A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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“What do you call an island populated entirely by cupcakes?"/"A desserted island.” (9/18)
“Come to the nerd side. We have Pi” (9/18)
“3.14% of sailors are pi rates” (9/18)
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Entry from November 04, 2012
“Democracy is a process by which the people are free to choose the man who will get the blame”

"Democracy is a process by which the people are free to choose the man who will get the blame” is a one-line saying that has been cited in print since at least 1968, when it was included in a book. and February 1969, when it was featured as ‘Today’s Best Laugh” in an Earl Wilson syndicated entertainment column. No person was credited for the line in 1969, but Wilson published the line again in 1973, this time crediting American singer Bobby Vinton. Business author and educator Laurence J. Peter (1919-1990) is frequently credited for the saying that has appeared in his book Peter’s Quotations (1977), but it’s likely that Peter was simply collecting an existing saying.

The saying means that the winner of an election takes on insoluble problems; the electorate simply chooses the best person to blame these problems on.


Google News Archive
12 February 1969, Beaver County Times (PA), Earl Wilson Column, pg. B9, col. 4:
TODAY’S BEST LAUGH: Democracy is a process in which the people are free to choose the man who will get the blame.

Google News Archive
29 April 1972, The Press-Courier (Oxnard, CA), pg. 5, col. 2:
Thought for today. Democracy is a process by which the people are free to choose the man who will get the blame. Anonymous.

30 April 1973, Avalanche-Journal (Lubbock, TX), “In New York with Earl Wilson,” pg. D1, col. 3:
WISH I’D SAID THAT: Democracy (says Bobby Vinton) is a process by which the people are free to choose the man who will get the blame.

Google Books
14 November 1977, New York magazine, ‘Troyspeak,” pg. 14, col. 2:
Matty Troy sits quietly at his desk in the New York City Council. Behind him, a small plaque reads: DEMOCRACY: A PROCESS BY WHICH PEOPLE ARE FREE TO CHOOSE THE MAN WHO WILL GET THE BLAME. Matty has had his share.

Google Books
Peter’s Quotations:
Ideas for Our Times

By Laurence J. Peter
New York, NY: Quill/Morrow
1993 (Originally published in 1977—ed.)
Pg. 154:
(In parentheses after a quote by Bertrand Russell—ed.)
Democracy is a process by which the people are free to choose the man who will get the blame.

Google Books
20,000 Quips & Quotes
By Evan Esar
New York, NY: Barnes & Noble Books
1995, ©1968
Pg. 213:
Democracy is a process by which the people are free to choose the man who will get the blame.

The Telegraph (UK)
Famous quotes about democracy
12:01AM BST 12 Jul 2007
(...)
Democracy is a process by which the people are free to choose the man who will get the blame.
Laurence J. Peter (1919 - 1988) (Peter died in 1990—ed.)

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • Sunday, November 04, 2012 • Permalink