All voting is a sort of gaming, like checkers or backgammon, with a slight moral tinge to it.

—Henry David Thoreau, 1849

When we define democracy now, it must still be as a thing hoped for but not seen.

—Pearl S. Buck, 1941

Despotism achieves great things illegally; democracy doesn’t even take the trouble to achieve small things legally.

—Honoré de Balzac, 1831

In America, everybody is, but some are more than others.

—Gertrude Stein, 1937

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

—Marguerite Gardiner, 1839

Nothing but a permanent body can check the imprudence of democracy.

—Alexander Hamilton, 1787

The tendency of democracies is, in all things, to mediocrity.

—James Fenimore Cooper, 1838

Democracy, like the human organism, carries within it the seed of its own destruction.

—Veronica Wedgwood, 1946

An election is coming. Universal peace is declared, and the foxes have a sincere interest in prolonging the lives of the poultry.

—George Eliot, 1866

Television has made dictatorship impossible, but democracy unbearable.

—Shimon Peres, 1995

Man’s capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man’s inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary.

—Reinhold Niebuhr, 1944

The world is wearied of statesmen whom democracy has degraded into politicians.

—Benjamin Disraeli, 1870

When great changes occur in history, when great principles are involved, as a rule the majority are wrong.

—Eugene V. Debs, 1918