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The Political Wisdom of Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut Quotes on Politics

By

"There is a tragic flaw in our precious Constitution, and I don’t know what can be done to fix it. This is it: Only nut cases want to be president."

"I myself feel that our country, for whose Constitution I fought in a just war, might as well have been invaded by Martians and body snatchers. Sometimes I wish it had been. What has happened, though, is that it has been taken over by means of the sleaziest, low-comedy, Keystone Cops-style coup d’etat imaginable. And those now in charge of the federal government are upper-crust C-students who know no history or geography, plus not-so-closeted white supremacists, aka 'Christians,' and plus, most frighteningly, psychopathic personalities, or 'PPs.'"

"So let's give another big tax cut to the super-rich. That'll teach bin Laden a lesson he won't soon forget.

"Here's what I think the truth is: We are all addicts of fossil fuels in a state of denial, about to face cold turkey. And like so many addicts about to face cold turkey, our leaders are now committing violent crimes to get what little is left of what we’re hooked on."

"I have to say this in defense of humankind: No matter in what era in history, including the Garden of Eden, everybody just got there. And, except for the Garden of Eden, there were already all these crazy games going on, which could make you act crazy, even if you weren’t crazy to begin with. Some of the games that were already going on when you got here were love and hate, liberalism and conservatism, automobiles and credit cards, golf and girls’ basketball. Even crazier than golf, though, is modern American politics, where, thanks to TV and for the convenience of TV, you can only be one of two kinds of human beings, either a liberal or a conservative."

"If you want to take my guns away from me, and you’re all for murdering fetuses, and love it when homosexuals marry each other, and want to give them kitchen appliances at their showers, and you’re for the poor, you’re a liberal. If you are against those perversions and for the rich, you’re a conservative. What could be simpler?"

"The overwhelming popularity of President Bush, in spite of everything, finally shows us what the American people, whom we have so sentimentalized for so long, a la Norman Rockwell, really are, thanks to TV and purposely lousy public schools: ignorant. Count on it!"

"The two real political parties in America are the Winners and the Losers. The people don't acknowledge this. They claim membership in two imaginary parties, the Republicans and the Democrats, instead."

"We could have saved the Earth but we were too damned cheap."

"We're terrible animals. I think that the Earth's immune system is trying to get rid of us, as well it should." "I don't want to belong to a country that attacks little countries."

"I have wanted to give Iraq a lesson in democracy—because we’re experienced with it, you know. And, in democracy, after a hundred years, you have to let your slaves go. And, after a hundred and fifty years, you have to let your women vote. And, at the beginning of democracy, is that quite a bit of genocide and ethnic cleansing is quite okay. And that’s what’s going on now."

"Our president is a Christian? So was Adolf Hitler."

To "catch people before they become generals and presidents and so forth and poison their minds with humanity." –on the purpose of his novels

The crucified planet Earth,
should it find a voice
and a sense of irony,
might now well say
of our abuse of it,
"Forgive them, Father,
They know not what they do."

The irony would be
that we know what
we are doing.

When the last living thing
has died on account of us,
how poetical it would be
if Earth could say
--from "A Man Without a Country"
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