Motivational Quotes from Charlie Pierce

This has been the new normal since September 11. Everyone knows, but nobody says, that if something happens again, the elite consensus in this country, and the overwhelming consensus of the citizenry, will be to pitch the Bill of Rights out the window and start rounding folks up.

Charlie Pierce

If you offer athletes stipends, then you’re into pay-for-play, and that’s the ballgame. People should realize that, and they should realize that amateurism never has been a sustainable model for a sports-entertainment industry. It wasn’t in tennis. It wasn’t in the Olympics. And it’s not in big-time college sports.

Charlie Pierce

The institutions of college athletics exist primarily as unreality fueled by deceit. The unreality is that universities should be in the business of providing large spectacles of mass entertainment. The fundamental absurdity of that notion requires the promulgation of the various deceits necessary to carry it out.

Charlie Pierce

We, The People’ is more than a statement of purpose. It is an acknowledgement of an obligation to each other.

Charlie Pierce

Football was always a deal we made with ourselves. We adopted it for its brutality, which was embedded in a context that happened to be perfectly suited to television and to gambling, but which we could convince ourselves was only incidental to our enjoyment because it was only incidental to the game itself.

Charlie Pierce

In 1989, my father died after a prolonged struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. All four of his siblings followed him into the shadow lands of that fascinating, maddening affliction.

Charlie Pierce

The creative project of self-government – hard and frustrating but necessary – is to produce that political commonwealth that changes over time, that can change sometimes by the minute, if circumstances intervene.

Charlie Pierce

It is the doctrine of the oligarchy that there is nothing that we hold in common, that the commonwealth is a myth, that it is even a sign of softheadedness and weakness. The oligarchical power feeds on the sense that we are all individuals, struggling on our own, and ennobled by the effort.

Charlie Pierce

Launching a newspaper without a coherent idea of how you’re going to promote it, or get it to people who might want to read it, is like launching a boat without a rudder or an engine… or a hull, now that I think about it.

Charlie Pierce

Gradually, football has seen its appeal slip at the most basic levels. Pediatricians are advising parents not to let young children play organized football too early in life.

Charlie Pierce

Ronald Reagan was a dim hack who did horrible damage to almost everything he touched.

Charlie Pierce

There are few colonial nations anymore. Instead, we are colonized by financial institutions beyond our political control. We are colonized with pens and papers and millions of little digital bursts transferring billions of dollars all over the globe in the blink of an eye.

Charlie Pierce

We have a revolutionary history to honor and uphold. Which was what Nelson Mandela did. He reminded us of that which we need to be reminded, over and over again, about our own best selves.

Charlie Pierce

In the year of our Lord 2010, the voters of the United States elected the worst Congress in the history of the Republic. There have been Congresses more dilatory. There have been Congresses more irresponsible, though not many of them.

Charlie Pierce

The Republicans find their faith imperiled by Barney Frank’s marriage. There is always a shadow on the wall, a monster in the closet, a mysterious rustling in the teeming underbrush of the conservative Id.

Charlie Pierce

One of the great changes wrought by the increased public awareness of Alzheimer’s – and thank you, Nancy Reagan, you wonderful tough old dame, you – is that people in the early stages of the disease are now speaking out while they still have the capacity to do so.

Charlie Pierce

The murder of John Kennedy in broad daylight in the streets of an American city remains, to me, an unsolved crime.

Charlie Pierce

At the time of his death, John Kennedy had a national security establishment that was a writhing ball of snakes.

Charlie Pierce

Paul Ryan hasn’t lacked for a job since he left college as the golden child of Wisconsin Republican politics, riding his family connections into a job with then-Senator Bob Kasten.

Charlie Pierce

As he enters his final term, with the elegiac music playing out there in the distance, Barack Obama will use the history that he has come to embody and, perhaps, even to fulfill, as part of a larger project that never will be completed but only finished, over and over again.

Charlie Pierce

I judge the jobs I’ve had in this business by the places they took me, and by that standard, there simply has been nothing to match ‘The National Sports Daily.’

Charlie Pierce

In the fall of 1989, I was writing 600-word columns at the ‘Herald.’ My heart always was in long-form narrative writing, though. It’s what I cut my teeth on at the ‘Boston Phoenix.’

Charlie Pierce

Nobody loves the Boston Marathon as much as the people who make fun of it year after year. This was the race that previously offered as a prize a not particularly expensive medal, a laurel wreath, and a bowl of beef stew. This was the race that, on one memorable occasion, nobody knew who actually won.

Charlie Pierce

There was no way to lock down, or tighten up, or Fail-Safe into Security Theater a race that covers 26.2 miles, a race that travels from town to town, a race that travels past people’s houses. There was no way to garrison the Boston Marathon. Now there will be.

Charlie Pierce

For all the huffing and blowing we get about rugged individualism, the American spirit and the American experiment always have had at their heart the notion that the government is all of us and that, therefore, the government may keep things in trust for all of us.

Charlie Pierce

We owe each other a debt and we owe each other an obligation, and because of these fundamental American imperatives, there are things that we own in common with each other, and that we are obliged to protect for our posterity. The water. The trees. The wild places in the land. We lose sight of these truths sometimes.

Charlie Pierce

There is a barbarism in the American soul, and we must protect some of it by law. To root it out is to endanger our lives on the one hand, and our liberty on the other.

Charlie Pierce

As a writer, I have to admit, there is something darkly compelling about Alzheimer’s because it attacks the two things most central to a writer’s craft – language and memory, which together make up an individual’s identity. Alzheimer’s makes a new character out of a familiar person.

Charlie Pierce

School districts around the country, and the taxpayers that support them, have a moral right to the information the NFL might have concerning the medical aspects of the game, and to assess the risks to the students in their charge. Colleges have a moral right to that information for the same reasons.

Charlie Pierce

The entire existence of the NFL – and of football at any level, for all of that – rests on whether or not the game can keep fooling itself, and its paying fan base, that it is somehow superior to boxing and to the rest of our modern blood sports.

Charlie Pierce

To recognize that head injuries were as essential a part of football as they are of boxing would be to erase the fine distinction on which the game’s respectability rested.

Charlie Pierce

If religion comes into the public square, it is as vulnerable as any other human institution to be pelted with produce. Ignorance does not become wisdom just because you gussy it up with the Gospels.

Charlie Pierce

In theory, at least, all presidents are servants of the people who elected them. In the case of Barack Obama, it has seemed from the start that the idea as applied to him was more than mere metaphor. He is the first president in my lifetime whom the country felt obligated to remind that he know his place.

Charlie Pierce

Bill Clinton was not a symbol. People did not invest in him their idea of what America should be or, worse, their pride in what they thought America had become. There was no great moral self-congratulation in having elected a president from Arkansas.

Charlie Pierce

According to the people who dearly would love to throw him out of office, Barack Obama was elected to be ‘above politics.’ He wasn’t elected to be president, after all. He was elected as an avatar of American tolerance. His attempts to get himself reelected imply a certain, well, ingratitude.

Charlie Pierce

The idea that America elected a black man to be its president forty years after it declined to allow Martin Luther King Jr. to stand on a balcony without getting shot still maintains its power to awe and inspire.

Charlie Pierce

It is now an article of absolute faith among Republicans that ‘the government’ is an entity separate from ‘the American people,’ which they say the same way that the old Jesuits talked about ‘the mystical Body of Christ.’ It is now an ironclad commandment of conservative orthodoxy that ‘the government’ is something parasitic and alien.

Charlie Pierce

There is a reason why conservatives talk about ‘government’ and not ‘self-government,’ because to refer to the latter is to concede that ‘the government’ is really the most basic product of our political commonwealth, that it is what we produce among ourselves so as to order the production of everything else that we do together.

Charlie Pierce

We create our own government. We are responsible for its beauty and for its ugliness. We are responsible for its glories and for its failures and, most important, we are responsible for amending those failures no matter who are their most immediate architects.

Charlie Pierce

Obama ran as sane and decent, as though we were electing a mood, and not necessarily a set of policies. Unfortunately, Obama has governed the same way – and misread the mood, which is all there is, really, because being crazy and stupid is all we’re really good at politically any more.

Charlie Pierce

Barack Obama is not a man of The Gut, and it is driving official Washington crazy. This is a good thing, because resisting The Gut is what the Constitution is all about, especially in its war powers, which this president is conspicuously contemplative about exercising, at least in every context except launching drones.

Charlie Pierce