I know, America. You're sick of politics. I get it. After months of endlessly refreshing FiveThirtyEight every twelve seconds and trying to respond reasonably to your aunt's racist Facebook rants, you're tired. You researched the issues, you registered, you voted (please, please tell me that you voted), and now you want to take a yearlong bath. Even the color orange makes you nauseous now, for some reason. So what better way to try and rinse the ugly 2016 election out of your brain than with a bunch of quotes about politics? Specifically, quotes from famous writers about politics (and how most of those famous writers are sick of politics, too).
Now, to be clear, all of these authors understand that it is extremely, vitally important to get out there and vote. You're not allowed to complain about politics or politicians if you don't vote. And what is America built on, if not complaining about politics? Where would we get the YA dystopia novels to base our movies on, if authors couldn't speak their minds about the government? There's no such thing as apolitical literature (just check out some of Dr. Seuss's early work). So here are some brilliant writers, exercising their right to complain about politics:
1. 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
2. The function of freedom is to free someone else.
― Toni Morrison
3. 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!
4. Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.
― Mark Twain
5. Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong. When they are presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new evidence cannot be accepted. It would create a feeling that is extremely uncomfortable, called cognitive dissonance. And because it is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalize, ignore and even deny anything that doesn't fit in with the core belief.
― Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks
6. No matter how corrupt, greedy, and heartless our government, our corporations, our media, and our religious & charitable institutions may become, the music will still be wonderful.
― Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without a Count ry
7. Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”
― Isaac Asimov
8. Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.
― George Orwell
9. We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must―at that moment―become the center of the universe.
― Elie Wiesel, The Night Trilogy: Night, Dawn, the Accident
10. Like Lincoln, I would like to believe the ballot is stronger than the bullet. Then again, he said that before he got shot.
― Sarah Vowell, Assassination Vacation
11. He knows nothing; and he thinks he knows everything. That points clearly to a political career.
― George Bernard Shaw, Major Barbara
Images: kheelcenter/Wikipedia Commons, Giphy (11)