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Brian Hodge

I keep a little file of funny quotes (funny to me) by politicians and other figures and that file is likely to grow larger in the near future with one of the most gaffe-prone politicians still in circulation taking the oath of office this week.

   In the United States whenever a writer doesn’t know the source of a quote it is usually attributed to Mark Twain. This includes one of my favorite quotes often attributed to Twain, “Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason.” Whether these attributions to Twain are correct or not, Twain was known for aphorisms aplenty and I’m happy to add to the confusion with any misattributions on my part. As President Joe Biden said, “We choose truth over facts” here.

  One of the reasons Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the election was due to record turnout from young voters. That is inspiring to me as I have long advocated lowering the voting age to 16, at least at the State level. However if anything, given the State of Alabama and its politics, the chances of lowering the voting age to 16 here has gone from “highly unlikely” to “non-existent.” But in the spirit of unity, I  believe if there is one thing on which most Alabama Republicans can agree with Kamala Harris it is her assertion, “What else do we know about this population, 18 through 24? They are stupid.”

  Of course Donald Trump, and millions of his supporters still don’t believe that Biden won the election. But rumors of election chicanery aside, Anastasio Somoza summed it up in his own rigged election, “You won the elections, but I won the count.”

   Politicians have a hard job and I don’t believe we should make it any easier for them. After all, "Government is too big and too important to be left to the politicians” (Chester Bowles or Charles DeGaulle depending on the reference book) and as Winston Churchill remarked, “It has been said that Democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.”

  With apologies to Dalton Camp for my headline, here a few selected gems from my quote library for your enjoyment.

“Revolution, n. In politics, an abrupt change in the form of misgovernment.” - Ambrose Bierce

 “If you’re not a liberal when you’re 25, you have no heart. If you’re not a conservative by the time you’re 35, you have no brain.”  - Winston Churchill

“If politicians all told the truth, we’d be out of business.” - Jay Leno

“Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it’s just the opposite. - John Kenneth Galbraith

“If you must break the law, do it to seize power. In all other cases observe it.” - Julius Caesar

“The most dangerous strategy is to jump a chasm in two leaps.” - Benjamin Disraeli

“People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.” - Soren Kierkegaard

“If you are not criticized, you may not be doing much.” - Donald Rumsfeld

“An ideal form of government is Democracy tempered with assassination.” - Voltaire

“Disbelief in magic can force a poor soul into believing in government and business.” - Tom Robbins

“The regime is afraid of the people because it knows that free and fair elections will bring about its end.” - Viktor Yanukovych

“The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it always to be kept alive.” - Thomas Jefferson

“By definition, as a Prime Minister I cannot be a liar.” - Silvio Berlusconi

“The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse.” - James Madison

“A leader leads by example, not by force.” - Sun Tzu

“One man with a gun can control 100 without one.” Vladimir Lenin

“Communism is like prohibition, it’s a good idea but it won’t work.” Will Rogers

“Any nation that decides the only way to achieve peace is through peaceful means is a nation that will soon be a piece of another nation.” - Richard Nixon

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

“The government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”  - Ronald Reagan

“It’s a recession when your neighbor loses his job; it’s a depression when you lose yours.” - Harry S. Truman

“Power corrupts. Absolute power is kind of neat.” - John Lehman

“Never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by stupidity.” - Unknown (probably Mark Twain)