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Aldems' Political Quotations: Apt & Otherwise

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(Continued from page 14)

of, with a mass baptism and a couple of hangings thrown in."
       -- H. L. Mencken

    "In the United States...politics is purged of all menace, all sinister quality, all genuine significance, and stuffed with such gorgeous humors, such inordinate farce that one comes to the end of a campaign with one's ribs loose, and ready for
King Lear, or a hanging, or a course of medical journals."
       -- 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

    "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace in a continual state of alarm (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing them with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."
       -- H. L. Mencken

    "Giving every man a vote has no more made men wise and free than Christianity has made them good."
       - H. L. Mencken

    "Each party steals so many articles of faith from the other, and the candidates spend so much time making each other's speeches, that by the time election day is past there is nothing much to do save turn the sitting rascals out and let a new gang in."
       -- H. L. Mencken

    "He sailed through American history like a steel ship loaded with monoliths of granite."
       -- H. L. Mencken,
describing Grover Cleveland

    "A tin horn politician with the manner of a rural corn doctor and the mien of a ham actor
       -- H. L. Mencken,
describing Warren G Harding

    "He slept more than any other president, whether by day or by night. Nero fiddled, but Coolidge only snored."
       -- H. L. Mencken,
on Calvin Coolidge

    "A great nation is any mob of people which produces at least one honest man a century."
       -- H. L. Mencken

    "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican."
       -- H. L. Mencken

    "Poor Mexico.  So far from God, so close to the United States!" 
       -- Mexican proverb

    "A party of order or stability, and a party of progress or reform, are both necessary elements of a healthy state of political life."
       -- John Stuart Mill

    "Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives."
       -- John Stuart Mill

    "Although He is regularly asked to do so, God does not take sides in American politics."
       -- Senator George Mitchell (D-ME)

    "Political image is like mixing cement. When it's wet, you can move it around and shape it, but at some point it hardens and there's almost nothing you can do to reshape it."
       -- Walter F. Mondale (D-MN)

    "Modern politics today requires a mastery of television. I've never really warmed up to television and, in fairness to television, it's never warmed up to me."
       -- Walter F. Mondale (D-MN)

    "In our system, at about 11:30 on election night, they just push you off the edge of the cliff and that's it. You might scream on the way down, but you're going to hit the bottom, and you're not going to be in elective office."
       -- Walter F. Mondale (D-MN)

    "[Running for President is] physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually the most demanding single undertaking I can envisage unless it's World War III>"
       -- Walter F. Mondale (D-MN)

    "If you are sure you understand everything that is going on, you are hopelessly confused."
       -- Walter F. Mondale (D-MN)

    "Preparation for war is a constant stimulus to suspicion and ill will."
       -- James Monroe

    "The best form of government is that which is most likely to prevent the greatest sum of evil."
       -- James Monroe

    "Nothing is so firmly believed as what we least know."
       -- Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

    "The public weal requires that men should betray, and lie, and massacre."
       -- Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

    "Establishing lasting peace is the work of education; all politics can do is keep us out of war."
       -- Maria Montessori

    "There is a myth that the rules are fair…The rules are set up to guarantee that the minority will be heard but are weighted to allow the government to govern. That is the principle and that is the rub."
        -- Camille Montpetit,
Clerk Assistant, Canadian  House of Commons

    "The key to running a campaign on the cheap is to avoid spending money on anything other than projecting a message."
        -- Dick Morris,
pollster & political adviser

    "Often GOP political strategy seems like the human wave theory of the Chinese military translated to politics. Where Beijing uses masses of soldiers to overwhelm their adversaries, the GOP uses huge campaign budgets as a substitute for strategy, thought or issues."
        -- Dick Morris,
pollster & political adviser

    "The Darwinian adaptive trait of our time is the ability to figure out when we are being lied to on television."
       -- Dick Morris,
pollster & political adviser

    "Rebut the negative, and the opposing campaign has not merely lost a skirmish, it has suffered almost irreparable damage. An effective rebuttal makes it hard for the campaign whose ad is destroyed to be believed about anything ever again."
       -- Dick Morris,
pollster & political adviser

    "Spin is overrated. It is strategy, not spin, that wins elections."
       -- Dick Morris,
pollster & political adviser

    "Today, a politician does not just need public support to win elections; he needs it to govern."
       -- Dick Morris,
pollster & political adviser

    "The greater informational levels of the voters, their decreasing inhibitions in expressing disagreement, and their greater preference for Jeffersonian direct involvement, all make the need for a 'permanent campaign' to sell a president's policies all the more crucial."
       -- Dick Morris,
pollster & political adviser

    "The most basic decision a modern politician must make is whether to be aggressive or conciliatory."
       -- Dick Morris,
pollster & political adviser

    "Leadership is a dynamic tension between where a politician thinks his country must go and where his voters want it to go."
       -- Dick Morris,
pollster & political adviser

    "There is no substitute for a clear vision and a decisive direction."
       -- Dick Morris,
pollster & political adviser

    "A politician can do what he thinks is right, he just has to be sophisticated in how he goes about it. Those who seek a president who 'will disregard the polls and just lead,' ask for the political equivalent of
'The Charge of the Light Brigade.'"
       -- Dick Morris, pollster & political adviser

    "The opposing party rarely causes so much angst as does one's own."
       -- Dick Morris,
pollster & political adviser

    "The key to controlling your own political party, so that it does not eat you alive, is to realize that while Democratic and Republican leaders differ sharply, their voters do not."
       -- Dick Morris,
pollster & political adviser

    "It is from the center that leaders must lead."
       -- Dick Morris,
pollster & political adviser

    "Take whatever position you want, but do take a position, because once you do, ample money awaits you on either side."
       -- Dick Morris,
pollster & political adviser

    "Every donation received is a potential negative ad. Vetting money is just as important as raising it."
       -- Dick Morris,
pollster & political adviser

     "Despite romantic fantasies about caring candidates who learn of America in donut shops, most politicians rely on media to teach them what concerns the average person."
       -- Dick Morris,
pollster & political adviser

    "In fighting scandal, the key is not to overreact."
       -- Dick Morris,
pollster & political adviser

    "The White House will run itself while the president is away. That's why he has to be sure not to be away too much."
       -- Dick Morris,
pollster & political adviser

    "The typical presidential staff resents the vice-president even more than they do the first lady."
       -- Dick Morris,
pollster & political adviser

    "There is literally no such thing as an idea that cannot be expressed well and articulately to today's voters in thirty seconds."
       -- Dick Morris,
pollster & political adviser

    "Like the battleships of old, omnibus programs present too tempting a target, too easily destroyed by a single attack, to make it through a fight…. It is through incremental change after change, step after step, that a statesman of today can vindicate a bold vision."
       -- Dick Morris,
pollster & political adviser

    "So long as the system of competition in the production and exchange of the means of life goes on, the degradation of the arts will go on; and if that system is to last for ever, then art is doomed, and will surely die; that is to say, civilization will die."
       -- William Morris,
Art Under Plutocracy (1883).

    "So I say, if you cannot learn to love real art; at least learn to hate sham art and reject it. It is not because the wretched thing is so ugly and silly and useless that I ask you to cast it from you; it is much more because these are but the outward symbols of the poison that lies within them; look through them and see all that has gone to their fashioning, and you will see how vain labour, and sorrow, and disgrace have been their companions from the first--and all this for trifles that no man really needs!"
       -- William Morris,
1882

    "A man at work, making something which he feels will exist because he is working at it and wills it, is exercising the energies of his mind and soul as well as of his body. Memory and imagination help him as he works. Not only his own thoughts, but the thoughts of the men of past ages guide his hands; and, as part of the human race, he creates. If we work thus we shall be men, and our days will be happy and eventful."
       -- William Morris

    "I pondered all these things, and how men fight and lose the battle, and the thing that they fought for comes about in spite of their defeat, and when it comes turns out not to be what they meant, and other men have to fight for what they meant under another name."
       -- William Morris,
A Dream of John Ball, 1888

    "There is an old Vulcan proverb: 'only Nixon could go to China."
        -- "Mr. Spock",
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

    "In politics, madame, you need two things: friends, but above all an enemy."
       -- Brian Mulroney,
Canadian prime minister

    "A little inaccuracy sometimes saves a ton of explanation."
       -- H. H. Munro

    "Never quit politicking and never underestimate your opponent."
       -- Gus Mutscher,
Speaker of the Texas House (D)

    "Turn on to politics, or politics will turn on you."
       -- Ralph Nader

    "This country has far more problems than it deserves and far more solutions than it applies."
       -- Ralph Nader,
2000

    "Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote."
       -- George Jean Nathan

    "Nobody believes the official spokesman... but everybody trusts an unidentified source."
       -- Ron Nessen

    "This administration will do for sex what the last one did for golf."
       -- a New Frontiersman,
early in JFK's tenure

    "[Congressman Billy] Tauzin backs term limits -- But he thinks it's a bad idea."
       --
New Orleans Times-Picayun

    "A general leading the State Department resembles a dragon commanding ducks."
       --
New York Times, January 20th, 1981

    "In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations, and epochs it is the rule."
       -- Friedrich Nietzsche


    "Where the hell is Chad?"
       --        --Richard M. Nixon
, on being told Libya and Chad were at war

    "Politics would be a helluva good business if it weren't for the goddamned people."
       --Richard M. Nixon

    "I have impeached myself by resigning."
       -- Richard M. Nixon

    "When the president does it, that means it is not illegal."
       -- Richard M. Nixon

    "I reject the cynical view that politics is a dirty business."
       -- Richard M. Nixon

    "Sure there are dishonest men in local government. But there are dishonest men in national government too."
       -- Richard M. Nixon

    "The worst thing a politician can be is dull. At least I'm interesting."
       -- Richard M. Nixon

    "I would have made a good pope."

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