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Quotes: American Political System


"It's all a show. 'Democracy' is just a filler for textbooks! Think about it! Do you actually believe that public opinion influences the government?"
President James Johnson, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty

"American politics. Governors, Senators, Congressmen... No wonder nothing ever gets done."

Alex Shrub: If you read the Constitution, it's a sacred document that should not be changed. Under our constitution, women couldn't vote, but then the liberals come in crying crocodile tears. We need to get scare-mongers and non-believers—men like you Chavez—under control! I've got a good mind to get your funding removed.
Maurice Chavez: We don't get any funding.
Alex: Exactly! Uh... Good! Heh, you won't see a penny out of me!
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Pressing Issues

Real Life

"Washington, D.C. is Hollywood for ugly people."
Unknown origin

"I bet after seeing us, George Washington would sue us for calling him 'father'."
Will Rogers

"Every government is a parliament of whores. The trouble is that, in a democracy, the whores are us."
P. J. O'Rourke

”The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."
Alexis de Tocqueville

"Democracy is beautiful in theory; in practice it is a fallacy. You in America will see that some day."

Dan Rather: "Well, here they are. Your candidates for President, every one of them as dumb as a porcupine stuck to a watermelon. These are the types of idiots we produce for public office. Do your duty in November: move away."

"The hatred Americans have for their own government is pathological, if understandable. At one level it is simply thwarted greed: since our religion is making a buck, giving a part of that buck to any government is an act against nature."

"The United States is a nation of laws: badly written and randomly enforced."
Zen Masters: The Wisdom of Frank Zappa

"The Supreme Court has ruled that they cannot have a nativity scene in Washington, D.C. This wasn't for any religious reasons. They couldn't find three wise men and a virgin."
Jay Leno

"You want politics in America? I'll show you politics in America. Here it is, right here. 'I think the puppet on the right shares my beliefs.' 'I think the puppet on the left is more to my liking.' 'Hey, wait a minute, there's one guy holding out both puppets!'"
Bill Hicks, "Rant in E-Minor"

Chris: Somewhere in Middle America, a bunch of schoolchildren are watching the nuclear arms conference (?!), and their teacher, who looks to be about sixteen years old, suggests they write to their congressman. In response, young Jeremy stands up and, in a speech that is hilariously overdubbed and way deeper than you’re expecting, demands that they write to Superman instead.
David: It does seem like an idea that a kid would have, just not stated so eloquently. I do love what a facile idea writing to someone’s Congressman is, though. “Let’s teach these children disappointment and the ineffectiveness of government at an early age!”
Chris Sims and David Uzumeri on Superman IV: The Quest for Peace

"I think conservatives in America have been hoist by their own petard. They just kept knocking down any chance of gun legislation and effectively forced America to accept that the massacres are just something it's gonna have to accept now and again. And then they wonder why no one seems concerned with seeking revenge for 9/11 anymore."

"We have a two-party system: the Democratic Party, which is a party of no ideas, and the Republican Party, which is a party of bad ideas. And the way it works is — the Republican stands up in Congress and goes, "I got a really bad idea!" And the Democrat says, 'And I can make it shittier!'"
Lewis Black, Black on Broadway

"As heirs to a legacy more than two centuries old, it is understandable why present-day Americans would take their democracy for granted. A president freely chosen from a wide-open field of two men every four years; a Congress with a 99% incumbency rate; a Supreme Court comprised of nine politically appointed judges whose only oversight is the icy scythe of Death—all these reveal a system fully capable of maintaining itself. But our perfect democracy, which neither needs nor particularly wants voters, is a rarity. It is important to remember that ... dozens of foreign countries still long for a democracy such as ours to be imposed on them."
Jon Stewart et al, America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction

"It was one of the funniest/strangest/most disgusting and confusing things I've ever seen in my life."
Rachel Maddow after the 2012 Republican National Convention

"The Tea Party — sort of like UKIP with guns."
Ian Hislop, Have I Got News for You

"We're like a shattered peasant society. I mean, the last study I saw of it was done in around 1980, and the United States was at the level of Bangladesh, it was very close to Iran...take Reagan: what does it mean to say that he was a Born Again Christian? It means somebody told him he'd been a Born Again Christian. In Bush's case, though, I presume he's totally secular, he just knows by now that you've got to make a nod to this huge fundamentalist constituency—and since you're not going to offer them anything they really want, you offer them symbolic things, like saying, 'so help my God' or something like that. If things ever come to a crunch in the United States, this massive part of the population—I think it's something like a third of the adult population by now—could be the basis for some kind of fascist movement, readily."
Noam Chomsky, Understanding Power

"Rand Paul and Sharon Angle and Pat Toomey. Political monsters that make the Reagan-Thatcher axis of the 1980s — the politics so bad that they formed the dystopic vision of Cyberpunk in the minds of artists — look like cuddly kittens. Far-right wing Republicans of the 1980s are now ostracized from the party as excessively moderate, downright liberal. This is a death god too...The only possible salvation is this — that the eschaton moves so quickly now that by Wednesday they will already be out of power."

"Perhaps because I live in Chicago, perhaps because I work with other attorneys, in my day-to-day life I’m surrounded almost exclusively by people who identify with the mainstream, American left, centrist Democrats for whom mere mention of the word 'libertarian' calls forth nightmarish imaginings of the Tea Party right. Regrettably, identifying myself as a libertarian stops any meaningful dialogue with this set before it starts; for them, libertarianism is associated with the extreme right wing of a one-dimensional American political spectrum that they have been successfully trained never to question. They often know just enough about Ayn Rand to regard libertarianism as an oversimplified and merciless case for corporate greed, for an economic status quo that finds the one percent growing ever richer while the 'middle class' contracts and the poor suffer in sheer destitution. Ironically, this kind of centrist Democrat probably understands capitalism and its effects better than many libertarians... What they haven’t taken the time to understand, however, is either libertarianism as a real philosophy or the cavernous gulf that separates the economic system of the present moment from real free markets."
David S'Amato, "Left Wing Individualism"

"Jesus Christ once told his followers: No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. - Luke 16:13.

Increasingly, the religious right is trying to do exactly that, intertwining Evangelical fundamentalism with unfettered capitalism — with disastrous results for the environment. Thus, American political life is increasingly dominated by Christians who reject the religious ethos, in favor of capitalist ethos. One Conservative Evangelical publication,
World Magazine, hypes the 'We Get It' campaign, which seeks to discredit the threat of global warming. It also claims the threat of climate change is 'alarmism' and fears that efforts to clamp down on emissions will hurt the poor (read: corporations)...Conservative Evangelicals are not concerned with dwindling biodiversity, the destruction of ecosystem, rampant pollution, global warming and the numerous other environmental challenges we face. Rather they, with the business community, are concerned with the bottom line. The future is irrelevant (unless we’re talking about government debt)."
Sean McElwee, "5 Biblical Concepts Fundamentalists Just Don’t Understand"

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