„For politicians truth and falsehood are unimportant. So I never could become a politician — not even a church politician.“

—  Martin Niemöller, As quoted in Martin Niemöller, 1892-1984 (1984) by James Bentley, p. 223
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Martin Niemöller4
1892 - 1984
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„Partisanship should be kept out of the pulpit… The blindest of partisans are preachers. All politicians expect and find more candor, fairness, and truth in politicians than in partisan preachers.“

—  Rutherford B. Hayes American politician, 19th President of the United States (in office from 1877 to 1881) 1822 - 1893
Context: Partisanship should be kept out of the pulpit... The blindest of partisans are preachers. All politicians expect and find more candor, fairness, and truth in politicians than in partisan preachers. They are not replied to — no chance to reply to them.... The balance wheel of free institutions is free discussion. The pulpit allows no free discussion. Diary (3 January 1892)

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„A gaffe is when a politician tells the truth - some obvious truth he isn't supposed to say.“

—  Michael Kinsley American political journalist, commentator television host 1951
As quoted in Commentary: The gaffer speaks, The Times, April 23, 1988.

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„My choice early in life was either to be a piano-player in a whorehouse or a politician. And to tell the truth there's hardly any difference.“

—  Harry Truman American politician, 33rd president of the United States (in office from 1945 to 1953) 1884 - 1972
As quoted in Esquire, Vol. 76 (1971), also in Truman's Crises : A Political Biography of Harry S. Truman (1980) by Harold Foote Gosnell, p. 9; sometimes paraphrased: Being a politician is like being a piano player in a whorehouse.

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George Eliot photo

„Falsehood is so easy, truth so difficult.“

—  George Eliot English novelist, journalist and translator 1819 - 1880
Context: These fellow-mortals, every one, must be accepted as they are: you can neither straighten their noses, nor brighten their wit, nor rectify their dispositions; and it is these people — amongst whom your life is passed — that it is needful you should tolerate, pity, and love: it is these more or less ugly, stupid, inconsistent people whose movements of goodness you should be able to admire — for whom you should cherish all possible hopes, all possible patience. And I would not, even if I had the choice, be the clever novelist who could create a world so much better than this, in which we get up in the morning to do our daily work, that you would be likely to turn a harder, colder eye on the dusty streets and the common green fields — on the real breathing men and women, who can be chilled by your indifference or injured by your prejudice; who can be cheered and helped onward by your fellow-feeling, your forbearance, your outspoken, brave justice. So I am content to tell my simple story, without trying to make things seem better than they were; dreading nothing, indeed, but falsity, which, in spite of one's best efforts, there is reason to dread. Falsehood is so easy, truth so difficult. The pencil is conscious of a delightful facility in drawing a griffin — the longer the claws, and the larger the wings, the better; but that marvellous facility which we mistook for genius is apt to forsake us when we want to draw a real unexaggerated lion. Examine your words well, and you will find that even when you have no motive to be false, it is a very hard thing to say the exact truth, even about your own immediate feelings — much harder than to say something fine about them which is not the exact truth.

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Clive Staples Lewis photo

„You never know how much you really believe anything until its truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life and death to you.“

—  Clive Staples Lewis Christian apologist, novelist, and Medievalist 1898 - 1963
Context: You never know how much you really believe anything until its truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life and death to you. It is easy to you believe a rope to be strong and sound as long as you are merely using it to cord a box. But suppose that you had to hang by that rope over a precipice. Wouldn't you then first discover how much you really trusted it? … Only a real risk tests the reality of a belief.

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„Cling to truth and it turns into falsehood. Understand falsehood and it turns into truth.“

—  Ryōkan Japanese Buddhist monk 1758 - 1831
Context: Cling to truth and it turns into falsehood. Understand falsehood and it turns into truth. Truth and falsehood are two sides of the same coin. Neither accept one nor reject the other. As translated in 1,001 Pearls of Wisdom (2006) by David Ross, p. 36

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