Potus Quotes

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1. “Many things in this period have been hard to bear, or hard to take seriously. My own profession went into a protracted swoon during the Reagan-Bush-Thatcher decade, and shows scant sign of recovering a critical faculty—or indeed any faculty whatever, unless it is one of induced enthusiasm for a plausible consensus President. (We shall see whether it counts as progress for the same parrots to learn a new word.) And my own cohort, the left, shared in the general dispiriting move towards apolitical, atonal postmodernism. Regarding something magnificent, like the long-overdue and still endangered South African revolution (a jagged fit in the supposedly smooth pattern of axiomatic progress), one could see that Ariadne’s thread had a robust reddish tinge, and that potential citizens had not all deconstructed themselves into Xhosa, Zulu, Cape Coloured or ‘Eurocentric’; had in other words resisted the sectarian lesson that the masters of apartheid tried to teach them. Elsewhere, though, it seemed all at once as if competitive solipsism was the signifier of the ‘radical’; a stress on the salience not even of the individual, but of the trait, and from that atomization into the lump of the category. Surely one thing to be learned from the lapsed totalitarian system was the unwholesome relationship between the cult of the masses and the adoration of the supreme personality. Yet introspective voyaging seemed to coexist with dull group-think wherever one peered about among the formerly ‘committed’.Traditionally then, or tediously as some will think, I saw no reason to discard the Orwellian standard in considering modern literature. While a sort of etiolation, tricked out as playfulness, had its way among the non-judgemental, much good work was still done by those who weighed words as if they meant what they said. Some authors, indeed, stood by their works as if they had composed them in solitude and out of conviction. Of these, an encouraging number spoke for the ironic against the literal mind; for the generously interpreted interest of all against the renewal of what Orwell termed the ‘smelly little orthodoxies’—tribe and Faith, monotheist and polytheist, being most conspicuous among these new/old disfigurements. In the course of making a film about the decaffeinated hedonism of modern Los Angeles, I visited the house where Thomas Mann, in another time of torment, wrote Dr Faustus. My German friends were filling the streets of Munich and Berlin to combat the recrudescence of the same old shit as I read:This old, folkish layer survives in us all, and to speak as I really think, I do. not consider religion the most adequate means of keeping it under lock and key. For that, literature alone avails, humanistic science, the ideal of the free and beautiful human being. [italics mine]The path to this concept of enlightenment is not to be found in the pursuit of self-pity, or of self-love. Of course to be merely a political animal is to miss Mann’s point; while, as ever, to be an apolitical animal is to leave fellow-citizens at the mercy of Ideolo’. For the sake of argument, then, one must never let a euphemism or a false consolation pass uncontested. The truth seldom lies, but when it does lie it lies somewhere in between.”

Tags : Apoliticism Argument Atheism Berlin Bought Priesthood Enlightenment Film George Orwell Groupthink Journalism Left Wing Politics Literary Criticism Los Angeles Munich Orthodoxy Personality Politics Postmodernism Potus Progress Religion Right Wing Politics Russia Science Sectarianism Self Pity Socialism Soviet Union Totalitarianism Tribalism United States Xhosa People
Source : For the Sake of Argument: Essays and Minority Reports

2. “Those of us who follow politics seriously rather than view it as a game show do not look at Hillary Clinton and simply think 'first woman president.' We think—for example—'first ex-co-president' or 'first wife of a disbarred lawyer and impeached former incumbent' or 'first person to use her daughter as photo-op protection during her husband's perjury rap.”

Tags : Bill Clinton First Lady First Lady Of The United States Hillary Clinton Perjury Politics Potus United States United States Elections 2008

3. “The real difficulty is with the vast wealth and power in the hands of the few and the unscrupulous who represent or control capital. Hundreds of laws of Congress and the state legislatures are in the interest of these men and against the interests of workingmen. These need to be exposed and repealed. All laws on corporations, on taxation, on trusts, wills, descent, and the like, need examination and extensive change. This is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people no longer. It is a government of corporations, by corporations, and for corporations.”

Tags : Capitalism Corporations Government Occupy Wall Street Ows Potus President Wealth
Source : Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes: Nineteenth President of the United States

4. “Actually, Bush, technically speaking, is not really President-because he refused to take the Oath of Office. I don’t know how many of you noticed this, but the wording of the Oath of Office is written in the Constitution, so you can’t fool around with it-and Bush refused to read it. The Oath of Of­fice says something about, ”I promise to do this, that, and the other thing,” and Bush added the words, ”so help me God.” Well, that’s illegal: he’s not President, if anybody cares.”

Tags : Constitution George Bush Senior Law Politics Potus
Author : Noam Chomsky
Source : Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky

5. “Barack Obama’s victories in 2008 and 2012 were dismissed by some of his critics as merely symbolic for African Americans. But there is nothing “mere” about symbols.”

Tags : African Americans Barack Obama Blacks Politics Potus Presidents Symbolism Symbols

6. “One Saturday morning last May, I joined the presidential motorcade as it slipped out of the southern gate of the White House. A mostly white crowd had assembled. As the motorcade drove by, people cheered, held up their smartphones to record the procession, and waved American flags. To be within feet of the president seemed like the thrill of their lives. I was astounded. An old euphoria, which I could not immediately place, gathered up in me. And then I remembered, it was what I felt through much of 2008, as I watched Barack Obama’s star shoot across the political sky. I had never seen so many white people cheer on a black man who was neither an athlete nor an entertainer. And it seemed that they loved him for this, and I thought in those days, which now feel so long ago, that they might then love me, too, and love my wife, and love my child, and love us all in the manner that the God they so fervently cited had commanded.”

Tags : African Americans Barack Obama Blacks Patriotism Politics Potus Presidents Race Relations Racism

7. “There are no clean victories for black people, nor, perhaps, for any people. The presidency of Barack Obama is no different. One can now say that an African American individual can rise to the same level as a white individual, and yet also say that the number of black individuals who actually qualify for that status will be small. One thinks of Serena Williams, whose dominance and stunning achievements can’t, in and of themselves, ensure equal access to tennis facilities for young black girls. The gate is open and yet so very far away.”

Tags : African Americans Barack Obama Blacks Equality Politics Potus Presidents Race Relations

8. “The election of Donald Trump confirmed everything I knew of my country and none of what I could accept. The idea that America would follow its first black president with Donald Trump accorded with its history. I was shocked at my own shock. I had wanted Obama to be right.I still want Obama to be right. I still would like to fold myself into the dream. This will not be possible.”

Tags : Barack Obama Donald Trump Elections Politics Potus Presidents Race Relations Racism