Quotes (politics, mostly)

“Appeals to ‘common sense’ are appeals to low information perspectives. Everything seems obvious and self evident when you know very little about it. Everyone with any expertise in any field will answer a question by first saying, ‘Well, it’s a little complicated.’  Calling something ‘common sense’ implicitly validates superficial impressions and unexamined gut reactions.” — Jon Hauptman

“Marxism is intellectualism for stupid people” — Moe Lane

“We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.” — George Orwell

A government that considers the scale of its spending to be proof of its virtue is an easy mark for hucksters and worse.” — Paul Wells

How many dead does it take to prove that pacifism doesn’t preserve peace?” — The Ultimate Answer to Kings blog

“Virtually no idea is too ridiculous to be accepted, even by very intelligent and highly educated people, if it provides a way for them to feel special and important. Some confuse that feeling with idealism.” – Thomas Sowell

“Little else is requisite to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence from the lowest barbarism but peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice: all the rest being brought about by the natural course of things.” — Adam Smith




“Leftists tend to believe that all inequality is created; they tend to believe we can constantly improve the world in every generation, forever perfecting our societies. Conservatives believe that human nature is utterly unchanging; they tend to see the world as less plastic than liberals, and attempts to remake it wholesale dangerous and often counterproductive.” — Andrew Sullivan, echoing many before him

“If you love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace…May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.”  — Samuel Adams

“The problem in Venezuela is not that socialism has been poorly implemented, but that socialism has been faithfully implemented.  From the Soviet Union to Cuba to Venezuela, wherever true socialism or communism has been adopted, it has delivered anguish and devastation and failure.” — Donald Trump

“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.”– Stephen King

“That government is best which governs least” — Henry David Thoreau (but often mis-attributed)

“In a world where information is free, ignorance is laziness.” — Me

“It’s not my job to try and figure out what you mean; it’s your job to communicate articulately.” — Me

“Understand this…about leftists.  They are miserable people who will waste their entire, precious lives being envious of what others have instead of appreciating what they have. And when the day comes that they’re on their death bed, all they will have to point to is a life of whining, complaining, hatred, and jealousy.” — Aaron Clarey

“Intolerance is the first sign of an inadequate education” — Alexander Solzhenitsyn

“We are taught you must blame your father, your sisters, your brothers, the school, the teachers – but never blame yourself. It’s never your fault. But it’s always your fault, because if you wanted to change you’re the one who has got to change.” — Katharine Hepburn

“We have always known that eternal vigilance is the price of freedom. It’s worse now, because capture of government is so much more important than it once was. There was a time when there was enough freedom that it hardly mattered which brand of crooks ran government. That has not been true for a long time — not during most of your lifetimes, and for much of mine — and it will probably never be true again.” – Jerry Pournelle

“The right to keep and bear arms is a vital element of the liberal order that our Founders handed down to us. They understood that those who hold political power will almost always strive to reduce the freedom of those they rule and that many of the ruled will always be tempted to trade their liberty for empty promises of security.” — Nelson Lund

“The longer I live, the more I realize that I am never wrong about anything, and that all the pains I have so humbly taken to verify my notions have only wasted my time.”– George Bernard Shaw

“If there had been any formidable body of cannibals in the country he would have promised to provide them with free missionaries, fattened at the taxpayers’ expense.” — Mencken about Truman, but applicable to any Democrat today.


“It is easy to want to believe that the whole world is pretty much like a nice town in the US, France, or pretty much any affluent Western country. In reality civilization as we fantasize it to be is a postage stamp sized island of civility in a sea of savagery.” — Mike Pannone, 1st SFOD-D (ret)

“This deprecation of individual freedom was objectionable to me. I am convinced now, as I was then, that man is an end because he is a child of God. Man is not made for the state; the state is made for man. To deprive man of freedom is to relegate him to the status of a thing, rather than elevate him to the status of a person. Man must never be treated as means to the end of the state; but always as an end within himself.”  — Martin Luther King explaining why he considered communism to be evil

“Secular theists — economist Don Boudreaux’s term — produce governments gripped by the fatal conceit that they are wiser than society’s spontaneous experimental order. Such governments’ imposed order suffocates improvisation and innovation. Like religious creationists gazing upon biological complexity, secular theists assume that social complexity requires an intentional design imposed from on high by wise designers, a.k.a. them.” — George Will, 12-27-15

“I have never understood why it is “greed” to want to keep the money you have earned but not greed to want to take somebody else’s money.” — Thomas Sowell

“It is one thing to have free immigration to jobs. It is another thing to have free immigration to welfare.” — Milton Freidman

“T.S. Eliot once said, “Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don’t mean to do harm – but the harm does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves.” This suggests that one way to find out if those who claim to be trying to help the less fortunate are for real is to see if they are satisfied to simply advocate a given policy, and see it through to being imposed – without also testing empirically whether the policy is accomplishing what it set out to do. The first two steps are enough to let advocates feel important and righteous. Whether you really care about what happens to the supposed beneficiaries of the policy is indicated by whether you bother to check out the empirical evidence afterwards.” — Thomas Sowell

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on to them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children, and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.” — President Ronald Reagan.

Saw this the other day on a car.  My sentiments exactly!


“War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.” — John Stuart Mill

“The right to be heard does not include the right to be taken seriously.” — Hubert Humphery

“It doesn’t take a politician long to realize that when he steals a dollar from one man and gives fifty cents to two men, he gains two votes for every one he’s lost.” — H. L. Mencken

“Don’t worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you’ll have to ram them down people’s throats.” — Howard Aiken

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” — Edmund Burke

“To denounce the nation that wages war in self-defense, or from a generous desire to relieve the oppressed, in the same terms in which we denounce war waged in a spirit of greed or wanton folly stands on a par with denouncing equally a murderer and the policeman who, at peril of his life and by force of arms, arrests the murderer. In each case the denunciation denotes not loftiness of soul but weakness both of mind and morals.” — Theodore Roosevelt

“A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.” — Alexander Tyler, 1787.

“Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.” — Benjamin Franklin

“The prospect of tyranny may not grab the headlines the way vivid stories of gun crime routinely  do. But few saw the Third Reich coming until it was too late. The Second Amendment is a doomsday provision, one designed for those exceptionally rare circumstances where all other rights have failed–where the government refuses to stand for reelection and silences those who protest; where courts have lost the courage to oppose, or can find no one to enforce their decrees. However improbable these contingencies may seem today, facing them unprepared is a mistake a free people get to make only once.” — U. S. Ninth Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski

“Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not.” — Thomas Jefferson

“History teaches that a society that does not value its warriors will  be destroyed by a society that does.””

“If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival.–There may be even a worse fate. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.” — Winston Churchill

“Amateurs train until they get it right; professionals train until they can’t do it wrong.”

“Today, we need a nation of Minutemen, citizens who are not only prepared to take arms, but citizens who regard the preservation of freedom as the basic purpose of their daily life and who are willing to consciously work and sacrifice for that freedom.” — John F. Kennedy

“Men fight for liberty and win it with hard knocks. Their children, brought up easy, let it slip away again, poor fools. And their grand-children are once more slaves.” — D. H. Lawrence

“Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.” — Milton Friedman

“Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.” — Thomas Paine, The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777

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

“I don’t understand why the same newspaper commentators who bemoan the terrible education given to poor people are always so eager to have those poor people get out and vote.” — P.J. O’Rourke

“The secret to happiness is freedom, and the secret to freedom is courage.” — Thucydides

“Among the many misdeeds of British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest.” — Mohandas Gandhi, An Autobiography, pg 446

“The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to permit the conquered Eastern peoples to have arms. History teaches that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by doing so.” — Adolph Hitler, April 11, 1942

“(Those) who are trying to read the Second Amendment out of the Constitution by claiming it’s not an individual right (are) courting disaster by encouraging others to use the same means to eliminate portions of the Constitution they don’t like.” — Alan Dershowitz, Harvard Law School

“Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice, moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.” — Senator Barry Goldwater

“The American People will never knowingly adopt Socialism. Under the name of “liberalism” they will adopt every segment of the socialist program, until one day America will be a socialist nation without knowing how it happened.” — Norman Thomas, socialist, pacifist, and six-time presidential candidate for the Socialist Party of America.

“Diplomacy without force is like music without instruments” — Frederick the Great

“Day by day, what you choose, what you think, and what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny” — Heraclitus

“Kill evil. It’s how quality of life is achieved. ” — Ted Nugent

“The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false-face for the urge to rule it.” — H. L. Mencken

“In America, the young are always willing to give to those who are older than them the full benefit of their inexperience.” — Oscar Wilde

“Congressmen who willfully take actions during wartime that damage morale and undermine the military are saboteurs and should be arrested, exiled or hanged.” — Abraham Lincoln

“If we could just get everyone to close their eyes and visualize world peace for an hour, imagine how serene and quiet it would be until the looting started”

“Hard pressed on my right. My center is yielding. Impossible to maneuver. Situation excellent. I am attacking.” — Ferdinand Foch at the Battle of the Marne

“Compassionate government is A getting together with B to decide what C shall do for D.” — William Graham Sumner

“The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else…You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.” — Dr. Adrian Rogers

“America will last until the populace discovers that it can vote for itself largesse out of the public treasury.” — Alexis de Tocqueville

“You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.  You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.  You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.  You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.  You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.  You cannot build character and courage by taking away people’s initiative and independence.  You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves.” — Abraham Lincoln

“Since private and publick Vices, are in Reality, though not always apparently, so nearly connected, of how much Importance, how necessary is it, that the utmost Pains be taken by the Publick, to have the Principles of Virtue early inculcated on the Minds even of children, and the moral Sense kept alive, and that the wise institutions of our Ancestors for these great Purposes be encouraged by the Government. For no people will tamely surrender their Liberties, nor can any be easily subdued, when knowledge is diffusd and Virtue is preservd. On the Contrary, when People are universally ignorant, and debauchd in their Manners, they will sink under their own weight without the Aid of foreign Invaders.” — Samuel Adams, letter to James Warren, 4 November 1775

”Punishment is now unfashionable… because it creates moral distinctions among men, which, to the democratic mind, are odious.  We prefer a meaningless collective guilt to a meaningful individual responsibility.” — Thomas Szasz

“But how is this legal plunder to be identified?  Quite simply.  See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong.  See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime.” — Frederic Bastiat, The Law

“A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity” — Sigmund Freud

“Broad minded is just a way of saying that a fellow’s too lazy to form an opinion.” — Will Rogers

“To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.” — Teddy Roosevelt

“The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.” — Margaret Thatcher

“One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being ruled by your inferiors.” — Plato

“Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.” — Mark Twain

“The timid civilized world has found nothing with which to oppose the onslaught of a sudden revival of barefaced barbarity, other than concessions and smiles.” — Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

“Civilization is a thin layer of ice upon a deep ocean of chaos and darkness.” — Werner Herzog

“Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.” — Winston Churchill

Do not blame Caesar, blame the people of Rome who have so enthusiastically acclaimed and adored him and rejoiced in their loss of freedom and danced in his path and gave him triumphal processions. … Blame the people who hail him when he speaks in the Forum of the “new, wonderful good society” which shall now be Rome’s, interpreted to mean “more money, more ease, more security, more living fatly at the expense of the industrious.” — Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 B.C.)

“A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned – this is the sum of good government.” — Thomas Jefferson

“The people that run our country now have a much closer proximity and they’re much closer to the world’s tyrants and dictators than they are closer to the people who founded the country. This is not accidental. They have chosen it. This is the ideology that they have chosen. This is what’s best for them. And you’re going to learn this if you stay focused and stay interested and keep learning as you grow older, you’re going to learn this. You’re gonna learn that they’re not innocent idiots. They are dangerous, devious central planners who have designs on everybody’s liberty and freedom. That’s what matters most to them because that’s where they derive their power.” — Rush Limbaugh

“Negotiation is not a policy. It is a technique. It is a way of achieving our objectives. It doesn’t tell us what the objectives are. The emphasis on negotiation as an end in itself reflects a shallowness in this administration’s approach to international affairs, and gives us little confidence that our interests will be well served.” — John Bolton

“Shame and guilt and self-hatred are universal.  Whether you chalk it up to original sin or to Oedipus or call it Jewish guilt or Catholic guilt or white guilt or black guilt, every single one of us knows he is not the person he was made to be.  There are honest ways to confront that.  You can kneel before God and pray for forgiveness and live in the joy of his love.  Or you can drink heavily and make sardonic remarks until you destroy everyone you care about and then keel over dead – that’s honest too.  But what a lot of people do is try to escape their sense of shame dishonestly by constructing elaborate moral frameworks that allow them to parade their virtue and their lavish repentance without any real inconvenience to themselves while simultaneously indulging in self-righteousness by condemning others for their impenitent evil.  That’s the bad version of religion – the sort of religion Jesus came to dismantle.  And that’s exactly the sort of religion leftism is:  an elaborate system for hiding shame behind a cheap mask of virtue.  That’s why they demonize any opposition.  To them, we’re not just disagreeing with them, we’re threatening to tear off the mask of their virtue and reveal them to themselves.” — Andrew Klavan

“To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.” — Thomas Jefferson

“Do you ever get the idea that our government is a bunch of left-wing undergraduates come to power?” — Jay Nordlinger (National Review)

“Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.” — William F. Buckley, Jr.

“Tolerance becomes a crime when applied to evil.” — Thomas Mann

“Peace isn’t merely the absence of conflict but the presence of justice” — President James Marshall (Harrison Ford), Air Force One

“There are those who believe passionately that all human beings are inherently good and rational creatures, essentially the same once you get beyond surface disagreements. Such people cannot accept the reality of a culture that extols death over life, that inculcates a vitriolic hatred of Jews, that induces children to idolize terrorists. Since they would never murder a family in its sleep without being driven to it by some overpowering horror, they imagine that nobody would. This is the mindset that sees a massacre of Jews and concludes that Jews must in some way have provoked it. It’s the mindset behind the narrative that continually blames Israel for the enmity of its neighbors and makes it Israel’s responsibility to end their violence.  The truth is simpler, and bleaker. Human goodness is not hard-wired. It takes sustained effort and healthy values to produce good people; in the absence of those values, cruelty and intolerance are far more likely to flourish.” — Jeff Jacoby, The Boston Globe, 3-16-11

“The Obama presidency has reduced the liberal left to an apoplectic rage. His Ivy League credentials, superior attitude, pseudointellectual mien and facile adherence to lefty ideology make him the perfect personification of the liberal elite. Thus far at least, he has been an utter failure both at winning public support and at managing the affairs of the nation.  Obama’s failure is the failure of the liberal elite, and that is why their resentment has reached such intensity. Their ideas, such as they are, are being put to a real-world test and found severely wanting. As a result, their authority is collapsing. And if there is one thing they know deep in their bones, it is that they are entitled to that authority. They lash out, desperately and pathetically, because they have nothing to offer but fear and anger.” — James Taranto, Wall Street Journal, 8-3-11

“The Lord’s Prayer is 66 words, the Gettysburg Address is 286 words, there are 1,322 words in the Declaration of Independence, but government regulations on the sale of cabbage total 26,911 words.” — National Review

“Democracy is the theory that the common man knows what he wants…and deserves to get it, GOOD & HARD”. — H L Mencken

“I vehemently resent someone presuming to tell me that I can’t be personally armed, while simultaneously failing to guarantee my safety.” — John Farnam

“…private gun ownership is first and foremost a symbolic sin, analogous to defacing a temple: as a sign of individual responsibility and civic self-assertion, citizens’ freedom to bear arms is a thumb in the eye of collectivism and statism. To these people, reducing crime has nothing to do with banning guns (which is why DC and Chicago keep concealed carry a no-no, while their streets are worse than Afghanistan); it has all to do with keeping the state’s boot on the individual’s neck, which is the leitmotif of all their politics.” — A comment to a National Review article

“My response to these tantrums by the Left is to suggest we ban all firearms, even for cops. After all, if we can ban all firearms, there’s no longer a need to arm the cops or provide them with body armor. Of course, they start speaking in tongues at that point as even the lunatic sees the irrationality of their position.” — A comment to a National Review article

“Equality can not be given, it can only be exercised.”

“Feeling good about government is like looking on the bright side of any catastrophe. When you quit looking on the bright side, the catastrophe is still there.” — P.J. O’Rourke

“Tolerance becomes a crime when applied to evil” — Thomas Mann

“As democracy is perfected, the office of the President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and complete narcissistic moron.” — H.L. Mencken, The Baltimore Evening Sun, July 26, 1920

“Unemployment is a feature, not a bug, of socialism.
Why do socialists like unemployment and hate new business creation?
— downward pressure on wage rates for the few state-sanctioned enterprises.
— creates a class of dependents that demand more government benefits.
— fewer people with “attitude” who built it themselves.
— less money for independent, voluntary, and charitable organizations.
— more opportunity for cronyism and corruption with government-tied enterprise.” — Commentator at Powerline

“We have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the obvious is the first duty on intelligent men.” — George Orwell

“No society can long thrive by making its innovators subservient to its bureaucrats.” — Kevin Williamson, National Review

“A cult of personality arises when an individual uses mass media, propaganda, or other methods, to create an idealized, heroic, and at times, worshipful image, often through unquestioning flattery and praise. Sociologist Max Weber developed a tripartite classification of authority; the cult of personality holds parallels with what Weber defined as “charismatic authority”. A cult of personality is similar to hero worship, except that it is established by mass media and propaganda usually by the state, especially in totalitarian states.” — Wikipedia

“Idque apud imperitos humanitas vocabatur, cum pars servitutis esset (Because they didn’t know better, they called it civilization, when it was part of their slavery).  [It perfectly describes the welfare state.]” — Tacitus

“The wave of the future isn’t a wave at all, but an eternal tide that champions of freedom must fight against, constantly. For if they stop, even briefly, the tide will push them back to the shores of the natural human condition, and the state of nature is not liberal-democratic capitalism but tribal, thuggish authoritarianism.” — Jonah Goldberg

“When you think about it, gun control is one of the few areas where there is an almost psychotic will to adopt the policies of failure. It is like trying to crib test answers from the class dummy.” — Michael Hammond, Concord Monitor, 10-12-14

“Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.” — Robert Heinlein

“Calling for new laws to infringe on gun rights sure is a funny way to show it. That’s like claiming to support gay rights while pushing “common-sense” proposals to restrict homosexual activity, or insisting you’re a big fan of free speech while advocating “common-sense limits on what people can say.” — A. Barton Hinkle, The Daily Progress, 12/28/14

“…if you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed, if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly, you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may be even a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than live as slaves.” — Winston Churchill

“I believe it was Mark Steyn who once described Libertarianism as 9 pounds of delicious ice cream and 1 pound of feces mixed in a 10 lb container. And unfortunately that one pound of caca has a quality (and quantity) all its own that swamps the other flavors. Because the great turd in the Libertarian punchbowl has always been their foreign policy views which are functionally the same as the far Left’s. Now in theory there are all kinds of differences and distinctions between the two – but in practice most Libertarians have bought into the blame-America-first, war-never-solved-anything, the-world-will-leave-us-alone-if-we-leave-them-alone but-we-still-totally-support-the-troops views of the left. — (Blogger) Maetenloch
“So much of left-wing thought is a kind of playing with fire by people who don’t even know that fire is hot.” — George Orwell, Inside the Whale and Other Essays
“There simply is no possible way to absorb and assimilate [large] volumes of [immigrants], period. Then you are merely creating ethnic enclaves, which due to incompatible language, culture and job skills become ghettos, which in turns brews crime, misery and extremism.” — The Sweden Report, June 2, 2015

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” — John Adams

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