It is the fundamental theory of all the more recent American law … that the average citizen is half-witted, and hence not to be trusted to either his own devices or his own thoughts.
Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.
Davy Crockett had to shoot Santa Anna’s men. It was the right thing to do. Everybody knows that Davy Crockett was doing the right thing. But he wouldn’t get the Hispanic vote.
It is hard to understand politics if you are hung up on reality.
In politics, as in religion, it is equally absurd to aim at making proselytes by fire and sword. Heresies in either can rarely be cured by persecution.
- You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.
- What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.
- The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.
- When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation.
- You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.
Anything that keeps a politician humble is healthy for democracy.
… All the odds are on the man who is, is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre — the man who can most easily and adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum. The presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men. As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more closely the inner soul of the people.
We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.
The Democrats are the party that says government will make you smarter, taller, richer, and remove the crabgrass on your lawn. The Republicans are the party that says government doesn’t work and then they get elected and prove it.
When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators.