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Aldems' Political Quotations: Apt & Otherwise

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reputation and social standing, never can bring about reform. Those who are really in earnest must be willing to be anything or nothing in the world's estimation, and publicly and privately, in season and out, avow their sympathy with despised and persecuted ideas and their advocates, and bear the consequences."
       -- Susan B. Anthony

    "All political parties die at last of swallowing their own lies.".
       - John Arbuthnot,
Life of Emerson

    "The most radical revolutionary will become a conservative the day after the revolution."
       -- Hannah Arendt

    "Politicians also have no leisure, because they are always aiming at something beyond political life itself, power and glory, or happiness."
       -- Aristotle

    "Anybody can become angry, that is easy; but to be angry with the right person, and to the right degree, and at the right time, and for the right purpose, and in the right way, that is not within everybody's power -- that is not easy."
       -- Aristotle

    "What the statesman is most anxious to produce is a certain moral character in his fellow citizens, namely a disposition to virtue and the performance of virtuous actions.
       -- Aristotle

    "A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider god-fearing and pious. On the other hand, they do less easily move against him, believing that he has the gods on his side."
       -- Aristotle

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

    "Man is by nature a political animal."
       -- Aristotle

    "Since I came here I have learned that Chester A. Arthur is one man and the President of the United States is another."
       -- Chester A. Arthur

    "I may be president of the United States, but my private life is nobody's damned business."
       -- Chester A. Arthur

    "Men may die, but the fabrics of free institutions remains unshaken."
       -- Chester A. Arthur

    "No man is fit to be a Senator...unless he is willing to surrender his political life for great principle."
       -- Senator Henry Fountain Ashurst (D-AZ)

    "When I have to choose between voting for the people or the special interests, I always stick with the special interests. They remember. The people forget."
       -- Senator Henry Fountain Ashurst (D-AZ)

    "Politics: the art of keeping as many balls as possible up in the air at one time -- while protecting your own."
       -- Sam Attlesey

    "The press lives on disaster."
       -- Clement Atlee,
British prime minister

    "The illegitimate child of Karl Marx and Catherine the Great."
       -- Clement Atlee,
British prime minister, describing Russian communism

   "Fifty percent of Winston is genius, fifty percent bloody fool. He will behave like a child.'
       -- Clement Atlee,
British prime minister, on Winston Churchill

    "I must remind the right honourable gentleman that a monologue is not a decision."
       -- Clement Atlee,
British prime minister, to Winston Churchill

    "Why does Mosley always speak as though he were a feudal landlord abusing tenants who are in arrears with their rent ?"
       -- Clement Atlee,
British prime minister, on Oswald Mosley

    "Democracy means government by discussion, but it is only effective if you can stop people talking."
       -- Clement Atlee,
British prime minister

    "If it is not right do not do it; if it is not true do not say it."
       -- Marcus Aurelius

    "From politics, it was an easy step to silence."
       -- Jane Austen

    "All rising to great place is by a winding stair."
       -- Sir Francis Bacon

    "Nothing doth more hurt in a state than that cunning men pass for wise."
       -- Sir Francis Bacon

    "The cure for admiring the House of Lords is to go and look at it."
       -- Walter Bagehot

    "Efficiency in an assembly requires a solid mass of steady votes; and these are collected by a deferential attachment to particular men, or by a belief in the principles that those men represent, and they are maintained by fear of those men - by the fear that if you vote against them, you may soon yourself have no vote at all."
       -- Walter Bagehot

    "An influential member of parliament has not only to pay much money to become such, and to give time and labour, he has also to sacrifice his mind too - at least all the characteristics part of it that which is original and most his own…."
       -- Walter Bagehot

    "A Parliament is nothing less than a big meeting of more or less idle people."
       -- Walter Bagehot

    "The best reason why Monarchy is a strong government is, that it is an intelligible government. The mass of mankind understand it, and they hardly anywhere in the world understand any other."
       -- Walter Bagehot

    "The apparent rulers of the English nation are like the most imposing personages of the a splendid procession; it is by them that the mob are influenced; it is they who the inspectors cheer. The real rulers are secreted in second hand carriages; no one cares for them or asks about them, but they are obeyed implicitly and unconsciously by reason of the splendour of those who eclipsed and preceded them."
       -- Walter Bagehot

    "Royalty is a government in which the attention of the nation is concentrated on one person doing interesting actions. A Republic is a government in which that attention is divided between many, who are all doing uninteresting actions. Accordingly, so long as the human heart is strong and the human reason weak, Royalty will be strong because it appeals to diffused feeling, and Republics weak because they appeal to the understanding."
       -- Walter Bagehot

    "The being without an opinion is so painful to human nature that most people will leap to a hasty opinion rather than undergo it."
       -- Walter Bagehot

    "Dullness in matters of government is a good sign, and not a bad one -- in particular, dullness in parliamentary government is a test of its excellence, an indication of its success."
       -- Walter Bagehot

    "No real English gentleman, in his secret soul, was ever sorry for the death of a political economist."
       -- Walter Bagehot

    "Can any of you seriously say the Bill of Rights could get through Congress today? It wouldn't even get out of committee."
       -- F. Lee Bailey

    "A group of politicians deciding to dump a President because his morals are bad is like the Mafia getting together to bump off the Godfather for not going to church on Sunday."
       -- Russell Baker

    "You will find in politics that you are much exposed to the attribution of false motive. Never complain and never explain."
       -- Stanley Baldwin,
British prime minister

     "A statesman wants courage and a statesman wants vision; but believe me, after six months' experience, he wants first, second, third and all the time - patience."
       -- Stanley Baldwin,
British prime minister

    "Some people would believe anything, especially if it eliminates awkward social and political problems."
       -- Lord Balogh,
1982

    "Power is not revealed by striking hard or often, but by striking true."
       -- Honore de Balzac

    "The politician is an acrobat. He keeps his balance by saying the opposite of what he does."
       -- Maurice Barrès

    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country."
       --Marion Barry,
mayor of Washington, D.C.

    "What right does Congress have to go around making laws just because they deem it necessary?"
       --Marion Barry,
former mayor of Washington, D.C.

    "More history is made by secret handshakes than by battles, bills and proclamations."
       -- John Barth

    "You can talk about capitalism and communism and all that sort of thing, but the important thing is the struggle everybody is engaged in to get better living conditions, and they are not interested too much in government."
       -- Bernard Baruch

    "Vote for the man who promises least; he'll be the least disappointing."
       -- Bernard Baruch

    "Jeffersonian Democracy simply meant the possession of the federal government by the agrarian masses led by an aristocracy of slave-owning masses."
       -- Charles A. Beard

    "It is not necessary to understand things to argue about them."
       -- Pierre de Beaumarchais

    "The British electors will not vote for a man who does not wear a hat."
       -- Lord Beaverbrook (William Maxwell Aitken),
British politician

    "What makes equality such a difficult business is that we only want it with our superiors."
       -- Henry Becque

    "To open avenues to political place and power for all classes of women would cause [the] humble labors of the family and schoo1 to be still more undervalued and shunned."
       -- Catharine Esther Beecher

    "Politics is show business for ugly people."
       -- Paul Begala

    "Even Napoleon had his Watergate."
       -- Yogi Berra

    "The Tories always hold the view that the state is an apparatus for the protection of the swag of the property owners ... Christ drove the money changers out of the temple, but you inscribe their title deed on the altar cloth."
       -- Aneurin Bevan,
British Labour politician

   "No amount of cajolery, and no attempts at ethical or social seduction, can eradicate from my heart a deep burning hatred of the Tory party. So far as I am concerned, they are lower than vermin."
       -- Aneurin Bevan,
British Labour politician

    "Listening to a speech by [Neville] Chamberlain is like paying a visit to Woolworth's, everything in its place and nothing above sixpence."
       -- Aneurin Bevan,
British Labour politician

    "[Winston Churchill] never spares himself in conversation. He gives himself so generously that hardly anyone else is permitted to give anything in his presence."
       -- Aneurin Bevan,
British Labour politician

    "He [Winston Churchill] is a man suffering from petrified adolescence."
       -- Aneurin Bevan,
British Labour politician

    "Fascism is not in itself a new order of society. It is the future refusing to be born."
          -- Aneurin Bevan,
British Labour politician

    " [Clement Atlee] seems determined to make a trumpet sound like a tin whistle. He brings to the fierce struggle of politics the tepid enthusiasm of a lazy summer afternoon at a cricket match."
          -- Aneurin Bevan,
British Labour politician

    "The Prime Minister [Harold Macmillan] has an absolute genius for putting flamboyant labels on empty luggage."
          -- Aneurin Bevan,
British Labour politician

    "We know what happens to people who stay in the middle of the road. They get run down."
       -- Aneurin Bevan ,
British politician

    "You call that statesmanship. I call it an emotional spasm."
          -- Aneurin Bevan,
British Labour politician

    "Damn it all you can't have the crown of thorns and the thirty pieces of silver."
          -- Aneurin Bevan,
British Labour politician

    "The purpose of getting power is to be able to give it away."
          -- Aneurin Bevan,
British Labour politician

    "Freedom is the by-product of economic surplus."
          -- Aneurin Bevan,
British Labour politician

    "It is an axiom, enforced by all the experience of the ages, that they who rule industrially will rule politically."
          -- Aneurin Bevan,
British Labour politician

    "The Tories, every election, must have a bogy man. If you haven't got a programme, a bogy man will do."
       -- Aneurin Bevan,
British Labour politician, 1951

    "I read the newspapers avidly. It is my one form of continuous fiction."
       -- Aneurin Bevan,
British Labour politician

    "The trouble in modern democracy is that men do not approach to leadership until they have lost the desire to lead anyone."
       -- W. H. Beveridge

    "The most conservative man in this world is the British trade unionist when you want to change him."
       -- Ernest Bevin

    "The weak have one weapon: the errors of those who think they are strong."

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