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Political Quotations – Set 3

  1. Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it. – Mark Twain, author and humorist (1835-1910)
  2. Politics is the art of preventing people from taking part in affairs which properly concern them. – Paul Valery, French poet and critic (1871-1945)
  3. Life means progress, and progress means suffering. – Hendrik Willem Van Loon, Dutch-born journalist and lecturer (1882-1944)
  4. The spirit of democracy cannot be imposed from without. It has to come from within. – Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869-1948)
  5. The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. – George Orwell
  6. The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man. – George Bernard Shaw, writer, Nobel laureate (1856-1950)
  7. If thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought. – George Orwell, writer (1903-1950)
  8. When I despair, I remember that all through history, the way of truth and love has always won. There have been murderers and tyrants, and for a time they can seem invincible. But in the end they always fall. Think of it, always. – Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948)
  9. The real ideology that drives Mr. Bush remains less that of the hard right than that of his soft character, which is a product of a biography full of easy landings. A man who has never faced adversity – who has finessed Andover, Yale, Vietnam and brief careers in business and politics with well-placed connections and sweetheart deals – is not conversant with reality as most Americans have experienced it. The problem isn’t that he’s wealthy – so were F.D.R. and Ronald Reagan, whose hard knocks in life gave them an empathy for their fellow citizens – but that he’s out of touch. He doesn’t know how much he doesn’t know and is in no rush to find out. – Frank Rich, New York Times, July 7, 2001.
  10. Every journalist who is not too stupid or too full of himself to notice what is going on knows that what he does is morally indefensible. He is a kind of confidence man, preying on people’s vanity, or loneliness, gaining their trust and betraying them without remorse. – Janet Malcolm, Magazine Reporter.
  11. We are not enemies but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break, our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature. – Abraham Lincoln, First Inaugural Address, 1861.
  12. It’s said there were only two shades of opinion in Sir Robert’s caucus: “yes” and “yes, sir”. – Paul East, New Zealand MP, on former National Party Prime Minister, Sir Robert (“Piggy”) Muldoon.
  13. Forever poised between a cliche and an indiscretion. – Harold McMillan, British Prime Minister (1957-63), on the life of a Foreign Secretary.
  14. The Labor Party is a party of conviction. The Liberal Party is a party of convenience. – Paul Keating, May 8, 2001.
  15. The lesson of the Federation should be that the lesson is over. Australia must have a new idea of itself. We have to strike out in a new direction, in a new way, armed with our own self-regard, our own confidence and fully appreciating our own uniqueness. All other roads will lead us into the shadow of great powers. – Paul Keating, May 2001.
  16. Being in politics is like being a football coach. You have to be smart enough to understand the game and dumb enough to think it’s important. – Eugene McCarthy, former United States Senator.
  17. When people cease to complain, they cease to think. – Napoleon Bonaparte
  18. I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made. – Franklin D. Roosevelt (1932)
  19. If I seem to take part in politics, it is only because politics encircles us today like the coil of a snake from which one cannot get out, no matter how much one tries. I wish therefore to wrestle with the snake. – Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)
  20. Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power. – Abraham Lincoln, U.S. president (1809-1865)


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Malcolm Farnsworth
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