The Election

Sunday, November 6, 2016 – The Election

I know nothing grander, better exercise, better digestion, more positive proof of the past, the triumphant result of faith in human kind, than a well-contested American national election. ~ Walt Whitman

We think that democracy can change a lot of things, but we’re being fooled, because democracy is not the election. We’ve been taught that democracy is having elections. And it isn’t. Elections are the most horrendous aspect of democracy. It’s the most mundane, trivial, disappointing, dirty aspect. ~ Gael Garcia Bernal

An election is nothing more than the advanced auction of stolen goods. ~ Ambrose Bierce

Elections are held to delude the populace into believing that they are participating in government. ~ Gerald F. Lieberman

A vote is like a rifle: its usefulness depends upon the character of the user. ~ Theodore Roosevelt

The major problem – one of the major problems, for there are several – one of the many major problems with governing people is that of whom you get to do it; or rather of who manages to get people to let them do it to them. To summarize: it is a well-known fact that those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it. To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job. ~ Douglas Adams, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

Half of the American people have never read a newspaper. Half never voted for President. One hopes it is the same half. ~ Gore Vidal

When one with honeyed words but evil mind persuades the mob, great woes befall the state. ~ Euripides, Orestes

Free election of masters does not abolish the masters or the slaves. ~ Herbert Marcuse

Every election is determined by the people who show up. ~ Larry J. Sabato

Next time I tell you someone from Texas should not be president of the United States, please pay attention. ~ Molly Ivins

Politics: the art of using euphemisms, lies, emotionalism and fear-mongering to dupe average people into accepting – or even demanding – their own enslavement. ~ Larken Rose

General Motors, General Mills, General Foods, general ignorance, general apathy, and general cussedness elect presidents and Congressmen and maintain them in power. ~ Herbert M. Shelton

The demagogue is one who preaches doctrines he knows to be untrue to men he knows to be idiots. ~ H. L. Mencken

Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters. ~ Abraham Lincoln

If elected I shall be thankful; if not, it will be all the same. ~ Abraham Lincoln

You will expect me to discuss the late election. Well, as nearly as I can learn, we did not have enough votes on our side. ~ Herbert Hoover

Win or lose, we go shopping after the election. ~ Imelda Marcos

Voters inclined to loathe and fear elite Ivy League schools rarely make fine distinctions between Yale and Harvard. All they know is that both are full of rich, fancy, stuck-up and possibly dangerous intellectuals who never sit down to supper in their undershirt no matter how hot the weather gets. ~ Russell Baker

Once demagogy and falsehoods become routine, there isn’t much for the political journalist to do except handicap the race and report on the candidate’s mood. ~ George Packer

My opponent called me a cream puff. Well, I rushed out and got the baker’s union to endorse me. ~ Claiborne Pell

Every two years the American politics industry fills the airwaves with the most virulent, scurrilous, wall-to-wall character assassination of nearly every political practitioner in the country – and then declares itself puzzled that America has lost trust in its politicians. ~ Charles Krauthammer

Elections are a good deal like marriages. There’s no accounting for anyone’s taste. Every time we see a bridegroom we wonder why she ever picked him, and it’s the same with public officials. ~ Will Rogers

In our brief national history we have shot four of our presidents, worried five of them to death, impeached one and hounded another out of office. And when all else fails, we hold an election and assassinate their character. ~ P. J. O’Rourke

Maybe a nation that consumes as much booze and dope as we do and has our kind of divorce statistics should pipe down about character issues. Either that or just go ahead and determine the presidency with three-legged races and pie-eating contests. It would make better TV. ~ P. J. O’Rourke

The American President has to take all sorts of abuse from liars and demagogues.… The people can never understand why the President does not use his supposedly great power to make ’em behave. Well, all the President is, is a glorified public relations man who spends his time flattering, kissing and kicking people to get them to do what they are supposed to do anyway. ~ Harry S. Truman

In a society governed passively by free markets and free elections, organized greed always defeats disorganized democracy. ~ Matt Taibbi

An election is coming. Universal peace is declared and the foxes have a sincere interest in prolonging the lives of the poultry. ~ George Eliot

The whole framework of the presidency is getting out of hand. It’s come to the point where you almost can’t run unless you can cause people to salivate and whip on each other with big sticks. You almost have to be a rock star to get the kind of fever you need to survive in American politics. ~ Hunter S. Thompson

Politics is the art of the possible, the attainable, the art of the next best. ~ Otto von Bismarck

When the leaders choose to make themselves bidders at an auction of popularity, their talents, in the construction of the state, will be of no service. They will become flatterers instead of legislators; the instruments, not the guides, of the people. ~ Edmund Burke

Each candidate behaved well in the hope of being judged worthy of election. However, this system was disastrous when the city had become corrupt. For then it was not the most virtuous but the most powerful who stood for election, and the weak, even if virtuous, were too frightened to run for office. ~ Niccolo Machiavelli

If you put your politicians up for sale, as the US does (alone in this among industrialized democracies), then someone will buy them – and it won’t be you; you can’t afford them. ~ Juan Cole

You don’t have to fool all the people all of the time; you just have to fool enough to get elected. ~ Gerald Barzan

To win in this country these days you have got to campaign down to a thirteen year-old’s level of mental development. ~ Willie Brown

The politician is trained in the art of inexactitude. His words tend to be blunt or rounded because if they have a cutting edge they may later return to wound him. ~ Edward R. Murrow

Do not run a campaign that would embarrass your mother. ~ Robert C. Byrd

Democracy is a process by which the people are free to choose the man who will get the blame. ~ Laurence J. Peter

If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal. ~ Emma Goldman

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

A politician should have three hats. One for throwing into the ring, one for talking through, and one for pulling rabbits out of if elected. ~ Carl Sandburg

The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter. ~ Winston Churchill

Don’t vote – it only encourages them. ~ Billy Connolly

Do you ever get the feeling that the only reason we have elections is to find out if the polls were right? ~ Robert Orben

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