Sunbeams  January 2017 | issue 493

After baseball, America’s favorite pastime may be the process of reinventing itself, continuously redefining its identity and searching for its soul.

Brenda Payton

[America] is really where the experiment is unfolding. This is really where the races confront one another, where the classes, where the genders, where even the sexual orientations confront one another. This is the real laboratory of democracy.

Leonard Cohen

We take freedom for granted, and because of this we don’t understand how incredibly vulnerable it is.

Niall Ferguson

Democracy is like a tambourine — not everyone can be trusted with it.

John Oliver

Politics: the art of using euphemisms, lies, emotionalism, and fear-mongering to dupe average people into accepting — or even demanding — their own enslavement.

Larken Rose

Fascism is a more natural governmental condition than democracy. Democracy is a grace. It’s something essentially splendid because it’s not at all routine or automatic. Fascism goes back to our infancy and childhood, where we were always told how to live.

Norman Mailer

The Democrats are . . . the party of government activism, the party that says government can make you richer, smarter, taller, and get the chickweed out of your lawn. Republicans are the party that says government doesn’t work, and then they get elected and prove it.

P.J. O’Rourke

I don’t speak as a Democrat or a Republican, nor an American. I speak as a victim of America’s so-called democracy. You and I have never seen democracy — all we’ve seen is hypocrisy.

Malcolm X

Democracy is not just the right to vote, it is the right to live in dignity.

Naomi Klein

A man who doesn’t detest a bad government is a fool. And if there were such a thing as a good government on earth, it would be a great joy to serve it.

Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness

The enemy isn’t conservatism. The enemy isn’t liberalism. The enemy is bullshit.

Lars-Erik Nelson

Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

Martin Luther King Jr.

You lose a lot of time, hating people.

Marian Anderson

The last refuge of intolerance is in not tolerating the intolerant.

George Eliot

We live in a great nation, but those who attempt to struggle through it unarmed with a sense of humor are apt to wind up in my Aunt Eula’s Fort Worth Home for the Terminally Literal-Minded, gibbering . . . about the decline of civilization.

Molly Ivins

History balances the frustration of “how far we have to go” with the satisfaction of “how far we have come.” It teaches us tolerance for the human shortcomings and imperfections which are not uniquely of our generation, but of all time.

Lewis F. Powell Jr.

If humanity is to have a hopeful future, there is no escape from the preeminent involvement and responsibility of the single human soul, in all its loneliness and frailty.

George F. Kennan

The most important political office is that of private citizen.

Louis Brandeis

Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never — in nothing, great or small, large or petty — never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.

Winston Churchill

We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution. 

John F. Kennedy

We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection.

Abraham Lincoln

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