Top Ten Gore Vidal Quotes

English: Portrait of Gore Vidal by Juan F. Bastos

English: Portrait of Gore Vidal by Juan F. Bastos (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Ben Cohen: I’m sure lots of outlets will be doing similar lists of the late iconic Gore Vidal’s best quotes, but I thought I’d chime in with my own as there are plenty to choose from. Here are the ones I believe capture the genius of the man who stands as one of the most prolific liberal political thinkers of our time:

1. “Any American who is prepared to run for president should automatically, by definition, be disqualified from ever doing so.”

2. “Envy is the central fact of American life.”

3. “The United States was founded by the brightest people in the country — and we haven’t seen them since.”

4. “The genius of our ruling class is that it has kept a majority of the people from ever questioning the inequity of a system where most people drudge along, paying heavy taxes for which they get nothing in return.”

5. “The more money an American accumulates, the less interesting he becomes.”

6. “As the age of television progresses the Reagans will be the rule, not the exception. To be perfect for television is all a President has to be these days.”

7. “There is no such thing as a homosexual or a heterosexual person. There are only homo- or heterosexual acts. Most people are a mixture of impulses if not practices.”

8. “The corporate grip on opinion in the United States is one of the wonders of the Western world. No First World country has ever managed to eliminate so entirely from its media all objectivity – much less dissent.”

9. “In America, the race goes to the loud, the solemn, the hustler. If you think you’re a great writer, you must say that you are.”

10. “Half of the American people have never read a newspaper. Half never voted for President. One hopes it is the same half.”

And for good measure, here’s Vidal calling William F. Buckley a ‘Crypto-Nazi’ in a ferocious back and forth during ABC’s coverage of the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago:

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    • Lady Willpower

      I don’t see how his comment on homosexuality really helps advance the cause of gay rights. If anything it sounds like he’s trumpeting the “it’s all a choice” argument.