126+ Best Molly Ivins Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Mary Tyler “Molly” Ivins was an American newspaper columnist, author, and humorist. She was one of America’s most caustic and beloved political commentators. Profound Molly Ivins quotes will fire up your brain and inspire you to look at life differently while making you laugh.

If you’re searching for life quotes and sayings that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of greatest Hunter S. Thompson quotes, and best of Charles Krauthammer quotes.

Most Famous Molly Ivins Quotes

Many a time freedom has been rolled back – and always for the same sorry reason: fear. – Molly Ivins

You look at the large problems that we face – that would be overpopulation, water shortages, global warming and AIDS, I suppose – all of that needs international cooperation to be solved. – Molly Ivins

When politicians start talking about large groups of their fellow Americans as ‘enemies,’ it’s time for a quiet stir of alertness. Polarizing people is a good way to win an election, and also a good way to wreck a country. – Molly Ivins

I prefer someone who burns the flag and then wraps themselves up in the Constitution over someone who burns the Constitution and then wraps themselves up in the flag. – Molly Ivins

Good thing we’ve still got politics in Texas – finest form of free entertainment ever invented. – Molly Ivins

Either we figure out how to keep corporate cash out of the political system or we lose the democracy. – Molly Ivins

The first rule of holes: When you’re in one stop digging. – Molly Ivins

Some days, I’d feel better with Punxsutawney Phil in the Oval Office – at least he doesn’t lie about the weather. – Molly Ivins

Freedom fighters don’t always win, but they’re always right. – Molly Ivins

I’m sorry that government involves filling out a lot of forms. … I’m sorry myself that we’re not still on the frontier, where we could all tote guns, shoot anything that moved and spit to our hearts’ content. But we live in a diverse and crowded country, and with civilization comes regulation. – Molly Ivins

We are the people who run this country. We are the deciders. And every single day, every single one of us needs to step outside and take some action to help stop this war. Raise hell. Think of something to make the ridiculous look ridiculous. Make our troops know we’re for them and trying to get them out of there. Hit the streets to protest Bush’s proposed surge. If you can, go to the peace march in Washington on Jan. 27. We need people in the streets, banging pots and pans and demanding, ‘Stop it, now!’ – Molly Ivins

As they say around the Texas Legislature, if you can’t drink their whiskey, screw their women, take their money, and vote against ’em anyway, you don’t belong in office. – Molly Ivins

Most of us think of government as them. Yet government isn’t Them: It’s us. – Molly Ivins

Michael Jackson was a poor black boy who grew up to be a rich white woman – Molly Ivins

Texas liberals are the camels of good news. We can cross entire deserts between oases. – Molly Ivins

I dearly love the state of Texas, but I consider that a harmless perversion on my part and discuss it only with consenting adults. – Molly Ivins

Conservatives have been mad at the Supreme Court since it decided to desegregate the schools in 1954 and seen fit to blame the federal bench for everything that has happened since then that they don’t like. – Molly Ivins

The thing is this: You got to have fun while you’re fightin’ for freedom, ’cause you don’t always win. – Molly Ivins

Populism is the simple premise that markets need to be restrained by society and by a democratic political system. We are not socialists or communists, we are proponents of regulated capitalism and, I might add, people who have read American history. – Molly Ivins

I used to go on college campuses 25 years ago and announce I was a feminist, and people thought it meant I believed in free love and was available for a quick hop in the sack. … Now I go on college campuses and say I’m a feminist, and half of them think it means I’m a lesbian. How’d we get from there to here without passingGo? – Molly Ivins

You can’t ignore politics, no matter how much you’d like to. – Molly Ivins

Satire is traditionally the weapon of the powerless against the powerful. – Molly Ivins

During a recent panel on the numerous failures of American journalism, I proposed that almost all stories about government should begin: Look out! They’re about to smack you around again! – Molly Ivins

When Michael Jackson, a poor black boy who grew up to be a rich, white woman, married Elvis Presley’s daughter the Scientologist. Makes you proud to be an American, dudn’t it? – Molly Ivins

If an armed nation were a polite nation, America would be paradise. We have more than 200 million guns in private owernship here. But our manners are not getting better. – Molly Ivins

Rank imperialism and warmongering are not American traditions or values. We do not need to dominate the world. – Molly Ivins

Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce. – Molly Ivins

In the first place, any group of folks willing to make asses of themselves in pursuit of a good time should be commended and encouraged: The spirit of human frolic needs all the help it can get. – Molly Ivins

The recent death of Gene McCarthy reminded me of a lesson I spent a long, long time unlearning, so now I have to re-learn it. It’s about political courage and heroes, and when a country is desperate for leadership. There are times when regular politics will not do, and this is one of those times. – Molly Ivins

Imagine wasting all that perfectly good anger on paranoid fantasies. Not since Emily Litella got upset aboutSoviet jewelryhas there been such a waste of anger. You will notice a certain theme to these Emily Litella Moments. Behind them all is a touching faith that someone, somewhere is actually in charge of what’s happening – a proposition I beg leave to doubt. – Molly Ivins

The trouble with blaming powerless people is that although it’s not nearly as scary as blaming the powerful, it does miss the point. Poor people do not shut down factories… Poor people didn’t decide to use ‘contract employees’ because they cost less and don’t get any benefits. – Molly Ivins

In Texas, we do not hold high expectations for the [governor’s] office; it’s mostly been occupied by crooks, dorks and the comatose. – Molly Ivins

We’ve had trickledown economics in the country for ten years now, and most of us aren’t even damp yet. – Molly Ivins

Whenever you hear a politician carry on about what a mess the schools are, be aware that you are looking at the culprit. – Molly Ivins

Any nation that can survive what we have lately in the way of government, is on the high road to permanent glory. – Molly Ivins

Nice is a pallid virtue. Not like honesty or courage or perseverance. On the other hand, in a nation notably lacking in civility, there is much to be said for nice. – Molly Ivins

He was so narrow minded he could see through a keyhole with both eyes. – Molly Ivins

Every two years, one of the most hotly contested elections in Texas is the poll taken among members of the capitol press corps to determine who are actually the ten stupidest members of the Legislature. Two years ago, there were thirty-seven official nominees and several write-ins. – Molly Ivins

There is no inverse relationship between freedom and security. Less of one does not lead to more of the other. People with no rights are not safe from terrorist attack. – Molly Ivins

I believe all Southern liberals come from the same starting point–race. Once you figure out they are lying to you about race, you start to question everything. – Molly Ivins

I have been attacked by Rush Limbaugh on the air, an experience somewhat akin to being gummed by a newt. It doesn’t actually hurt, but it leaves you with slimy stuff on your ankle. – Molly Ivins

Bad policies, stupid policies, gutless policies have real consequences. – Molly Ivins

Although a life-long fashion dropout, I have absorbed enough by reading Harper’s Bazaar while waiting at the dentist’s to have grasped that the purpose of fashion is to make A Statement. My own modest Statement, discerned by true cognoscenti, is, Woman Who Wears Clothes So She Won’t Be Naked. – Molly Ivins

It’s hard to argue against cynics – they always sound smarter than optimists because they have so much evidence on their side. – Molly Ivins

Age has given me what I was looking for my entire life – it gave me me. It provided me the time and experience and failures and triumphs and friends who helped me step into the shape that had been waiting for me all my life. – Molly Ivins

Conservatives are fond of pointing out there are problems in this world can’t be solved by throwing money at them. There are even more that can’t be solved by dropping bombs on them. – Molly Ivins

Sit up, join up, get on line, get in touch, find out who’s raising hell and join them. No use waiting on a bunch of wussy politicians. – Molly Ivins

It’s hard to convince people that you’re killing them for their own good. – Molly Ivins

I think most of us become nicer as we get older, less judgmental, less full of certitude; life tends to knock a few corners of us as we go through. Cancer, divorce, teenagers, and other plagues make us give up on expecting ourselves – or life – to be perfect, which is a real relief. – Molly Ivins

The thing about democracy, beloveds, is that it is not neat, orderly, or quiet. It requires a certain relish for confusion. – Molly Ivins

The United States of America is still run by its citizens. The government works for us. Rank imperialism and warmongering are not American traditions or values. We do not need to dominate the world. We want and need to work with other nations. We want to find solutions other than killing people. Not in our name, not with our money, not with our children’s blood. – Molly Ivins

What we have here, fellow citizens, is a crassly egocentric, raving twit. – Molly Ivins

So, keep fightin’ for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don’t you forget to have fun doin’ it. Lord, let your laughter ring forth. Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce. – Molly Ivins

Listen to the people who are talking about how to fix what’s wrong, not the ones who just work people into a snit over the problems. Listen to the people who have ideas about how to fix things, not the ones who just blame others. – Molly Ivins

On the whole, I prefer not to be lectured on patriotism by those who keep offshore maildrops in order to avoid paying their taxes. – Molly Ivins

I know: Guns Don’t Kill People. But I suspect that they have something to do with it. If you point your finger at someone and say, Bang, bang, you’re dead, not much actually happens. – Molly Ivins

Margaret Atwood, the Canadian novelist, once asked a group of women at a university why they felt threatened by men. The women said they were afraid of being beaten, raped, or killed by men. She then asked a group of men why they felt threatened by women. They said they were afraid women would laugh at them. – Molly Ivins

If his IQ slips any lower, we’ll have to water him twice a day – Molly Ivins

I learned two things growing up in Texas. 1: God loves you, and you’re going to burn in hell forever. 2: Sex is the dirtiest and most dangerous thing you can possibly do, so save it for someone you love. – Molly Ivins

It’s like, duh. Just when you thought there wasn’t a dime’s worth of difference between the two parties, the Republicans go and prove you’re wrong. – Molly Ivins

If you ever get to the place where injustice doesn’t bother you, you’re dead. – Molly Ivins

It is possible to read the history of this country as one long struggle to extend the liberties established in our Constitution to everyone in America. – Molly Ivins

The charm of Ronald Reagan is not just that he kept telling us screwy things, it was that he believed them all. No wonder we trusted him, he never lied to us. … His stubbornness, even defiance, in the face of facts (‘stupid things,’ he once called them in a memorable slip) was nothing short of splendid. … This is the man who proved that ignorance is no handicap to the presidency. – Molly Ivins

It’s all very well to run around saying regulation is bad, get the government off our backs, etc. Of course, our lives are regulated. When you come to a stop sign, you stop; if you want to go fishing, you get a license; if you want to shoot ducks, you can shoot only three ducks. The alternative is dead bodies at the intersections, no fish and no ducks. OK? – Molly Ivins

The impulse to make ourselves safer by making ourselves less free is an old one … When we are badly frightened, we think we can make ourselves safer by sacrificing some of our liberties. We did it during the McCarthy era out of fear of communism. Less liberty is regularly proposed as a solution to crime, to pornography, to illegal immigration, to abortion, to all kinds of threats. – Molly Ivins

I am not anti-gun. I’m pro-knife. Consider the merits of the knife. In the first place, you have to catch up with someone in order to stab him. A general substitution of knives for guns would promote physical fitness. We’d turn into a whole nation of great runners. Plus, knives don’t ricochet. And people are seldom killed while cleaning their knives. – Molly Ivins

Americans are not getting screwed by the Republican Party. They’re getting screwed by the large corporations that bought and own the Republican Party. – Molly Ivins

Although it is true that only about 20 percent of American workers are in unions, that 20 percent sets the standards across the board in salaries, benefits and working conditions. If you are making a decent salary in a non-union company, you owe that to the unions. One thing that corporations do not do is give out money out of the goodness of their hearts. – Molly Ivins

How the American right managed to convince itself that the programs to alleviate poverty are responsible for the consequences of poverty will someday be studied as a notorious mass illusion. – Molly Ivins

What stuns me most about contemporary politics is not even that the system has been so badly corrupted by money. It is that so few people get the connection between their lives and what the bozos do in Washington and our state capitols. – Molly Ivins

Personally, I think government is a tool, like a hammer. You can use a hammer to build or you can use a hammer to destroy; there is nothing intrinsically good or evil about the hammer itself. It is the purposes to which it is put and the skill with which it is used that determine whether the hammer’s work is good or bad. – Molly Ivins

Anyone who thinks humans are not capable of so fouling their own nest that the land and the waters can no longer be productive just hasn’t been paying attention. – Molly Ivins

I know vegetarians don’t like to hear this, but God made an awful lot of land that’s good for nothing but grazing. – Molly Ivins

I’ve always found it easier to be funny than to be serious. – Molly Ivins

If you really wanted to settle down the Middle East, if what you wanted was change in the Middle East, it is perfectly obvious that the first step is resolving the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. – Molly Ivins

I think provincialism is an endemic characteristic with mankind, I think everybody everywhere is provincial, but it is particularly striking with Texans, and we tend to be very Texcentric. – Molly Ivins

Behind a smoke screen of high-profile female appointees and soothing slogans, George W. Bush is waging war on women. – Molly Ivins

Next time I tell you someone from Texas should not be president of the United States, please pay attention. – Molly Ivins

I believe that ignorance is the root of all evil. And that no one knows the truth. – Molly Ivins

Havin’ fun while freedom fightin’ must be one of those lunatic Texas traits we get from the water – which is known to have lithium in it – because it goes all the way back to Sam Houston, surely the most lovable, the most human, and the funniest of all the great men this country has ever produced. – Molly Ivins

Being slightly paranoid is like being slightly pregnant – it tends to get worse. – Molly Ivins

I never saw anything funnier than Texas politics. – Molly Ivins

I believe in practicing prudence at least once every two or three years. – Molly Ivins

And the funny thing is, I’ve always been an optimist – it’s practically a congenital disorder with me. – Molly Ivins

We often seem to be swimming through such a miasma of sexual violence – in advertising, television programming, heavy metal, rap, films, and worst of all, in the home – that even First Amendment absolutists sometimes daydream about how nice it would be to have government-as-nanny just outlaw all this effluent. – Molly Ivins

It is quite reasonable to subscribe both to the old saw that no good girl was ever ruined by a book and to the perception that it is not good for children to be constantly exposed to the sexual violence in our popular culture. Protecting children seems to me logically, legally, and rather easily differentiated from censorship … – Molly Ivins

You could probably prove, by judicious use of logarithms and congruent triangles, that real life is a lot more like soap opera than most people will admit. – Molly Ivins

As for George Bush of Kennebunkport, Maine- personally I think he’s further evidence that the Great Scriptwriter in the Sky has an overdeveloped sense of irony. – Molly Ivins

Even I felt sorry for Richard Nixon when he left; there’s nothing you can do about being born liberal — fish gotta swim and hearts gotta bleed, – Molly Ivins

In city rooms and in the bars where newspeople drink, you can find out what’s going on. You can’t find it in the papers. – Molly Ivins

Humanism is not alive and well in Texas. Different colors and types of Texans do not like one another, nor do they pretend to. – Molly Ivins

Democracy requires a certain relish for confusion – Molly Ivins

I think of Texas as the laboratory for bad government. – Molly Ivins

…you could have knocked me over with Michael Huffington’s brain. – Molly Ivins

As I have pointed out time and again, it’s a hell of a lot cheaper to send little kids to school than it is to let them grow up into young thugs who have to be sent to prison, not to mention the savings in the wear and tear on the nerves, property, and safety of the rest of the citizenry. – Molly Ivins

Everyone knows [George W. Bush] has no clue, but no one there has the courage to say it. I mean, good gawd, the man is as he always has been: barely adequate. – Molly Ivins

I often plagiarize from myself. I like to think of this as ecological journalism: I recycle. – Molly Ivins

The advantage of being able to identify sin is that you can go out and do it and enjoy it. – Molly Ivins

the pyramids were built for pharaohs on the happy theory that they could take their stuff with them. Versailles was built for kings on the theory that they should live surrounded by the finest stuff. The Mall of America is built on the premise that we should all be able to afford this stuff. It may be a shallow culture, but it’s by-God democratic. Sneer if you dare; this is something new in world history. – Molly Ivins

California is now close to spending more on prisons than it does on higher education – surely the death warrant of a civilization. – Molly Ivins

Texas is a fine place for men and dogs, but hell on women and horses. – Molly Ivins

Texas is not a civilized place. Texans shoot one another a lot. They also knife, razor, and stomp one another to death with some frequency. And they fight in bars all the time. – Molly Ivins

Having breast cancer is massive amounts of no fun. First, they mutilate you; then they poison you; then they burn you. I have been on blind dates better than that. – Molly Ivins

The myth of the inevitability of economic globalization is based largely on the work of Milton Friedman, and easily the most underreported story of our time is that the current economy proves Friedman flatly wrong. – Molly Ivins

nothing like a few restful weeks contemplating the decline of civilization to restore the humors. What I did on my summer vacation was listen to a lot of people talk about the decline of practically everything – you could call it the leisure of the theory class. – Molly Ivins

Of course, it has never paid much. – Molly Ivins

On a personal note: I have contracted an outstanding case of breast cancer, from which I intend to recover. I don’t need get-well cards, but I would like the beloved women readers to do something for me: Go. Get. The. Damn. Mammogram. Done. – Molly Ivins

The government can now delve into personal and private records of individuals even if they cannot be directly connected to a terrorist or foreign government. Bank records, e-mails, library records, even the track of discount cards at grocery stores can be obtained on individuals without establishing any connection to a terrorist before a judge. According to the Los Angeles Times, Al Qaeda uses sophisticated encryption devices freely available on the Internet that cannot be cracked. So the terrorists are safe from cyber-snooping, but we’re not. – Molly Ivins

Reading Ehrenreich is good for the soul. – Molly Ivins

No one has ever accused Texas of being in the vanguard of social progress. This is the most macho state in the U.S. of A. By lore, legend, and fact, Texas is ‘hell’ on women and horses. – Molly Ivins

Pigs get fat and hogs get slaughtered. – Molly Ivins

With politicians, artful evasion is always preferable to the outright lie. – Molly Ivins

One function of the income gap is that the people at the top of the heap have a hard time even seeing those at the bottom. They practically need a telescope. The pharaohs of ancient Egypt probably didn’t was a lot of time thinking about the people who build their pyramids, either. – Molly Ivins

This is the man (Ronald Reagan) who proved that ignorance is no handicap to the presidency – Molly Ivins

Naturally, when it comes to voting, we in Texas are accustomed to discerning that fine hair’s-breadth worth of difference that makes one hopeless dipstick slightly less awful than the other. But it does raise the question: Why bother? – Molly Ivins

I still believe in Hope – mostly because there’s no such place as Fingers Crossed, Arkansas. – Molly Ivins

Mostly, Texas women are tough in some very fundamental ways. Not unfeminine, nor necessarily unladylike, just tough! – Molly Ivins

One thing that corporations do not do is give out money out of the goodness of their hearts. – Molly Ivins

Think of something to make the ridiculous look ridiculous. – Molly Ivins

Manners are just a formal expression of how you treat people. – Molly Ivins

the more a body tries to explode all the foolish myths that have grown up about Texas by telling the truth, the more a body will wind up adding to the mythology. – Molly Ivins

What you need is sustained outrage… there’s far too much unthinking respect given to authority. – Molly Ivins

Economist Frederick Thayer has studied the history of our balanced-budget crusades and has come up with some depressing statistics. We have had six major depressions in our history (1819, 1837, 1857, 1873, 1893 and 1929); all six of them followed sustained periods of reducing the national debt. We have had almost chronic deficits since the 1930s, and there has been no depression since then – the longest crash-free period in our history. – Molly Ivins

We’ve got the emPHAsis on the wrong sylLAble when it comes to crime in this country. The FBI says burglary and robbery cost U.S. taxpayers $3.8 billion annually. Securities fraud alone costs four times that. And securities fraud is nothing to the cost of oil spills, price-fixing, and dangerous or defective products. Fraud by health-care corporations alone costs us between $100 billion and $400 billion a year. No three-strikes-and-you’re-out for these guys. Remember the S&L scandal? $500 billion. – Molly Ivins

On Bill Clinton: If left to my own devices, I’d spend all my time pointing out that he’s weaker than bus-station chili. But the man is so constantly subjected to such hideous and unfair abuse that I wind up standing up for him on the general principle that some fairness should be applied. Besides, no one but a fool or a Republican ever took him for a liberal. – Molly Ivins

Oh, hell, I can’t go on a spiritual journey—I’m constipated. – Molly Ivins

Share Your Opinion

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.