Paul David Wellstone (21 July 1944 – 25 October 2002) was a two-term U.S. Senator from the U.S. state of Minnesota and member of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, which is affiliated with the national Democratic Party.
- A politics that is not sensitive to the concerns and circumstances of people's lives, a politics that does not speak to and include people, is an intellectually arrogant politics that deserves to fail.
- Above and beyond the question of how to grow the economy there is a legitimate concern about how to grow the quality of our lives.
- As free citizens in a political democracy, we have a responsibility to be interested and involved in the affairs of the human community, be it at the local or the global level.
- I dare to imagine a country where every child I hold in my hands, are all God's children, regardless of the color of their skin, regardless of whether they're boy or girl, regardless of religion, regardless of rich or poor, that every child I hold in my hands, will have the same chance to reach her full potential or his full potential. That is the goodness of our country. That is the essence of the American dream.
- I don't think politics has anything to do with left, right, or center. It has to do with trying to do right by people.
- I represent the Democratic wing of the Democratic party.
- I saw as a teacher how, if you take that spark of learning that those children have, and you ignite it, you can take a child from any background to a lifetime of creativity and accomplishment. But if you snuff out that spark of learning, it is the cruelest and most shortsighted thing a nation can do. Too many children see that spark of learning snuffed out.
- I think the prophetic tradition of our faith is that to love God is to love justice.
- If we don't fight hard enough for the things we stand for, at some point we have to recognize that we don't really stand for them.
- Never separate the life you live from the words you speak.
- Our aims in political activism are not, and should not be, to create a perfect utopia. What we seek is more simply to improve the quality of human life while at the same time respecting the natural environment which sustains it: 'Not a heaven on earth but a better earth on earth.' This is not at all a timid agenda, far from it. The work ahead of us is enormous!
- Our politics are our deepest form of expression: they mirror our past experiences and reflect our dreams and aspirations for the future.
- People have to hear words that not only sound right but feel right. I think it's in part the economic message, but it's also in part a message about community, about who we are as a nation, about how to live a life in which you don't have to separate the life you live from the words you speak, be that in your relationship with your family, your community, your country or your world. I don't want to give an inch on a 'family values' agenda…
- Politics is not about power. Politics is not about money. Politics is not about winning for the sake of winning. Politics is about the improvement of people's lives. It's about advancing the cause of peace and justice in our country and the world. Politics is about doing well for the people.
- Politics is not predictions and politics is not observations. Politics is what we do. Politics is what we do, politics is what we create, by what we work for, by what we hope for and what we dare to imagine.
- Sometimes, the only realists are the dreamers. Robert Kennedy once said, "The future will not belong to those who are content with the present." I think the future also will not belong to those who are cynical or those who stand on the sidelines. The future will belong to those who have passion and are willing to work hard to make our country better. The future will belong to those, in Eleanor Roosevelt's words, "who believe in the beauty of their dreams."
- The American polity is infected with a serious imbalance of power between elites and masses, a power which is the principal threat to our democracy.
- The only way to change is to vote. People are responsible.
- The people of this country, not special interest big money, should be the source of all political power.
- There is an elementary aspiration which undergirds the humane impulse in our history and our culture and binds us together as political activists. This is a simple, irreducible, indisputable aspiration. It is the 'dream of justice' for a beloved community, in which the level of terror in people's lives is sharply reduced or maybe eliminated. It is the belief that extremes and excesses of inequality must be reduced so that each person is free to fully develop his or her full potential. This is why we take precious time out of our lives and give it to politics.
- We can remake the world daily.
- What makes community organizing especially attractive is the faith it places in the ability of the poor to make decisions for themselves.
- What the poor, the weak, and the inarticulate desperately require is power, organization, and a sense of identity and purpose, not rarefied advice of political scientists.
- When too many Americans don't vote or participate, some see apathy and despair. I see disappointment and even outrage. And I believe that out of this frustration can come hope and action.
- The Paul and Sheila Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Center at the University of Minnesota
- Senator, family members killed in Minnesota plane crash, CNN, October 25, 2002
- Friends Recall Dreamer, Roll Call, October 28, 2002
- Congress Mourns Wellstone, Roll Call, October 28, 2002
- The Voice of Paul Wellstone