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American historian and political scientist (1917-1970)

A gathering of Democrats is more sweaty, disorderly, offhand, and rowdy than a gathering of Republicans; it is also likely to be more cheerful, imaginative, tolerant of dissent, and skillful at the game of give-and-take. A gathering of Republicans is more respectable, sober, purposeful, and businesslike than a gathering of Democrats; it is also likely to be more self-righteous, pompous, cut-and-dried, and just plain boring.

CLINTON ROSSITER, Parties and Politics in America

No America without democracy, no democracy without politics, no politics without parties, no parties without compromise and moderation. So runs the string of assumptions on which hangs this exposition of the politics of American democracy.

CLINTON ROSSITER, Parties and Politics in America

Even if a government can be constitutional without being democratic, it cannot be democratic without being constitutional.

CLINTON ROSSITER, preface, Constitutional Dictatorship

For a people that invented the modern political party, we have been strangely reluctant to take pride in our handiwork.

CLINTON ROSSITER, Parties and Politics in America

There is "no happiness without liberty, no liberty without self-government, no self-government without constitutionalism, no constitutionalism without morality--and none of these great goods without stability and order.

CLINTON ROSSITER, introduction, The Federalist Papers

No form of government can survive that excludes dictatorship when the life of the nation is at stake.

CLINTON ROSSITER, preface, Constitutional Dictatorship

The most momentous fact about the pattern of American politics is that we live under a persistent, obdurate, one might almost say tyrannical, two-party system. We have the Republicans and we have the Democrats, and we have almost no one else, no other strictly political aggregate that amounts to a corporal's guard in the struggle for power.

CLINTON ROSSITER, Parties and Politics in America

The image the Republicans have of themselves needs the image they have of the Democrats to bring it into sharp focus. The Democrats are plainly a disreputable crowd; the Republicans, by contrast, are men of standing and sobriety. Many a middle-class American in many a small town has had to explain painfully why he chose to be a Democrat. No middle-class American need feel uneasy as a Republican. Even when he is a minority--for example, among the heathen on a college campus--he can, like any white, Anglo-Saxon Protestant, warm himself before his little fire of self-esteem.

CLINTON ROSSITER, Parties and Politics in America


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