September 15 provides us with yet another day to celebrate America, because it marks International Day of Democracy. These 12 democracy quotes for International Day of Democracy will get you thinking long and hard about how fortunate you are to live in a country that allows you to participate in its politics. Seriously, take a moment and cherish this fact, because there are millions of other human beings that aren't quite so lucky.
While America is by no means perfect, and while democracies often have their own faults, the idea behind the political system is a valid one. Democracies allow everyone to have a voice, no matter what social or economic standing you have. Out of 192 countries in the world right now, 123 of them have democracies. As for those remaining 69? We can only hope that they'll find their way to democracies soon enough.
Even if it's only for a minute or two, spend some time this September 15 taking note of the country you live in and the political system that serves it. And on that note, democracies only work if everybody casts their vote, so make sure to register and educate yourself. Every election might not go your way, but at least you can say that you participated and made your voice known.
1. "Democracy must be built through open societies that share information. When there is information, there is enlightenment. When there is debate, there are solutions. When there is no sharing of power, no rule of law, no accountability, there is abuse, corruption, subjugation and indignation." — Atifete Jahjaga
2. "When Jefferson and the Republicans rallied to the Union and to the existing Federalist organization, the fabric of traditional American democracy was almost completely woven." — Herbert Croly
3. "Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education." — Franklin D. Roosevelt
4. "If we put our trust in the common sense of common men and 'with malice toward none and charity for all' go forward on the great adventure of making political, economic, and social democracy a practical reality, we shall not fail." — Henry A. Wallace
5. "As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy." — Abraham Lincoln
6. "Everybody now seems to be talking about democracy. I don't understand this. As I think of it, democracy isn't like a Sunday suit to be brought out and worn only for parades. It's the kind of a life a decent man leads, it's something to live for and to die for." — Dalton Trumbo
7. "Democracy is the only system capable of reflecting the humanist premise of equilibrium or balance. The key to its secret is the involvement of the citizen." — John Ralston Saul
8. "Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a President and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country." — Franklin D. Roosevelt
9. "I don't have any formula for ousting a dictator or building democracy. All I can suggest is to forget about yourself and just think of your people. It's always the people who make things happen." — Corazon Aquino
10. "Democracy is a daring concept — a hope that we'll be best governed if all of us participate in the act of government. It is meant to be a conversation, a place where the intelligence and local knowledge of the electorate sums together to arrive at actions that reflect the participation of the largest possible number of people." — Brian Eno
11. "Deliberation and debate is the way you stir the soul of our democracy." — Jesse Jackson
12. "Freedom of expression — in particular, freedom of the press — guarantees popular participation in the decisions and actions of government, and popular participation is the essence of our democracy." — Corazon Aquino