Who Hijacked Our Country

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Gore Vidal

I’ve never read any of his books, but I remember a hard-hitting quote from him during an interview in the early ‘70s.  I don’t remember the exact wording — I Googled it but nothing came up — but he was talking about political corruption.  He said something like:  By the time a politician has even the remotest chance of getting elected, he/she’s already completely bought and paid for, and his/her election won’t make any difference.

At the time I thought that statement was too cynical, pessimistic; too jaded.  But he was absolutely right.

Another quote, which I just saw today for the first time:  “"Half of the American people have never read a newspaper.  Half never voted for president. One hopes it is the same half.”


And anyone who was around during the 1970s probably remembers Gore Vidal’s little dustup with Norman Mailer on the Dick Cavett Show.  Definitely one of Dick Cavett’s livelier episodes.  This video shows about four minutes of it.


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Blogger S.W. Anderson said...

Vidal was a remarkable author, social critic and political commentator. I'm sorry he's gone. His voice and insights are needed now more than ever.

August 1, 2012 at 5:59 PM  
Anonymous Jolly Roger said...

Used to love interviews with him. I bought Rolling Stone and Playboy Magazines back in the '80s if they had Vidal on them. YES, I DID buy Playboy for the articles!

August 1, 2012 at 11:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gore Vidal and Al Gore are distant cousins

I remember we invited him to a interview show we did in College. An English Professor interviewed him and boy did he rip apart College english teaching.


August 1, 2012 at 11:34 PM  
Blogger Randal Graves said...

But is either of them related to Vidal Sassoon?

August 2, 2012 at 6:38 AM  
Blogger Mr. Charleston said...

I remember another famous on-air dust up he had with William F. Buckley during the '68 Democratic convention when he called Buckley a neo-nazi and Buckley threatened to punch him out. That was the same convention where Dan Rather got a black eye. Oh for the good ole days.

August 2, 2012 at 9:00 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

SW: He's definitely one of those people whom we need now more than ever.

JR: It was a Playboy interview where I saw his quote about all politicians being too bought-and-paid-for to make any difference.

Erik: Cool. That must have been a hell of an interview.

Randal: Norman Mailer is/was.

Mr. C: I don't remember that. Yes, those halcyon days of the '68 Democratic convention.

August 2, 2012 at 12:00 PM  
Blogger Dave Dubya said...

As he was considering running for president, Frank Zappa, another noted observer of American politics, also said: "I haven't decided to do it, but I have been thinking if I do it, I would do it without party affiliation. The problem about doing it that way is, you need maybe $2 million just to get your name printed on the ballot in all the states, and there'd be no cash for any kind of campaign. The problem with all the rest of the campaigns that are conducted in the United States is that the minute you're in the megabucks category, you owe somebody a favor."

Trading favors is the first step in straying from honest public service.

August 2, 2012 at 12:32 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Dave: Excellent Zappa quote. In addition to his incredible musicianship, he had a clear perspective of American society and human nature.

August 2, 2012 at 4:32 PM  

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