De Gaulle: Surpised to Be Believed; and Other Political Quotations

For Friday, here is some lighter fare–a few short quotations about politics and language. All are borrowed from Webster’s New Explorer Dictionary of Quotations (New York: Merriam-Webster, 2000), pp. 325-327.

“Since a politician never believes what he says, he is surprised when others believe him.” Charles De Gaulle, quoted in Newsweek.

“All politics are based on the indifference of the majority.” James Reston, in the New York Times.

“Politics is the art of preventing people from taking part in affairs which properly concern them.” Paul Valéry, Tel quel.

“Politics are usually the executive expression of human immaturity.” Vera Brittain, Rebel Passion.

“Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build a bridge, even where there is no river.” Nikita Krushchev. [An interesting foreshadowing of “the bridge to nowhere.”]

“Politics, as a practice, whatever its professions, has always been the systematic organization of hatreds.” Henry Adams, The Education of Henry Adams.


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