Quotes by Zephyr Teachout

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Integrity is hard work. I do think the Internet makes it harder because of the temptations of performance. You can perform and have integrity, but it's easier just to perform. more...

I think about people and events in terms of archetypes a lot. more...

A lot of politics plays at the level of myth, and if you understand that, then you feel like you have access to the secret language of politics. more...

People respond to political characters in archetypal ways. A fun game is to think of a politician and ask, "Which god is that? Are they like Aries? Are they like Athena?" more...

What I see increasingly is that companies are playing political roles. We should actually have our research and our laws map that. more...

My current goal is to change the way we think about antitrust and anti-monopoly. more...

You can have very big local government. By big, I mean very engaged government. Do you measure it in terms of the number of laws? Number of employees? You could make arguments for either one. I tend to think the axis of the size of government is the wrong concern. But I do think that situating power more locally is a legitimate approach. more...

There are some libertarians who are really anarchists, but others are more concerned about the distant relationship between themselves and power. They mistakenly think they want to get rid of government when instead they might just want to have greater access to power. more...

I think part of the reason the Tea Party has resonated is that people feel disempowered. The Tea Party says, "You are out of power because of big government." Then some Democrats tend to respond by saying, "No, you're wrong, you're not out of power." It's a sense that doesn't resonate with people's lived experience. more...

Oftentimes people get it wrong when they say we need to educate voters first and then give them power. I tend to favor giving them power first. more...

I tend to be a kind of left federalist. There's a value to more power of certain kinds being positioned at a more local level. more...

I tend to think that knowledge is preceded by power instead of the other way around. more...

Because jurors have an extraordinary amount of power over the situation and of the people and the story in front of them, they tend to pay pretty intense attention to what's happening. more...

You can't just provide power, you also need public education. more...

As a school board member, I might have particular views about the ways we might increase the economics curriculum in a local high school, but I'm not sure I should mandate that for the entire country. more...

In Europe, populism is sort of a dirty word, but we have this wonderful history of populism in America, including the abolitionist populists and the white and black populists working together in the nineteenth century. more...

New York City is one of the most vulnerable cities in the world to climate change, so I see Keystone as the central threat to New York. more...

History is a series of mistakes. Now the task is to plan for those mistakes so those of us who are populists can actually take over the reins of power when the right mistakes are made. more...

There's a tendency, especially among academics, to see politics as deeply dirty and deeply egotistical. more...

I feel much more comfortable in politics than I did in book writing. Book writing is so hard. Politics felt easy compared to that. more...

Creativity is essential to any kind of joyful living. Sometimes I act, sometimes I draw, I paint, I write poems. I can't imagine living without it. more...

I think that most people have deeply creative sensibilities. more...

If you think art is a competitive forum, then you're going to stop doing it if you're not good. But if it's not competitive, it's something that you'll keep doing. more...

I'm not from the arts, I'm a law professor. But I think we need more poetry in politics. more...

I think the reason you see so many people dropping out of politics is because there's an anti-poetic strain in modern political discourse. more...

Having more candidates come with a creative and artistic sensibility would actually bring more people out to vote. more...

A combination of working in politics as well as teaching and being [an actor] certainly helped. I became so much more comfortable in front of a crowd. I felt like I was calling on all those other experiences. more...

I don't have any particular plans in mind. What I see is that you can become so focused on the idea of running that winning becomes your motivation, as opposed to what you stand for being your motivation. more...

Public education is so important - resisting privatization and charterization, high-stakes testing, and defunding. It's important for New York, but it's also important for the country. more...

What happens in New York affects national policy in very significant ways. more...

It's a lot harder to push forward things, like energy policy. There's a big dream out there about wind and solar power. more...

I think a lot of the reason people are attracted to the Keystone pipeline is because at least we're doing something. There's a fear that society will collapse if it's not acting. To contrast those actions with other actions is important in making it feel plausible. Maybe we must have the size of the dream meet the size of the threat. more...

Things poll well, but people don't believe that politicians are telling the truth. Politicians might mention renewable energy, and the public will think, "That sounds good, but I don't believe they're going to do everything they can to build those towers." more...

People think that the politician is just part of a system, and whether they're lying or not doesn't matter. more...

One of the most dangerous things about Fox News isn't that it's right wing but that it's nihilistic. It takes away the capacity to believe in politics. more...

There is a long American tradition of suspicion of concentrated economic power because of its tendency to corrupt government and turn it from a democracy into a plutocracy. more...

This is what's so hard about our current politics: things poll well, but people don't believe that politicians are telling the truth. more...

If those people in power never made any mistakes, we'd be done for as a democracy. But people keep making mistakes. History is a series of mistakes. more...

Integrity is hard work. I do think the internet makes it harder because of the temptations of performance. You can perform and have integrity, but it's easier just to perform. So the temptations of social media lead to some dissonance. more...

A lot of politics plays at the level of myth, and if you understand that, then you feel like you have access to the secret language of politics. People respond to political characters in archetypal ways. A fun game is to think of a politician and ask, "Which god is that? Are they like Aries? Are they like Athena?". more...


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