I recently was given a small volume of Will Rogers' sayings, and it proved to be a gem in several ways. Of course, it was fun to once again be entertained by the words of one of
America's most beloved humorists.
But of more interest, I thought, was how applicable many of Rogers'
sayings are to today's political and social situations.
started his career in 1902 touring with a Wild West Show and then a circus in South Africa , Australia,
and New Zealand.
He performed in U.S.
theaters for three decades, appeared in 70 movies, and published his
observations on just about everything in some 400 newspapers until he died in
On Female Inequality
You can't pass a park without seeing a statue of some old codger on a horse, it must be his bravery, you can tell it isn't his horsemanship. Women are twice as brave as men, yet they never seem to have reached the statue stage.
There ain't no civilization where there ain't no satisfaction and that's the trouble now. Nobody is satisfied.
On the Pace of Life
I have never yet seen a man in such a big hurry that a horse or train wouldn't have got him there in plenty of time. If fact, nine-tenths of the people would be better off if they stayed where they are instead of going where they are going. No man in
if he didn't get where he is going would be missed.
On American Prosperity
We'll show the world we are prosperous, even if we have to go broke to do it.
I don't see why a man shouldn't pay inheritance tax. If a country is good enough to pay taxes to while you are living, it's good enough to pay in after you die. By the time you die you should be so used to paying taxes it would almost be second nature anyway.
On High Food Costs
Got a wire today from an old boy in Parsons, Kansas, and he wanted me to enter in a hog-calling contest; you know I used to be an awful good hog caller when hogs were cheap, but the way hogs have gone up in price it's changed the whole system of calling 'em. It would take Henry Ford hollering with his check book to get one to come to you nowadays. I hollered all morning just for three slices of bacon and it didn't come, so there ain't much use of me howling my head off to try and get a whole hog to come.
On the Criminal Justice System
There are two types of larceny, petty and grand, and the courts will really give you a longer sentence for petty that they do for grand. They are supposed to be the same in the eyes of the law, but the judges always put a little extra on for petty, as a kind of a fine for stupidness. "If that's all you got you ought to go to jail longer."
On Characteristics of Politics
Common sense is not an issue in politics; it's an affliction. Neither is honesty an issue in politics. It's a miracle.
On Political Parties
If we didn't have two parties, we would all settle on the best men in the country and things would run fine. But as it is, we settle on the worst ones and then fight over 'em.
We have the best Congress money can buy.
On Foreign Relations
Several papers have asked, "What would
Europe do if we were in difficulties and needed
help?" So this is in reply to those inquiries: Europe
would hold a celebration.
Communism is like Prohibition; it's a good idea but it won't work.
On International Travel
A bunch of American tourists were hissed and stoned yesterday in
but not until they had finished buying.
On Cars and Driving
The trouble with us is
America is just muscle bound from
holding a steering wheel; the only place we are callused from work is the
bottom of our driving toe.
On War and Peace
If we can just let other people alone and do their own fighting, we would be in good shape. When you get into trouble five thousand miles away from home you've got to have been looking for it.
On How He Wanted to be Remembered
When I die, my epitaph or whatever you call those signs on gravestones is going to read: "I joked about every prominent man of my time, but I never met a man I didn't like." I am so proud of that I can hardly wait to die so it can be carved. And when you come to my grave you will find me sitting there, proudly reading it.