POLITICS, POLITICIANS, & HUMAN NATURE
"The purpose of politics is not to solve problems but to find problems to justify the expansion of government power and an increase in taxes."
Thomas Sowell, BARBARIANS INSIDE THE GATES AND OTHER CONTROVERSIAL ESSAYS (Hoover Institution Press, 1999).
"... politicians ... are a set of men who have interests aside from the interests of the people, and who, to say the most of them, are, taken as a mass, at least one long step removed from honest men. I say this with the greater freedom because, being a politician myself, none can regard it as personal."
Abraham Lincoln, Bank Speech (1837).
"The ordinary politician has a very low estimate of human nature. In his daily life he comes into contact chiefly with persons who want to get something or to avoid something. Beyond this circle of seekers after privileges, individuals and organized minorities, he is aware of a large unorganized, indifferent mass of citizens who ask for nothing in particular and rarely complain. The politician comes after a while to think that the art of politics is to satisfy the seekers after favors and to molify the inchoate mass with noble sentiments and patriotic phrases."
Walter Lippmann, "The New Congress," THE NEW YORK HERALD- TRIBUNE (December 8, 1931).
"Tact is the ability to describe others as they see themselves."
"The politician who never made a mistake never made a decision."
John Major, Interview, BBC Radio (1990).
There is no sea more dangerous than the ocean of practical politics--none in which there is more need of good pilotage and of a single, unfaltering purpose when the waves rise high."
Thomas Henry Huxley, "On the Natural Inequality of Men" (1890).
"A political leader must keep looking over his shoulder all the time to see if the boys are still there. If they aren't still there, he's no longer a political leader."
Bernard Baruch, Quoted in His Obituary, THE NEW YORK TIMES (June 21, 1965).
Party divisions, whether on the whole operating for good or evil, are things inseparable from free government."
Edmund Burke, "Observations on a Late State of the Nation" (1769).
"He serves his party best who serves his country best."
Rutherford B. Hayes, Presidential Inaugural Address (1877).