Quotable Quotes: “Notes from the Underground” Excerpts…

Mary Lee Johnson
5 min readFeb 18, 2023
  • Note: The following is an excerpt from the upcoming book, “Notes from the Underground,” which explores some of the experiences many of us felt as we have lived through the past six years in politics!
Notes from the Underground

These quotes run the gamut as I have begun to edit and go through what we all have experienced in the past six years or so. They seem to represent a small cross-section of the ideas and themes that were a part of the struggle created in the past four years (and more!) in our American Democratic form of government. It’s not an exaggeration to call the masses that opposed Trumpism politics “The Resistance,” nor is it going too far to believe there have been many overtures in the past years leading to authoritarian rule and autocratic forms of government.

Many do not see, because they are willfully blind or purposefully turning their heads. Some are genuinely ignorant of the democratic form of government. That is a crisis of leadership and our own civic duty to inform the citizenry of how we should allow ourselves to be governed.

America has been called many things. It’s an experiment and a beacon of hope and a shining city on the hill. It’s an idea and it’s also been the most stable democracy in the world since World War II. Until now.

The quotes listed below range from those given by comedians & thought leaders, by historians & political pundits, and from famous authors and even a former Supreme Court Justice! They run the gamut and embody some of the fears and wishes and predictions that have been made since the election of 2016.

List of Quotable Quotes….

· From Sarah Cooper: Trump 2016: Things are bad…vote for me so I can fix them…Trump 2020: Things are even WORSE…vote for me or else things will get MUCH worse…

· From Michael Beschloss:Dante once said that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in a period of moral crisis maintain their neutrality”- Pres Kennedy in 1963

· From Adam Schiff: This is how democracy Dies….A president so desperate to cling to power that he won’t commit to a peaceful transition of power…That he seeks to throw out millions of votes…And a Repub Party too craven to say a word….But we will fight back…America belongs to the people

· From AM Joy: MSNBC: Obama on McCain: When all was said and done, we were on the same team;

· From Paul Krugman: Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. We’ll take away their HEALTH CARE and separate them from their children….Sorry, it’s one of those mornings when reading the news is getting me depressed.

· From Matthew Dowd:Today is only one day in all the days that will ever be. But what will happen in all the other days that ever come can depend on what you do today.” Pres Obama said, quoting Ernest Hemingway’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls”, John McCain’s Favorite book…Let us live this day fully.

· From Colin Kaepernick: Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing Everything #JustDoIt

· From Preet Bharara: Is it just me or have the President’s Tweets become easier and easier to IGNORE and Dismiss?

· From Malcolm Nance: Peter Baker: RIP John McCain, American hero….; Nance: Fair Winds and Following seas, shipmate. You are a True Hero. We shall never forget your deep love of country in war & peace. You are relieved. We have the watch….#GoodbyeJohnMcCain

· From AM Joy: M Beschloss: Oftentimes the greatest presidents have been made even greater by criticism from people in their own party. What I worry about with John McCain now gone from the ranks of Repubs in the Senate and the House-where is that kind of reproach going to come from?

· From Elizabeth Warren: Let’s be clear: We already HAVE a constitutional crisis if the cabinet believes the POTUS can’t do his job and then refuses to follow the rules that have been laid down in the Constitution. They can’t have it both ways.

· From Ted Lieu: “Nazis are bad”

· From Jon Favreau: Nate Cohn; In our polling, Dems have eliminated the turnout deficit that hobbled them during the Obama era; NYT; Favreau: This is the whole ballgame, Folks: “If Democrats can lure additional young and non-white voters off the sidelines…the party could be poised to break through in many of the districts where they’ve struggled the most to this point

· From David Frum: Old Fashioned Thought: We should be tough on crime even when the crime is committed by a Republican member of CONGRESS

· From Joyce Alene: At some point, we are going to have to learn to tell the difference between people who lie to us and people who are telling us the truth….A good place to start is examing the record. Often, what a person has done over the years tells you what they’ll do in the future.

· Justice Stevens: Roe will be overturned if Kennedy Retires

· From Twitter: Yeah, I’ve noticed that a lot of people ….have that very Victorian mindset that history is one long, inevitable march toward progress. Apparently, the wake up calls that were WWI & WW II didn’t last long. Or maybe they just never reached the American psyche at all.

· From MSNBC: We may have to turn America upside down to turn it right side up,” Rep John Lewis at immigration march in Atlanta.

· From JStreet.org: Trump’s cruel Immigration Policies: A Rabbi speaks out; “The way we treat strangers is a reflection of our own human dignity”; Rabbi visits detention center in TX

· From Families Belong Together March:We’re here because there’s parents right now who can’t sing lullabies to their kids…Don’t STOP. Don’t give up until these familes are united”-Lin Manuel Miranda #FamiliesBelongTogetherMarch

· From The Daily Beast: It is happening here, Trump is already Early-Stage Mussolini; “Before we descend into hell let’s make sure we recognize the signs of its approach. They are all there now, in plain sight. History does not have to repeat itself”

· From Sam Stein: The Hili: Kim Jong Un and I ‘fell in love’; Stein: …’sincerely believe that heads would have literally exploded live on FOX NEWS if Obama had said anything remotely close to this;

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