[E]very candidate of the party that votes is being forced this year to take a stand on abortion, and if the stand should be taken on law and not on the Good Book, the result can be very ugly indeed for the poor politician because abortion is against God’s law: “Thou shalt not kill.” Since this commandment is absolute any candidate who favors abortion must be defeated as a Satanist. On the other hand, any candidate who does not favor capital punishment must be defeated as permissive. In the land of the twice-born, the life of the fetus is sacred; the life of the adult is not.
Gore Vidal, ‘The Real Two-Party System’, in United States: Essays, 1952-1992, New York, 2001, p. 953
It is ironic—to use the limpest adjective—that a government as spontaneously tyrannous and callous as ours should, over the years, have come to care so much about our health as it endlessly tests and retests commercial drugs available in other lands while arresting those who take “hard” drugs on the parental ground that they are bad for the user’s health. One is touched by their concern—touched and dubious. After all, these same compassionate guardians of our well-being have sternly, year in an year out, refused to allow us to have what every other First World country simply takes for granted, a national health service.
Gore Vidal, Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, New York, 2002, p. 58
To deny inconvenient opinions a hearing is one way the few have of controlling the many. But as Richard Nixon used to say, “That would be the easy way.” The slyer way is to bombard the public with misinformation. During more than half a century of corruption by the printed word in the form “news”—propaganda disguised as fact—I have yet to read a story favorable to another society’s social and political arrangements. Swedes have free health care, better schools than ours, child day-care center for working mothers… but the Swedes are all drunks who commit suicide (even blonde blue-eyed people must pay for such decadent amenities). Lesson? No national health care, no education, etc., because-as William Bennett will tell you as soon as a TV red light switches on-social democracy, much less socialism, is just plain morally evil. Far better to achieve the good things in life honestly, by inheriting money or winning a lottery. The American way.
Gore Vidal, ‘A Corrupt System’, in Joshua Cohen and Joel Rogers (eds.), Money and Politics, Boston, 1999