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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Entry forthcoming—B.P. (8/20)
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Entry from October 10, 2012
“When you choose the lesser of two evils, always remember that it is still an evil”

American journalist and author Max Lerner (1902-1992) wrote in Actions and Passions; Notes on the Multiple Revolution of Our Time (1949):

“When you choose the lesser of two evils, always remember that it is still an evil. You may have to make the choice, but do not fool yourself in to thinking that it is therefore a good.”

There are two major political parties in the United States (Republican and Democrat) and citizens often talk about voting for “the lesser of two evils.” Lerner’s line to “always remember that it is still an evil” has been frequently cited.

When the voting choice is “"the lesser of two evils,” it’s often written that the election is about “the evil of two lessers”


Wikipedia: Max Lerner
Maxwell “Max” Alan Lerner (December 20, 1902 – June 5, 1992) was an American journalist and educator known for his controversial syndicated column.
(...)
His column for the New York Post debuted in 1949. It earned him a place on the master list of Nixon political opponents. During most of his career he was considered a liberal. In his later years however, he was seen as something of a conservative, due to expressing support for the Reagan administration.

Google Books
Actions and Passions;
Notes on the Multiple Revolution of Our Time

By Max Lerner
New York, NY: Simon and Schuster
1949
Pg. 12:
When you choose the lesser of two evils, always remember that it is still an evil. You may have to make the choice, but do not fool yourself in to thinking that it is therefore a good.

Google Books
What a piece of work is man!:
Camp’s unfamiliar quotations from 2000 B.C. to the present

By Wesley Douglass Camp
Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall
1989, ©1990
Pg. 89:
When you choose the lesser of two evils, always remember that it is still an evil.
Max Lerner, Actions and Passions, 1949

Google Books
Words of Wisdom
By William Safire
New York, NY: Simon & Schuster
1990
Pg. 128:
When you choose the lesser of two evils, always remember that it is still an evil. — Max Lerner

Google Books
The International Thesaurus of Quotations: Revised Editon
By Eugene H. Ehrlich and Marshall De Bruhl
New York, NY: HarperPerennial
1996
Pg. 202:
When you choose the lesser of two evils, always remember that it is still an evil.
MAX LERNER, “POLITICS AND THE CONNECTIVE TISSUE,” ACTIONS AND PASSIONS (1949)

A Month of Italy
May 31, 2009
Thought for the Day
Would you agree that for most of us in what is left of the “West” (a term defining a civilization, culture, and heritage more than a geographic location), we have descended from voting for the lesser of two evils to voting for the evil of two lessers?

“When you choose the lesser of two evils, always remember that it is still an evil.” —Max Lerner

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • (0) Comments • Wednesday, October 10, 2012 • Permalink