Looking Back - Nov. 4

Each week Albany Herald researcher Mary Braswell looks for interesting events, places and people from the past. You can contact her at (229) 888-9371 or mary.braswell@albanyherald.com.

In two days, Americans will elect a president. It has been a long, hard-fought, and occasionally ugly, campaign. Sit back and enjoy what people have said about elections over the years.

Election Day quotes

• “Half of the American people have never read a newspaper. Half never voted for president. One hopes it is the same half.” - Gore Vidal

• “The difference between a democracy and a dictatorship is that in a democracy you vote first and take orders later; in a dictatorship you don’t have to waste your time voting.” - Charles Bukowski

• “A vote is like a rifle: its usefulness depends upon the character of the user.” - Theodore Roosevelt

• “If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal.” - Emma Goldman

• “Those who vote decide nothing. Those who count the vote decide everything.” - Joseph Stalin

• “Thinking is not to agree or disagree. That’s voting.” - Robert Frost

• “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.” - Winston Churchill

• “In politics we presume that everyone who knows how to get votes knows how to administer a city or a state. When we are ill...we do not ask for the handsomest physician, or the most eloquent one.” - Plato

• “Bad officials are elected by good citizens who don’t vote.” - George Jean Nathan

• “Patriotism is easy to understand in America. It means looking out for yourself by looking out for your country.” - Calvin Coolidge

• “Those who stay away from the election think that one vote will do no good: ‘Tis but one step more to think one vote will do no harm.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

• “The politicians were talking themselves red, white and blue in the face.” - Clare Boothe Luce

• “A citizen of America will cross the ocean to fight for democracy, but won’t cross the street to vote in a national election.” - Bill Vaughan

• “How come we choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America?” - Author Unknown

• “A politician should have three hats. One for throwing into the ring, one for talking through, and one for pulling rabbits out of if elected.” - Carl Sandburg

•” If God wanted us to vote, he would have given us candidates.” - Jay Leno

• “When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become president; I’m beginning to believe it.” - Clarence Darrow

• “George Washington is the only president who didn’t blame the previous administration for his troubles.” - Author Unknown

• “I offer my opponents a bargain: if they will stop telling lies about us, I will stop telling the truth about them.” - Adlai Stevenson, campaign speech, 1952

• “The oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class are to represent and repress them.” - Karl Marx

• “Ancient Rome declined because it had a Senate, now what’s going to happen to us with both a House and a Senate?” - Will Rogers

• “Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.” - Abraham Lincoln

• “Win or lose, we go shopping after the election.” - Imelda Marcos

• “This election is about who’s going to be the next president of the United States!” - Dan Quayle

• “You will expect me to discuss the late election. Well, as nearly as I can learn, we did not have enough votes on our side.” - Herbert Hoover

• “The politician is trained in the art of inexactitude. His words tend to be blunt or rounded because if they have a cutting edge they may later return to wound him.” - Edward R. Murrow

• “We preach the virtues of democracy abroad. We must practice its duties here at home. Voting is the first duty of democracy.” - Lyndon B. Johnson

• “An election is coming. Universal peace is declared and the foxes have a sincere interest in prolonging the lives of the poultry.” - George Eliot

• “I will feel equality has arrived when we can elect to office women who are as incompetent as some of the men who are already there.” - Maureen Reagan

• “Vote: The only commodity that is peddleable without a license. - Mark Twain

• “Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other.” - Oscar Ameringer

• “The only thing we learn from a new election is we learned nothing from the old” - Gerald Barzan

• “Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build bridges even when there are no rivers.” - Nikita Khruschev

• “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!” - Benjamin Franklin

• “Elections should be held on April 16th - the day after we pay our income taxes. This is one of the few things that might discourage politicians from being big spenders.” - Thomas Sowell