Zephyr Teachout Quotes

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

Zephyr Teachout

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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

Zephyr Teachout

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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?”.

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.

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

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.

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

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?”

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

Zephyr Teachout

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.

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.