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Ten top quips and quotes on the US electoral process

Election Day is nearly upon us. In fact, plenty of voters have already cast their ballots. Partisan and ideological differences seem to be polarizing people. Maybe it’s time for a lighter look at things – even for a moment or two. 

What’s so funny about voting?

Since the dawn of democracy, comics have quipped about the democratic process and upcoming elections. Elections and electoral candidates provide perennial fodder for professional comedians and would-be humorists alike, particularly in America. In fact, even politicians and public leaders have joined the act, over the years. Candidates have lampooned one another, even as the press and the public have tossed barbs of their own. Occasionally, even the voters have become targets of satire.

Let’s take a look at some pointed comments, aimed at the democratic electoral process by renowned and even infamous individuals from several walks of life. The comments represent several political eras spanning more than two centuries. Not all of the quoted are Americans, but their sentiments may still be pertinent.

Surely, this is not a comprehensive list, by any means. Still, the quotations listed here may prove thought-provoking. (Quotes are arranged alphabetically by speaker or author.)

NOTE: Written by this author, this copyrighted material originally appeared on another publisher’s site. That site no longer exists. This author holds all rights to this content. No republication is allowed without permission.

  1. “People never lie so much as after a hunt, during a war, or before an election.Otto von Bismarck, German Chancellor (1815 – 1898)

  1. “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”Sir Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister (1874 – 1965)

  1. “When I was a boy, I was told that anybody could become President; I'm beginning to believe it.” Clarence Darrow, American Attorney and Civil Rights Activist (1857 – 1938)

  1. An election is coming. Universal peace is declared, and the foxes have a sincere interest in prolonging the lives of the poultry.T. S. Eliot, American Poet (1888 – 1965)

  1. “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, American Inventor and Politician (1706 – 1790)

  1. Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods.H. L. Mencken, American Author (1880 – 1956)

  1. Anything important is never left to the vote of the people. We only get to vote on some man; we never get to vote on what he is to do.Will Rogers, American Actor (1879 – 1935)

  1. Democracy is a form of government that substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few.George Bernard Shaw, Irish Playwright (1856 – 1950)

  1. “One of the reasons people hate politics is that truth is rarely a politician's objective. Election and power are.Cal Thomas, American Journalist (1947 -   )

  1. Popularity should be no scale for the election of politicians. If it would depend on popularity, Donald Duck and The Muppets would take seats in senate.Orson Welles, American Actor (1915 – 1985)

Certainly, as these satirical statements attest, the current democratic process may be far from perfect. Still, it sure seems to beat the alternative.

Readers may wonder: What can be done to improve the electoral process? At the risk of sounding idealistic, here is a simple suggestion. Perhaps the democratic system can yet be improved – one vote at a time.


Marital dispute sends willing hubs from the yammer to the slammer?

Most people would rather get out of jail than in. But then, most folks aren’t Lawrence John Ripple of Kansas. Several major news outlets, including the Associated Press and Reuters, have reported details of the incident, which occurred this week.

Here’s the short version:

Apparently, Ripple opted for a trip to the joint, once pushed to the point. During a brig (I mean, big) argument with his wife, the 70-year-old claims he told her he’d rather go to jail than stay with such travail. (We have to wonder: Will she post his bail?)

Instead of sticking it out at home, Ripple supposedly held a stickup at a local bank. Reportedly, he handed a teller a note, saying he had a gun. No one seems to know if he actually possessed a firearm – or if he was loaded (or if he had a gun that was loaded).

Perhaps Ripple just had a pen. Or he wanted a trip to the pen.

Well, you know.

Anyway, the bank employee is said to have handed the guy a few grand.

Next, the hapless hubby cooled his heels at the bank, waiting for the police to arrest him and take him to the cooler, so to speak. He seems to have told the cops he’d opt for a trip to the big house over a trip home to his spouse.

You might say he felt so contested that he went and got himself arrested.

Last we heard, the guy was in the pound. No one is saying whether he used his one phone call. But we are willing to bet we know who he did not call.

Cue the ripple of protest here. Or not.

Maybe Ripple will sign a waiver or get out early for good behavior. Either way, he’s not likely to curry any favor with the Missus. (Maybe he already forgave her for whatever it was.)

Is there a moral to this story?

The lockup is no place to sleight home about.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) has been cited as saying, “People usually are happiest at home.” Maybe Ripple would beg to differ.

Adapted by this user
from widely circulated Wyandotte County Detention Center press photo
fair use

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