In view of the long mid-term election cycle we just suffered through, perhaps this would be a good time to reflect on what it is, what we call American democracy.  Both sides of the American political spectrum claim to hold the true democracy ideals in their camp.  After seeing what has happened in politics in recent years, we have lost something.  We have lost our way.  Here are some views on what Ameican democracy is or what it should be from a variety of people...

"The legitimate object of government is to do for the community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do at all in their separate and individual capacities." -Abraham Lincoln

"We must have a political state powerful enough to deal with corporate wealth, but how are we going to keep that state with its augmenting power from being captured by the force we want it to control?" -Vernon Louis Parrington

"Money is the mother's milk of politics." -Jesse Unruh

"When one may pay out over two million dollars to presidential and Congressional campaigns, the U.S. Government is virtually up for sale." -John Gardner

"The middle of the road is all of the usable surface.  The extremes, right or left, are in the gutters." -Dwight D. Eisenhower

"And where are the others that might have stood,/Side by side in the common good?" -Maurice Ogden

"Many people consider the things which government does for them to be social progress, but they consider the things government does for others as socialism." -Chief Justice Earl Warren

"Our task now is not to fix the blame for the past, but to fix the course for the future." -John F. Kennedy

"A government is free in proportion to the rights it guarantees to the minority." -Alfred Landon

"I'm not a leftist; I'm where the righteous ought to be." -M.M. Coady

"Do you ever get the feeling that the only reason we have elections is to find out if the polls were right?" -Robert Orben

"An elected official is one who gets 51 percent of the vote cast by 40 percent of the 60 percent of voters who registered." -Dan Bennett

"Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other." -Oscar Ameringer

"Government is a contrivance of human wisdom to provide for human wants." -Edmund Burke

"I'm not an old, experienced hand at politics.  But I am now seasoned enough to have learned that the hardest thing about any political campaign is how to win without proving that you are unworthy of winning." -Adlai Stevenson

"It makes no difference who you vote for---the two parties are really one party representing 4 percent of the people." -Gore Vidal

"There are always too many Democratic congressmen, too many Republican congressmen, and never enough U.S. congressmen." -Laurence J. Peter

"I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man." -George Washington

"Honesty if the first chapter of the book of wisdom." -Thomas Jefferson

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