Voting Election Quotes

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Half of the American people have never read a newspaper. Half never voted for President. One hopes it is the same half.
Gore Vidal (Screening History)
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
A vote is like a rifle: its usefulness depends upon the character of the user.
Theodore Roosevelt
As societies grow decadent, the language grows decadent, too. Words are used to disguise, not to illuminate, action: you liberate a city by destroying it. Words are to confuse, so that at election time people will solemnly vote against their own interests.
Gore Vidal
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
Presidents are selected, not elected.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Listen, Peaches, trickery is what humans are all about," said the voice of Maurice. "They're so keen on tricking one another all the time that they elect governments to do it for them.
Terry Pratchett (The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents (Discworld, #28))
Every election is determined by the people who show up.
Larry J. Sabato (Pendulum Swing)
On Undecided Voter​s: "To put them in perspective, I think​ of being​ on an airplane.​ The flight attendant comes​ down the aisle​ with her food cart and, eventually,​ parks​ it beside my seat.​ “Can I inter​est you in the chick​en?​” she asks.​ “Or would​ you prefer the platter of shit with bits of broke​n glass​ in it?” To be undecided in this elect​ion is to pause​ for a moment and then ask how the chick​en is cooked.
David Sedaris
When widely followed public figures feel free to say anything, without any fact-checking, it becomes impossible for a democracy to think intelligently about big issues.
Thomas L. Friedman
The demagogue is one who preaches doctrines he knows to be untrue to men he knows to be idiots.
H.L. Mencken
The Ephebians believed that every man should have the vote (provided that he wasn't poor, foreign, nor disqualified by reason of being mad, frivolous, or a woman). Every five years someone was elected to be Tyrant, provided he could prove that he was honest, intelligent, sensible, and trustworthy. Immediately after he was elected, of course, it was obvious to everyone that he was a criminal madman and totally out of touch with the view of the ordinary philosopher in the street looking for a towel. And then five years later they elected another one just like him, and really it was amazing how intelligent people kept on making the same mistakes.
Terry Pratchett (Small Gods (Discworld, #13))
October 6, 1774 I met those of our society who had votes in the ensuing election, and advised them 1. To vote, without fee or reward, for the person they judged most worthy 2. To speak no evil of the person they voted against, and 3. To take care their spirits were not sharpened against those that voted on the other side.
John Wesley (The Journal of John Wesley)
Voting is not a right. It is a method used to determine which politician was most able to brainwash you.
Dennis E. Adonis
Pops added,"you know, they say if you don't vote, you get the government you deserve." "And if you do, you never get the results you expected," (Katherine) replied.
E.A. Bucchianeri (Brushstrokes of a Gadfly, (Gadfly Saga, #1))
...they say if you don't vote, you get the government you deserve, and if you do, you never get the results you expected.
E.A. Bucchianeri (Brushstrokes of a Gadfly, (Gadfly Saga, #1))
The ruling power is always faced with the question, ‘In such and such circumstances, what would you do?’, whereas the opposition is not obliged to take responsibility or make any real decisions.
George Orwell
Boys are idiots. Girls are idiots, too, of course, but boys are a special kind of idiot. A girl, for instance, will vote for a boy in an election, or go to a movie that's about a boy, or buy a book that features a boy hero (or villain). Boys are much less likely to return the favor. They can't wrap their feeble minds around the idea that this girl might have anything in common with them. It's like they can't recognize girls as human beings.
Josh Lieb (I Am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President)
Elections are won by men and women chiefly because most people vote against somebody rather than for somebody.
Franklin P. Adams
If I were to vote, I would intentionally vote for the goofiest candidate. It is my theory that when the people can outwit the leader, the more respected their voices will be.
Criss Jami (Killosophy)
Democracy is not simply a license to indulge individual whims and proclivities. It is also holding oneself accountable to some reasonable degree for the conditions of peace and chaos that impact the lives of those who inhabit one’s beloved extended community.
Aberjhani (Splendid Literarium: A Treasury of Stories, Aphorisms, Poems, and Essays)
Those who stay away from the election think that one vote will do no good. 'Tis but one step more to think one vote will do no harm.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
People who think with their epidermis or their genitalia or their clan are the problem to begin with. One does not banish this specter by invoking it. If I would not vote against someone on the grounds of 'race' or 'gender' alone, then by the exact same token I would not cast a vote in his or her favor for the identical reason. Yet see how this obvious question makes fairly intelligent people say the most alarmingly stupid things.
Christopher Hitchens
Do the unexpected. Take 20 minutes out of your day, do what young people all over the world are dying to do: vote.
Rick Mercer
How many more of these stinking, double-downer sideshows will we have to go through before we can get ourselves straight enough to put together some kind of national election that will give me and the at least 20 million people I tend to agree with a chance to vote FOR something, instead of always being faced with that old familiar choice between the lesser of two evils?
Hunter S. Thompson (Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72)
I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute - where no Catholic prelate would tell the President (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote - where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference - and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the President who might appoint him or the people who might elect him. I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish - where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source - where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials - and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all. [Remarks to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association, September 12 1960]
John F. Kennedy
Our freedoms are vanishing. If you do not get active to take a stand now against all that is wrong while we still can, then maybe one of your children may elect to do so in the future, when it will be far more riskier — and much, much harder.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
[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 Truman
Now that everyone could vote from home, via the OASIS, the only people who could get elected were movie stars, reality TV personalities, or radical televangelists..
Ernest Cline (Ready Player One (Ready Player One, #1))
In the next election, I'm voting for your mom to be the next God.
David Levithan
Since Jimmy Carter, religious fundamentalists play a major role in elections. He was the first president who made a point of exhibiting himself as a born again Christian. That sparked a little light in the minds of political campaign managers: Pretend to be a religious fanatic and you can pick up a third of the vote right away. Nobody asked whether Lyndon Johnson went to church every day. Bill Clinton is probably about as religious as I am, meaning zero, but his managers made a point of making sure that every Sunday morning he was in the Baptist church singing hymns.
Noam Chomsky
I felt free and chained at the same time - like one feels just before election, when all the crooks have been nominated and you are beseeched to vote for the right man.
Henry Miller (Tropic of Cancer (Tropic, #1))
Krista asks,"What is it about society that disappoints you so much?" Elliot thinks, "Oh I don't know, is it that we collectively thought Steve Jobs was a great man even when we knew he made billions off the backs of children? Or maybe it's that it feels like all our heroes are counterfeit; the world itself's just one big hoax. Spamming each other with our burning commentary of bullshit masquerading as insight, our social media faking as intimacy. Or is it that we voted for this? Not with our rigged elections, but with our things, our property, our money. I'm not saying anything new. We all know why we do this, not because Hunger Games books makes us happy but because we wanna be sedated. Because it's painful not to pretend, because we're cowards. Fuck Society." "Mr. Robot" season 1 episode 1, 'ohellofriend.mov
Sam Esmail
After all, your chances of winning a lottery and of affecting an election are pretty similar. From a financial perspective, playing the lottery is a bad investment. But it's fun and relatively cheap: for the price of a ticket, you buy the right to fantasize how you'd spend the winnings - much as you get to fantasize that your vote will have some impact on policy.
Steven D. Levitt (Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything)
Discourse and critical thinking are essential tools when it comes to securing progress in a democratic society. But in the end, unity and engaged participation are what make it happen.
Aberjhani (Splendid Literarium: A Treasury of Stories, Aphorisms, Poems, and Essays)
When picking a leader, choose a peacemaker. One who unites, not divides. A cultured leader who supports the arts and true freedom of speech, not censorship.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
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
Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.
John Quincy Adams
The job facing American voters… in the days and years to come is to determine which hearts, minds and souls command those qualities best suited to unify a country rather than further divide it, to heal the wounds of a nation as opposed to aggravate its injuries, and to secure for the next generation a legacy of choices based on informed awareness rather than one of reactions based on unknowing fear.
Aberjhani (Illuminated Corners: Collected Essays and Articles Volume I.)
I have an idea about voting, how about on every ballot we include "None of the above". People may laugh at that, but what that is, it is a vote of no confidence in your government and I'm willing to bet that in some elections, 'None of the Above' would win. Imagine if you won the election but lost to 'None of the Above'. Wouldn't that make you re-think your positions?
Jesse Ventura
We all play a role in this democracy. We need to remember the power of every vote. I continue, too, to keep myself connected to a force that’s larger and more potent than any one election, or leader, or news story—and that’s optimism. For me, this is a form of faith, an antidote to fear.
Michelle Obama (Becoming)
No man will ever bring out of that office the reputation which carries him into it. The honeymoon would be as short in that case as in any other, and its moments of ecstasy would be ransomed by years of torment and hatred.
Thomas Jefferson
THERE'S NO MONKEY BUSINESS ABOUT THIS ELECTION,' he told the voters. 'IF YOU'RE ENOUGH OF AN ASSHOLE TO VOTE FOR NIXON, YOUR DUMB VOTE WILL BE COUNTED––JUST LIKE ANYBODY ELSE!
John Irving (A Prayer for Owen Meany)
That we have the vote means nothing. That we use it in the right way means everything.
Lou Henry Hoover
We are not born to accommodate tyranny over our hearts, minds, bodies, or souls. We are here to confirm an abundance of love-inspired possibilities greater than such restrictions.
Aberjhani (Splendid Literarium: A Treasury of Stories, Aphorisms, Poems, and Essays)
A citizen of America will cross the ocean to fight for democracy, but won't cross the street to vote in a national election.
Bill Vaughan
When a stupid government is elected in a democratic country, the best thing about this is that you learn the number of stupid people in that country!
Mehmet Murat ildan
Pick a leader who will make their citizens proud. One who will stir the hearts of the people, so that the sons and daughters of a given nation strive to emulate their leader's greatness. Only then will a nation be truly great, when a leader inspires and produces citizens worthy of becoming future leaders, honorable decision makers and peacemakers. And in these times, a great leader must be extremely brave. Their leadership must be steered only by their conscience, not a bribe.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
I am an ambassador," Akretenesh warned me, anger bringing his confidence back. "You cannot shoot." "I don't mean to," I reassured him, still smiling. I adopted his soothing tones. "Indeed, you are the only man I won't shoot. But if I aimed at anyone else, it might give others a dangerously mistaken sense of their own safety." I raised my voice a trifle, though it wasn't really necessary. "We will have another vote, Xorcheus." They elected me Sounis. It was unanimous.
Megan Whalen Turner (A Conspiracy of Kings (The Queen's Thief, #4))
Pick a leader who is strong and confident, yet humble. Intelligent, but not sly. A leader who encourages diversity, not racism. One who understands the needs of the farmer, the teacher, the welder, the doctor, and the environmentalist -- not only the banker, the oil tycoon, the weapons developer, or the insurance and pharmaceutical lobbyist.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
Choose a leader who will invest in building bridges, not walls. Books, not weapons. Morality, not corruption. Intellectualism and wisdom, not ignorance.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
The heart of democracy is violence, Miss Tagwynn,” Esterbrook said. “In order to decide what to do, we take a count of everyone for and against it, and then do whatever the larger side wishes to do. We’re having a symbolic battle, its outcome decided by simple numbers. It saves us time and no end of trouble counting actual bodies—but don’t mistake it for anything but ritualized violence. And every few years, if the person we elected doesn’t do the job we wanted, we vote him out of office—we symbolically behead him and replace him with someone else. Again, without the actual pain and bloodshed, but acting out the ritual of violence nonetheless. It’s actually a very practical way of getting things done.
Jim Butcher (The Aeronaut's Windlass (The Cinder Spires, #1))
Pick a leader who will keep jobs in your country by offering companies incentives to hire only within their borders, not one who allows corporations to outsource jobs for cheaper labor when there is a national employment crisis. Choose a leader who will invest in building bridges, not walls. Books, not weapons. Morality, not corruption. Intellectualism and wisdom, not ignorance. Stability, not fear and terror. Peace, not chaos. Love, not hate. Convergence, not segregation. Tolerance, not discrimination. Fairness, not hypocrisy. Substance, not superficiality. Character, not immaturity. Transparency, not secrecy. Justice, not lawlessness. Environmental improvement and preservation, not destruction. Truth, not lies.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
Russians who voted in 1990 did not think that this would be the last free and fair election in their country’s history, which (thus far) it has been.
Timothy Snyder (On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century)
[Slitscan's audience] is best visualized as a vicious, lazy, profoundly ignorant, perpetually hungry organism craving the warm god-flesh of the anointed. Personally I like to imagine something the size of a baby hippo, the color of a week-old boiled potato, that lives by itself, in the dark, in a double-wide on the outskirts of Topeka. It's covered with eyes and it sweats constantly. The sweat runs into those eyes and makes them sting. It has no mouth, Laney, no genitals, and can only express its mute extremes of murderous rage and infantile desire by changing the channels on a universal remote. Or by voting in presidential elections.
William Gibson (Idoru (Bridge, #2))
The changes that take place when liberal Democrats replace not so liberal or compassionate Republicans (or Democrats) are merely cosmetic.
David T. Dellinger
Can't wait for tomorrow when I get to exercise my patriotic duty as an American: Complaining about how long it's taking to VOTE.
Stephen Colbert
There's no such thing as a vote that doesn't matter.
Barack Obama
There are also those who delusively if not enthusiastically surrender their liberty for the mastermind’s false promises of human and societal perfectibility. He hooks them with financial bribes in the form of ‘entitlements.’ And he makes incredible claims about indefectible health, safety, educational, and environmental policies, the success of which is to be measured not in the here and now but in the distant future. For these reasons and more, some become fanatics for the cause. They take to the streets and, ironically, demand their own demise as they protest against their own self-determination and for ever more autocracy and authoritarianism. When they vote, they vote to enchain not only their fellow citizens but, unwittingly, themselves. Paradoxically, as the utopia metastasizes and the society ossifies, elections become less relevant. More and more decisions are made by the masterminds and their experts, who substitute their self-serving and dogmatic judgments — which are proclaimed righteous and compassionate — for the the individual’s self-interests and best interests.
Mark R. Levin (Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America)
Most likely they told her a whole lot of damned things she wasn't allowed to do, for a range of different reasons. But she damned well did them all the same. A few years after she was born they were still telling girls they couldn't vote in the bleeding elections, but now the girls do it all the same. That's damned well how you stand up to bastards who tell you what you can and and't do. You bloody do those things all the bloody same.
Fredrik Backman (My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry)
Capitalism is not just an economic system but an entire social order. Once it takes hold, it is not voted out of existence by electing socialists or communists.
Michael Parenti (Blackshirts and Reds: Rational Fascism and the Overthrow of Communism)
America is a land where a citizen will cross the ocean to fight for democracy - and wont cross the street to vote in a national election.
Bill Vaughn
It is perhaps a sign of the strength of our republic that so few people feel the need to participate. That must be the reason.
Jon Stewart (America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction)
Authority confined in you does not make you a leader. It is the authority created by you that makes you influence people with your purpose.
Israelmore Ayivor
Ballot papers do not define leaders. Leadership is defined by conviction, vision, passion and inspiration.
Israelmore Ayivor
Democracy's fatal flaw: There are more dumb people than smart people. Welcome to the new Dark Ages!
Oliver Gaspirtz
The dirty secret of the neoliberal era is that these ideas were never defeated in a great battle of ideas, nor were they voted down in elections. They were shocked out of the way at key political junctures.
Naomi Klein (The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism)
To vastly improve your country and truly make it great again, start by choosing a better leader. Do not let the media or the establishment make you pick from the people they choose, but instead choose from those they do not pick.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
members of labor unions, and un-organized unskilled workers, will sooner or later realize that their government is not even trying to prevent wages from sinking or to prevent jobs from being exported. Around the same time, they will realize that suburban white-collar workers - themselves desparately afraid of being downsized - are not going to let themselves be taxed to provide social benefits for anyone else. At that point, something will crack. The non-suburban electorate will decide that the system has failed and start looking around for a strongman to vote for - someone willing to assure them that once he is elected, the smug bureaucrats, tricky lawyers, overpaid bond salesmen and post modernist professors will no longer be calling the shots... One thing that is very likely to happen is that the gains made in the past forty years by black and brown Americans, and by homosexuals, will be wiped out. Jocular contempt for women will come back into fashion... All the resentment which badly educated Americans feel about having their manners dictated to them by college graduates will find an outlet pp89-90
Richard Rorty
Passionate people are always ready to stand for their dreams even if no one stand with them. They vote and vote alone for their dreams but never loss their nomination for excellent leadership!
Israelmore Ayivor (The Great Hand Book of Quotes)
When we support or vote for candidates outside the two major political parties we are immediately lectured about wasting our vote or making it easier for the less desirable of the two major candidates to claim victory. These lies are repeated every election and they must be ignored. You never waste your vote if you vote your conscience.
Glenn Beck (Glenn Beck's Common Sense: The Case Against an Out-of-Control Government, Inspired by Thomas Paine)
The hero of a David Lodge novel says that you don’t know, when you make love for the last time, that you are making love for the last time. Voting is like that. Some of the Germans who voted for the Nazi Party in 1932 no doubt understood that this might be the last meaningfully free election for some time, but most did not. Some of the Czechs and Slovaks who voted for the Czechoslovak Communist Party in 1946 probably realized that they were voting for the end of democracy, but most assumed they would have another chance. No doubt the Russians who voted in 1990 did not think that this would be the last free and fair election in their country’s history, which (thus far) it has been. Any election can be the last, or at least the last in the lifetime of the person casting the vote.
Timothy Snyder (On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century)
This won't stop her from getting elected...Stupider people get elected all the time. It's America. We love the sleazy. And the crazy.
Rachel Caine (Bitter Blood (The Morganville Vampires, #13))
A single man is minority, a leader is the majority.
Amit Kalantri
They say the crazies come out at night. I say the crazies come out during election year: Elections have the power to turn once seemingly normal people into certified loonies.
Criss Jami (Healology)
Voting, we might even say, is the next to last refuge of the politically impotent. The last refuge is, of course, giving your opinion to a pollster, who will get a version of it through a desiccated question, and then will submerge it in a Niagara of similar opinions, and convert them into--what else?--another piece of news. Thus we have here a great loop of impotence: The news elicits from you a variety of opinions about which you can do nothing except to offer them as more news, about which you can do nothing.
Neil Postman (Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business)
But did you know that during the past quarter century, no presidential election has been won by more than ten million ballots cast? Yet every federal election during the same time period had at least one hundred million people of voting age who did not bother to vote!
Andy Andrews (How Do You Kill 11 Million People? Why The Truth Matters More Than You Think)
Both groups [of pundits] were critics, and that is the heart of the problem. If you are a pundit, you seem so smart when you are telling the President what he did wrong… This [is] mostly BS.
Jeffrey A. Miller
In proportion as the mass of citizens who possess political rights increases, and the number of elected ruler’s increases, the actual power is concentrated and becomes the monopoly of a smaller and smaller group of individuals.
Paul Lafargue
You can lead if you can serve. You can serve when you can love. You can love when you are graced. The truth is that God knows love will be needed in volumes, this is why he made his grace abundant. Leaders are lovers. Misleaders are haters!
Israelmore Ayivor
Voting gives us an opportunity to choose from options that were chosen for us.
Mokokoma Mokhonoana
Because of the power that we have given money: The government would rather have taxpayers who do not vote, than voters who do not pay tax.
Mokokoma Mokhonoana
I'd like to vote for the candidate similar to the one the Right absurdly claims Obama is.
Glenn Greenwald
The real purpose of the opposition is to minimize the amount of money the ruling party will have stolen from the people at the end of its term.
Mokokoma Mokhonoana
Chant back to us our platitudes about democracy, greatness, and freedom. Vote in our rigged corporate elections. Send your young men and women to fight and die in useless, unwinnable wars that provide huge profits for corporations.
Chris Hedges (Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt)
Try to roll with the punches. Keep your chin up. Don’t take any wooden nickels. Vote Democrat in every election. Ride your bike in the park. Dream about my perfect, golden body. Take your vitamins. Drink eight glasses of water a day. Pull for the Mets. Watch a lot of movies. Don’t work too hard at your job. Take a trip to Paris with me. Come to the hospital when Rachel has her baby and hold my grandchild in your arms. Brush your teeth after every meal. Don’t cross the street on a red light. Defend the little guy. Stick up for yourself. Remember how beautiful you are. Remember how much I love you. Drink one Scotch on the rocks every day. Breathe deeply. Keep your eyes open. Stay away from fatty foods. Sleep the sleep of the just. Remember how much I love you.
Paul Auster (The Brooklyn Follies)
There is a great new work before us, which is to replace with true knowledge the ignorance that has destroyed human minds. We will construct unity in a world [which] has been brutally torn apart by false divisions of race, religion, gender, nationality, and age. We will heal with unconditional love those souls whose hearts have been disfigured by hatred and loneliness.
Aberjhani (Songs from the Black Skylark zPed Music Player)
Elect the king or queen—what a funny concept. Everyone knew that elections only worked for judges and Congress. Making the executive branch pander to the people, go out begging for votes—that could only end in disaster. That structure would attract the wrong sort of people: power-hungry people with twisted agendas.
Katharine McGee (American Royals (American Royals, #1))
There's nothing quite like the futility of being seventeen in an election year.
Becky Albertalli (Yes No Maybe So)
Small differences in a system of great power can have enormous consequences. [Source: Al Jazeera 'Upfront' interview]
Noam Chomsky
I am not for the left or the right, but for what is right over the wrong. I am not an elephant or a donkey, but a lion that stands only with Truth and my conscience.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
In a democracy, there will be more complaints but less crisis, in a dictatorship more silence but much more suffering.
Amit Kalantri (Wealth of Words)
Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in.
Dr Syed Muhammad Zeeshan Hussain Almashhadi
I am not red or blue. I am red, white and blue. Those are the same colors in my body (my heart, blood and veins). I am only human, and the human race is the only race in which I am an active participant - mind, body and soul.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
Well, anyway, by the time it got ready to vote, it looked like a fella wouldn’t be able to have no fun at all anymore, if my opponents were elected. About all a fella would be able to do, without getting arrested, was to drink sody-pop and maybe kiss his wife. And no one liked the idea very much, the wives included.
Jim Thompson (Pop. 1280)
In the natural sciences, some checks exist on the prolonged acceptance of nutty ideas, which do not hold up well under experimental and observational tests and cannot readily be shown to give rise to useful working technologies. But in economics and the other social studies, nutty ideas may hang around for centuries. Today, leading presidential candidates and tens of millions of voters in the USA embrace ideas that might have been drawn from a 17th-century book on the theory and practice of mercantilism, and multitudes of politicians and ordinary people espouse notions that Adam Smith, David Ricardo, and others exploded more than two centuries ago. In these realms, nearly everyone simply believes whatever he feels good about believing.
Robert Higgs
Believe it; 25 years from now or less, you will be voted for or appointed by the actions you are taking today! Guess what the vote will mean. Will it be an election for you to occupy the edifice of failure or to be the administrator in the kingdom of success? Rise up and optimize your potentials!
Israelmore Ayivor
The biggest problem with democracy is that the weight of a vote is not determined by the degree of the voter’s intelligence, ignorance, or stupidity.
Mokokoma Mokhonoana
Support individuals, not parties.
Abhijit Naskar (Mad About Humans: World Maker's Almanac)
Today women have the rights and equality our Victorian sisters could only dream of, and with those privileges comes the responsibility of standing up and being counted.
Sara Sheridan
Why is it that we all say we hate our hypocritical politicians being controlled by special interests groups, and every election...we vote them in again.
Colleen Hitchcock
Every conceivable layer of the election process is completely riddled with vulnerabilities, so yes, hacking elections is easy!
James Scott, Senior Fellow, Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology
Free elections don't always result in fair elections.
DaShanne Stokes
In a dictatorship, every election is faked and everybody seems to know it except for the dictator. In a democracy it is the politicians that are rigged.
Lamine Pearlheart (To Life from the Shadows)
Talk is cheap, voting is free; take it to the polls...
Nanette L. Avery
To believe that your hopes of election depend on fewer people voting is to have a tragically weak level of trust in the value of your own positions, and your ability to defend them.
Pete Buttigieg (Trust: America's Best Chance)
This may seem confusing considering the "swing to the right" this country has taken, but raunch culture transcends elections. The values people vote for are not necessarily the same values they live by. No region of the United States has a higher divorce rate than the Bible Belt.
Ariel Levy
If I could remove one thing from the world and replace it with something else, I would erase politics and put art in its place. That way, art teachers would rule the world. And since art is the most supreme form of love, beautiful colors and imagery would weave bridges for peace wherever there are walls. Artists, who are naturally heart-driven, would decorate the world with their love, and in that love — poverty, hunger, lines of division, and wars would vanish from the earth forever. Children of the earth would then be free to play, imagine, create, build and grow without bloodshed, terror and fear.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
You sold out! We elected you, and you sold out! The next time we have an election, I think everyone should vote for himself. Or we might just as well vote for Charlie Brown! Yes, next year we may even say, 'You're elected, Charlie Brown!
Charles M. Schulz (You're Not Elected, Charlie Brown)
I shall not vote for Sen. Obama and it will not be because he—like me and like all of us—carries African genes. And I shall not be voting for Mrs. Clinton, who has the gall to inform me after a career of overweening entitlement that there is 'a double standard' at work for women in politics; and I assure you now that this decision of mine has only to do with the content of her character. We will know that we have put this behind us when [...] we have outgrown and forgotten the original prejudice.
Christopher Hitchens
I mean what does a democracy depend on? A democracy depends on the individual voter making an intelligent and rational choice for what he regards as his enlightened self-interest, in any given circumstance.
Aldous Huxley
Life is political, not because the world cares about how you feel, but because the world reacts to what you do. The minor choices we make are a kind of vote, making it more or less likely that free and fair elections will be held in the future. In the politics of the everyday, our words and gestures, or their absence, count very much.
Timothy Snyder (On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century)
This is America. Every vote counts. Sometimes twice, if it helps me get elected.
Jarod Kintz (This Book is Not for Sale)
Voter: someone smart enough to choose how to be fooled.
Jakub Bożydar Wiśniewski
At the federal level, this problem could be greatly alleviated by abolishing the Electoral College system. It's the winner-take-all mathematics from state to state that delivers so much power to a relative handful of voters. It's as if in politics, as in economics, we have a privileged 1 percent. And the money from the financial 1 percent underwrites the microtargeting to secure the votes of the political 1 percent. Without the Electoral College, by contrast, every vote would be worth exactly the same. That would be a step toward democracy.
Cathy O'Neil (Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy)
Democracy is about one person, one vote. It’s about all of us coming together to determine the future of our country. It is not about a handful of billionaires buying elections, or governors suppressing the vote by denying poor people or people of color the right to vote. Our job is to stand together to defeat the drift toward oligarchy and create a vibrant democracy.
Bernie Sanders (Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In)
Typically, in politics, more than one horse is owned and managed by the same team in an election. There's always and extra candidate who will slightly mimic the views of their team's opposing horse, to cancel out that person by stealing their votes just so the main horse can win. Elections are puppet shows. Regardless of their rainbow coats and many smiles, the agenda is one and the same.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
The marks of truth, as Christianly conceived, are that it is supernaturally grounded not developed within nature; that it is objective and not subjective; that it is a revelation and not a construction; that it is discovered by inquiry and not elected by a majority vote; that it is authoritative and not a matter of personal choice.
Harry Blamires (The Christian Mind: How Should a Christian Think?)
Although few people will remember 3 June 1993, it was a landmark in South African history. On that day, after months of negotiations at the World Trade Centre, the multiparty forum voted to set a date for the country’s first national, nonracial, one-person-one-vote election: 27 April 1994. For the first time in South African history, the black majority would go to the polls to elect their own leaders.
Nelson Mandela (Long Walk To Freedom)
I have not voted in a human presidential election for quite some time, Jonathan. Admittedly, it may not be my place. Still, do you know what really stops me from selecting a candidate?” Jonathan listened but mostly focused on containing his nausea. “It’s a paradox, I know. It just seems that anyone smart enough to know the responsibility of such a seat of power would never be dumb enough to apply for it.
T. Ellery Hodges (The Never Hero (Chronicles Of Jonathan Tibbs, #1))
I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute; where no Catholic prelate would tell the President -- should he be Catholic -- how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote; where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference, and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the President who might appoint him, or the people who might elect him.
John F. Kennedy
Both of these students- both high school seniors both old enough to vote in the upcoming election- thought 'Al' Qaeda was a person. At that time the United States had been at war for five and a half years and here were two students two young adults leaving the educational system who had never heard of al Qaeda. Both by the way had passed the multiple-choice reading section of the state's high school exit exam.
Kelly Gallagher (Readicide: How Schools Are Killing Reading and What You Can Do About It)
I have filed a lawsuit; I am not engaged in a legislative battle. I am very proud my son will help spearhead an effort to put forth a survivor’s legislative agenda with many of his fellow students, teachers, and other survivors of this tragedy. Kenny and his colleagues are now voting age or will be before the next election. Pro-gun politicians need to address the problem, or they may find themselves looking for work.
Mark M. Bello (Betrayal High (Zachary Blake Legal Thriller, #5))
Young people today seem to be coming around to the idea it really doesn’t matter which politician or political party you vote for; and they’re catching on that it doesn’t even matter if you don’t vote because they have realized modern elections are just a way for the 1% to appease the 99% – a way to keep the masses in line by making them believe they’ve had their say, thereby perpetuating the lie that democracy continues.
James Morcan (The Orphan Conspiracies: 29 Conspiracy Theories from The Orphan Trilogy)
This toy of voting was almost as pleasing as the conch. Jack started to protest but the clamor changed from the general wish for a chief to an election by acclaim of Ralph himself. None of the boys could have found good reason for this; what intelligence had been shown was traceable to Piggy while the most obvious leader was Jack. But there was a stillness about Ralph as he sat that marked him out: there was his size, and attractive appearance; and most obscurely, yet most powerfully, there was the conch. The being that had blown that, had sat waiting for them on the platform with the delicate thing balanced on his knees, was set apart.
William Golding (Lord of the Flies)
These are not red or blue issues—they are the human rights issues of our generation. We are here begging for our lives. If today’s political officeholders cannot accomplish real change on guns and gun issues, we will vote together on these issues in the next election and elect their successors . . .
Mark M. Bello (Betrayal High (Zachary Blake Legal Thriller, #5))
At least two important conservative thinkers, Ayn Rand and Leo Strauss, were unbelievers or nonbelievers and in any case contemptuous of Christianity. I have my own differences with both of these savants, but is the Republican Party really prepared to disown such modern intellectuals as it can claim, in favor of a shallow, demagogic and above all sectarian religiosity? Perhaps one could phrase the same question in two further ways. At the last election, the GOP succeeded in increasing its vote among American Jews by an estimated five percentage points. Does it propose to welcome these new adherents or sympathizers by yelling in the tones of that great Democrat bigmouth William Jennings Bryan? By insisting that evolution is 'only a theory'? By demanding biblical literalism and by proclaiming that the Messiah has already shown himself? If so, it will deserve the punishment for hubris that is already coming its way. (The punishment, in other words, that Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson believed had struck America on Sept. 11, 2001. How can it be that such grotesque characters, calling down divine revenge on the workers in the World Trade Center, are allowed a respectful hearing, or a hearing at all, among patriotic Republicans?). [. . . And Why I'm Most Certainly Not! -- The Wall Street Journal, Commentary Column. May 5, 2005]
Christopher Hitchens
When I talk about a political revolution, what I am referring to is the need to do more than just win the next election. It's about creating a situation where we are involving millions of people in the process who are not now involved, and changing the nature of media so they are talking about issues that reflect the needs and the pains that so many of our people are currently feeling. A campaign has got to be much more than just getting votes and getting elected. It has got to be helping to educate people, organize people. If we can do that, we can change the dynamic of politics for years and years to come. If 80 to 90 percent of the people in this country vote, if they know what the issues are (and make demands based on that knowledge), Washington and Congress will look very, very different from the Congress currently dominated by big money and dealing only with the issues that big money wants them to deal with.
Bernie Sanders (Outsider in the White House)
At present, the successful office-seeker is a good deal like the center of the earth; he weighs nothing himself, but draws everything else to him. There are so many societies, so many churches, so many isms, that it is almost impossible for an independent man to succeed in a political career. Candidates are forced to pretend that they are catholics with protestant proclivities, or christians with liberal tendencies, or temperance men who now and then take a glass of wine, or, that although not members of any church their wives are, and that they subscribe liberally to all. The result of all this is that we reward hypocrisy and elect men entirely destitute of real principle; and this will never change until the people become grand enough to allow each other to do their own thinking. Our government should be entirely and purely secular. The religious views of a candidate should be kept entirely out of sight. He should not be compelled to give his opinion as to the inspiration of the bible, the propriety of infant baptism, or the immaculate conception. All these things are private and personal. The people ought to be wise enough to select as their officers men who know something of political affairs, who comprehend the present greatness, and clearly perceive the future grandeur of our country. If we were in a storm at sea, with deck wave-washed and masts strained and bent with storm, and it was necessary to reef the top sail, we certainly would not ask the brave sailor who volunteered to go aloft, what his opinion was on the five points of Calvinism. Our government has nothing to do with religion. It is neither christian nor pagan; it is secular. But as long as the people persist in voting for or against men on account of their religious views, just so long will hypocrisy hold place and power. Just so long will the candidates crawl in the dust—hide their opinions, flatter those with whom they differ, pretend to agree with those whom they despise; and just so long will honest men be trampled under foot.
Robert G. Ingersoll (Some Mistakes of Moses)
Barack Obama is elected for another four-year term, he’ll be president for life. He’ll be the new Hugo Chavez. He’ll do away with the two-term limit and win the 2016 election with 90 percent of the vote. We have less than six months to make sure this doesn’t happen.
Michael Savage (Trickle Down Tyranny: Crushing Obama's Dream of the Socialist States of America)
In the movie White Men Can’t Jump, the final boss duo that the two street hustlers must defeat are called King and Duck. I felt that, because I’m The Duck King, and I didn’t have to win a basketball game for the title—I was elected via unanimous and cacophonous quack.
Jarod Kintz (Music is fluid, and my saxophone overflows when my ducks slosh in the sounds I make in elevators.)
You might object that people were asked ‘What do you think?’ rather than ‘What do you feel?’, but this is a common misperception. Referendums and elections are always about human feelings, not about human rationality. If democracy were a matter of rational decision-making, there would be absolutely no reason to give all people equal voting rights – or perhaps any voting rights. There is ample evidence that some people are far more knowledgeable and rational than others, certainly when it comes to specific economic and political questions.
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
Once upon a time, my government turned my city into a police state, kidnapped me, and tortured me. When I got free, I decided that the problem wasn’t the system, but who was running it. Bad guys had gotten into places of high office. We needed good apples. I worked my butt off to get people to vote for good apples. We had elections. We installed the kind of apples everyone agreed would be the kind of apples we could be proud of. They said good things. A few real dirtbags like Carrie Johnstone lost their jobs. And then, well, the good apples turned out to act pretty much exactly like the bad apples. Oh, they had reasons. There were emergencies. Circumstances. It was all really regrettable. But there were always emergencies, weren’t there?
Cory Doctorow (Homeland (Little Brother, #2))
We are approaching a very historical event in the history of our nation, the United States of America. For the first time in our history, Americans voted for president –elect, Barrack Hussein Obama, as the first African-American president. We are so optimistic about the presidency of President Obama, not only for being the country's first African American president, but for what he represents. Mr. Obama brings a new positive energy, deep global understanding of the intricacies of world affairs, and deep commitment for social justice and reform in our great country, the United States of America.
Aladdin Elaasar
Meaning is created when many people weave together a common network of stories. Why does a particular action – such as getting married in church, fasting on Ramadan or voting on election day – seem meaningful to me? Because my parents also think it is meaningful, as do my brothers, my neighbours, people in nearby cities and even the residents of far-off countries. And why do all these people think it is meaningful? Because their friends and neighbours also share the same view. People constantly reinforce each other’s beliefs in a self-perpetuating loop. Each round of mutual confirmation tightens the web of meaning further, until you have little choice but to believe what everyone else believes.
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow)
The Google and Facebook algorithms not only know exactly how you feel, they also know myriad other things about you that you hardly suspect. Consequently you should stop listening to your feelings and start listening to these external algorithms instead. What’s the point of having democratic elections when the algorithms know not only how each person is going to vote, but also the underlying neurological reasons why one person votes Democrat while another votes Republican? Whereas humanism commanded: ‘Listen to your feelings!’ Dataism now commands: ‘Listen to the algorithms! They know how you feel.’ When
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow)
My father once told me that American democracy is a people’s democracy at heart, and that it therefore can be as great as the American people, or as fallible. It depends on all of us. But our system is more fragile than we know. To sustain it, we must always cherish the ideals on which it was founded, remain vigilant against the dark forces that threaten it, and actively engage in the process of making it work.
George Takei
VOTERS STRIKE! ...above all, remember that he who solicits your vote is by that very fact revealed as a scoundrel, since in exchange for your advantage and fortune he promises a cornucopia of marvels he'll never deliver because he hasn't the power to deliver them. the man you elect represents neither your misery nor your aspirations- nor anything else of yours- but rather his own interests, which are all opposed to yours...do not imagine that the sorry spectacle at which you assist today is peculiar to one epoch or one regime, and that it will pass away. all epochs and all regimes are worth the same- that is, they are worthless. so go home, my good chap, and go on strike against universal suffrage. I tell you, you've nothing to lose... and at least it should keep you amused for a while. I tell you, good chap! go home! go on strike!
Octave Mirbeau
But too many of Trump’s core supporters do hold views that I find—there’s no other word for it—deplorable. And while I’m sure a lot of Trump supporters had fair and legitimate reasons for their choice, it is an uncomfortable and unavoidable fact that everyone who voted for Donald Trump—all 62,984,825 of them—made the decision to elect a man who bragged about sexual assault, attacked a federal judge for being Mexican and grieving Gold Star parents who were Muslim, and has a long and well-documented history of racial discrimination in his businesses. That doesn’t mean every Trump voter approved of those things, but at a minimum they accepted or overlooked them. And they did it without demanding the basics that Americans used to expect from all presidential candidates, from releasing tax returns to offering substantive policy proposals to upholding common standards of decency.
Hillary Rodham Clinton (What Happened)
We, like the natural world, have become mere commodities in the hands of corporations to exploit until exhaustion or collapse. Elected officials are manufactured personalities and celebrities. We vote based on how we are made to feel about corporate political puppets. The puppets, Democrat and Republican, engage in hollow acts of political theater keep the fiction of the democratic state alive. There is, however, no national institution left that can accurately be described as democratic. Citizens, rather than participate in power, are permitted virtual opinions to preordained questions, a kind of participatory fascism as meaningless as voting on “American Idol.” Mass
Bertram M. Gross (Friendly Fascism: The New Face of Power in America (Forbidden Bookshelf))
As soon as my log-in sequence completed, a window popped up on my display, informing me that today was an election day. Now that I was eighteen, I could vote, in both the OASIS elections and the elections for U.S. government officials. I didn’t bother with the latter, because I didn’t see the point. The once-great country into which I’d been born now resembled its former self in name only. It didn’t matter who was in charge. Those people were rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic and everyone knew it. Besides, now that everyone could vote from home, via the OASIS, the only people who could get elected were movie stars, reality TV personalities, or radical televangelists.
Ernest Cline (Ready Player One (Ready Player One, #1))
A normal woman, indeed, no more believes in democracy in the nation than she believes in democracy at her own fireside; she knows that there must be a class to order and a class to obey, and that the two can never coalesce. Nor is she, susceptible to the stock sentimentalities upon which the whole democratic process is based. This was shown very dramatically in them United States at the national election of 1920, in which the late Woodrow Wilson was brought down to colossal and ignominious defeat—The first general election in which all American women could vote. All the sentimentality of the situation was on the side of Wilson, and yet fully three-fourths of the newly-enfranchised women voters voted against him.
H.L. Mencken (In Defense Of Women)
The world’s biggest religion is capitalism: money is our god, greed is our priest, banks are our temples, and shopping is how we express our worship. The world’s biggest cartel is politics: democracy is our god, elections are our priest, voting booths are our temples, and ballots are how we express our worship. The world’s biggest idol is stardom: celebrities are our gods, fame is our priest, tabloids are our temples, and applause is how we express our worship. The world’s biggest faith is hedonism: sex is our god, lust is our priest, brothels are our temples, and fornication is how we express our worship.
Matshona Dhliwayo
He is also, like all members of the Wright family, not amazing at modulating his voice. To a stranger, my mother shouting “Have you tried these grapes that taste like cotton candy? Oh, you’ll love them! Here, let me wash some off for you! Oh, let me wash a bowl first. Oh, no, all our bowls are in the fridge with Saran Wrap covering our leftovers—here, just grab a fistful instead!” might be mildly overwhelming, but when my father’s brow crinkles and he blasts out a question like “Did you vote in the last mayoral election?” it’s easy to feel like you’ve just been shoved into an interrogation room with an enforcer the FBI pays under the table.
Emily Henry (People We Meet On Vacation)
In 2012, President Barack Obama ran for re-election against Mitt Romney, the former Governor of Massachusetts, who didn’t have any eumelanin in the basale stratum of his epidermis. It was the usual bargain for J. Karacehennem and other people of the Loony Left. You supported a person whose policies you agreed with, sort of, but who you felt was too beholden to corporate interests and whose foreign policy made you sick. If you didn’t support this person, the alternative was something even worse. Voting was little more than triage.
Jarett Kobek (I Hate the Internet)
he learned that America differed from Russia in that its government existed under the form of a democracy. The officials who ruled it, and got all the graft, had to be elected first; and so there were two rival sets of grafters, known as political parties, and the one got the office which bought the most votes. Now and then, the election was very close, and that was the time the poor man came in. In the stockyards this was only in national and state elections, for in local elections the Democratic Party always carried everything.
Upton Sinclair (The Jungle)
Each electrical pulse—and resulting squirt of neurotransmitter—is not an order commanding the next neuron’s actions; it is more like a vote on what the next neuron should do. The whole pattern of activity is like a presidential election. Everyone votes on who the president should be, and depending on those votes, the country veers off in one direction or another. If you can change the number of votes in a few key swing states by only a few percentage points, you can dramatically change the course of the country. The same is true of the brain. By changing the firing rate of neurons in a few key regions, you can influence the pattern of activity in the entire brain.
Alex Korb (The Upward Spiral: Using Neuroscience to Reverse the Course of Depression, One Small Change at a Time)
In other words if a man is armed, then one pretty much has to take his opinions into account. One can see how this worked at its starkest in Xenophon’s Anabasis, which tells the story of an army of Greek mercenaries who suddenly find themselves leaderless and lost in the middle of Persia. They elect new officers, and then hold a collective vote to decide what to do next. In a case like this, even if the vote was 60/40, everyone could see the balance of forces and what would happen if things actually came to blows. Every vote was, in a real sense, a conquest.
David Graeber (Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology)
In a later chapter he describes a massive failure of intuition: Americans elected President Harding, whose only qualification for the position was that he perfectly looked the part. Square jawed and tall, he was the perfect image of a strong and decisive leader. People voted for someone who looked strong and decisive without any other reason to believe that he was. An intuitive prediction of how Harding would perform as president arose from substituting one question for another. A reader of this book should expect such an intuition to be held with confidence.
Daniel Kahneman (Thinking, Fast and Slow)
I like to have my morning newspaper ironed before I read it. I like to have my shoes boned before they are polished. I like to sit in the back of the car and be driven. I like beds to be made, dishes to be washed, grass to be cut, drinks to be served, telephones to be answered, and common tasks to be dealt with invisibly and efficiently so that I can devote my time to major decisions like the choice of wines for dinner and who to vote for in the next election for the mayor of my village. That is life as it should be lived, and all it takes is money and servants.
Peter Mayle
During the 1992 election I concluded as early as my first visit to New Hampshire that Bill Clinton was hateful in his behavior to women, pathological as a liar, and deeply suspect when it came to money in politics. I have never had to take any of that back, whereas if you look up what most of my profession was then writing about the beefy, unscrupulous 'New Democrat,' you will be astonished at the quantity of sheer saccharine and drool. Anyway, I kept on about it even after most Republicans had consulted the opinion polls and decided it was a losing proposition, and if you look up the transcript of the eventual Senate trial of the president—only the second impeachment hearing in American history—you will see that the last order of business is a request (voted down) by the Senate majority leader to call Carol and me as witnesses. So I can dare to say that at least I saw it through.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
The very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts. One s right to life liberty and property to free speech a free press freedom of worship and assembly and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote they depend on the outcome of no elections.
Robert H. Jackson
So I’ve never had much respect for activists who are willing to sit out elections, waste their votes, or tear down well-meaning allies rather than engage constructively. Making the perfect the enemy of the good is shortsighted and counterproductive. And when someone on the left starts talking about how there’s no difference between the two parties or that electing a right-wing Republican might somehow hasten “the revolution,” it’s just unfathomably wrong.
Hillary Rodham Clinton (What Happened)
People aren’t really needed for anything else in the Griftopia, but since Americans require the illusion of self-government, we have elections. To make sure those elections are effectively meaningless as far as Wall Street is concerned, two things end up being true. One is that voters on both sides of the aisle are gradually weaned off that habit of having real expectations for their politicians, consuming the voting process entirely as culture-war entertainment. The other is that millions of tenuously middle-class voters are conned into pushing Wall Street’s own twisted greed ethos as though it were their own. The Tea Party, with its weirdly binary view of society as being split up cleanly into competing groups of producers and parasites—that’s just a cultural echo of the insane greed-is-good belief system on Wall Street that’s provided the foundation/excuse for a generation of brilliantly complex thievery. Those beliefs have trickled down to the ex-middle-class suckers struggling to stay on top of their mortgages and their credit card bills, and the real joke is that these voters listen to CNBC and Fox and they genuinely believe they’re the producers in this binary narrative. They don’t get that somewhere way up above, there’s a group of people who’ve been living the Atlas dream for real—and building a self-dealing financial bureaucracy in their own insane image.
Matt Taibbi (Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America)
Wallace, Goldwater, and Nixon recognized and sought to take advantage of existing bigotry in the voting public, bigotry they did not create but which they stoked, legitimized, and encouraged. They did so not to inflict further pain and humiliation on nonwhites, though that consequence was sure to follow from their actions. Rather, they were willing to play racial hardball to get elected. These racial demagogues acted out of strategic racism. This chapter’s principal
Ian F. Haney-López (Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class)
With a century and change between the 1880 convention and now, I’ll admit I rolled my eyes at the ideological hairsplitting, wondering how a group of people who more or less agreed with one another about most issues could summon forth such stark animosity. Thankfully, we Americans have evolved, our hearts made larger, our minds more open, welcoming the negligible differences among our fellows with compassion and respect. As a Democrat who voted for Al Gore in the 2000 presidential election, an election suspiciously tipped to tragic Republican victory because of a handful of contested ballots in the state of Florida, I, for one, would never dream of complaining about the votes siphoned in that state by my fellow liberal Ralph Nader, who convinced citizens whose hopes for the country differ little from my own to vote for him, even though had those votes gone to Gore, perhaps those citizens might have spent their free time in the years to come more pleasurably pursuing leisure activities, such as researching the sacrifice of Family Garfield, instead of attending rallies and protests against wars they find objectionable, not to mention the money saved on aspirin alone considering they’ll have to pop a couple every time they read the newspaper, wondering if the tap water with which they wash down the pills is safe enough to drink considering the corporate polluter lobbyists now employed at the EPA.
Sarah Vowell (Assassination Vacation)
It hadn’t happened in a moment, but a series of moments, as slow and insidious as the melting of the ice caps. Women had been ushered out of the workplace, so subtly that few noticed until it was too late. There had been no grand lowering of an iron curtain, with passports voided and bank accounts emptied. There had been a few men in sharp suits quoting scripture with silver tongues, but it was cursory, just enough to wrangle part of the Christian vote. Really, they were afraid of women. Or hated them. Wasn’t that much the same thing? The country saw those angry men as a fringe movement right up until one was elected president.
L.R. Lam / Laura Lam (Goldilocks)
The political merchandisers appeal only to the weak­nesses of voters, never to their potential strength. They make no attempt to educate the masses into becoming fit for self-government; they are content merely to manipulate and exploit them. For this pur­pose all the resources of psychology and the social sciences are mobilized and set to work. Carefully se­lected samples of the electorate are given "interviews in depth." These interviews in depth reveal the uncon­scious fears and wishes most prevalent in a given so­ciety at the time of an election. Phrases and images aimed at allaying or, if necessary, enhancing these fears, at satisfying these wishes, at least symbolically, are then chosen by the experts, tried out on readers and audiences, changed or improved in the light of the information thus obtained. After which the political campaign is ready for the mass communicators. All that is now needed is money and a candidate who can be coached to look "sincere." Under the new dispen­sation, political principles and plans for specific action have come to lose most of their importance. The person­ality of the candidate and the way he is projected by the advertising experts are the things that really mat­ter. In one way or another, as vigorous he-man or kindly father, the candidate must be glamorous. He must also be an entertainer who never bores his audience. Inured to television and radio, that audience is accustomed to being distracted and does not like to be asked to con­centrate or make a prolonged intellectual effort. All speeches by the entertainer-candidate must therefore be short and snappy. The great issues of the day must be dealt with in five minutes at the most -- and prefera­bly (since the audience will be eager to pass on to something a little livelier than inflation or the H-bomb) in sixty seconds flat. The nature of oratory is such that there has always been a tendency among politicians and clergymen to over-simplify complex is­sues. From a pulpit or a platform even the most con­scientious of speakers finds it very difficult to tell the whole truth. The methods now being used to merchan­dise the political candidate as though he were a deo­dorant positively guarantee the electorate against ever hearing the truth about anything.
Aldous Huxley
Without any constitutional basis, public debate, or even the knowledge of most Americans, passing legislation through Congress had come to effectively require 60 votes in the Senate, or what was often referred to as a “supermajority.” By the time I was elected president, the filibuster had become so thoroughly integrated into Senate practice—viewed as an essential and time-honored tradition—that nobody much bothered to discuss the possibility of reforming or doing away with it altogether.
Barack Obama (A Promised Land)
Among us English-speaking peoples especially do the praises of poverty need once more to be boldly sung. We have grown literally afraid to be poor. We despise any one who elects to be poor in order to simplify and save his inner life. If he does not join the general scramble and pant with the money-making street, we deem him spiritless and lacking in ambition. We have lost the power even of imagining what the ancient idealization of poverty could have meant: the liberation from material attachments, the unbribed soul, the manlier indifference, the paying our way by what we are or do and not by what we have, the right to fling away our life at any moment irresponsibly—the more athletic trim, in short, the moral fighting shape. When we of the so-called better classes are scared as men were never scared in history at material ugliness and hardship; when we put off marriage until our house can be artistic, and quake at the thought of having a child without a bank-account and doomed to manual labor, it is time for thinking men to protest against so unmanly and irreligious a state of opinion. It is true that so far as wealth gives time for ideal ends and exercise to ideal energies, wealth is better than poverty and ought to be chosen. But wealth does this in only a portion of the actual cases. Elsewhere the desire to gain wealth and the fear to lose it are our chief breeders of cowardice and propagators of corruption. There are thousands of conjunctures in which a wealth-bound man must be a slave, whilst a man for whom poverty has no terrors becomes a freeman. Think of the strength which personal indifference to poverty would give us if we were devoted to unpopular causes. We need no longer hold our tongues or fear to vote the revolutionary or reformatory ticket. Our stocks might fall, our hopes of promotion vanish, our salaries stop, our club doors close in our faces; yet, while we lived, we would imperturbably bear witness to the spirit, and our example would help to set free our generation. The cause would need its funds, but we its servants would be potent in proportion as we personally were contented with our poverty. I recommend this matter to your serious pondering, for it is certain that the prevalent fear of poverty among the educated classes is the worst moral disease from which our civilization suffers.
William James (Varieties of Religious Experience, a Study in Human Nature)
The key idea here is “negative partisanship”: partisan behavior driven not by positive feelings toward the party you support but negative feelings toward the party you oppose. If you’ve ever voted in an election feeling a bit bleh about the candidate you backed, but fearful of the troglodyte or socialist running against her, you’ve been a negative partisan. It turns out a lot of us have been negative partisans. A 2016 Pew poll found that self-described independents who tended to vote for one party or the other were driven more by negative motivations. Majorities of both Republican- and Democratic-leaning independents said a major reason for their lean was the other party’s policies were bad for the country; by contrast, only a third of each group said they were driven by support for the policies of the party they were voting for.
Ezra Klein (Why We're Polarized)
Oh, I don't know. Is it that we collectively thought Steve Jobs was a great man, even when we knew he made billions off the backs of children? Or maybe it's that it feels like all our heroes are counterfeit? The world itself's just one big hoax. Spamming each other with our running commentary of bulls**t, masquerading as insight, our social media faking as intimacy. Or is it that we voted for this? Not with our rigged elections, but with our things, our property, our money. I'm not saying anything new. We all know why we do this, not because Hunger Games books makes us happy, but because we wanna be sedated. Because it's painful not to pretend, because we're cowards.
Sam Esmail
The fundamental question pertaining to voting ethics which Christians must ask at this presidential election is this: "What are the binding principles established by God in the Bible for selecting a civil magistrate?" All other questions are secondary or irrelevant. Once this standard is determined it is our duty to wisely apply the principles and precepts to our American context and to obey. All attempts by Christians to obfuscate our duty to repair to "the standard" by sprinkling the debate with the theology of pragmatics and partisan politics is a loss to the Church because it means that we are more concerned with manipulating a political process then simply obeying the sovereign God
Douglas W. Phillips
Note that the best rationalizations are those that have an element of truth. Whether you vote or not will almost certainly have no influence on the outcome of an election. Nor will the amount of carbon you personally put into the atmosphere make a difference in the fate of the planet. And perhaps it really should be up to governments rather than the charities that are soliciting your contributions to feed the hungry and homeless in America or save children around the world from crushing poverty and abuse. But the fact that these statements are true doesn't mean they aren't also rationalizations that you and others use to justify questionable behavior. This uncomfortable truth is crucial to an understanding of the link between rationalization and evil—an understanding that starts with the awareness that sane people rarely, if ever, act in a truly evil manner unless they can successfully rationalize their actions... [The] process of rationalizing evil deeds committed by whole societies is a collective effort rather than a solely individual enterprise.
Thomas Gilovich (The Wisest One in the Room: How You Can Benefit from Social Psychology's Most Powerful Insights)
[R]esitance is by nature reactive; it is not forward-looking. And anti-Trumpism is not a politics. My worry is that liberals will get so caught up in countering his every move, essentially playing his game, that they will fail to seize -- or even recognize -- the opportunity he has given them. Now that he has destroyed conventional Republicanism and what was left of principled conservatism, the playing field is empty. For the first time in living memory, we liberals have no ideological adversary worthy of the name. So it is crucial that we look beyond Trump. The only adversary left is ourselves. And we have mastered the art of self-sabotage. At a time when we liberals need to speak in a way that convinces people from very different walks of life, in every part of the country, that they share a common destiny and need to stand together, our rhetoric encourages self-righteous narcissism. At a moment when political consciousness and strategizing need to be developed, we are expending our energies on symbolic drama over identity. At a time when it is crucial to direct our efforts into seizing institutional power by winning elections, we dissipate them in expressive movements indifferent to the effects they may have on the voting public. In an age when we need to educate young people to think of themselves as citizens with duties toward each other, we encourage them instead to descend into the rabbit hole of the self. The frustrating truth is that we have no political vision to offer the nation, and we are thinking and speaking and acting in ways guaranteed to prevent one from emerging.
Mark Lilla (The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics)
I was not a great man whose history has been recorded for children to study in school. No bells will ring for me, no flags descend upon their mast. For I was an ordinary man, my son, one of many, with ordinary hopes and ordinary dreams and ordinary fears. I, too, dreamed of wealth and riches, health and strength. I, too, feared hunger and poverty, war and weakness. I was the neighbour who lived in the next house. The man standing in the subway on his way to work: who held a match to his cigarette: who walked with his dog. I was the soldier shaking with fear: the man berating the umpire at the ball game: the citizen in the privacy of the voting booth, happily electing the worthless candidate. I was the man who lived a thousand times and died a thousand times in all man’s six thousand years of record. I was the man who sailed with Noah  in his ark, who was the multitude that crossed the sea that Moses held apart, who hung from the cross next to Christ. I was the ordinary man about whom songs are never written, stories are never told, legends are never remembered.
Harold Robbins (A Stone for Danny Fisher)
It was not only for Americans that he was concerned, or primarily the older generation of any land. The thought that disturbed him the most, and that made the prospect of war much more fearful than it would otherwise have been, was the specter of the death of the children of this country and all the world—the young people who had no role, who had no say, who knew nothing even of the confrontation, but whose lives would be snuffed out like everyone else’s. They would never have a chance to make a decision, to vote in an election, to run for office, to lead a revolution, to determine their own destinies. Our generation had. But the great tragedy was that, if we erred, we erred not only for ourselves, our futures, our hopes, and our country, but for the lives, futures, hopes, and countries of those who had never been given an opportunity to play a role, to vote aye or nay, to make themselves felt.
Robert F. Kennedy (Thirteen Days: A Memoir of the Cuban Missile Crisis)
They worried that widespread mail-in voting would lead to fraud. And they had good reason to worry. A 2005 bipartisan commission co-chaired by none other than Jimmy Carter found that absentee balloting was the largest source of potential fraud in American elections. Why should 2020 be any different? They worried that universal mail-in balloting would make ballots harder to track, as some states bombarded addresses with ballots for previous residents who had moved out but hadn’t been struck from the voter rolls. What would happen to all the excess ballots?
Mollie Ziegler Hemingway (Rigged: How the Media, Big Tech, and the Democrats Seized Our Elections)
We hear the expression, Vox populi, vox Dei, that is, the voice of the people is the voice of God. There are a lot of people in America who believe that. They consider public opinion as the authority. However, the mass of people is a fickle crowd that will follow one TV personality after another. It will elect a man to office if he has charisma even though he may be the biggest fool in the world and utterly corrupt in his life. The voice of the people is the very worst basis for authority. I thank God that He is not going to let the world vote the Lord Jesus into office! If God were to put it up to a public vote, Jesus Christ would never enter into His kingdom. I rejoice that God will send the Lord Jesus to this earth to put down rebellion.
J. Vernon McGee (Jeremiah and Lamentations)
What happened during the 2020 election must be investigated and discussed, not in spite of media and political opposition to an open inquiry, but because of that opposition. The American people deserve to know what happened. They deserve answers, even if those answers are inconvenient. They deserve to know the effect flooding the system with tens of millions of mail-in ballots had on their vote. They deserve to know how and why Big Tech and the corporate political media manipulated the news to support certain political narratives while censoring stories they now admit were true. They deserve to know why courts were allowed to unilaterally rewrite the rules in the middle of the contest, often without the consent of the legislative bodies charged with writing election laws.
Mollie Ziegler Hemingway (Rigged: How the Media, Big Tech, and the Democrats Seized Our Elections)
I’ve heard so many people, particularly people of faith, say they could look past his wrongdoings. When they’re pressed further, the reply is always some variation of “He doesn’t mean what he says,” “It’s just to get a rise out of people,” or “It’s all for show.” When you turn a blind eye and a deaf ear and say nothing, you are in fact saying everything. You are telling others you approve of immorality and injustice. You are telling them you support the marginalization and vilification of those who are different from you. You are telling them that fear reigns supreme and that you will tolerate nefarious behavior. As President John F. Kennedy said in a speech: “The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crises, maintain their neutrality.” - Amy Erickson
Erin Passons (The Nasty Women Project: Voices from the Resistance)
This was not the first time that the world didn’t listen. In college I read Hitler’s Mein Kampf. Fourteen years before the first shot was fired, Hitler announced his plan to destroy the parliamentary system in Germany, to attack France and Eastern Europe, and to eliminate the Jews. Why, I asked the professor, did neither ordinary Germans voting in the Reichstag elections in July 1932, nor foreign leaders reacting to the rise of Nazism, believe him? Why was anyone surprised when he simply did what he said he would do? She had no answer. The fall of my senior year at Princeton, nineteen deeply religious young men flew planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. During the decade before 9/11, Osama Bin Laden had shouted out his warnings of mass murder using all the means of modern communication. And still we were surprised when he did what he said he would do. So I suppose what happened here is that they said what they would do, and we did not listen. Then they did what they said they would do.
Frederic C. Rich (Christian Nation)
I like it too," Angelo said. "I love this country. Much you and anybody, and you know it." "I know it," Prew said. "But I still hate this country. You love the Army. But I dont love the Army. This country's Army is why I hate this country. What did this country ever do for me? Gimme a right to vote for men I cant elect? You can have it. Gimme a right to work at a job I hate? You can have that too. Then tell I'm a Citizen of the greatest richest country on earth, if I dont believe it look at Park Avenue. Carnival prizes. All carnival prizes. [..] They shouldnt teach their immigrants' kids all about democracy unless they mean to let them have a little bit of it, it ony makes for trouble. Me and the United States is dissociating our alliance as of right now, until the United States can find time to read its own textbooks a little." Prew thought, a little sickly, of the little book, The Man Without A Country that his mother used to read to him so often, and how the stern patriotic judge condemned the man to live on a warship where no one could ever mention home to him the rest of his whole life, and how he had always felt that pinpoint of pleased righteous anger at seeing the traitor get what he deserved.
James Jones (From Here to Eternity)
As it is not a settled question, you must clear your mind of the fancy with which we all begin as children, that the institutions under which we live, including our legal ways of distributing income and allowing people to own things, are natural, like the weather. They are not. Because they exist everywhere in our little world, we take it for granted that they have always existed and must always exist, and that they are self-acting. That is a dangerous mistake. They are in fact transient makeshifts; and many of them would not be obeyed, even by well-meaning people, if there were not a policeman within call and a prison within reach. They are being changed continually by Parliament, because we are never satisfied with them.... At the elections some candidates get votes by promising to make new laws or to get rid of old ones, and others by promising to keep things just as they are. This is impossible. Things will not stay as they are. Changes that nobody ever believed possible take place in a few generations. Children nowadays think that spending nine years in school, oldage and widows’ pensions, votes for women, and short-skirted ladies in Parliament or pleading in barristers’ wigs in the courts are part of the order of Nature, and always were and ever shall be; but their great-grandmothers would have set down anyone who told them that such things were coming as mad, and anyone who wanted them to come as wicked.
George Bernard Shaw (The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Socialism, Capitalism, Sovietism and Fascism)
Wait a minute,” Billy said. “What about elections?” “What elections?” I asked. “Its easy for them to rig votes with the electronic ballets. If third world countries used archaic methods of voting, we sent in representatives from the US to ‘oversee them.’ Everybody I knew in politics didn’t give elections a thought. They knew that people would believe in the corrupted, controlled polls, and that those appointed to office in accordance with the New World Order were secure.” “So people are misled by their leaders to believe they chose them?” “Not only that,” I answered, “but figureheads are placed while the real power works behind the scenes. For example, when Salinas was Vice President of Mexico, he ran the country while dela Madrid was only a Presidential figurehead. Vice President Bush ran this country while Reagan was acting President.
Cathy O'Brien (ACCESS DENIED For Reasons Of National Security: Documented Journey From CIA Mind Control Slave To U.S. Government Whistleblower)
But Mather's smile faded as he thought of what other provisions the charter contained. What would the godly say when they learned that the electorate was no longer to be limited to members of the Covenant but broadened to include propertied members of every Christian sect this side of papistry? This was a revolutionary innovation, whose consequences would be incalculable. Hitherto the limitation of the privilege of voting to the elect had been the very corner-stone of theocracy. It had been a wise and human provision designed to keep the faithful in control even when, as had long ago become the case, they were heavily outnumbered by lesser men without the Covenant. God who had not designated the majority of men to salvation surely never intended for the damned to rule. Yet now, under the new charter, it very much looked as if they might.
Marion L. Starkey (The Devil in Massachusetts: A Modern Enquiry Into the Salem Witch Trials)
Our feelings provide meaning not only for our private lives, but also for social and political processes. When we want to know who should rule the country, what foreign policy to adopt and what economic steps to take, we don’t look for the answers in scriptures. Nor do we obey the commands of the Pope or the Council of Nobel Laureates. Rather, in most countries, we hold democratic elections and ask people what they think about the matter at hand. We believe that the voter knows best, and that the free choices of individual humans are the ultimate political authority. Yet how does the voter know what to choose? Theoretically at least, the voter is supposed to consult his or her innermost feelings, and follow their lead. It is not always easy. In order to get in touch with my feelings, I need to filter out the empty propaganda slogans, the endless lies of ruthless politicians, the distracting noise created by cunning spin doctors, and the learned opinions of hired pundits. I need to ignore all this racket, and attend only to my authentic inner voice. And then my authentic inner voice whispers in my ear ‘Vote Cameron’ or ‘Vote Modi’ or ‘Vote Clinton’ or whomever, and I put a cross against that name on the ballot paper – and that’s how we know who should rule the country.
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow)
Lee Kuan Yew ruled Singapore from 1959 until 1990, making him, we believe, the longest serving prime minister anywhere. His party, the People’s Action Party (PAP), dominated elections and that dominance was reinforced by the allocation of public housing, upon which most people in Singapore rely. Neighborhoods that fail to deliver PAP votes come election time found the provision and maintenance of housing cut off.18 In Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe went one step further. In an operation called Murambatsvina (Operation Drive Out the Rubbish), he used bulldozers to demolish the houses and markets in neighborhoods that failed to support him in the 2005 election.
Bruce Bueno de Mesquita (The Dictator's Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics)
Though North Carolina’s constitution guaranteed free elections, folks struggling to make ends meet on hourly pay simply could not afford to miss a day—or even an hour—and risk losing their fragile employment. They certainly didn’t have time to travel to their county board of elections months prior to November, make sure their paperwork was in order, and then get off work again on a weekday to vote at their local precinct. Due to the highly mobile nature of low-wage work, many working poor people told us that they were often hours away from their precinct on Election Day, building someone else’s home or cleaning a school miles away from their own children.
William J. Barber II (The Third Reconstruction: Moral Mondays, Fusion Politics, and the Rise of a New Justice Movement)
My concern with democracy is highly specific. It begins in observing the remarkable fact that, while democracy means a government accountable to the electorate, our rulers now make us accountable to them. Most Western governments hate me smoking, or eating the wrong kind of food, or hunting foxes, or drinking too much, and these are merely the surface disapprovals, the ones that provoke legislation or public campaigns. We also borrow too much money for our personal pleasures, and many of us are very bad parents. Ministers of state have been known to instruct us in elementary matters, such as the importance of reading stories to our children. Again, many of us have unsound views about people of other races, cultures, or religions, and the distribution of our friends does not always correspond, as governments think that it ought, to the cultural diversity of our society. We must face up to the grim fact that the rulers we elect are losing patience with us. No philosopher can contemplate this interesting situation without beginning to reflect on what it can mean. The gap between political realities and their public face is so great that the term “paradox” tends to crop up from sentence to sentence. Our rulers are theoretically “our” representatives, but they are busy turning us into the instruments of the projects they keep dreaming up. The business of governments, one might think, is to supply the framework of law within which we may pursue happiness on our own account. Instead, we are constantly being summoned to reform ourselves. Debt, intemperance, and incompetence in rearing our children are no doubt regrettable, but they are vices, and left alone, they will soon lead to the pain that corrects. Life is a better teacher of virtue than politicians, and most sensible governments in the past left moral faults to the churches. But democratic citizenship in the twenty-first century means receiving a stream of improving “messages” from politicians. Some may forgive these intrusions because they are so well intentioned. Who would defend prejudice, debt, or excessive drinking? The point, however, is that our rulers have no business telling us how to live. They are tiresome enough in their exercise of authority—they are intolerable when they mount the pulpit. Nor should we be in any doubt that nationalizing the moral life is the first step towards totalitarianism. We might perhaps be more tolerant of rulers turning preachers if they were moral giants. But what citizen looks at the government today thinking how wise and virtuous it is? Public respect for politicians has long been declining, even as the population at large has been seduced into demanding political solutions to social problems. To demand help from officials we rather despise argues for a notable lack of logic in the demos. The statesmen of eras past have been replaced by a set of barely competent social workers eager to take over the risks of our everyday life. The electorates of earlier times would have responded to politicians seeking to bribe us with such promises with derision. Today, the demos votes for them.
Kenneth Minogue (The Servile Mind: How Democracy Erodes the Moral Life)
You can see where it’s going. The extraordinary political apathy that followed Watergate and Vietnam and the institutionalization of grass-roots rebellion among minorities will only deepen. Politics is about consensus, and the advertising legacy of the sixties is that consensus is repression. Voting’ll be unhip: Americans now vote with their wallets. Government’s only cultural role will be as the tyrannical parent we both hate and need. Look for us to elect someone who can cast himself as a Rebel, maybe even a cowboy, but who deep down we’ll know is a bureaucratic creature who’ll operate inside the government mechanism instead of naively bang his head against it the way we’ve watched poor Jimmy do for four years.
David Foster Wallace (The Pale King)
When I was ten years old, one of my friends brought a Shaleenian kangaroo-cat to school one day. I remember the way it hopped around with quick, nervous leaps, peering at everything with its large, almost circular golden eyes. One of the girls asked if it was a boy cat or a girl cat. Our instructor didn't know; neither did the boy who had brought it; but the teacher made the mistake of asking, 'How can we find out?' Someone piped up, 'We can vote on it!' The rest of the class chimed in with instant agreement and before I could voice my objection that some things can't be voted on, the election was held. It was decided that the Shaleenian kangaroo-cat was a boy, and forthwith, it was named Davy Crockett. Three months later, Davy Crockett had kittens. So much for democracy. It seems to me that if the electoral process can be so wrong about such a simple thing, isn't it possible for it to be very, very wrong on much more complex matters? We have this sacred cow in our society that what the majority of people want is right—but is it? Our populace can't really be informed, not the majority of them—most people vote the way they have been manipulated and by the way they have responded to that manipulation—they are working out their own patterns of wishful thinking on the social environment in which they live. It is most disturbing to me to realize that though a majority may choose a specific course of action or direction for itself, through the workings of a 'representative government,' they may be as mistaken about the correctness of such a choice as my classmates were about the sex of that Shaleenian kangaroo-cat. I'm not so sure than an electoral government is necessarily the best.
David Gerrold (Star Hunt (Star Wolf, #1))
I believe we can be serious and optimistic. I believe we can recognize the overwhelming odds against us and forge coalitions that overcome the odds. The point of beginning is not political strategy. It is a shared sense of necessity, an understanding that we must act. I believe that Americans, battered by job losses and wage stagnation, angered by inequality and injustice, have come to this understanding. I hear Americans saying loudly and clearly: enough is enough [. . .] When we declare, "Enough is enough," we are demanding a country and a future that meets the needs of the vast majority of Americans: a country and a future where it is hard to buy elections and easy to vote in them; a country and a future where tax dollars are invested in jobs and infrastructure instead of jails and incarceration; a country and a future where we have he best educated workforce and the widest range of opportunities for every child and every adult; a country and future where we take the steps necessary to ending systemic racism; a country and a future where we assure once and for all that no one who works forty hours a week will live in poverty [. . .] When we stand together there is nothing, nothing, nothing we cannot accomplish.
Bernie Sanders (Outsider in the White House)
Cultures have tried to teach a malign and apparently persuasive lie: that the most important metric of a good life is wealth and the luxury and power it brings. The rich think they live better when they are even richer. In America and many other places they use their wealth politically, to persuade the public to elect or accept leaders who will do that for them. They say that the justice we have imagined is socialism that threatens our freedom. Not everyone is gullible: many people lead contented lives without wealth. But many others are persuaded; they vote for low taxes to keep the jackpot full in case they too can win it, even though that is a lottery they are almost bound to lose. Nothing better illustrates the tragedy of an unexamined life: there are no winners in this macabre dance of greed and delusion. No respectable or even intelligible theory of value supposes that making and spending money has any value or importance in itself and almost everything people buy with that money lacks any importance as well. The ridiculous dream of a princely life is kept alive by ethical sleepwalkers. And they in turn keep injustice alive because their self-contempt breeds a politics of contempt for others. Dignity is indivisible.
Ronald Dworkin (Justice for Hedgehogs)
the network of stories they tell one another. Meaning is created when many people weave together a common network of stories. Why does a particular action – such as getting married in church, fasting on Ramadan or voting on election day – seem meaningful to me? Because my parents also think it is meaningful, as do my brothers, my neighbours, people in nearby cities and even the residents of far-off countries. And why do all these people think it is meaningful? Because their friends and neighbours also share the same view. People constantly reinforce each other’s beliefs in a self-perpetuating loop. Each round of mutual confirmation tightens the web of meaning further, until you have little choice but to believe what everyone else believes.
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow)
Remember this study when you are in a negotiation—make your initial request far too high. You have to start somewhere, and your initial decision or calculation greatly influences all the choices that follow, cascading out, each tethered to the anchors set before. Many of the choices you make every day are reruns of past decisions; as if traveling channels dug into a dirt road by a wagon train of selections, you follow the path created by your former self. External anchors, like prices before a sale or ridiculous requests, are obvious and can be avoided. Internal, self-generated anchors, are not so easy to bypass. You visit the same circuit of Web sites every day, eat basically the same few breakfasts. When it comes time to buy new cat food or take your car in for repairs, you have old favorites. Come election time, you pretty much already know who will and will not get your vote. These choices, so predictable—ask yourself what drives them. Are old anchors controlling your current decisions?
David McRaney (You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory Is Mostly Fiction, and 46 Other Ways You're Deluding Yourself)
In the United States, the two-party system works as a way to manufacture an artificial group identity, akin to an ethnic or national one or an allegiance to a sports team. Part of the identity seems to consist in allegiance to certain conclusions on a range of “hot button” political issues. On those issues, political party affiliation does seem to result in rigidly held belief and loyalty in the voting booth. Allegiance to the group identity forged by political party affiliation renders Americans blind to the essential similarities between the agendas of the two parties, similarities that can be expected to be exactly the ones that run counter to public interest, in other words, those interests of the deep-pocketed backers of elections to which any politician must be subservient in order to raise the kind of money necessary to run for national office. Satisfaction at having one’s group “win” seems to override the clearly present fundamental dissatisfaction with the lack of genuine policy options.33 If the function of the two parties is to hide the fact that the basic agenda of both is shared, and irrational adherence to one of the two parties is used propagandistically to mask their fundamental overlap, then we can see how Burnham’s prediction may have come to pass, despite the existence of two distinct political parties.
Jason F. Stanley (How Propaganda Works)
Let's talk politics, to please Guy!" "Sounds fine," said Mrs. Bowles. "I voted last election, same as everyone, and I laid it on the line for President Noble. I think he's one of the nicest-looking men who ever became president." "Oh, but the man they ran against him!" "He wasn't much, was he? Kind of small and homely and he didn't shave too close or comb his hair very well." "What possessed the 'Outs' to run him? You just don't go running a little short man like that against a tall man. Besides -he mumbled. Half the time I couldn't hear a word he said. And the words I did hear I didn't understand!" "Fat, too, and didn't dress to hide it. No wonder the landslide was for Winston Noble. Even their names helped. Compare Winston Noble to Hubert Hoag for ten seconds and you can almost figure the results.
Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451)
However, Trump’s flaws must be weighed against the disturbing nature of the opposition arrayed against him—an army of corporate-funded left-wing activists who excused and encouraged violent riots across the country; technology oligarchs who made unprecedented efforts to normalize censorship; state and local officials who radically altered the way Americans vote in the middle of an election for partisan advantage; an ostensibly free press that credulously and willfully published fake news to damage the president; politicized federal law enforcement agencies that abused the federal government’s surveillance and investigative powers to smear Trump as a puppet of a foreign power; and an opposition party that coordinated all these smears and spent years trying to impeach and remove a duly elected president from office.
Mollie Ziegler Hemingway (Rigged: How the Media, Big Tech, and the Democrats Seized Our Elections)
Vice President Cheney has been the most dangerous vice president we've had probably in American history. The idea he doesn't realize that Article I of the Constitution defines the role of the vice president of the United States, that's the Executive Branch. He works in the Executive Branch. He should understand that. Everyone should understand that. And the primary role of the vice president of the United States of America is to support the president of the United States of America, give that president his or her best judgment when sought, and as vice president, to preside over the Senate, only in a time when in fact there's a tie vote. The Constitution is explicit. The only authority the vice president has from the legislative standpoint is the vote, only when there is a tie vote. He has no authority relative to the Congress.
Joe Biden
In 1848, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, writing in The Communist Manifesto, declared: “In bourgeois society . . . the past dominates the present; in Communist society, the present dominates the past.”13 This view is shared by contemporary statists, including the current occupants of the White House. On May 14, 2008, the future First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, while campaigning for her husband, Barack Obama, proclaimed: “We are going to have to change our conversation; we’re going to have to change our traditions, our history. We’re going to have to move into a different place as a nation.”14 On October 30, 2008, when the polls showed him the likely winner of the upcoming presidential election, Barack Obama shouted during a campaign stop days before the vote: “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.”15
Mark R. Levin (Plunder and Deceit: Big Government's Exploitation of Young People and the Future)
A mood of constructive criticism being upon me, I propose forthwith that the method of choosing legislators now prevailing in the United States be abandoned and that the method used in choosing juries be substituted. That is to say, I propose that the men who make our laws be chosen by chance and against their will, instead of by fraud and against the will of all the rest of us, as now... ...that the names of all the men eligible in each assembly district be put into a hat (or, if no hat can be found that is large enough, into a bathtub), and that a blind moron, preferably of tender years, be delegated to draw out one... The advantages that this system would offer are so vast and obvious that I hesitate to venture into the banality of rehearsing them. It would in the first place, save the commonwealth the present excessive cost of elections, and make political campaigns unnecessary. It would in the second place, get rid of all the heart-burnings that now flow out of every contest at the polls, and block the reprisals and charges of fraud that now issue from the heart-burnings. It would, in the third place, fill all the State Legislatures with men of a peculiar and unprecedented cast of mind – men actually convinced that public service is a public burden, and not merely a private snap. And it would, in the fourth and most important place, completely dispose of the present degrading knee-bending and trading in votes, for nine-tenths of the legislators, having got into office unwillingly, would be eager only to finish their duties and go home, and even those who acquired a taste for the life would be unable to increase the probability, even by one chance in a million, of their reelection. The disadvantages of the plan are very few, and most of them, I believe, yield readily to analysis. Do I hear argument that a miscellaneous gang of tin-roofers, delicatessen dealers and retired bookkeepers, chosen by hazard, would lack the vast knowledge of public affairs needed by makers of laws? Then I can only answer (a) that no such knowledge is actually necessary, and (b) that few, if any, of the existing legislators possess it... Would that be a disservice to the state? Certainly not. On the contrary, it would be a service of the first magnitude, for the worst curse of democracy, as we suffer under it today, is that it makes public office a monopoly of a palpably inferior and ignoble group of men. They have to abase themselves to get it, and they have to keep on abasing themselves in order to hold it. The fact reflects in their general character, which is obviously low. They are men congenitally capable of cringing and dishonorable acts, else they would not have got into public life at all. There are, of course, exceptions to that rule among them, but how many? What I contend is simply that the number of such exceptions is bound to be smaller in the class of professional job-seekers than it is in any other class, or in the population in general. What I contend, second, is that choosing legislators from that populations, by chance, would reduce immensely the proportion of such slimy men in the halls of legislation, and that the effects would be instantly visible in a great improvement in the justice and reasonableness of the laws.
H.L. Mencken (A Mencken Chrestomathy)
The revulsion of feeling that Barrington experienced during the progress of the election was intensified by the final result. The blind, stupid, enthusiastic admiration displayed by the philanthropists for those who exploited and robbed them; their extraordinary apathy with regard to their own interests; the patient, broken-spirited way in which they endured their sufferings, tamely submitting to live in poverty in the midst of the wealth they had helped to create; their callous indifference to the fate of their children, and the savage hatred they exhibited towards anyone who dared to suggest the possibility of better things, forced upon him the thought that the hopes he cherished were impossible of realization. The words of the renegade Socialist recurred constantly to his mind: 'You can be a Jesus Christ if you like, but for my part I'm finished. For the future I intend to look after myself. As for these people, they vote for what they want, they get what they vote for, and, by God! they deserve nothing better! They are being beaten with whips of their own choosing, and if I had my way they should be chastised with scorpions. For them, the present system means joyless drudgery, semi-starvation, rags and premature death; and they vote for it and uphold it. Let them have what they vote for! Let them drudge and let them starve!
Robert Tressell
In his book Politics, which is the foundation of the study of political systems, and very interesting, Aristotle talked mainly about Athens. But he studied various political systems - oligarchy, monarchy - and didn't like any of the particularly. He said democracy is probably the best system, but it has problems, and he was concerned with the problems. One problem that he was concerned with is quite striking because it runs right up to the present. He pointed out that in a democracy, if the people - people didn't mean people, it meant freemen, not slaves, not women - had the right to vote, the poor would be the majority, and they would use their voting power to take away property from the rich, which wouldn't be fair, so we have to prevent this. James Madison made the same pint, but his model was England. He said if freemen had democracy, then the poor farmers would insist on taking property from the rich. They would carry out what we these days call land reform. and that's unacceptable. Aristotle and Madison faced the same problem but made the opposite decisions. Aristotle concluded that we should reduce ineqality so the poor wouldn't take property from the rich. And he actually propsed a visin for a city that would put in pace what we today call welfare-state programs, common meals, other support systems. That would reduce inequality, and with it the problem of the poor taking property from the rich. Madison's decision was the opposite. We should reduce democracy so the poor won't be able to get together to do this. If you look at the design of the U.S. constitutional system, it followed Madison's approach. The Madisonian system placed power in the hands of the Senate. The executive in those days was more or less an administrator, not like today. The Senate consisted of "the wealth of the nation," those who had sympathy for property owners and their rights. That's where power should be. The Senate, remember, wasn't elected. It was picked by legislatures, who were themselves very much subject to control by the rich and the powerful. The House, which was closer to the population, had much less power. And there were all sorts of devices to keep people from participation too much - voting restrictions and property restrictions. The idea was to prevent the threat of democracy. This goal continues right to the present. It has taken different forms, but the aim remains the same.
Noam Chomsky (Power Systems: Conversations on Global Democratic Uprisings and the New Challenges to U.S. Empire)
The actual consumers of knowledge are the children—who can’t pay, can’t vote, can’t sit on the committees. Their parents care for them, but don’t sit in the classes themselves; they can only hold politicians responsible according to surface images of “tough on education.” Politicians are too busy being re-elected to study all the data themselves; they have to rely on surface images of bureaucrats being busy and commissioning studies—it may not work to help any children, but it works to let politicians appear caring. Bureaucrats don’t expect to use textbooks themselves, so they don’t care if the textbooks are hideous to read, so long as the process by which they are purchased looks good on the surface. The textbook publishers have no motive to produce bad textbooks, but they know that the textbook purchasing committee will be comparing textbooks based on how many different subjects they cover, and that the fourth-grade purchasing committee isn’t coordinated with the third-grade purchasing committee, so they cram as many subjects into one textbook as possible. Teachers won’t get through a fourth of the textbook before the end of the year, and then the next year’s teacher will start over. Teachers might complain, but they aren’t the decision-makers, and ultimately, it’s not their future on the line, which puts sharp bounds on how much effort they’ll spend on unpaid altruism . . .
Eliezer Yudkowsky (Rationality: From AI to Zombies)
India is a land where contradictions will continue to abound, because there are many Indias that are being transformed, with different levels of intensity, by different forces of globalization. Each of these Indias is responding to them in different ways. Consider these coexisting examples of progress and status quo: India is a nuclear-capable state that still cannot build roads that will survive their first monsoon. It has eradicated smallpox through the length and breadth of the country, but cannot stop female foeticide and infanticide. It is a country that managed to bring about what it called the ‘green revolution’, which heralded food grain self-sufficiency for a nation that relied on external food aid and yet, it easily has the most archaic land and agricultural laws in the world, with no sign of anyone wanting to reform them any time soon. It has hundreds of millions of people who subsist on less that a dollar a day, but who vote astutely and punish political parties ruthlessly. It has an independent judiciary that once set aside even Indira Gandhi’s election to parliament and yet, many members of parliament have criminal records and still contest and win elections from prison. India is a significant exporter of intellectual capital to the rest of the world—that capital being spawned in a handful of world class institutions of engineering, science and management. Yet it is a country with primary schools of pathetic quality and where retaining children in school is a challenge. India truly is an equal opportunity employer of women leaders in politics, but it took over fifty years to recognize that domestic violence is a crime and almost as long to get tough with bride burning. It is the IT powerhouse of the world, the harbinger of the offshore services revolution that is changing the business paradigms of the developed world. But regrettably, it is also the place where there is a yawning digital divide.
Rama Bijapurkar (We are like that only: Understanding the Logic of Consumer India)
New Rule: Conservatives have to stop rolling their eyes every time they hear the word "France." Like just calling something French is the ultimate argument winner. As if to say, "What can you say about a country that was too stupid to get on board with our wonderfully conceived and brilliantly executed war in Iraq?" And yet an American politician could not survive if he uttered the simple, true statement: "France has a better health-care system than we do, and we should steal it." Because here, simply dismissing an idea as French passes for an argument. John Kerry? Couldn't vote for him--he looked French. Yeah, as a opposed to the other guy, who just looked stupid. Last week, France had an election, and people over there approach an election differently. They vote. Eighty-five percent turned out. You couldn't get eighty-five percent of Americans to get off the couch if there was an election between tits and bigger tits and they were giving out free samples. Maybe the high turnout has something to do with the fact that the French candidates are never asked where they stand on evolution, prayer in school, abortion, stem cell research, or gay marriage. And if the candidate knows about a character in a book other than Jesus, it's not a drawback. The electorate doesn't vote for the guy they want to have a croissant with. Nor do they care about private lives. In the current race, Madame Royal has four kids, but she never got married. And she's a socialist. In America, if a Democrat even thinks you're calling him "liberal," he grabs an orange vest and a rifle and heads into the woods to kill something. Royal's opponent is married, but they live apart and lead separate lives. And the people are okay with that, for the same reason they're okay with nude beaches: because they're not a nation of six-year-olds who scream and giggle if they see pee-pee parts. They have weird ideas about privacy. They think it should be private. In France, even mistresses have mistresses. To not have a lady on the side says to the voters, "I'm no good at multitasking." Like any country, France has its faults, like all that ridiculous accordion music--but their health care is the best in the industrialized world, as is their poverty rate. And they're completely independent of Mid-East oil. And they're the greenest country. And they're not fat. They have public intellectuals in France. We have Dr. Phil. They invented sex during the day, lingerie, and the tongue. Can't we admit we could learn something from them?
Bill Maher (The New New Rules: A Funny Look At How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass)
Meanwhile the thinking person, by intellect usually left-wing but by temperament often right-wing, hovers at the gate of the Socialist fold. He is no doubt aware that he ought to be a Socialist. But he observes first the dullness of individual Socialists, then the apparent flabbiness of Socialist ideals, and veers away. Till quite recently it was natural to veer towards indinerentism. Ten years ago, even five years ago, the typical literary gent wrote books on baroque architecture and had a soul above politics. But that attitude is becoming difficult and even unfashionable. The times are growing harsher, the issues are clearer, the belief that nothing will ever change (i.e. that your dividends will always be safe) is less prevalent. The fence on which the literary gent sits, once as comfortable as the plush cushion of a cathedral-stall, is now pinching his bottom intolerably; more and more he shows a disposition to drop off on one side or the other. It is interesting to notice how many of our leading writers, who a dozen years ago were art for art's saking for all they were worth and would have considered it too vulgar for words to even vote at a general election, are now taking a definite political standpoint; while most of the younger writers, at least those of them who are not mere footlers, have been 'political' from the start. I believe that when the pinch comes there is a terrible danger that the main movement of the intelligentsia will be towards Fascism. . . . That will also be the moment when every person with any brains or decency will know in his bones that he ought to be on the Socialist side. But he will not necessarily come there of his own accord; there are too many ancient prejudices standing in the way. He will have to be persuaded, and by methods that imply an understanding of his viewpoint. Socialists cannot afford to waste any more time in preaching to the converted. Their job now is to make Socialists as rapidly as possible; instead of which, all too often, they are making Fascists.
George Orwell (The Road to Wigan Pier)
The trial, despite the subserviency of the court to the Nazi authorities, cast a great deal of suspicion on Goering and the Nazis, but it came too late to have any practical effect. For Hitler had lost no time in exploiting the Reichstag fire to the limit.   On the day following the fire, February 28, he prevailed on President Hindenburg to sign a decree “for the Protection of the People and the State” suspending the seven sections of the constitution which guaranteed individual and civil liberties. Described as a “defensive measure against Communist acts of violence endangering the state,” the decree laid down that:      Restrictions on personal liberty, on the right of free expression of opinion, including freedom of the press; on the rights of assembly and association; and violations of the privacy of postal, telegraphic and telephonic communications; and warrants for house searchers, orders for confiscations as well as restrictions on property, are also permissible beyond the legal limits otherwise prescribed.   In addition, the decree authorized the Reich government to take over complete power in the federal states when necessary and imposed the death sentence for a number of crimes, including “serious disturbances of the peace” by armed persons.8   Thus with one stroke Hitler was able not only to legally gag his opponents and arrest them at his will but, by making the trumped-up Communist threat “official,” as it were, to throw millions of the middle class and the peasantry into a frenzy of fear that unless they voted for National Socialism at the elections a week hence, the Bolsheviks might take over.
William L. Shirer (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany)
How are we going to bring about these transformations? Politics as usual—debate and argument, even voting—are no longer sufficient. Our system of representative democracy, created by a great revolution, must now itself become the target of revolutionary change. For too many years counting, vast numbers of people stopped going to the polls, either because they did not care what happened to the country or the world or because they did not believe that voting would make a difference on the profound and interconnected issues that really matter. Now, with a surge of new political interest having give rise to the Obama presidency, we need to inject new meaning into the concept of the “will of the people.” The will of too many Americans has been to pursue private happiness and take as little responsibility as possible for governing our country. As a result, we have left the job of governing to our elected representatives, even though we know that they serve corporate interests and therefore make decisions that threaten our biosphere and widen the gulf between the rich and poor both in our country and throughout the world. In other words, even though it is readily apparent that our lifestyle choices and the decisions of our representatives are increasing social injustice and endangering our planet, too many of us have wanted to continue going our merry and not-so-merry ways, periodically voting politicians in and out of office but leaving the responsibility for policy decisions to them. Our will has been to act like consumers, not like responsible citizens. Historians may one day look back at the 2000 election, marked by the Supreme Court’s decision to award the presidency to George W. Bush, as a decisive turning point in the death of representative democracy in the United States. National Public Radio analyst Daniel Schorr called it “a junta.” Jack Lessenberry, columnist for the MetroTimes in Detroit, called it “a right-wing judicial coup.” Although more restrained, the language of dissenting justices Breyer, Ginsberg, Souter, and Stevens was equally clear. They said that there was no legal or moral justification for deciding the presidency in this way.3 That’s why Al Gore didn’t speak for me in his concession speech. You don’t just “strongly disagree” with a right-wing coup or a junta. You expose it as illegal, immoral, and illegitimate, and you start building a movement to challenge and change the system that created it. The crisis brought on by the fraud of 2000 and aggravated by the Bush administration’s constant and callous disregard for the Constitution exposed so many defects that we now have an unprecedented opportunity not only to improve voting procedures but to turn U.S. democracy into “government of the people, by the people, and for the people” instead of government of, by, and for corporate power.
Grace Lee Boggs (The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century)