Will Rogers never met a quip or wisecrack he didn’t like

“The problem ain’t what people know. It’s what people know that ain’t so that’s the problem.”

So said Will Rogers, the humorist and cowboy philosopher from the 1920s and ’30s who poked fun at human nature and politicians all while famously maintaining, “I never met a man I didn’t like.”

Among the political quips attributed to Rogers:

・ I remember when being liberal meant being generous with your own money.

・ A Republican moves slowly. They are what we call conservatives. A conservative is a man who has plenty of money and doesn’t see any reason why he shouldn’t always have plenty of money. A Democrat is a fellow who never had any, but doesn’t see any reason why he shouldn’t have some.

・ The money was all appropriated for the top in the hopes that it would trickle down to the needy. Mr. Hoover didn’t know that money trickled up. Give it to the people at the bottom and the people at the top will have it before night, anyhow. But it will at least have passed through the poor fellow’s hands.

・ We cuss the lawmakers. But I notice we’re always perfectly willing to share in any of the sums of money that they might distribute.

・ Our foreign dealings are an open book — generally, a checkbook.

・ Put a good tax on beer and that would take care of the unemployment fund.

Not being much of a political animal, I prefer his observations of everyday life:

・ Common sense ain’t common.

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

・ You know, everybody’s ignorant, just on different subjects.

・ An onion can make people cry, but there has never been a vegetable invented to make them laugh.

・ Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people that they don’t like.

・ Great artists say that the most beautiful thing in the world is a baby. Well, the next is an old lady, for every wrinkle is a picture.

・ The time ain’t far off when a woman won’t know any more than a man.

・ The road to success is dotted with many tempting parking spaces.

・ You know horses are smarter than people. You never heard of a horse going broke betting on people.

・ What the country needs is dirtier fingernails and cleaner minds.

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

・ Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

・ If you wait until you’re ready, you’ll wait forever.

・ If you’re ridin’ ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it’s still there.

・ You know you are getting old when everything either dries up or leaks.

・ I know worrying works, because none of the stuff I worried about ever happened.

・ If I could kick the person in the tail that causes me the most problems I could not sit down for a week.

And finally:

・ Never miss a good chance to shut up.

Send your favorite Will Rogers quote to Cole at burtseyeview@tribtoday.com, the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook or www.burtonwcole.com.


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