Democracy Quotes

Most popular democracy quotes

The basis of our political system is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government.

America American constitution

The only valid political system is one that can handle an imbecile in power without suffering from it.

politics society

I like the noise of democracy.
Democracy, that festival of mediocrity.


The ballot is stronger than the bullet.

voting war

Democracy without morality is impossible.


Truth is not determined by majority vote.

politics truth

I am a member of the rabble in good standing.


One has the right to be wrong in a democracy.
Democracy cannot be static. Whatever is static is dead.
It's not the voting that's democracy; it's the counting.


If this nation is not truly democratic then she must die!
There can be no daily democracy without daily citizenship.

civic duty

Only a base, vile, insignificant country can be democratic.
In matters of conscience, the law of majority has no place.


Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote.

government politics voting

Let the people think they govern and they will be governed.
One-fifth of the people are against everything all the time.
Democratic principles are the result of equality of condition.


Despotism subjects a nation to one tyrant; democracy, to many.


Democracy is good. I say this because other systems are worse.
Democracy's real test lies in its respect for minority opinion.
Democracy and socialism are means to an end, not the end itself.


Democracy is the form of government in which the free are rulers.
Anything that keeps a politician humble is healthy for democracy.


No government can long be secure without a formidable opposition.


Democracy does not guarantee equality, only equality of opportunity.


No man is good enough to govern another without the other's consent.

government slavery

Democracy cannot survive without the guidance of a creative minority.
Democracy is being allowed to vote for the candidate you dislike least.
An article of the democratic faith is that greatness lies in each person.


Of course, participating in political life is a way of honoring democracy.
I swear to the Lord
I still can't see
Why democracy means
Everybody but me.


Democracy, like love, can survive any attack—save neglect and indifference.
Democracy is the art and science of running the circus from the monkey cage.
Democracy is like a raft. It won't sink, but you'll always have your feet wet.
A democracy cannot long endure with the head of a God and the tail of a demon.
Democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people.
The real beauty of democracy is that the average man believes he is above average.


A great democracy must be progressive or it will soon cease to be a great democracy.
We must be thoroughly democratic and patronise everybody without distinction of class.
The taste of democracy becomes a bitter taste when the fullness of democracy is denied.
Democracy, like any noncoercive relationship, rests on a shared understanding of limits.
Democracy substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few.
Democracy is the art of disciplining oneself so that one need not be disciplined by others.
Democracy means that if the doorbell rings in the early hours, it is likely to be the milkman.
Democracy does not guarantee equality of conditions—it only guarantees equality of opportunity.


Democracy means government by discussion but it is only effective if you can stop people talking.
Democracy is based upon the conviction that there are extraordinary possibilities in ordinary people.
The ship of democracy, which has weathered all storms, may sink through the mutiny of those on board.
Democracy means government by the uneducated, while aristocracy means government by the badly educated.
The irony of the matter is that future generations do not have a vote. In effect, we hold their proxies.
Do you ever get the feeling that the only reason we have elections is to find out if the polls were right?

funny politics

My political ideal is that of democracy.  Let every man be respected as an individual and no man idolized.
Democracy is a small hard core of common agreement, surrounded by a rich variety of individual differences.
And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.

famous iconic

Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that more than half of the people are right more than half of the time.
Although a democracy must often fight with one hand tied behind its back, it nonetheless has the upper hand.
It's not the hand that signs the laws that holds the destiny of America. It's the hand that casts the ballot.

America civic duty voting

The health of a democratic society may be measured by the quality of functions performed by private citizens.
Democracy is the worst form of Government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.
The engineering of consent is the very essence of the democratic process, the freedom to persuade and suggest.
I'm tired of hearing it said that democracy doesn't work. Of course it doesn't work. We are supposed to work it.

civic duty

Man's capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man's inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary.
Democracy is the only system that persists in asking the powers that be whether they are the powers that ought to be.
Democracy is not tolerance. Democracy is a prescribed way of life erected on the premise that all men are created equal.
In an autocracy, one person has his way; in an aristocracy a few people have their way; in a democracy, no one has his way.
The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge ... is itself a frightful despotism.

America government

Our political institutions work remarkably well. They are designed to clang against each other. The noise is democracy at work.


Democracy is a process, not a static condition. It is becoming rather than being. It can easily be lost, but never is fully won.
We will all be better citizens when voting records of our Congressmen are followed as carefully as scores of pro-football games.
Ignorance is an evil weed, which dictators may cultivate among their dupes, but which no democracy can afford among its citizens.

dictatorship dupes ignorance

The genius of democracies is seen not only in the great number of new words introduced but even more in the new ideas they express.


It has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.
The idea that you can merchandise candidates for high office like breakfast cereal is the ultimate indignity to the democratic process.
The death of democracy is not likely to be an assassination from ambush. It will be a slow extinction from apathy, indifference, and undernourishment.


Democracy is not a matter of sentiment, but of foresight. Any system that doesn't take the long run into account will burn itself out in the short run.

long-term thinking

I think democracies are prone to inflation because politicians will naturally spend—they have the power to print money and will use money to get votes.

inflation the economy

In a democracy, we have always had to worry about the ignorance of the uneducated. Today we have to worry about the ignorance of people with college degrees.


Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule—and both commonly succeed, and are right.


Democracy may not prove in the long run to be as efficient as other forms of government, but it has one saving grace: it allows us to know and say that it isn't.
Power corrupts, where
as sound opposition
builds up our free
democratic tradition.
One thing would make a
democracy flower:
having a strong opposition --
in power.
If liberty and equality, as is thought by some, are chiefly to be found in democracy, they will be best attained when all persons alike share in government to the utmost.


The unhealthy gap between what we preach in America and what we often practice creates a moral dry rot that eats at the very foundation of our democratic ideals and values.


I do not deny the possibility that the people may err in an election; but if they do, the true [cure] is in the next election, and not in the treachery of the person elected.


The idea that you can merchandise candidates for high office like breakfast cereal—that you can gather votes like box tops—is ... the ultimate indignity to the democratic process.


While the people retain their virtue, and vigilance, no administration, by any extreme of wickedness or folly, can very seriously injure the government, in the short space of four years.

America government

Democracy is not a mathematical deduction proved once and for all time. Democracy is a just faith fervently held, a commitment to be tested again and again in the fiery furnace of history.
The experience of democracy is like the experience of life itself-always changing, infinite in its variety, sometimes turbulent and all the more valuable for having been tested by adversity.
I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.

America capitalism

Democracy may have arisen in the West as the way of striving for the universal aspiration to dignity and freedom, but it isn't alien to the underlying concepts that infuse religion and moral philosophy everywhere.
Democracy is not a tea party where people sit around making polite conversation. In democracies people get extremely upset with each other. They argue vehemently against each other's positions. (But they don't shoot.)
People often say that, in a democracy, decisions are made by a majority of the people. Of course, that is not true. Decisions are made by a majority of those who make themselves heard and who vote—a very different thing.

civic duty voting

The theory of democratic government is not that the will of the people is always right, but rather that normal human beings of average intelligence will, if given a chance, learn the right and best course by bitter experience.
There is an important sense in which government is distinctive from administration. One is perpetual; the other is temporary and changeable. A man may be loyal to his government and yet oppose the particular principles and methods of administration.

America government iconic

Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up, and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable—a most sacred right—a right, which we hope and believe, is to liberate the world.

America government

At the bottom of all the tributes paid to democracy is the little man, walking into the little booth, with a little pencil, making a little cross on a little bit of paper—no amount of rhetoric or voluminous discussion can possibly diminish the overwhelming importance of that point.


There cannot be true democracy unless women's voices are heard. There cannot be true democracy unless women are given the opportunity to take responsibility for their own lives. There cannot be true democracy unless all citizens are able to participate fully in the lives of their country.

equality feminism

The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state. It must be the guide and the critic of the state, and never its tool. If the church does not recapture its prophetic zeal, it will become an irrelevant social club without moral or spiritual authority.

church church and state religion

In a democracy, everyone takes turns. But if you really want a lot of wisdom, it's better to concentrate decisions and process in one person. It's no accident that Singapore has a much better record, given where it started, than the United States. There, power was concentrated in an enormously talented person, Lee Kuan Yew, who was the Warren Buffett of Singapore.
But our democracy might work a bit better if we recognized that all of us possess values that are worthy of respect: if liberals at least acknowledged that the recreational hunter feels the same way about his gun as they feel about their library books, and if conservatives recognized that most women feel as protective of their right to reproductive freedom as evangelicals do of their right to worship.

America conservatives liberal values

If the policy of the government, upon vital questions affecting the whole people, is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court, the people will have ceased, to be their own rulers, having, to that extent, practically resigned their government into the hands of that eminent tribunal. Nor is there, in this view, any assault upon the court, or the judges. It is a duty, from which they may not shrink, to decide cases properly brought before them; and it is no fault of theirs, if others seek to turn their decisions to political purposes.

America government