Soon there will be a great election. Today we will examine democracy and voting through words of the profound and erudite – some of whom where socialists and communists. Their faults in selection of economic philosophies did not make them necessarily wrong about democracy or elections. The following quotes seemed to me to be particularly applicable to the most bizarre of election cycles in my history as a voter.
The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.
If voting made any difference they wouldn’t let us do it.
Our great democracies still tend to think that a stupid man is more likely to be honest than a clever man, and our politicians take advantage of this prejudice by pretending to be even more stupid than nature made them.
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. (The founder of the Republican Party just reminded you to vote this year. Do not “cast your ballot” by sitting on your blisters – RF).
A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy. (Perhaps the 2012 election already fulfilled the prediction that we have become a “dictatorship” or, if you prefer, a “monarchy” – RF).
Elmer T. Peterson
As democracy is perfected, the office of 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 adorned by a downright moron. (I think the 2008 and 2012 elections already proved the accuracy of this prediction – RF).
H. L. Menken
Do you know that one of the great problems of our age is that we are governed by people who care more about feelings than they do about thoughts and ideas. (Altruists! Pay attention to this quote. Altruism is OK for an individual – it may even be laudatory – but it is no way TO RUN A GOVERNMENT – RF).
Bread and Circuses’ is the cancer of democracy, the fatal disease for which there is no cure. Democracy often works beautifully at first. But once a state extends the franchise to every warm body, be he producer or parasite, that day marks the beginning of the end of the state. For when the plebs discover that they can vote themselves bread and circuses without limit and that the productive members of the body politic cannot stop them, they will do so, until the state bleeds to death, or in its weakened condition the state succumbs to an invader—the barbarians enter Rome. (Are we home yet, Daddy? – RF)
Robert A. Heinlein
I do not know if the people of the United States would vote for superior men if they ran for office, but there can be no doubt that such men do not run.
Alexis de Tocqueville
Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide. (I’ll ask again. Are we home yet, Daddy? – RF)
Democracy is not freedom. Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to eat for lunch. Freedom comes from the recognition of certain rights that may not be taken, not even by a 99% vote. (The Supreme Court is the American Constitution’s way of dealing with this thorny issue. Are you prepared to let Hillary Clinton appoint the next three – maybe four – Supreme Court justices. This is possibly the most important issue riding on the November election – RF).
The genius of our ruling class is that it has kept a majority of the people from ever questioning the inequity of a system where most people drudge along paying heavy taxes for which they get nothing in return.
Consensus: The process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values, and policies in search of something in which no one believes, but to which no one objects; the process of avoiding the very issues that have to be solved, merely because you cannot get agreement on the way ahead. What great cause would have been fought and won under the banner: ‘I stand for consensus?’ (Wow! – RF)
Every election is determined by the people who show up. (So! Show up! – RF)
If you are part of a society that votes, then do so. There may be no candidates and no measures you want to vote for … but there are certain to be ones you want to vote against. In case of doubt, vote against. By this rule you will rarely go wrong. (There will definitely be a candidate TO VOTE AGAINST in the upcoming election – RF).
Robert A. Heinlein
Errors do not cease to be errors simply because they’re ratified into law.
E. A. Bucchianeri
Giving every man a vote has no more made men wise and free than Christianity has made them good.
H. L. Menken
One person with a belief is a social power equal to ninety-nine who have only interests.
John Stuart Mill