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Aldems' Political Quotations: Apt & Otherwise

(Continued from page 20)

supposed to do anyway."
       -- Harry Truman

    "Whenever you have an efficient government you have a dictatorship."
       -- Harry Truman

    "The best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it."
       -- Harry Truman
   
    "A politician is a man who understands government. A statesman is a politician who's been dead for 15 years."
       -- Harry Truman

    "Carry the battle to them. Don't let them bring it to you. Put them on the defensive and don't ever apologize for anything."
       -- Harry Truman

    "If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog."
       -- Harry Truman

    "This administration is going to be cussed and discussed for years to come."
       -- Harry Truman

    "If I hadn't been President of the United States, I probably would have ended up a piano player in a bawdy house."
       -- Harry Truman

    "It sure is hell to be president."
       -- Harry Truman

    "That's a good question. Let me try to evade you."
       -- Senator Paul Tsongas (D-MA)

    "Let's try winning and see what it feels like. If we don't like it, we can go back to our traditions."
       -- Senator Paul Tsongas (D-MA),
1991

    "Never wound a snake; kill it."
       -- Harriet Tubman

    "The people have spoke - the bastards."
       -- Dick Tuck,
losing state senatorial candidate

    "Kings is mostly rapscallions."
       --Mark Twain,
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

    "In statesmanship get the formalities right, never mind about the moralities."
       -- Mark Twain

    "It usually takes me more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech."
       -- Mark Twain

    "It is by the goodness of God that in our country we have those three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to practice either."
       -- Mark Twain

    "Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising."
       -- Mark Twain 

    "Get the facts first. You can distort them later."
       -- Mark Twain

    "When in doubt, tell the truth."
       -- Mark Twain

    "George Washington, as a boy, was ignorant of the commonest accomplishments of youth. He could not even lie."
       -- Mark Twain

    "Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to reform."
       -- Mark Twain

    "The radical of one century is the conservative of the next. The radical invents the views. When he has worn them out, the conservative adopts them."
       -- Mark Twain

    "When the doctrine of allegiance to party can utterly up-end a man's moral constitution and make a temporary fool of him besides, what excuse are you going to offer for preaching it, teaching it, extending it, perpetuating it? Shall you say, the best good of the country demands allegiance to party? Shall you also say it demands that a man kick his truth and his conscience into the gutter, and become a mouthing lunatic, besides?"
       -- Mark Twain,
"Consistency", 1884

    "In religion and politics people's beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue but have taken them at second-hand from other non-examiners, whose opinions about them were not worth a brass farthing."
       -- Mark Twain

    "And it seemed an epitome of war; that all war must be just that -- the killing of strangers against whom you feel no personal animosity; strangers whom, in other circumstances, you would help if you found them in trouble, and who would help you if you needed it."
       -- Mark Twain,
The Private History of a Campaign That Failed

    "I have no color prejudices nor caste prejudices nor creed prejudices. All I care to know is that a man is a human being, and that is enough for me; he can't be any worse."
       -- Mark Twain

    "The way to have power is to take it."
       -- William Marcy Tweed

    "I don't care who does the electing as long as I get to do the nominating."
       -- William Marcy Tweed

    "As long as I count the votes, what are you going to do about it?"
       -- William Marcy Tweed

    "For those of you who don't understand Reaganomics, it's based on the principle that the rich and the poor will get the same amount of ice. In Reaganomics, however, the poor get all of theirs in winter."
       -- Rep. Morris K. Udall (D-AZ)

    "I have learned the difference between a cactus and a caucus. On a cactus, the pricks are on the outside."
       -- Rep. Morris K. Udall (D-AZ)

    "The ability to change one's views without losing one's seat is the mark of a great politician."
       -- Rep. Morris K. Udall (D-AZ)

    "Politics is the art of preventing people from busying themselves with what is their own business."
       -- Paul Valéry,
1943

    "When I want to buy up any politicians I always find the anti-monopolists the most purchasable. They don't come so high."
       -- William H. Vanderbilt

    "In history as in life it is success that counts. Start a political upheaval and let yourself be caught, and you will hang as a traitor. But place yourself at the head of a rebellion and gain your point, and all future generations will worship you as the Father of their Country."
       -- Hendrik W. Van Loon

    "A statesman is any politician it's considered safe to name a school after."
       -- Bill Vaughan

    "A citizen of America will cross the ocean to fight for democracy but won't cross the street to vote in a national election."
       -- Bill Vaughan

    "The Vice Presidency is sort of like the last cookie on the plate. Everybody insists he won't take it, but somebody always does. "
       -- Bill Vaughan

    "I went out to testify in front of the Ways and Means Committee out in Congress on open free trade to China. Now, this would affect literally every Minnesotan in some way or another, if not all Americans in some way or another....The local media sent no one out to cover my testimony....Well, then a couple weeks later, I go out to do The Young and the Restless, the TV soap opera, and everybody sends crews. We had to move them into a room in three different sections or three shifts of them because there was so much media covering that."
       -- Governor Jesse Ventura (I-MN)

    "Apparently, a democracy is a place where numerous elections are held at great cost without issues and with interchangeable candidates."
       -- Gore Vidal

    "Rome ... at its most decadent, had never thought of hiring an actor to go through the motions of being an emperor while the Praetorian Guard ruled."
       -- Gore Vidal

    "By the time a man gets to be presidential material, he's been bought ten times over."
       -- Gore Vidal

    "Fifty percent of [people] won't vote, and fifty percent don't read newspapers. I hope it's the same fifty percent."
       -- Gore Vidal

    "The genius of our ruling class is that it has kept a majority of the people from ever questioning the inequity of a system where most people drudge along, paying heavy taxes for which they get nothing in return."
       -- Gore Vidal

    "You will be favorable to Burr, and so must fail, because the American reader cannot bear a surprise. He knows that this is the greatest country on earth, Washington the greatest man that ever lived, Burr the wickedest, and evidence to the contrary is not admissible. That means no inconvenient facts, no new information. If you really want the reader's attention, you must flatter him. Make his prejudices your own. Tell him things he already knows. He will love your soundness."
       -- Gore Vidal,
Burr

    "As societies grow decadent, the language grows decadent, too. Words are used to disguise, not to illuminate, action: you liberate a city by destroying it. Words are to confuse, so that at election time people will solemnly vote against their own interests."
       -- Gore Vidal

    "It is not enough to succeed. Others must fail."
       -- Gore Vidal

    "Trust not too much to appearances."
       -- Virgil

    "They attack the one man with their hate and their shower of weapons. But he is like some rock which stretches into the vast sea and which, exposed to the fury of the winds and beaten against by the waves, endures all the violence."
       -- Virgil

    "It is not enough to conquer; one must learn to seduce."
       -- Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet)

   "We cannot always oblige; but we can always speak obligingly."
       -- Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet)

    "He must be very ignorant for he answers every question he is asked."
       -- Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet)

    "As long as people believe in absurdities they will continue to commit atrocities."
       -- Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet)

    "Opinion has caused more trouble on this little earth than plagues or earthquakes."
       -- Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet)

    "The public is a ferocious beast; one must either chain it or flee from it."
       -- Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet)

    "It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong."
       -- Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet)

    "We didn't send you to Washington to make intelligent decisions. We sent you to represent us."
       -- a Voter,
to Congressman Bill Sarpalius

    "I've read about foreign policy and studied, I now know the number of continents."
       -- Governor George C. Wallace (D/I-AL),
1968

    "I've seen many politicians paralyzed in the legs as myself, but I've seen more of them who were paralyzed in the head."
       -- Governor George C. Wallace (D/I-AL)

    "Convictions in a politician are an infirmity, and may prove a very serious injury."
       -- J. H. Wallis

    "The wise and clever politician makes the passions and prejudices of his constituents one of his principal assets. Nearly all people vote not according to the best interests of the community or even according to their own best interests as decided by calm and logical reasoning, but according to their passions and prejudices."
       -- J. H. Wallis

    "I do not admire politicians; but when they are excellent in their way, one cannot help allowing them their due."
       -- Horace Walpole,
British prime minister

    "I'm not a politician and my other habits are good."
       -- Artemus Ward

    "Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation. It is better be alone than in bad company."
       -- George Washington

    "I walk on untrodden ground. There is scarcely any part of my conduct which may not hereafter be drawn into precedent."
       -- George Washington

    "Few men have virtue enough to withstand the highest bidder."
       -- George Washington

    "My observation is that whenever one person is found adequate to the discharge of a duty . . . it is worse executed by two persons, and scarcely done at all if three or more are employed therein."
       -- George Washington

    "Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action."
       -- George Washington

    "As Mankind becomes more liberal, they will be more apt to allow that all those who conduct themselves as worthy members of the community are equally entitled to the protections of civil government. I hope ever to see America among the foremost nations of justice and liberality."
       -- George Washington:

    "It is my settled opinion, after some years as a political correspondent, that no one is attracted to a political career in the first place unless he is socially or emotionally crippled."
       -- Auberon Waugh,
British journalist

    "As the years have gone by it's gone cold. A certain kind of pessimism has crept in about whether politics can solve problems."
       -- Bill Weaver

(Continued on page 22)

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