No matter what your politics are, there's no denying that the 2016 presidential election has been a crazy one, and many of us have turned to books for clarity. There, I found these book quotes to remember during the elections.
With an election so intense, it is easy to feel lost or hopeless as November draws nearer. From the paralyzing fear of a Donald Trump presidency to the protests of Bernie supporters, there's a lot going on, everywhere you look. Not to mention the chaos we've already endured―remember when there were a million candidates for the Republican ticket? How was that only months ago?
Fortunately, authors have been pondering elections, power, and hard times for centuries. Even (or perhaps, especially) the lessons from imaginary worlds and fictional struggles can provide sage advice for our modern world. After all, when we read, we are constantly discovering more about ourselves, learning about the plights of others, and pinpointing what it is we value.
The truth is, it may seem hard right now, but it is our duty to vote for a president who will lead us toward a better country and a better world. So, here are quotes from some of our favorite writers to keep in mind as November approaches.
1. “Dark times lie ahead of us and there will be a time when we must choose between what is easy and what is right.”
— J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
2. “Freedom is a heavy load, a great and strange burden for the spirit to undertake. It is not easy. It is not a gift given, but a choice made, and the choice may be a hard one. The road goes upward towards the light; but the laden traveler may never reach the end of it.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, The Tombs of Atuan
3. “There is some good in this world, and it's worth fighting for.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers
4. “I want you to write yourself into history because no matter what history books say, even you are a part of it.”
― Nnedi Okorafor, The Shadow Speaker
5. “We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, Mother Night
6. “All opinions are not equal. Some are a very great deal more robust, sophisticated and well supported in logic and argument than others.”
― Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt
7. “Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
8. “If you are bored and disgusted by politics and don't bother to vote, you are in effect voting for the entrenched Establishments of the two major parties, who please rest assured are not dumb, and who are keenly aware that it is in their interests to keep you disgusted and bored and cynical and to give you every possible reason to stay at home doing one-hitters and watching MTV on primary day. By all means stay home if you want, but don't bullshit yourself that you're not voting. In reality, there is no such thing as not voting: you either vote by voting, or you vote by staying home and tacitly doubling the value of some Diehard's vote.”
― David Foster Wallace, Up, Simba!
9. “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
10. “It was miraculous. It was almost no trick at all, he saw, to turn vice into virtue and slander into truth, impotence into abstinence, arrogance into humility, plunder into philanthropy, thievery into honor, blasphemy into wisdom, brutality into patriotism, and sadism into justice. Anybody could do it; it required no brains at all. It merely required no character.”
― Joseph Heller, Catch-22
11. "Power resides only where men believe it resides. [...] A shadow on the wall, yet shadows can kill. And ofttimes a very small man can cast a very large shadow."
― George R.R. Martin, A Clash of Kings
12. "It is a well-known fact that those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it...anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job."
― Douglas Adams, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
13. “Stupidity is the same as evil if you judge by the results.”
― Margaret Atwood, Surfacing
14. “Choose your leaders with wisdom and forethought.To be led by a coward is to be controlled by all that the coward fears.To be led by a fool is to be led by the opportunists who control the fool.To be led by a thief is to offer up your most precious treasures to be stolen.To be led by a liar is to ask to be told lies.To be led by a tyrant is to sell yourself and those you love into slavery.”
― Ocatvia E. Butler, Parable of the Talents
15. “Neither love nor terror makes one blind: indifference makes one blind.”
― James Baldwin, If Beale Street Could Talk