"Men are to be guided only by their self-interests. Good government is a good balancing of these; and, except a keen eye and appetite for self-interest, requires no virtue in any quarter. To both parties it is emphatically a machine: to the discontented, a "taxing- machine;" to the contented, a "machine for securing property." Its duties and its faults are not those of a father, but of an active parish-constable."
"Our system of government, in spite of Vietnam, Cambodia, CIA, Watergate, is still the best system of government on earth. And the greatest resource of all are the 215 million Americans who still have within us the strength, the character, the intelligence, the experience, the patriotism, the idealism, the compassion, the sense of brotherhood on which we can rely in the future to restore the greatness to our country."
"There is an enormous chasm between the relatively rich and powerful people who make decisions in government, business, and finance and our poorer neighbors who must depend on these decisions to alleviate the problems caused by their lack of power and influence."
"Thou cam'st out of thy mother's belly without government, thou hast liv'd hitherto without government, and thou may'st be carried to thy long home without government, when it shall please the Lord. How many people in this world live without government, yet do well enough, and are well look'd upon?"
"He who doesn't know how to be a servant should never be allowed to be a master; the interests of public life are alien to anyone who is unable to enjoy others' successes, and such a person should never be entrusted with public affairs."
"In my opinion it is harmful to place important things in the hands of philanthropy, which in Russia is marked by a chance character. Nor should important matters depend on leftovers, which are never there. I would prefer that the government treasury take care of it."
"A foreign minister, I will maintain it, can never be a good man of business if he is not an agreeable man of pleasure too. Half his business is done by the help of his pleasures: his views are carried on, and perhaps best, and most unsuspectedly, at balls, suppers, assemblies, and parties of pleasure; by intrigues with women, and connections insensibly formed with men, at those unguarded hours of amusement."
"Good government is known from bad government by this infallible test: that under the former the labouring people are well fed and well clothed, and under the latter, they are badly fed and badly clothed."
"A State, in idea, is the opposite of a Church. A State regards classes, and not individuals; and it estimates classes, not by internal merit, but external accidents, as property, birth, etc. But a church does the reverse of this, and disregards all external accidents, and looks at men as individual persons, allowing no gradations of ranks, but such as greater or less wisdom, learning, and holiness ought to confer. A Church is, therefore, in idea, the only pure democracy."
"There are always those who are willing to surrender local self-government and turn over their affairs to some national authority in exchange for a payment of money out of the Federal Treasury. Whenever they find some abuse needs correction in their neighborhood, instead of applying the remedy themselves they seek to have a tribunal sent on from Washington to discharge their duties for them, regardless of the fact that in accepting such supervision they are bartering away their freedom."
"At first I intended to become a student of the Senate rules and I did learn much about them, but I soon found that the Senate had but one fixed rule, subject to exceptions of course, which was to the effect that the Senate would do anything it wanted to do whenever it wanted to do it."