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No man should be in politics unless he would honestly rather not be there.

Washington could not tell a lie; Nixon could not tell the truth; Reagan cannot tell the difference.
If we could harness the destructive energy of disagreements over politics, we wouldn’t need the bomb.
We shouldn’t leave the work of politics to people who run for public office.
Conservative, n. A statesman enamored of existing evils, as opposed to a Liberal, who wants to replace them with new ones.
There is always a certain meanness in the argument of conservatism, joined with a certain superiority in its fact.
For me party discipline is a sacred matter, not just lust for power as some people claim ….
What is needed in politics is not the ability to lie but rather the sensibility to know when, where, how and to whom to say things.
Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedies.
Compassionate Conservative … I don’t know what that is really. Kinda sounds like a Volvo with a gun rack.
Democracy isn’t just about deducing what the people want. Democracy is leading the people as well.
Idiot, n. A member of a large and powerful tribe whose influence in human affairs has always been dominant and controlling.
Each fool turns politician now, and wears / A formal face, and talks of state-affairs.
Well, there are people who eat the earth and eat all the people on it like in the Bible with the locusts. And other people who stand around and watch them eat it.
Treat bad men exactly as if they were insane.
You can bind my body, tie my hands, govern my actions: you are the strongest, and society adds to your power; but with my will, sir, you can do nothing. God alone can restrain it and curb it. Seek then a law, a dungeon, an instrument of torture, by which you can hold it, it is as if you wished to grasp the air, and seize vacancy.
I’ve always thought the American eagle needed a left wing and a right wing. The right wing would see to it that economic interests had their legitimate concerns addressed. The left wing would see to it that ordinary people were included in the bargain. Both would keep the great bird on course. But with two right wings or two left wings, it’s no longer an eagle and it’s going to crash.
The Scarecrow was now the ruler of the Emerald City, and although he was not a Wizard the people were proud of him. “For,” they said, “there is not another city in all the world that is ruled by a stuffed man.” And, so far as they knew, they were quite right.
Most of the stone a nation hammers goes toward its tomb only. It buries itself alive.
I’m seeing there is a new way, the third way. It’s not left or right. It’s not Democrat or Republican. It’s a third way. And the third way to me is a shift in these principles where dominance, occupation, invasion and violence are the tools on which the whole planet turns and operates. The new tools would be cooperation, invitation, dialogue, and care. Care would be fundamental to the principles of the world.
I know that it is hard for one who has held the reins for so long to give up; it cuts like a knife. It will feel all the better when it closes up again.
Where we can find common ground on the economy, and on other domestic issues, we shall seek it …. Where we cannot find common ground, we must stand our ground.
No nation keeps its word. A nation is a big, blind worm, following what? Fate perhaps. A nation has no honor, it has no word to keep.
… the life of the nation is long; and it is longer, and stronger, more vigorous and more knit, if it grows slowly and spontaneously than if formed by violence or fraud.
Liberty, n. One of imagination’s most precious possessions.
We want a society where people are free to make choices, to make mistakes, to be generous and compassionate. This is what we mean by a moral society; not a society where the state is responsible for everything, and no one is responsible for the state.
The liberty we prize is not America’s gift to the world, it is God’s gift to humanity.
In politics, if you want anything said, ask a man. If you want anything done, ask a woman.
I don’t believe civilization can do a lot more than educate a person’s senses.
History, despite its wrenching pain, / Cannot be unlived, and if faced / With courage, need not be lived again.
Government is not the solution to our problem. Government is the problem.
A good compromise … is like a good sentence; or a good piece of music. Everybody can recognize it. They say, “Huh. It works. It makes sense.”
We have to face the fact that either all of us are going to die together or we are going to learn to live together and if we are to live together we have to talk.
Civility is not a tactic or a sentiment. It is the determined choice of trust over cynicism, of community over chaos.
… when a conversation becomes a monologue, poked along with tiny cattle-prod questions, it isn’t a conversation any more.
Every time a new nation…advances toward civilization, the human race perfects itself; every time an inferior class emerges from enslavement and degradation, the human race again perfects itself.
Table talk and lovers’ talk equally elude the grasp; lovers’ talk is clouds, table talk is smoke.
And what authority even the creases in a suit can convey.
Conversation is the socializing instrument par excellence, and in its style one can see reflected the capacities of a race.
Friendless, adj. Having no favors to bestow. Destitute of fortune. Addicted to utterance of truth and common sense.
Are we not like the two volumes of one book?
In answer to the query, “What is a friend?”: A single soul dwelling in two bodies.
The truth is I now find that I have not the slightest pleasure in the society of any but a few indispensable friends. They must be people who really interest me, with whom I can talk seriously on serious subjects, and with whom I am brought into contact without effort on my side in the natural course of everyday existence.
Surely we ought to prize those friends on whose principles and opinions we may constantly rely—of whom we may say in all emergencies, “I know what they would think.”
… one may be my very good friend, and yet not of my opinion.
What a wretched lot of old shriveled creatures we shall be by-and-by. Never mind—the uglier we get in the eyes of others, the lovelier we shall be to each other; that has always been my firm faith about friendship.
A friend is a second self.
Bloody noses had made them friends, but giving sound to the bruised places in their hearts made them brothers.
Four be the things I am wiser to know: / Idleness, sorrow, a friend, and a foe.
I don’t have trouble with men. There are plenty of neurotic contemporaries of mine still around.
If a stranger taps you on the ass and says, “How’s the little lady today!” you will probably cringe. But if he’s an American, he’s only being friendly.
No man can be friends with a woman he finds attractive. He always wants to have sex with her. Sex is always out there. Friendship is ultimately doomed and that is the end of the story.
A dog will stay stupid. That’s why we love them so much.
How sad it is that a turtle can live to 150, or a parrot can live as long as a human, but man’s best friend can only live for a decade or two. With some things there’s little justice.
I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive.
Dogs are the leaders of the planet. If you see two life forms, one of them’s making a poop, the other one’s carrying it for him, who would you assume is in charge?
Then if my friendships break and bend, / There’s little need to cry / The while I know that every foe / Is faithful till I die.
Now a Frende I have Founde / That I woll nother banne ne curse, / But of all frendes in felde or towne / Ever, gramercy, myn own purse.
Business, you know, may bring money, but friendship hardly ever does.
Misfortune shows those who are not really friends.
I’ve been barbecued, stewed, screwed, tattooed, and fried by people claiming to be my friends. The human race has gone backward, not forward, since the days we were apes swinging through the trees.
She is probably by this time as tired of me, as I am of her; but as she is too polite and I am too civil to say so, our letters are still as frequent and affectionate as ever, and our Attachment as firm and sincere as when it first commenced.
Those whom we support hold us up in life.
Everyone wants to ride with you in the limo, but what you need is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.
I have no patience with anyone born after World War II. You have to explain everything to these people.
It’s very important when making a friend to check and see if they have a private plane. People think a good personality trait in a friend is kindness or a sense of humor. No, in a friend a good personality trait is a Gulfstream.
There’s a kind of emotional exploration you plumb with a friend that you don’t really do with your family.
Women are quite mad when it comes to hospitality.
Sometimes people come into your life for a season and other times for a lifetime.
There are very few honest friends—the demand is not particularly great.
Happy is the house that shelters a friend!
“My idea of good company, Mr. Elliot, is a company of clever, well-informed people, who have a great deal of conversation; that is what I call good company.” // “You are mistaken,” said he, gently, “that is not good company; that is the best.”
They cherish each other’s hopes. They are kind to each other’s dreams.
I think I have learned that the best way to lift one’s self up is to help someone else.
A friend I can trust is the one who will let me have my death. / The rest are actors who want me to stay and further the plot.
Friends are self-elected. Reverence is a great part of it.
It is not time or opportunity that is to determine intimacy; it is disposition alone. Seven years would be insufficient to make some people acquainted with each other, and seven days are more than enough for others.
When the sun shines on you, you see your friends. Friends are the thermometers by which one may judge the temperature of our fortunes.
… that perfect tranquility of life, which is nowhere to be found but in retreat, a faithful friend, a good library ….
There are many tongues to talk, and but few heads to think.
It was hard to communicate with you. You were always communicating with yourself. The line was busy.
I used to tell my husband that, if he could make me understand something, it would be clear to all the other people in the country.
One true self speaks to another, using the language of the heart, and in that bond a person is healed.
… the natural itch of talking and lying ….
The opposite of talking isn’t listening. The opposite of talking is waiting.
If only her brain worked as well as her jaws!
To be misunderstood even by those whom one loves is the cross and bitterness of life.
Don’t write anything you can phone. Don’t phone anything you can talk. Don’t talk anything you can whisper. Don’t whisper anything you can smile. Don’t smile anything you can nod. Don’t nod anything you can wink.
Language is the source of misunderstandings.
Basil Fawlty to Manuel: Oh, I could spend the rest of my life having this conversation—look—please try to understand before one of us dies.
Galinda didn’t often stop to consider whether she believed in what she said or not; the whole point of conversation was flow.
… the more fools speak the more people will despise them.
Conversation is but carving! / Give no more to every guest / Than he’s able to digest.
Ultimately, the bond of all companionship, whether in marriage or friendship, is conversation.
He’s a wonderful talker, who has the art of telling you nothing in a great harangue.
… one never discusses anything with anybody who can understand, one discusses things with people who cannot understand ….
’Tis better to be brief than tedious.
I often quote myself. It adds spice to my conversation.
Don’t confuse being stimulating with being blunt.
Buffet, ball, banquet, quilting bee, / Wherever conversation’s flowing, / Why must I feel it falls on me / To keep things going?
To use many words to communicate few thoughts is everywhere the unmistakable sign of mediocrity. To gather much thought into few words stamps the man of genius.
A flow of words is a sure sign of duplicity.
Words calculated to catch everyone may catch no one.
I read for the part of Elizabeth, the virgin queen. I thought they said they were looking for a virgin from Queens. Whatever, the only virgin in my house is the olive oil.
Using insult instead of argument is the sign of a small mind ….
Many words have no legal meaning. Others have a legal meaning very unlike their ordinary meaning. For example, the word “daffy-down-dilly.” It is a criminal libel to call a lawyer a “daffy-down-dilly.” Ha! Yes, I advise you never to do such a thing. No, I certainly advise you never to do it.
There’s no procrastination on TV.
Email has made sending regular mail such a chore. “Wait, I stick it in an envelope and now I gotta go outside? What am I, a triathelete?”
Nowadays, when you get a handwritten letter in the mail you’re like, “What? Has someone been kidnapped!?” “Well, I’m not opening it, it’s probably filled with anthrax.”
A person who can write a long letter with ease, cannot write ill.
The Internet is just a world passing around notes in a classroom.
The Internet is not a rising tide, it’s a tidal wave!
Languages never stand still. Modern spelling crystallizes lost pronunciations: the visual never quite catches up with the aural.
We are tied down to a language which makes up in obscurity what it lacks in style.
Did Cicero say anything? // Ay, he spoke Greek. // To what effect? // Nay … those that understood him smiled at one another, and shook their heads; but, for mine own part, it was Greek to me.
Language is power …. Language can be used as a means of changing reality.
… slang … the home-made language of the ruled, not the rulers, the acted upon, the used, the used up. It is demotic poetry emerging in flashes of ironic insight.
Eloquence is the power to translate a truth into language perfectly intelligible to the person to whom you speak.
I love talking about nothing, father. It is the only thing I know anything about.
It is always observable that silence propagates itself, and that the longer talk has been suspended, the more difficult it is to find any thing to say.
Three Silences there are: the first of speech, / The second of desire, the third of thought.
We all arrive by different streets, / by unequal languages, at Silence.
The silence often of pure innocence persuades when speaking fails.
In times like the present, men should utter nothing for which they would not willingly be responsible through time and in eternity.
The saying is true, “The empty vessel makes the greatest sound.”
… one of the most important developments in modern politics has been the unprecedented phenomenon of masses of people organizing, not just against those who violently oppress them, but against the oppression of others—and even against the use of violence itself.
Agitators are a set of interfering, meddling people, who come down to some perfectly contented class of the community and sow the seeds of discontent amongst them. That is the reason why agitators are so absolutely necessary. Without them, in our incomplete state, there would be no advance towards civilisation.
I am for keeping the thing going while things are stirring. Because if we wait till it is still, it will take a great while to get it going again.
Can there be a higher desire than to change the world? Not to draw Utopian blueprints, but really to order change? To revise the misshapen, reshape the mistaken, to justify the margins of this ragged error of a universe?
Every reform movement has a lunatic fringe.
A society which is clamouring for choice, which is filled with many articulate groups, each urging its own brand of salvation, its own variety of economic philosophy, will give each new generation no peace until all have chosen or gone under, unable to bear the conditions of choice.
You may trod me in the very dirt / But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
Our responsibility is much greater than we might have supposed, because it involves all mankind.
Nutopia has no land, no boundaries, no passports, only people. Nutopia has no laws other than cosmic. All people of Nutopia are ambassadors of the country. Citizenship of the country can be obtained by declaration of your awareness of Nutopia.
Wall, childern, whar dar is so much racket dar must be somethin’ out o’ kilter.
“You hate America, don’t you?” she said. // “That would be as silly as loving it,” I said. “It’s impossible for me to get emotional about it, because real estate doesn’t interest me. It’s no doubt a great flaw in my personality, but I can’t think in terms of boundaries. Those imaginary lines are as unreal to me as elves and pixies.”
The fate of the country does not depend on … what kind of paper you drop into the ballot-box once a year, but on what kind of man you drop from your chamber into the street every morning.
The virtue of patriotism has been extolled most loudly and publicly by nations that are in the process of conquering others….
It requires philosophy and heroism to rise above the opinion of the wise men of all nations and races ….
“I will not cease from mental fight,” Blake wrote. Mental fight means thinking against the current, not with it. The current flows fast and furious. It issues a spate of words from the loudspeakers and the politicians.
It is not always the same thing to be a good man and a good citizen.
Each of us is a citizen of a common planet, bound to a common destiny. So connected are we, that each of us has the power to be the eyes of the world, the voice of the world, the conscience of the world, or the end of the world. And as each one of us chooses, so becomes the world.
Its name is Public Opinion. It is held in reverence. It settles everything. Some think it is the voice of God.
… public opinion is a giant which has frightened stouter-hearted Jacks on bigger beanstalks than hers.
Standing up to your government can mean standing up for your country.
The victories that the 60’s generation brought about … have made America a far better place for all its citizens. But what has been lost in the process, and has yet to be replaced, are those shared assumptions—that quality of trust and fellow feeling—that bring us together as Americans.
We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal …. // The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman, having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her.
It is impossible for one class to appreciate the wrongs of another.
Primitiveness and civilization are degrees of the same thing. If civilization has an opposite, it is war. Of these two things, you have either one, or the other. Not both.
More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.

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