What have American Presidents said about the nation’s voting process?
Every four years, American citizens enter polling places to cast their votes for the Presidential candidates of their choice. Partisan or Independent, each American voter exercises his or her Constitutional right to participate in the process of electing the nation’s next Commander-in-Chief.
What have some of these top executives, the Presidents of the United States, had to say about the American voting process?
Consider these election-related comments from some of the individuals who have served as President of the United States. Although this list of American Presidential quotations may not be comprehensive, readers may find the contents compelling. Quotes are arranged alphabetically by speaker or author.
- “Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.” John Quincy Adams (1767 – 1848), 6th President of the United States
- “I like the noise of democracy.” James Buchanan (1791 – 1868), 15th President of the United States
- “Your every voter, as surely as your chief magistrate, exercises a public trust.” Grover Cleveland (1837 – 1908), 22nd President of the United States
- “When you are in any contest, you should work as if there were – to the very last minute – a chance to lose it. This is battle. This is politics. This is anything” Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969), 34th President of the United States
- “I don’t know much about Americanism, but it’s a d__n good word with which to carry an election.” Warren G. Harding (1865-1923), 29th President of the United States
- “The disfranchisement of a single legal elector by fraud or intimidation is a crime too grace to be regarded lightly.” Benjamin Harrison (1889-1893), 9th President of the United States
- “To vote is like the payment of a debt, a duty never to be neglected, if its performance is possible.” Rutherford B. Hayes (1822 – 1893), 19th President of the United States
- “The vote is the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice and destroying the terrible walls which imprison men because they are different from other men.” Lyndon B. Johnson (1908 – 1973), 36th President of the United States
- “A nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.” John F. Kennedy (1917 – 1963), 35th President of the United States
- “Ballots are the rightful and peaceful successors to bullets.” Abraham Lincoln (1809 – 1865), 16th President of the United States
- “A man is not finished when he is defeated. He is finished when he quits.” Richard M. Nixon (1913-1994), 37th President of the United States
- “How can a president not be an actor?” Ronald Reagan (1911 – 2004), 40th President of the United States
- “Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education.” Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882 – 1945), 32nd President of the United States
- “A vote is like a rifle; its usefulness depends upon the character of the user.” Theodore Roosevelt (1858 – 1919), 26th President of the United States
- “I think I might as well give up being a candidate. There are so many people in the country who don’t like me.” William Howard Taft (1857 – 1930), 27th President of the United States
- “Whenever a fellow tells me he’s bipartisan, I know he’s going to vote against me.” Harry S. Truman (1884 – 1972), 33rd President of the United States
- “Popularity, I have always thought, may aptly be compared to a coquette – the more you woo her, the more apt is she to elude your embrace.” John Tyler (1790 – 1862), 10th President of the United States
- “If you think too much about being re-elected, it is very difficult to be worth re-electing.” Woodrow Wilson (1856 – 1924), 28th President of the United States
Clearly, many of the American Presidential comments on voting and elections are quite serious, perhaps even philosophical. Others are more sardonic, sarcastic or even comical. In all cases, the comments are thought-provoking, particularly for American citizens considering their voting options – or whether to vote at all.