successful appeal, back to bullets; that there can be no successful appeal, except to ballots themselves, at succeeding elections.|
|Abraham Lincoln||I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in anyway the social and political equality of the white and black races - that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race. I say upon this occasion I do not perceive that because the white man is to have the superior position the negro should be denied everything.|
|Rosa Luxemburg||Without general elections, without unrestrained freedom of press and assembly, without a free struggle of opinion, life dies out in every public institution…in which only the bureaucracy remains as the active element.|
|Thomas Babington Macaulay||None of the modes by which a magistrate is appointed, popular election, the accident of the lot, or the accident of birth, affords, as far as we can perceive, much security for his being wiser than any of his neighbours. The chance of his being wiser than all his neighbours together is still smaller.|
|James Madison||Complaints are every where heard from our most considerate and virtuous citizens, equally the friends of public and private faith, and of public and personal liberty, that our governments are too unstable; that the public good is disregarded in the conflicts of rival parties; and that measures are too often decided, not according to the rules of justice, and the rights of the minor party, but by the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority.|
|George W. Malone||I believe that if the people of this nation fully understood what Congress has done to them over the last 49 years, they would move on Washington; they would not wait for an election... It adds up to a preconceived plan to destroy the economic and social independence of the United States!|
|Jose Marti y Perez||To change masters is not to be free.|
|Eugene McCarthy||There is danger in the concentration of control in the television and radio networks, especially in the large television and radio stations; danger in the concentration of ownership in the press…and danger in the increasing concentration of selection by book publishers and reviewers and by the producers of radio and television programs.|
|H. L. Mencken||Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule -- and both commonly succeed, and are right.|
|H. L. Mencken||Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods.|
|Mancur Olson||Sometimes, when leading families or merchants organized a government for their city, they not only provided for some power sharing through voting but took pains to reduce the probability that the government's chief executive could assume autocratic power. For a time in Genoa, for example, the chief administrator of the government had to be an outsider -- and thus someone with no membership in any of the powerful families in the city. Moreover, he was constrained to a fixed term of office, forced to leave the city after the end of his term, and forbidden from marrying into any of the local families. In Venice, after a doge who attempted to make himself autocrat was beheaded for his offense, subsequent doges were followed in official processions by a sword-bearing symbolic executioner as a reminder of the punishment intended for any leader who attempted to assume dictatorial power.|
|Dr. Ron Paul||Our federal government, which was intended to operate as a very limited constitutional republic, has instead become a virtually socialist leviathan that redistributes trillions of dollars. We can hardly be surprised when countless special interests fight for the money. The only true solution to the campaign money problem is a return to a proper constitutional government that does not control the economy. Big government and big campaign money go hand-in-hand.|
|Peace March Signs||[Transcription of some of the signs in Washington during the peace march January 18, 2003]|
|Charley Reese||Unless they can pass the same test that immigrants must pass to become citizens, people shouldn't be allowed to vote. The idea that there is some public benefit in ignoramuses and morons pulling levers next to names on a ballot is one of the evil myths of post-modern America. The purpose of voting, in our country, is to select men and women with the competence and integrity to operate the mechanics of government fixed by our Constitution. For this process to have any public benefit requires that the choices be made on an intelligent, knowledgeable and reasoned basis.|
|Will Rogers||On account of us being a democracy and run by the people, we are the only people in the world that has to keep a government four years no matter what it does.|
|Will Rogers||I guess truth can hurt you worse in an election than about anything that can happen to you.|
|Will Rogers||Elections are a good deal like marriages, there's no accounting for anyone's taste. Every time we see a bridegroom we wonder why she ever picked him, and it's the same with Public Officials.|
|Will Rogers||On account of being a democracy and run by the people, we are the only nation in the world that has to keep a government four years, no matter what it does.|
|Bertrand Russell||Envy is the basis of Democracy.|
|George Bernard Shaw||An election is a moral horror, as bad as a battle except for blood; a mud bath for every soul concerned in it.|
|George Bernard Shaw||Democracy is a form of government that substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few.|
|William Tecumseh Sherman||I will not accept if nominated and will not serve if elected.|
|Alfred E. Smith||It is the right of our people to organize to oppose any law and any part of the constitution with which they are not in sympathy.|
|Brenda Snipes||I think I have served the purpose that I came here for, which was to provide a credible election product for our members.|
|Thomas Sowell||The reason so many problems do not get solved in Washington is that solving those problems is not the No. 1 priority: Re-election is.|
|Thomas Sowell||The question is not what anybody deserves. The question is who is to take on the God-like role of deciding what everybody else deserves. You can talk about 'social justice' all you want. But what death taxes boil down to is letting politicians take money from widows and orphans to pay for goodies that they will hand out to others, in order to buy votes to get re-elected. That is not social justice or any other kind of justice.|
|Thomas Sowell||Compassion is the use of public funds to buy votes.|
|Thomas Sowell||Any politician who starts shouting election-year demagoguery about the rich and the poor should be asked, "What about the other 90 percent of the people?|
|Art Spander||The great thing about democracy is that it gives every voter a chance to do something stupid.|