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John Galbraith
American liberal economist.   Ambassador to India from 1961 to 1963.  Chairman of Americans for Democratic Action in 1967 and 1968.

  • When people put their ballots in the boxes, they are, by that act, inoculated against the feeling that the government is not theirs. They then accept, in some measure, that its errors are their errors, its aberrations their aberrations, that any revolt will be against them. Itís a remarkably shrewd and rather conservative arrangement when one thinks of it.

  • There are few ironclad rules of diplomacy but to one there is no exception. When an official reports that talks were useful, it can safely be concluded that nothing was accomplished.

  • The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.

  • The contented and economically comfortable have a very discriminating view of government. Nobody is ever indignant about bailing out failed banks and failed savings and loans associations . . . . But when taxes must be paid for the lower middle class and poor, the government assumes an aspect of wickedness.

  • Politics is not the art of the possible. It consists in choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable.

  • All of the great leaders have had one characteristic in common: it was the willingness to confront unequivocally the major anxiety of their people in their time. This, and not much else, is the essence of leadership.

  • Nothing is so admirable in politics as a short memory.