mark twain on congress
Congress, Ethics and Mark Twain
Only three days into the new year and the political shenanigans start again in Washington. (I like to believe they stopped for the Holidays!!)
Even though the GOP now seems to have pulled its plan to gut the independent ethics panel, their antics are enough to raise the blood pressure.
When commenting on my book Suppose You Were an Idiot… Mark Twain on Politics and Polticians, I am often asked what would Twain say of today’s current set of “vultures that now infest the filthy den called Congress.”
As a man who had a decidedly jaundiced (he would say accurate view) of politics, he probably would not be surprised. Here is a selection of this thoughts that might just as well have been written today. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.
Mark Twain on Honest Men in Congress
From The Gilded Age – Why, it is telegraphed all over the country and commented on as something wonderful if a congressman votes honestly and unselfishly and refuses to take advantage of his position to steal from the government.
A Tramp Abroad – There is where the deep ingenuity of the operatic idea is betrayed. It deals so largely in pain that its scattered delights are prodigiously augmented by the contrasts. A pretty air in an opera is prettier there than it could be anywhere else, I suppose, just as an honest man in politics shines more than he would elsewhere. – A Tramp Abroad
Letter to Rev. J. H. Twichell 1904 – It is interesting, wonderfully interesting–the miracles which party-politics can do with a man’s mental and moral make-up. Look at McKinley, Roosevelt, and yourself: in private life spotless in character; honorable, honest, just, humane, generous; scorning trickeries, treacheries, suppressions of the truth, mistranslations of the meanings of facts, the filching of credit earned by another, the condoning of crime, the glorifying of base acts: in public political life the reverse of all this. – Letter to Rev. J. H. Twichell 1904
Keynote Speaker Conor Cunneen is a big Mark Twain fan. BUY and enjoy AUTOGRAPHED copy of his insightful, entertaining and oh, so relevant book Suppose You Were an Idiot… Mark Twain on Politics and Politicians
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Today’s M-TOPP: Mark Twain on Politics and Politicians
Mark Twain on Religion and Politics
Congress don’t know anything about religion. – My Late Senatorial Secretaryship
I have no prejudices in politics, religion, literature, or anything else. – Mark Twain Speeches: Literature Speech, London May 4, 1900
But, indeed, the truth is, almost all the men and women of our nation or of any other get their religion and their politics where they get their astronomy—entirely at second hand. Being untrained, they are no more able to intelligently examine a dogma or a policy than they are to calculate an eclipse. – Christian Science
Conor Cunneen is a big Mark Twain fan. BUY and ENJOY his new book Suppose You Were an Idiot… Mark Twain on Politics and Politicians
“Suppose you were an idiot.
And suppose you were a Congressman.
But I’m repeating myself.”
– Mark Twain, A Biography
Buy today and I will personally AUTOGRAPH your copy – Conor Cunneen
“Whiskey is taken into the committee rooms in demijohns and carried out in demagogues.”
“When I say I’ll learn (‘Teach’ is not in the river vocabulary) a man the river, I mean it. And you can depend on it, I’ll learn him or kill him.” Life on the Mississippi – Mark Twain
Utilizing a unique and memorable MARK TWAIN acronym, author Conor Cunneen demonstrates what the Dean of American Humorists learned him bout public speakin !
MARK ——– BEFORE you go on stage
Audience research and knowledge
Relate to audience
Know your objective
TWAIN ——— ON STAGE
Titter and humor wins the audience
Wait – The power of the Pause
Involve, Inform, Inspire your audience
Narration and stagecraft.