RAYBURNISMS

Sam Rayburn was known for a collection of aphorisms he said to young Congressman and many others called Rayburnisms.  Here in no particular order are a sample of them.

“I always tell the truth the first time, and I don’t need a good memory to remember it because it will always be the same.”

“Any fellow who will cheat for you will cheat against you.”

“If a man has good common sense, he has about all the sense there is.”

“To get along, go along.  But I’ve never asked a man to cast a vote that would violate his conscience or wreck him politically.”

“The way to get ahead in the House is to stand for something and to know what it is you stand for.”

“The greatest ambition a man can have is to be a just man.”

“The steam that blows a whistle will never turn a wheel.”

“A man who becomes conceited and arrogant wasn’t big enough for the job.”

“It’s better to be silent and pretend dumb than to speak and remove all doubt.”

“No one has a finer command of language than the person who keeps his mouth shut.”

“A brilliant uninformed orator is no match for a poor speaker who is informed.”

“Whenever you’re mad and ready to say something, wait a minute.”

“You think you hate a man only because you don’t know him.”

“When two men agree on everything, one of them is doing all the thinking.”

“Never use sarcasm.  It detracts from the other man’s dignity, and anyone you ridicule will remember it thirty years later.”

“Any man who will deceive the voters during a political campaign will deceive them after he is elected.”

“There are no degrees in truthfulness.  There are no degrees in honesty.  You are a hundred percent or you are not.”

“Any jackass can kick a barn down, but it takes a carpenter to build it.”

“It is a wise man who realizes that the church is bigger than its pastor.”

“If you can’t lead by persuasion, you can’t lead at all.”

“We’re Democrats, you know, and nobody can boss us.  And we fight like hell.”

“A fellow who eats high on the hog can expect to have a few chitlings.”

“Why should a fellow try to throw a big calf when he’s still stomping and running?  Wait until he is easy to throw.”

“The size of a man has nothing to do with his height.”

“Without vision, nations perish.”

“If there is anything I hate more than an old fogie, it’s a young fogie.”

“I have found that people respect you if you tell them where you stand.”

“People don’t do things for you because you’ve done things for them; it’s what they’ve done willingly for you that cements friendship.”

“I have always been a disciple of the doctrine that people are good folks, and I have great faith in them.”

“Legislation should never be designed to punish anyone.”

“I think that the entire political leadership of the country is underestimating the American people.”