The delightful honesty in humor …
There is no better time than during an election year to take a step back away from the backlash and chuckle a little bit. And let’s face it, the world of politics gives us many things. Most of them are quite serious, but you have to admit there are lots of things to laugh about as well.
This is why Americans have enjoyed funny political quotes throughout their political history. And we have been lucky enough to receive hilarious political quotes from a variety of sources. Whether we are hearing funny bone quotes from members of both political parties, or we get sarcastic political quotes from the best minds in the world of comedy.
All of them are great and welcomed by everyone as a nice break from all the mudslinging and backstabbing. God help us if we reach the point that we can no longer laugh at these funny quotes from politics.
With that said, let us enjoy a sampling from many of the world’s brightest individuals and deepest thinkers as they share quotes with us that outlive the moment. Here are twenty (20) of those quotes that address politics in a lighthearted manner.
“Everything is changing. People are taking their comedians seriously and the politicians as a joke.” — Will Rogers
“We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle” — Winston Churchill
“The tendency of taxation is to create a class of persons who do not labor, to take from those who do labor the produce of that labor, and to give it to those who do not labor.” — William Cobbett
“‘Politics’ is made up of two words, ‘poli,’ which is Greek for ‘many,’ and ‘tics,’ which are blood-sucking insects.” — Gore Vidal
“When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President — I’m beginning to believe it.” — Clarence Darrow
“Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedies.” — Groucho Marx
“I want you to know that also I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience.”
— Ronald Reagan
quotes by politicians
“Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it’s just the opposite.” — John Kenneth Galbraith
“Democracy’s the worst form of government except for all the others.” — Winston Churchill
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“Being president is like running a cemetery: you’ve got a lot of people under you and nobody’s listening.” — Bill Clinton
“Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it.” — Mark Twain
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“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.” — Abraham Lincoln
“My choice early in life was between whether to be a piano player in a whorehouse or a politician. And to tell the truth, there’s hardly any difference.” — Harry S. Truman
“The problem with political jokes is that they get elected.”
— Henry Cates
“An honest politician is one who, when he is bought, will stay bought.” — Simon Cameron
“Politicians are like diapers. They both need to be changed often. And for the same reason.” — Tom Blair
“Instead of giving a politician the keys to the city, it might be better to change the locks.” — Doug Larson
“I don’t think we should go to the moon…I think we maybe should send some politicians up there.” — Ron Paul
A deeper look at political humor
Poking fun at politicians has become a pastime of American culture. And it seems to be growing with each new election. Some would argue that the jokes have gone too far. Whether this is the case would depend on many factors.
Many scholars will tell you that political humor is a unique brand of comedy because of its ability to both criticize and humanize. All while developing some serious social and political commentary through many forms such as standup and satire.
There are many times when such humor will focus on trivial matters like the personality or appearance of a politician. But then a hidden message will be unleashed that is seriously political and sandwiched in a clever social commentary.
This is the kind of political humor that most bothers politicians, institutions, and other authority figures – and has for centuries. Satire is a prime example of this kind of comedy.
Satire has a way of attacking a politician’s character, policies, and even much more significant issues that politician firmly supports. These seemingly commentaries are sometimes meant to plant seeds in listeners’ minds – under the guise of laughter; such seeds are easily delivered.
Satire as a political weapon?
We have seen politicians take a cautious and even hostile view towards political satire and humor throughout history. Overall, they were much more hostile toward this kind of humor – because society was less developed and had yet to explain away, minimalize, and normalize political humor through logic and paradoxes – which is how most norms are eventually taken down within a society.
Plato viewed the act of satire as a magic act that required harsh legal penalties. Satire was forbidden in early Ancient Rome and was punishable by death. British authorities also banned it throughout the Middle Ages.
When satire and humor are well received
When exactly does a piece of satire pass the acid test and exert influence on an unsuspecting public?
One viewpoint claims there must be an unwritten agreement between the satire creator and the listener that the subject was worthy of such treatment. According to many, this implied agreement must be in place for the satire to be effective and influential.
In general, philosophers point to two main questions determining whether a subject is worthy of being a satire victim.
(1) Has this person made personal choices leading them to be a public figure?
(2) Is a particular characteristic of that person an authentic example of human weakness?
If both questions are answered affirmatively, then the person is worthy of becoming a satire victim.
Fortunately, today we can freely enjoy funny political quotes without any hassles.