Every political system is an accumulation of habits, customs, prejudices, and principles that have survived a long process of trial and error and of ceaseless response to changing circumstances. If the system works well on the whole, it is a lucky accident — the luckiest, indeed, that can befall a society.
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- The two-party system has given this country the war of Lyndon Johnson, the Watergate of Nixon, and the incompetence of Carter. Saying we should keep the two-party system simply because it is working is like saying the Titanic voyage was a success because a few people survived on life-rafts.
- The work of the political activist inevitably involves a certain tension between the requirement that position be taken on current issues as they arise and the desire that one’s contributions will somehow survive the ravages of time.
- There is an increasingly pervasive sense not only of failure, but of futility. The legislative process has become a cruel shell game and the service system has become a bureaucratic maze, inefficient, incomprehensible, and inaccessible.
- No wonder that, when a political career is so precarious, men of worth and capacity hesitate to embrace it. They cannot afford to be thrown out of their life’s course by a mere accident.
- Few businessmen are capable of being in politics, they don’t understand the democratic process, they have neither the tolerance or the depth it takes. Democracy isn’t a business.
- This country has gotten where it is in spite of politics, not by the aid of it. That we have carried as much political bunk as we have and still survived shows we are a super nation.