… the hydrostatic paradox of controversy. Don't you know what that means? Well, I will tell you. You know that, if you had a bent tube, one arm of which was of the size of a pipe-stem, and the other big enough to hold the ocean, water would stand at the same height in one as in the other. Controversy equalizes fools and wise men in the same way. And the fools know it.
All great ideas are controversial, or have been at one time.
Every real thought on every real subject knocks the wind out of somebody or other.
I am continually fascinated at the difficulty intelligent people have in distinguishing what is controversial from what is merely offensive.
No great advance has ever been made in science, politics, or religion, without controversy.
The dust of controversy is merely the falsehood flying off.
The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way.
When a subject is highly controversial… one cannot hope to tell the truth. One can only show how one came to hold whatever opinion one does hold. One can only give one's audience the chance of drawing their own conclusions as they observe the limitations, the prejudices, the idiosyncrasies of the speaker.
When a thing ceases to be a subject of controversy, it ceases to be a subject of interest.
When people generally are aware of a problem, it can be said to have entered the public consciousness. When people get on their hind legs and holler, the problem has not only entered the public consciousness — it has also become a part of the public conscience. At that point, things in our democracy begin to hum.