Molly Ivins Quotes

The first rule of holes: when you’re in one, stop digging.

The thing about democracy, beloveds, is that it is not neat, orderly, or quiet. It requires a certain relish for confusion.

Satire is traditionally the weapon of the powerless against the powerful.

The thing about democracy is, it’s not about government, it’s about the people.

It’s hard to argue against cynics – they always sound smarter than optimists because they have so much evidence on their side.

One function of the income gap is that the people at the top have a hard time even seeing those at the bottom. They practically need a telescope.

If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it’s free.

If you can’t laugh at yourself, you may be missing the best joke of all.

The trouble with blaming the media is that then we have to explain why the rest of us went along so willingly.

The greatest threat to democracy is not a single tyrant, but rather the indifference of the people.

Political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging, and sheer cloudy vagueness.

The thing about lying is, it saves a lot of time.

The thing about politicians is that they’re usually the last ones to know when the party’s over.

Being slightly paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.

I believe in the Bill of Rights. It’s the only thing that stands between us and tyranny.

The First Amendment is often inconvenient. But that is besides the point. Inconvenience does not absolve the government of its obligation to tolerate speech.

It is possible to read the history of this country as one long struggle to extend the liberties established in our Constitution to everyone in America.

Democracy is not a spectator sport. It’s a participation game.

Better to live one year as a tiger than a hundred as a sheep.

The most important political office is that of the private citizen.

I prefer someone who burns the flag and then wraps themselves up in the Constitution over someone who burns the Constitution and then wraps themselves up in the flag.

The good news is that real oppression and brutality exist. The bad news is they don’t come from flag burning.

I have never understood why it is ‘greed’ to want to keep the money you have earned, but not greed to want to take somebody else’s money.

The only way to make sure people you agree with can speak is to support the rights of people you don’t agree with.

The important thing is not the object of love, but the emotion itself.

The Presidents want to take credit for the rain, but not the flood.

There are two kinds of humor. One kind that makes us chuckle about our foibles and our shared humanity, like what Garrison Keillor does. The other kind holds people up to public contempt and ridicule, that’s what I do. Satire is traditionally the weapon of the powerless against the powerful. I only aim at the powerful. When satire is aimed at the powerless, it is not only cruel – it’s vulgar.

The Constitution is not just something that hangs on the wall. It is a possible jumping-off point for us. It guarantees our rights only if we use them.

You know, one of the wonderful things about democracy is that it gives us a license to be righteous.

The American press is all about lies! All they tell is lies, lies, and more lies!

If you think no one cares about you, try missing a couple of payments.

The only way to nip an idea in the bud is to nip it in the pod.

The secret of successful journalism is to make your readers so angry they will write your letters for you.

When in doubt, duck. When certain, don’t bother to tell anyone.

The thing about democracy is that it’s not a spectator sport. It requires participation.

One person doesn’t make a movement.

The first thing you do in the morning is to brush your teeth and sharpen your tongue.

Texas has a lot of electrical votes.

The thing about politicians is that they’re much better at getting elected than at governing.

Politics is not a picture on a wall or a television sitcom that you can decide you don’t much care for.

Another possible source of guidance for teenagers is television, but television’s message has always been that the need for truth, wisdom and world peace pales by comparison with the need for a toothpaste that offers whiter teeth and fresher breath.

Life is not fair. Anyone who says it is, is selling something.

The flag burning issue is a red herring. People are protesting police brutality, not the flag.

It’s hard to accept being treated like a second-class citizen when you’re paying first-class taxes.

Democracy is not just about voting, it’s about staying informed and being involved in your community.

You can’t have it both ways. You can’t tell people to shut up and then complain that no one is listening.

Free speech is like air – you don’t miss it until it’s gone.

The pen may not always be mightier than the sword, but it has a better chance of surviving in the long run.

If there is justice, it must not come from the barrel of a gun.

The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.

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