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Political Parties

  • It is legitimate to have one's own point of view and political philosophy. But there are people who make anger, rather than a deeply held belief, the basis of their actions. They do not seem to mind harming society as a whole in the pursuit of their immediate objective. No society can survive if it yields to the demands of frenzy, whether of the few or the many.

  • ... certain kinds of people become Republicans and certain kinds of people become Democrats, and ... it's more than a matter of party affiliation. It's a way of thinking and being.

  • ... the Republicans think they have a corner on morality ...

  • Republicans seems to me to be chiefly concerned with holding on to what they have: in society, it's position, or respectability, or what you will; in business, of course, it's profit.

  • I don't think it's possible to write a good play or paint a good picture and be a good Republican.

  • ... the overwhelming majority of people who are engaged in the processes of thought and expression are Democrats because the essence of thought is exploration and diversity and change. It's impossible to have vision in art or government without risk, or the boldness and courage which produce risk. And this — in spite of what they call modern Republicanism — is the antithesis of true Republican thinking.

  • I don't mind being regarded as perverted and unnatural, but I would die if people thought I was a Democrat.

  • Long ago, there was a noble word, liberal, which derives from the word free. Now a strange thing happened to that word. A man named Hitler made it a term of abuse, a matter of suspicion, because those who were not with him were against him, and liberals had no use for Hitler. And then another man named McCarthy cast the same opprobrium on the word. ... We must cherish and honor the word free or it will cease to apply to us.

  • It is in the nature of all party systems that the authentically political talents can assert themselves only in rare cases, and it is even rarer that the specifically political qualifications survive the petty maneuvers of party politics with its demands for plain salesmanship.

  • How the American right managed to convince itself that the programs to alleviate poverty are responsible for the consequences of poverty will someday be studied as a notorious mass illusion.

  • Resistance, which is the function of conservatism, is essential to orderly advance.

    • Agnes Repplier,
    • "Conservative's Consolations," Points of Friction ()
  • The party which is out sees nothing but graft and incapacity in the party which is in; and the party which is in sees nothing but greed and animosity in the party which is out.

  • In the United States, as elsewhere, there are, and have always been, two parties in politics ... It is remarkable how nearly their positive statements of political doctrine agree, while they differ in almost every possible application of their common principles.

  • The incidence of violent brand-loyalty to one's own current dogma has risen.

    • Marge Piercy,
    • "The Grand Coolie Damn," in Robin Morgan, ed., Sisterhood Is Powerful ()
  • ... some people are democrats by choice, and some by necessity.

  • Party spirit is blind, malevolent, uncandid, ungenerous, unjust and unforgiving.... Party hatred, by its deadly poison, blinds the eyes and envenoms the heart.

    • Abigail Adams,
    • to President Thomas Jefferson (1804), Letters of Mrs. Adams ()
  • The Spirit of party has overpowered the Spirit of Patriotism.

    • Abigail Adams,
    • letter (1801), in John P. Kaminski, The Quotable Abigail Adams ()
  • The great object of the honest men of both parties should be to unite for the common good, and to cultivate a spirit of candour, liberality and harmony. Until that can be effected our country will be torn alternately by contending factions.

    • Abigail Adams,
    • letter (1808), in John P. Kaminski, The Quotable Abigail Adams ()
  • Poor, successful, fallible Republican party! If it could only have kept the purity of the patriot impulse of which it was born!

  • What is important is that a political party articulates the mood of a generation.

  • ... the history of liberal political thought in western Europe and America is a history of thinkers extending — sometimes reluctantly, sometimes willingly — moral assumptions and institutional protections to new groups.

  • ... the two major parties too often present us with a choice of the evil of two lessers.

  • Both political parties have a richly vested interest in corporate corruption.

  • ... the party system ... tends to stifle honesty and individuality. It substitutes numerical strength for sound reasoning, power for justice, organized machinery for the labour of conversion; the machine takes the place of the mind.

    • Teresa Billington-Greig,
    • 1911, in Carol McPhee and Ann FitzGerald, eds., The Non-Violent Militant: Selected Writings of Teresa Billington-Greig ()
  • The genius of the Republicans has been how they figured out how to so polarize the middle class that we vote against our own best interests.

  • Every adult should be able to make as many effective decisions without fear or favor about as many aspects of her or his life as is compatible with the like freedom of every other adult. That belief is the original and only defensible meaning of liberalism.

    • Judith N. Shklar,
    • "The Liberalism of Fear," in Nancy Rosenblum, ed., Liberalism and the Moral Life ()
  • You have to have been a Republican to know how good it is to be a Democrat.

  • ... just so soon as a party loses sight of the good of the whole and works for 'party' right or wrong, it becomes a menace to the community ...

    • Leonora O'Reilly,
    • speech (1901), in Judith Anderson, ed., Outspoken Women ()
  • In the early days of our Republic the questions asked of each office seeker were, 'Is he honest? Is he capable? Is he faithful to the constitution?' In our present diseased state, the one question asked of an office seeker is, 'Is he faithful to the party?'

    • Leonora O'Reilly,
    • speech (1901), in Judith Anderson, ed., Outspoken Women ()
  • ... the Republicans love to say that the Democratic Party is ruled by 'special interests.' But when pressed to name these 'special interests,' the usual reply is women, blacks, teachers, and unions. Those are 'special interests' to be proud of — because together they comprise the majority of Americans. What about the 'special interests' that dominate the Republican Party — the oil companies, the banks, the gun lobby, and the apostles of religious intolerance?

  • At every political convention all matters of right, of justice, of the eternal verities themselves, are swallowed up in the one all-important question, 'Will it bring party success?'

    • Susan B. Anthony,
    • in Susan B. Anthony and Ida Husted Harper, eds., The History of Woman Suffrage, vol. IV ()
  • I am also very proud to be a liberal. Why is that so terrible these days? The liberals were liberators — they fought slavery, fought for women to have the right to vote, fought against Hitler, Stalin, fought to end segregation, fought to end apartheid. Liberals put an end to child labor and they gave us the five-day work week! What's to be ashamed of?

    • Barbra Streisand,
    • "The Artist As Citizen," speech, Harvard University Institute of Politics ()
  • When any one tells you that he belongs to no party, you may at any rate be sure that he does not belong to yours.

  • For a few political turncoats there is real excuse. One can hardly blame those whom one ministry have seen fit to throw overboard for having the strength to swim to the other side.

  • The Conservative Establishment has always treated women as nannies, grannies and fannies.