Hitler manipulated the German democratic style of government to further his own ends followed by putting himself in power by dismantling Germany’s checks and balances. This is an example of how people come to have mixed or negative feelings about the governmental structure of their country. Thus it is a good time to reflect on people’s attitudes on government and its effectiveness to serve the people. Read each of the quotes below and evaluate them individually. Consider the following questions when writing your responses. What is their claim? What are their feelings on government? Why do you think this individual came to believe their statements are true? Do you agree or disagree with their claim? Why or why not?
1. “The real reason that we can’t have the Ten Commandments in a courthouse: You cannot post “Thou shalt not steal,” “Though shalt not commit adultery,” and “Thou shalt not lie” in a building full of lawyers, judges, and politicians. It creates a hostile work environment” – George Carlin.
2. “A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have” – Thomas Jefferson
3. “When the government’s boot is on your throat, whether it is a left boot or a right boot is of no consequence” – Anonymous
4. “If voting made any difference they wouldn’t let us do it” – Mark Twain.
5. “My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country” – John F. Kennedy
6. “Winners are not judged. Nobody every checks whether they lied or not” – Adolf Hitler
7. “Politics is not a game, but a serious business” – Winston Churchill
8. ” Sometimes I wonder if we shall ever grow up in our politics and say definite things which mean something or whether we shall always go on using generalities to which everyone can subscribe, and which will mean very little” – Eleanor Roosevelt
9. “Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official” – Teddy Roosevelt
10. “If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing” – Malcolm X
11. “All ideologies are idiotic, whether religious or political, for it is conceptual thinking, the conceptual world, which has so unfortunately divided man.” – Jiddu Krishnamurti
12. ” Suppose you were a member of Congress. And suppose you were an idiot. But I repeat myself” – Mark Twain
13. ” All you can be sure about in a political-minded writer is that if his world should last you will have to skip the politics when you read it. Many of the so-called politically enlisted writers change their politics frequently… Perhaps it can be respected as a form of the pursuit of happiness” – Ernest Hemingway
14. ” Well done is better than well said” – Benjamin Franklin
15. “A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse over loose fiscal policy, (which is) always followed by a dictatorship – Tytler Calumny