low angle photography of yellow LED horsemen signage

60+ Top Will Rogers Quotes on Government, Politics, and Life

Famous actor, humorist, and political commentator, William Penn Adair Rogers, was born on November 4th, 1879 in Cherokee Territory near present-day Claremont, Oklahoma. During his childhood, Rogers worked on a ranch, learning to ride horses and do rope tricks. Having this skillset brought him to the big screen where he starred in various Wild West shows throughout his young adulthood. In 1905 he landed a performance showing off his rope tricks in Madison Square Garden. The great reviews he received from the show convinced him to stay in New York City where he then pursued a career on Broadway. In 1912, he starred in his first Broadway performance, The Wall Street Girl. From there he continued to perform, scoring roles in various plays and returning to the yearly production of Ziegfeld Follies for 9 years. Alongside his career in theater, he was a political commentator that poked humor at politicians, government, and pioneered political one-liner jokes.

Moving forward from Broadway, Rogers progressed his career by starring in various silent films, radio programs, and self-produced comedies. In 1929, he starred in his first talking picture, They Had to See Paris, which made him a huge Hollywood hit. His most notable films were A Connecticut Yankee (1931) and State Fair (1933). In August 1935, during the peak of his career, Rogers died in a tragic plane crash near Point Barrow, Alaska. His wit and humorous commentary are still noted and remembered today. Find a sarcastic Will Rogers quote or some wise Rogers sayings below on anything from everyday life to politics and government.

Will Rogers Quotes
Melbourne Spurr

Will Rogers Quotes on Politics, Government, and War

“What the country needs is dirtier fingernails and cleaner minds.”

“Anybody whose pleasure is watching somebody else die is about as little use to humanity as the person being electrocuted.”

“Everybody nowadays is suggesting ways of getting prosperous on somebody else’s money.”

“Politics is the only sporting event in the world where they don’t pay off for second money; a man to run second in any other event in the world it’s an honor. But any time he runs second for President it’s not an honor. It’s a pity.”

“The money we spend on government. And it’s not a bit better government than we got for one-thirds the money two years ago.”

“It must be nice to belong to some legislative body and just pick money out of the air.”

“Nations are just like individuals. Loan them money and you lose their friendship.”

“We elect our Presidents, be they Republican or Democrat, then start daring ’em to make good.”

“It takes nerve to be a Democrat, but it takes money to be a Republican.”

“I generally give the party in power, whether Republican or Democrat, the more digs because they are generally doing the country more damage. The party in power drawing a salary is to be knocked.”

“No animal in the world gets quite as hungry as a Democrat. He would rather make a speech than a dollar.”

“The more education he gets the less apt he is to be a Democrat and if he is very highly educated he will see the apple sauce in both parties.”

“This would be a great time in the world for some man to come along that knew something.”

“The American people are a very generous people and will forgive almost any weakness, with the possible exception of stupidity.”

“You could keep politics clean if you could figure out some way so your government never hired anyone.”

“As bad as we sometimes think our government is run, it is the best run I ever saw.”

“Politics ain’t worrying this country one-tenth as much as parking space.”

“If you ever injected truth into politics you have no politics.”

“The biggest praise that a humorist can have is to get your stuff in The Congressional Record. Just think, my name will be right alongside all those other big humorists.”

“The income tax has made more liars out of the American people than golf has.”

“In politics practically everything you hear is a scandal, and besides, the funny thing is that the things they are whispering ain’t half as bad as the things they have been saying right out loud.”

“Why don’t they pass a Constitutional Amendment prohibiting anybody from learning anything? If it works as good as Prohibition did, in five years we will have the smartest race of people on earth.”

“Ain’t it funny how many hundreds of thousands of soldiers we can recruit with nerve. But we can’t find one politician in a million with backbone.”

“The short memories of American voters is what keeps our politicians in office.”

“The trouble with practical jokes is that very often they get elected.”

“History will record: “America, a nation that flourished from 1900 to 1942, conceived many odd inventions to getting somewhere, but could think of nothing to do when they got there.””

“Every nation must have its legalized form of gambling. We have our Wall Street.”

“People talk peace but men give their life’s work to war. It won’t stop ‘til there is as much brains and scientific study put to aid peace as there is to promote war.”

“There has been war since the beginning of time and we are no smarter than the people that have gone before us. There is apt to be some more war.”

“America can carry herself and get along in pretty fair shape, but when she stops and picks up the whole world and puts it on her shoulders she just can’t “get it done.””

“America is a land of opportunity and don’t ever forget it.”

“Two things that tickle the fancy of our citizens, one is let them act on a committee, and the other is to promise to let him walk in a parade. What America needs is more mileage out of our parades.”

“Trouble with American transportation is that you can get somewhere quicker than you can think of a reason for going there. What we need now is a new excuse to go somewhere.”

“One good thing about European nations: they can’t hate you so bad they wouldn’t use you.”

“I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat.”

“There’s the one thing no nation can ever accuse us of and that is secret diplomacy. Our foreign dealings are an open book. Generally a checkbook.”

Will Rogers Quotes About Life

“A man only learns by two things, one is reading, and the other is an association with smarter people.”

“Good judgment comes from experiences, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.”

“No man is great if he thinks he is.”

“I never met a man I didn’t like.”

“Nothing makes a man broad-minded like adversity.”

“Every man’s religion is good. There is none of it bad. We are all trying to arrive at the same place according to our own conscience and teachings. It don’t matter which road you take.”

“You must judge a man’s greatness by how much he will be missed.”

“It’s great to be great, but it’s greater to be human.”

“It’s not what you pay a man but what he costs you that counts.”

“No man can be condemned for owning a dog. As long as he’s got a dog he’s got a friend and the poorer he gets the better friend he has.”

“A man can fool you with his mind, and his Soul and his Heart, but if you follow his feet you will pretty near find out where he is going.”

“Never miss a good chance to shut up.”

“Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip.”

“Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”

“Chaotic action is preferable to orderly inaction.”

“I joke about prominent men but at heart I believe in ’em. I do think there is time when traces of “dumbness” crop up in official life but not crookedness.”

“Live your life so that whenever you lose, you are ahead.”

“Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save.”

“Theories are great, they sound great, but the minute you are asked to prove one in actual life, why the thing blows up.”

“The worst thing that happens to you may be the best thing for you if you don’t let it get the best of you.”

Being a hero is about the shortest-lived profession on earth.”

“A man in the country does his own thinking. Get him into town and he will be thinking second-handed.”

“The only time people dislike gossip is when you gossip about them.”

“We will never have true civilization until we have learned to recognize the rights of others.”

“Nothing is as stupid as an educated man if you get him off the thing he was educated on.”

More Quotes:

About the author
Katee is a lover of language and is in awe of the power it holds. Read more articles from Katee on Thought Catalog.

Learn more about Thought Catalog and our writers on our about page.