An aphorism is nothing else but the slightest
form of writing raised to the highest level of expressive communication. Carl William Brown





Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.


Douglas Adams (1952-, British science fiction writer)


Politics, whatever its professions, has always been the systematic organization of hatreds.


Henry Brooks Adams (1838-1918, American historian)


Practical politics consists in ignoring facts.


Henry Brooks Adams (1838-1918, American historian)


In politics the middle way is none at all.


John Adams (1735-1826, American President (2nd))


We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.


Aesop (620-560 BC, Greek fabulist)


Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich by promising to protect each from the other.


Oscar Ameringer (American author, critic)


Growing older, I have lost the need to be political, which means, in this country, the need to be left. I am driven into grudging toleration of the Conservative Party because it is the party of non-politics, of resistance to politics.


Kingsley Amis (1922-1995, British novelist)


The only way you can do that [Balance the budget, decrease taxes, and increase military spending] is with mirrors, and that's what it would take.


John B. Anderson (1922-, American speaker, lecturer, chair of the Center for Voting and Democracy)


Nothing is irreparable in politics.


Jean Anouilh (1910-1987, French playwright)


All political parties die at last of swallowing their own lies.


John Arbuthnot (1667-1735, Grampian-born physician and writer)


Therefore, the good of man must be the end of the science of politics.


Aristotle (BC 384-322, Greek philosopher)


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 (BC 384-322, Greek philosopher)


Politics will sooner or later make fools of everybody.


Dick Armey (1940-, American politician)


Politics is about putting yourself in a state of grace.


Paddy Ashdown (1941-, American politician)


He could not see a belt without hitting below it.


Margot Asquith (1864-1945, British socialite)


My deepest feeling about politicians is that they are dangerous lunatics to be avoided when possible and carefully humored; people, above all, to whom one must never tell the truth.


W. H. Auden (1907-1973, Anglo-American poet)


The belief that politics can be scientific must inevitably produce tyrannies. Politics cannot be a science, because in politics theory and practice cannot be separated, and the sciences depend upon their separation. Empirical politics must be kept in bounds by democratic institutions, which leave it up to the subjects of the experiment to say whether it shall be tried, and to stop it if they dislike it, because, in politics, there is a distinction, unknown to science, between Truth and Justice.


W. H. Auden (1907-1973, Anglo-American poet)


It is as hard and severe a thing to be a true politician as to be truly moral.


Francis Bacon (1561-1626, British philosopher, essayist, statesman)


A passion for politics stems usually from an insatiable need, either for power, or for friendship and adulation, or a combination of both.


Fawn M. Brodie (1915-1981, American biographer)


A constitutional statesman is in general a man of common opinions and uncommon abilities.


Walter Bagehot (1826-1977, British economist, critic)


The apparent rulers of the English nation are like the imposing personages of a splendid procession: it is by them the mob are influenced; it is they whom the spectators cheer. The real rulers are secreted in second-rate carriages; no one cares for them or asks after them, but they are obeyed implicitly and unconsciously by reason of the splendor of those who eclipsed and preceded them.


Walter Bagehot (1826-1977, British economist, critic)


When great questions end, little parties begin.


Walter Bagehot (1826-1977, British economist, critic)


Every political system is an accumulation of habits, customs, prejudices, and principles that have survived a long process of trial and error and of ceaseless response to changing circumstances. If the system works well on the whole, it is a lucky accident -- the luckiest, indeed, that can befall a society.


Edward C. Banfield


A political leader must keep looking over his shoulder all the time to see if the boys are still there. If they aren't still there, he's no longer a political leader.


Bernard M. Baruch (1870-1965, American financier)


It only takes a politician believing in what he says for the others to stop believing him.


Jean Baudrillard (French postmodern philosopher, writer)


Politicians -- power itself -- are abject because they merely embody the profound contempt people have for their own lives. One should be grateful to the politicians for accepting the abstractness of power, and ridding others of its burden. This inevitably kills them but they get their revenge by passing onto others the corpse of power.


Jean Baudrillard (French postmodern philosopher, writer)


The abjection of our political situation is the only true challenge today. Only facing up to this situation in all its desperation can help us get out of it.


Jean Baudrillard (French postmodern philosopher, writer)


The era of the political was one of anomie: crisis, violence, madness and revolution. The era of the trans-political is that of anomaly: an aberration of no consequence, contemporaneous with the event of no consequence.


Jean Baudrillard (French postmodern philosopher, writer)


The House of Lords is the British Outer Mongolia for retired politicians.


Tony Benn (1925-, British politician)


We are not just here to manage capitalism but to change society and to define its finer values.


Tony Benn (1925-, British politician)


Yogi met George Bush during an election campaign. Bush said Texas was important. Yogi said Texas has a lot of electrical votes.


Yogi Berra (1925-, American baseball player)


I have never regarded politics as the arena of morals. It is the arena of interest.


Aneurin Bevan (1897-1960, British politician)


Politics is a blood sport.


Aneurin Bevan (1897-1960, British politician)


The Prime Minister has an absolute genius for putting flamboyant labels on empty luggage.


Aneurin Bevan (1897-1960, British politician)


What is a democrat? One who believes that the republicans have ruined the country. What is a republican? One who believes that the democrats would ruin the country.


Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914, American author, editor, journalist, "The Devil's Dictionary")


Politics is not an exact science.


Otto Von Bismarck (1815-1898, Russian statesman, Prime Minister)


Politics is the art of the next best.


Otto Von Bismarck (1815-1898, Russian statesman, Prime Minister)


I am really sorry to see my countrymen trouble themselves about politics. If men were wise, the most arbitrary princes could not hurt them. If they are not wise, the freest government is compelled to be a tyranny. Princes appear to me to be fools. Houses of Commons and Houses of Lords appear to me to be fools; they seem to me to be something else besides human life.


William Blake (1757-1827, British poet, painter)


The greatest art of a politician is to render vice serviceable to the cause of virtue.


Henry Bolingbroke (1678-1751, British politician)


In politics, an absurdity in public business is going into it.


Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821, French general, emperor)


In politics, an absurdity is not a handicap.


Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821, French general, emperor)


In politics... never retreat, never retract... never admit a mistake.


Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821, French general, emperor)


I am invariably of the politics of the people at whose table I sit, or beneath whose roof I sleep.


George Borrow (1803-1881, British author)


The history of American politics is littered with bodies of people who took so pure a position that they had no clout at all.


Ben C. Bradlee


Politics are usually the executive expression of human immaturity.


Vera Brittain (1893-1970, British writer)


Any established village; could afford a town drunkard, a town atheist, and a few Democrats.


Denis E. Brogan


A liberal is a man who leaves a room when the fight begins.


Heywood Broun (1888-1939, American journalist, novelist)


It doesn't matter what I say as long as I sound different from other politicians.


Jerry Brown


I hope the two wings of the Democratic Party may flap together.


William Jennings Bryan (1860-1925, American lawyer, politician)


No wonder that, when a political career is so precarious, men of worth and capacity hesitate to embrace it. They cannot afford to be thrown out of their life's course by a mere accident.


James Bryce


A disposition to preserve, and an ability to improve, taken together, would be my standard of a statesman.


Edmund Burke (1729-1797, British political writer, statesman)


Circumstances give in reality to every political principle its distinguishing color and discriminating effect. The circumstances are what render every civil and political scheme beneficial or noxious to mankind.


Edmund Burke (1729-1797, British political writer, statesman)


Magnanimity in politics is not seldom the truest wisdom; and a great empire and little minds go ill together.


Edmund Burke (1729-1797, British political writer, statesman)


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.


Edmund Burke (1729-1797, British political writer, statesman)


People say I'm indecisive, but I don't know about that.


George H. Bush (1924-, American President (41st))


A promising young man should go into politics so that he can go on promising for the rest of his life.


Robert Byrne


I have simplified my politics into an utter detestation of all existing governments; and, as it is the shortest and most agreeable and summary feeling imaginable, the first moment of an universal republic would convert me into an advocate for single and uncontradicted despotism. The fact is, riches are power, and poverty is slavery all over the earth, and one sort of establishment is no better, nor worse, for a people than another.


Lord Byron (1788-1824, British poet)


A majority is always better than the best repartee.


Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881, British statesman, Prime Minister)


A sophistical rhetorician, inebriated with the exuberance of his own verbosity, and gifted with an egotistical imagination that can at all times command an interminable and inconsistent series of arguments to malign an opponent and to glorify himself.


Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881, British statesman, Prime Minister)


An honest politician is one who when he is bought will stay bought.


W. J. Cameron


Politics and the fate of mankind are shaped by men without ideals and without greatness. Men who have greatness within them don't go in for politics.


Albert Camus (1913-1960, French existential writer)


Away with the cant of "Measures, not men!" -- the idle supposition that it is the harness and not the horses that draw the chariot along. No, Sir, if the comparison must be made, if the distinction must be taken, men are everything, measures comparatively nothing.


George Canning (1770-1827, British statesman)


Sometimes in politics one must duel with skunks, but no one should be fool enough to allow skunks to choose the weapons.


Joseph Cannon


It is a vain hope to make people happy by politics.


Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881, Scottish philosopher, author)


Little other than a red tape Talking-machine, and unhappy Bag of Parliamentary Eloquence.


Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881, Scottish philosopher, author)


Religion is organized to satisfy and guide the soul -- politics does the same thing for the body.


Joyce Cary (1888-1957, British author)


The problem with political jokes is they get elected.


Henry Cate


Political organizations have slowly substituted themselves for the Churches as the places for believing practices. Politics has once again become religious.


Michel De Certeau (1925-1986, French writer, historian)


A political organization is a transferable commodity. You could not find a better way of killing virtue than by packing it into one of these contraptions which some gang of thieves is sure to find useful.


John Jay Chapman (1862-1933, American author)


If American politics does not look to you like a joke, a tragic dance; if you have enough blindness left in you, on any plea, on any excuse, to vote for the Democratic Party or the Republican Party (for at present machine and party are one), or for any candidate who does not stand for a new era, -- then you yourself pass into the slide of the magic-lantern; you are an exhibit, a quaint product, a curiosity of the American soil. You are part of the problem.


John Jay Chapman (1862-1933, American author)


Politics is organized hatred, that is unity.


John Jay Chapman (1862-1933, American author)


The average educated man in America has about as much knowledge of what a political idea is as he has of the principles of counterpoint. Each is a thing used in politics or music which those fellows who practice politics or music manipulate somehow. Show him one and he will deny that it is politics at all. It must be corrupt or he will not recognize it. He has only seen dried figs. He has only thought dried thoughts. A live thought or a real idea is against the rules of his mind.


John Jay Chapman (1862-1933, American author)


The world of politics is always twenty years behind the world of thought.


John Jay Chapman (1862-1933, American author)


The world of politics is always twenty years behind the world of thought.


John Jay Chapman (1862-1933, American author)


Half a truth is better than no politics.


Gilbert K. Chesterton (1874-1936, British author)


Any 20-year-old who isn't a liberal doesn't have a heart, and any 40-year-old who isn't a conservative doesn't have a brain.


Winston Churchill (1874-1965, British statesman, Prime Minister)


In war you can be killed only once. In politics, many times.


Winston Churchill (1874-1965, British statesman, Prime Minister)


Politicians have the ability to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month, and next year. And to have the ability afterward to explain why it didn't happen.


Winston Churchill (1874-1965, British statesman, Prime Minister)


Politics are almost as exciting as war, and quite as dangerous. In war you can only be killed once, but in politics many times.


Winston Churchill (1874-1965, British statesman, Prime Minister)


Some men change their party for the sake of their principles; others their principles for the sake of their party.


Winston Churchill (1874-1965, British statesman, Prime Minister)


There are no true friends in politics. We are all sharks circling, and waiting, for traces of blood to appear in the water.


Alan Clark


A politician thinks of the next election. A statesman, of the next generation.


James Freeman Clarke (1810-1888, American minister, theologian)


You need to know that a member of Congress who refuses to allow the minimum wage to come up for a vote made more money during last year's one-month government shutdown than a minimum wage worker makes in an entire year.


Bill Clinton (1946-, American President (42nd))


The challenge now is to practice politics as the art of making what appears to be impossible, possible.


Hillary Rodham Clinton (1947-, American First Lady, senator, wife of Bill Clinton)


The highest political buzz word is not liberty, equality, fraternity or solidarity; it is service.


Arthur Hugh Clough (1819-1861, British poet)


Politics is a place of humble hopes and strangely modest requirements, where all are good who are not criminal and all are wise who are not ridiculously otherwise.


Frank Moore Colby (1865-1925, American editor, essayist)


In politics, what begins in fear usually ends in folly.


Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834, British poet, critic, philosopher)


As in political, so in literary action, a man wins friends for himself mostly by the passion of his prejudices.


Joseph Conrad (1857-1924, Polish-born British novelist)


What we need in appointive positions are men of knowledge and experience with sufficient character to resist temptations.


Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933, American President (30th))


Party leads to vicious, corrupt and unprofitable legislation, for the sole purpose of defeating party.


James F. Cooper (1789-1851, American novelist)


Now, we deny not, but that politicians may sometimes abuse religion, and make it serve for the promoting of their own private interests and designs; which yet they could not do so well neither, were the thing itself a mere cheat and figment of their own, and had no reality at all in nature, nor anything solid at the bottom of it.


Ralph J. Cudworth (1617-1688, British theologian, philosopher)


The diplomatic name for the law of the jungle.


Ely Culbertson


A politician is an ass upon which everyone has sat except a man.


EE Cummings (1894-1962, American poet)


Rome had senators too, and that is why it declined.


Frank Dane


The news of any politician's death should be listed under "Public Improvements."


Frank Dane


The work of the political activist inevitably involves a certain tension between the requirement that position be taken on current issues as they arise and the desire that one's contributions will somehow survive the ravages of time.


Angela Y. Davis (1944-, American political activist)


In Mexico an air conditioner is called a politician because it makes a lot of noise but doesn't work very well.


Len Deighton


Sure the people are stupid: the human race is stupid. Sure Congress is an inefficient instrument of government. But the people are not stupid enough to abandon representative government for any other kind, including government by the guy who knows.


Bernard Devoto (1897-1955, American writer, critic, historian)


The bright old day now dawns again; the cry runs through the land, in England there shall be dear bread -- in Ireland,  sword and brand; and poverty, and ignorance, shall swell the rich and grand, so rally round the rulers with the gentle iron hand, of the fine old English Tory days; hail to the coming time!


Charles Dickens (1812-1870, British novelist)


A conservative government is an organized hypocrisy.


Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881, British statesman, Prime Minister)


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