From The Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce (published 1911):
Vote: The instrument and symbol of a freeman's power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his country.
Politics: A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.
Politician: An eel in the fundamental mud upon which the superstructure of organised society is reared. When he wriggles he mistakes the agitation of his tail for the trembling of the edifice. As compared with the statesman, he suffers the disadvantage of being alive.
Presidency: The greased pig in the field game of American politics.
President: The leading figure in a small group of men of whom - and of whom only - it is positively known that immense numbers of their countrymen did not want any of them for President.
Idiot: A member of a large and powerful tribe whose influence in human affairs has always been dominant and controlling. The Idiot's activity is not confined to any special field of thought or action, but pervades and regulates the whole. He has the last word in everything; his decision is unappealable. He sets the fashions of opinion and taste, dictates the limitations of speech and circumscribes conduct with a deadline.