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





Finality is not the language of politics.


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


In politics, nothing is contemptible.


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


No government can be long secure without a formidable opposition.


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


No man is regular in his attendance at the House of Commons until he is married.


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


The art of governing mankind by deceiving them.


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


The world is weary of statesmen whom democracy has degraded into politicians.


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


There is no gambling like politics. Nothing in which the power of circumstance is more evident.


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


Things must be done by parties, not by persons using parties as tools.


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


Politic is going to be diluted down into a ten second window, where you whack the guy as hard as you can and then get out there.


Alan Dixon


Resolved to ruin or to rule the state.


John Dryden (1631-1700, British poet, dramatist, critic)


It is our experience that political leaders do not always mean the opposite of what they say.


Abba Eban (1915-2002, Israeli politician)


Heads of state are notoriously ill prepared for their mature careers; think of Adolf Hitler (landscape painter), Ho Chi Minh (seaman), and our own Ronald Reagan.


Barbara Ehrenreich (1941-, American author, columnist)


There are times in politics when you must be on the right side and lose.


John Kenneth Galbraith (1908-, American economist)


An empty stomach is not a good political advisor.


Albert Einstein (1879-1955, German-born American physicist)


Politics is far more complicated than physics.


Albert Einstein (1879-1955, German-born American physicist)


Politics ought to be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage.


Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969, American President (34th))


Unlike presidential administrations, problems rarely have terminal dates.


Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969, American President (34th))


There is a certain satisfaction in coming down to the lowest ground of politics, for we get rid of cant and hypocrisy.


Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882, American poet, essayist)


Mediocrity in politics is not to be despised. Greatness is not needed.


Hans Magnus Enzensberger


As far as the men who are running for president are concerned, they aren't even people I would date.


Nora Ephron (1941-, American author, journalist)


Nothing is so foolish, they say, as for a man to stand for office and woo the crowd to win its vote, buy its support with presents, court the applause of all those fools and feel self-satisfied when they cry their approval, and then in his hour of triumph to be carried round like an effigy for the public to stare at, and end up cast in bronze to stand in the market place.


Desiderius Erasmus (c.1466-1536, Dutch humanist)


The house of Lords is a model on how to care for the elderly.


Franklin Field


What this country needs is radicals who will stay that way regardless of the creeping years.


John Fischer


Elected leaders who forget how they got there won't the next time.


Malcolm S. Forbes (1919-1990, American publisher, businessman)


Few businessmen are capable of being in politics, they don't understand the democratic process, they have neither the tolerance or the depth it takes. Democracy isn't a business.


Malcolm S. Forbes (1919-1990, American publisher, businessman)


The first mistake in public business is going into it.


Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790, American scientist, publisher, diplomat)


Politics is a profession where the paths of glory lead but to the gravy.


Billy Boy Franklin


The aim of every political association is the preservation of the natural and imprescriptible rights of man. These rights are liberty, property, security and resistance to oppression.


French National Assembly


The end move in politics is always to pick up a gun.


R. Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983, American inventor, designer, poet, philosopher)


Let us not forget that we can never go farther than we can persuade at least half of the people to go.


Hugh Gaitskell


Nothing is so admirable in politics as a short memory.


John Kenneth Galbraith (1908-, American economist)


Politics is not the art of the possible. It consists in choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable.


John Kenneth Galbraith (1908-, American economist)


There is one rule for politicians all over the world: don't say in power what you say in opposition; if you do, you only have to carry out what the other fellows have found impossible.


John Galsworthy (1867-1933, British novelist, playwright)


I do not deny that there may be other well-founded causes for the hatred which various classes feel toward politicians, but the main one seems to me that politicians are symbols of the fact that every class must take every other class into account.


Jose Ortega Y Gasset (1883-1955, Spanish essayist, philosopher)


I have come to the conclusion that politics is too serious a matter to be left to the politicians.


Charles De Gaulle (1890-1970, French president during World War II)


Since a politician never believes what he says, he is surprised when others believe him.


Charles De Gaulle (1890-1970, French president during World War II)


What do you want to be a sailor for? There are greater storms in politics than you will ever find at sea. Piracy, broadsides, blood on the decks. You will find them all in politics.


David Lloyd George (1863-1945, British Prime Minister)


In politics, as on the sickbed, people toss from side to side, thinking they will be more comfortable.


Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832, German poet, dramatist, novelist)


Politics is the reflex of the business and industrial world.


Emma Goldman (1869-1940, American anarchist)


The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue.


Emma Goldman (1869-1940, American anarchist)


If everybody in this town connected with politics had to leave town because of chasing women and drinking, you would have no government.


Barry Goldwater (1909-1998, American politician and writer)


It's a great country, where anybody can grow up to be president... except me.


Barry Goldwater (1909-1998, American politician and writer)


If a politician isn't doing it to his wife , then he's doing it to his country.


Amy Grant (1960-, American singer, song writer)


If a politician isn't doing it to his wife , then he's doing it to his country.


Amy Grant (1960-, American singer, song writer)


Without the Empire we should be tossed like a cork in the cross current of world politics. It is at once our sword and our shield.


William Morris Hughes


Ninety percent of politics is deciding whom to blame.


Meg Greenfield


Ignorance makes most men go into a political party, and shame keeps them from getting out of it.


Edward F. Halifax (1881-1959, British conservative statesman)


He serves his party best who serves his country best.


Rutherford B. Hayes


A Whig is properly what is called a Trimmer -- that is, a coward to both sides of the question, who dare not be a knave nor an honest man, but is a sort of whiffing, shuffling, cunning, silly, contemptible, unmeaning negation of the two.


William Hazlitt (1778-1830, British essayist)


We are the trade union for pensioners and children, the trade union for the disabled and the sick... the trade union for the nation as a whole.


Edward Heath (1916-, British Prime Minister)


In politics, as in life, we must above all things wish only for the attainable.


Heinrich Heine (1797-1856, German poet, journalist)


Politics is like a race horse. A good jockey must know how to fall with the least possible damage.


Edouard Herriot


Politics is a choice of enemas. You're going to get it up the ass, no matter what you do.


George V. Higgins (1939-, American novelist)


One wanders to the left, another to the right. Both are equally in error, but, are seduced by different delusions.


Horace (BC 65-8, Italian poet)


I do not look for much to come out of government ownership as long as we have Democrats and Republicans.


Kin Hubbard (1868-1930, American humorist, journalist)


Now and then an innocent man is sent to the legislature.


Kin Hubbard (1868-1930, American humorist, journalist)


Politics makes strange postmasters.


Kin Hubbard (1868-1930, American humorist, journalist)


Never answer a question from a farmer.


Hubert H. Humphrey (1911-1978, American Vice President)


The essence of statesmanship is not a rigid adherence to the past, but a prudent and probing concern for the future.


Hubert H. Humphrey (1911-1978, American Vice President)


Propaganda is always rather nauseating. But before we condemn political hypocrisy, let us remember that it is the tribute paid by men of leather to men of God, that the acting of the part of someone better than oneself may actually commit one to a course of behavior perceptibly less evil than what would be normal and natural in an avowed cynic.


Aldous Huxley (1894-1963, British author)


There is no sea more dangerous than the ocean of practical politics -- none in which there is more need of good pilots and of a single, unfaltering purpose when the waves rise high.


Thomas H. Huxley (1825-1895, British biologist, educator)


Politics are such a torment that I would advise every one I love not to mix with them.


Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826, American President (3rd))


When a man assumes a public trust he should consider himself a public property.


Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826, American President (3rd))


If you're in politics and you can't tell when you walk into a room who's for you and who's against you, then you're in the wrong line of work.


Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973, American President (36th))


It is the genius of our Constitution that under its shelter of enduring institutions and rooted principles there is ample room for the rich fertility of American political invention.


Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973, American President (36th))


You slam a politician, you make out he's the devil, with horns and hoofs. But his wife loves him, and so did all his mistresses.


Pamela Hansford Johnson (1912-1981, British writer)


Politics are now nothing more than means of rising in the world. With this sole view do men engage in politics, and their whole conduct proceeds upon it.


Samuel Johnson (1709-1784, British author)


Anybody who thinks talk is cheap should get some legal advice.


Franklin P. Jones


A political convention is not a place where you can come away with any trace of faith in human nature.


Murray Kempton (1917-1997, American author and columnist)


Once you run for office, you're in it -- sort of like going into the military. You'd better be damned sure it is what you want to do and that the rest of your life is set up to accommodate that. It takes a certain toll on your personality and on your family life. I've seen it personally.


John F. Kennedy Jr. (1960-1999, American executive, Son of president John F. Kennedy)


As far as the job of President goes, its rewarding and I've given before this group the definition of happiness for the Greeks. I'll define it again: the full use of your powers along lines of excellence. I find, therefore, that the Presidency provides some happiness.


John F. Kennedy (1917-1963, American President (35th))


Don't buy a single vote more than necessary. I'll be damned if I'm going to pay for a landslide.


John F. Kennedy (1917-1963, American President (35th))


Most of us are conditioned for many years to have a political viewpoint -- Republican or Democratic, liberal, conservative, or moderate. The fact of the matter is that most of the problems that we now face are technical problems, are administrative problems. They are very sophisticated judgments, which do not lend themselves to the great sort of passionate movements which have stirred this country so often in the past. They deal with questions which are now beyond the comprehension of most men.


John F. Kennedy (1917-1963, American President (35th))


When we got into office, the thing that surprised me most was to find that things were just as bad as we'd been saying they were.


John F. Kennedy (1917-1963, American President (35th))


Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build A bridge even where there is no river.


Nikita S. Khrushchev (1894-1971, Soviet premier)


Democrats can't get elected unless things get worse, and things won't get worse unless they get elected.


Jeane Kirkpatrick (1926-, American stateswoman, academic)


If it's going to come out eventually, better have it come out immediately.


Henry Kissinger (1923-, American Secretary of State)


Ninety percent of politicians give the other ten percent a bad reputation.


Henry Kissinger (1923-, American Secretary of State)


Politics can be relatively fair in the breathing spaces of history; at its critical turning points there is no other rule possible than the old one, that the end justifies the means.


Arthur Koestler (1905-1983, Hungarian born British writer)


Many politician-type people represent certain great and dazzling actions as if they were results of carefully designed plans, when in actuality, they are usually the results of people's moods and passions...


Francois De La Rochefoucauld (1613-1680, French classical writer)


A politician would do well to remember that he has to live with his conscience longer than he does with his constituents.


Melvin R. Laird


In argument, truth always prevails finally; in politics, falsehood always.


Walter Savage Landor (1775-1864, British poet, essayist)


What this country needs is more unemployed politicians.


Edward Langley


He knows very little of mankind who expects, by any facts or reasoning, to convince a determined party man.


Johann Kaspar Lavater (1741-1801, Swiss theologian, mystic)


Many politicians lay it down as a self-evident proposition, that no people ought to be free till they are fit to use their freedom. The maxim is worthy of the fool in the old story, who resolved not to go into the water till he had learned to swim.


Lord Macaulay


To rely upon conviction, devotion, and other excellent spiritual qualities -- that is not to be taken seriously in politics.


Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (1870-1924, Russian revolutionary leader)


It is hard to say why politicians are called servants, unless it is because a good one is hard to find.


Gerald F. Lieberman (American writer)


Honest statesmanship is the wise employment of individual meanness for the public good.


Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865, American President (16th))


Successful democratic politicians are insecure and intimidated men. They advance politically only as they placate, appease, bribe, seduce, bamboozle, or otherwise manage to manipulate the demanding and threatening elements in their constituencies. The decisive consideration is not whether the proposition is good but whether it is popular -- not whether it will work well and prove itself but whether the active talking constituents like it immediately. Politicians rationalize this servitude by saying that in a democracy public men are the servants of the people.


Walter Lippmann (1889-1974, American journalist)


The chief element in the art of statesmanship under modern conditions is the ability to elucidate the confused and clamorous interests which converge upon the seat of government. It is an ability to penetrate from the naive self-interest of each group to its permanent and real interest. Statesmanship consists in giving the people not what they want but what they will learn to want.


Walter Lippmann (1889-1974, American journalist)


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