Aaron Sorkin Quotes

“I love writing, but hate starting. The page is awfully white and it says, ‘You may have fooled some of the people some of the time but those days are over, Giftless. I’m not your agent and I’m not your mommy: I’m a white piece of paper. You wanna dance with me?’ and I really, really don’t. I’ll go peaceable-like.”
― Aaron Sorkin

 

“Toby Zeigler: There’s literally no one in the world I don’t hate right now.”
― Aaron Sorkin

 

“I’m a registered Republican, I only seem liberal because I believe that hurricanes are caused by high barometric pressure and not gay marriage.”
― Aaron Sorkin

 

“Mrs. Landingham, does the President have free time this morning?”

“The President has nothing but free time, Toby. Right now he’s in the residence eating Cheerios and enjoying Regis and Kathie Lee. Should I get him for you?”

“Sarcasm’s a disturbing thing coming from a woman of your age, Mrs. Landingham.”

“What age would that be, Toby?”

“Late twenties?”

“Atta boy.”
― Aaron Sorkin

 

 

“Good writers borrow from other writers. Great writers steal from them outright.”
― Aaron Sorkin

 

“The greater fool is actually an economic term. It’s a patsy. For the rest of us to profit, we need a greater fool— someone who will buy long and sell short. Most people spend their life trying not to be the greater fool; we toss him the hot potato, we dive for his seat when the music stops. The greater fool is someone with the perfect blend of self-delusion and ego to think that he can succeed where others have failed. This whole country was made by greater fools.”
― Aaron Sorkin

 

“Toby: All right. It couldn’t have gone far, right?

Sam: No.

Toby: Somewhere in this building…is our talent. ”
― Aaron Sorkin

 

“If you feel that strongly about something, you have an obligation to try and change my mind.”
― Aaron Sorkin

 

“We lead the world in only 3 categories: number of incarcerated citizens per capita, number of adults who believe angels are real, and defense spending, where we spend more than the next 26 countries combined, 25 of whom are allies. Now none of this is the fault of 20 year old college student, but you nonetheless are without a doubt a member of the worst period generation period ever period, so when you ask what makes us the greatest country in the world I don’t know what the f^&k you’re talking about.”
― Aaron Sorkin

 

 

“I like how you call homosexuality an abomination.”
“I don’t say homosexuality’s an abomination, Mr. President, the bible does.”
“Yes it does. Leviticus-”
“18:22”
“Chapter in verse. I wanted to ask you a couple questions while I had you here. I’m interested in selling my youngest daughter into slavery as sanctioned in exodus 21:7. She’s a Georgetown sophomore, speaks fluent Italian, always cleared the table when it was her turn. What would a good price for her be? While thinking about that can I ask another? My chief of staff, Leo Mcgary,insists on working on the sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly says he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself or is it ok to call the police? Here’s one that’s really important, cause we’ve got a lot of sports fans in this town. Touching the skin of a dead pig makes one unclean, Leviticus 11:7. If they promise to wear gloves, can the Washington Red Skins still play football? Can Notre Dame? Can West Point? does the whole town really have to be together to stone my brother John for planting different crops side by side? Can I burn my mother in a small family gathering for wearing garments made from two different threads?”
― Aaron Sorkin

 

 

“Margaret: Can I – can I just say something for the future?

Leo: Yeah.

Margaret: I can sign the President’s name. I have his signature down pretty good.

Leo: You can sign the President’s name?

Margaret: Yeah.

Leo: On a document removing him from power and handing it to someone else?

Margaret: Yeah! Or… do you think the White House Counsel would say that was a bad idea?

Leo: I think the White House Counsel would say it was a coup d’etat!

Margaret: Well. I’d probably end up doing some time for that.

Leo: I would think. And what the hell were you doing practicing the President’s signature?

Margaret: It was just for fun.”
― Aaron Sorkin

 

“Education is the silver bullet. Education is everything. We don’t need little changes. We need gigantic revolutionary changes. . . . Competition for the best teachers should be fierce. They should be getting six-figure salaries. Schools should be incredibly expensive for government and absolutely free of charge for its citizens, just like national defense.” –Sam Seaborne, West Wing”
― Aaron Sorkin

 

“Stupid people surround themselves with smart people. Smart people surround themselves with smart people who disagree with them.”
― Aaron Sorkin

 

“An artist’s job is to captivate… if we stumble into truth, we got lucky.”
― Aaron Sorkin

 

 

“I don’t want to analyze myself or anything, but I think, in fact I know this to be true, that I enter the world through what I write.
I grew up believing, and continue to believe, that I am a screw-up, that growing up with my family and friends, I had nothing to offer in any conversation.
But when I started writing, suddenly there was something that I brought to the party that was at a high-enough level.”
― Aaron Sorkin

 

“A friend is somebody who says the same things to your face that they would say if you’re not in the room.”
― Aaron Sorkin

 

“If you’re dumb, surround yourself with smart people. If you’re smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you.

(Isaac Jaffe, Sports Night)”
― Aaron Sorkin

 

“President Bartlet:

There’s a delegation of cardiologists having their pictures taken in the Blue Room. You wouldn’t think you could find a group of people more arrogant than the fifteen of us, but there they are, right upstairs in the Blue Room.”
― Aaron Sorkin

 

“We live in a world that has walls and those walls need to be guarded by men with guns.”
― Aaron Sorkin

 

“Music is what mathematics does on a Saturday night.”
― Aaron Sorkin

 

“Don’t tempt the wrath of the whatever from high atop the thing.”
― Aaron Sorkin

 

 

“Josh: So, Toby, it’s election night. What do you say about a country that goes out of its way to protect even those citizens that try to destroy it?
Toby: God bless America.”
― Aaron Sorkin

 

“She’s a person; the doctor pronounces her dead, not the news.”
― Aaron Sorkin

 

 

“President Josiah Bartlet: Good. I like your show. I like how you call homosexuality an abomination.

Dr. Jenna Jacobs: I don’t say homosexuality is an abomination, Mr. President. The Bible does.

President Josiah Bartlet: Yes, it does. Leviticus.

Dr. Jenna Jacobs: 18:22.

President Josiah Bartlet: Chapter and verse. I wanted to ask you a couple of questions while I had you here. I’m interested in selling my youngest daughter into slavery as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. She’s a Georgetown sophomore, speaks fluent Italian, always cleared the table when it was her turn. What would a good price for her be? While thinking about that, can I ask another? My Chief of Staff Leo McGarry insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly says he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or is it okay to call the police? Here’s one that’s really important ’cause we’ve got a lot of sports fans in this town: Touching the skin of a dead pig makes one unclean. Leviticus 11:7. If they promise to wear gloves, can the Washington Redskins still play football? Can Notre Dame? Can West Point? Does the whole town really have to be together to stone my brother John for planting different crops side by side? Can I burn my mother in a small family gathering for wearing garments made from two different threads? Think about those questions, would you? One last thing: While you may be mistaking this for your monthly meeting of the Ignorant Tight-Ass Club, in this building, when the President stands, nobody sits.”
― Aaron Sorkin

 

“Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinburg? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago, and you curse the marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That Santiago’s death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to.”
― Aaron Sorkin

 

“Government should be a place where people can come together, and no one gets left behind. No one…gets left behind. An instrument of good.”
― Aaron Sorkin

 

“There (is) order and even great beauty in what looks like total chaos. If we look closely enough at the randomness around us, patterns will start to emerge.”
― Aaron Sorkin

 

“This is a time for serious people, Bob, and your fifteen minutes are up.”
― Aaron Sorkin

 

 

“Decisions are made by those who show up”
― Aaron Sorkin

 

“A hero would die for his country, but he’d much rather live for it.”
― Aaron Sorkin

 

“And a wheat thin the size of Lake Tahoe.”
― Aaron Sorkin, The West Wing Script Book

 

“You know you really don’t need a forensic team to get to the bottom of this.”
― Aaron Sorkin

 

“TOBY: The world can move or not by changing some words.”
― Aaron Sorkin

 

“Oratory should raise your heart rate. Oratory should blow the doors off the place.”
― Aaron Sorkin

 

“I think mostly about intention and obstacle somebody wants something somethings standing in their way of getting it.”
― Aaron Sorkin

 

“Presidents don’t make new friends. That’s why they’ve got to keep their old ones.” Adm. Fitzwallace”
― Aaron Sorkin

 

“By and large, the mission of any ghost is to offer humility. They point out what’s important by mocking what is not.

(Joshua Malina, Sports Night)”
― Aaron Sorkin

 

“Develop your own compass, and trust it. Take risks, dare to fail, remember the first person through the wall always gets hurt.”
― Aaron Sorkin

 

 

“If you’re dumb, surround yourself with smart people, and if you’re smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you.”
― Aaron Sorkin

 

 

“There is order and even great beauty in what looks like total chaos. If we look closely enough at the randomness around us, patterns will start to emerge.”
― Aaron Sorkin

 

 

“You are like seven of the strangest women I have ever met.”
― Aaron Sorkin

 

 

“Maybe we should consider this for a second. Maybe, instead of surrendering the fight because a Marine made a mistake, maybe we should train Santiago. What do you think, I’m just spit-balling, but maybe we, as officers, have a responsibility to this country to see that the men charged with its security are trained professionals. Maybe we have that responsibility to other members of the Corps. Yes, yes, I’m certain I once read something like that. See, and now I’m trying to think about how I’d feel if some Marine got hurt or killed because a Pfc. in my command didn’t know what the fuck he was doing. And I’m trying to think about how the other members of his unit might feel, putting their lives in the hands of a man they can’t count on…and this brief meditation has brought me around to thinking that your suggestion of transferring Private Santiago off base, while expeditious, and certainly painless, might not be, in a manner of speaking, the “American Way”.”
― Aaron Sorkin

 

 

“This guy’s walking down the street when he falls in a hole. The walls are so steep he can’t get out.
“A doctor passes by and the guy shouts up, ‘Hey you. Can you help me out?’ The doctor writes a prescription, throws it down in the hole and moves on.
“Then a priest comes along and the guy shouts up, ‘Father, I’m down in this hole can you help me out?’ The priest writes out a prayer, throws it down in the hole and moves on
“Then a friend walks by, ‘Hey, Joe, it’s me can you help me out?’ And the friend jumps in the hole. Our guy says, ‘Are you stupid? Now we’re both down here.’ The friend says, ‘Yeah, but I’ve been down here before and I know the way out.”
― Aaron Sorkin

 

 

“You can’t handle the truth . You can’t handle the sad but historic reality. – Lt.Col Nathan Jessep”
― Aaron Sorkin

 

 

“You don’t need to wear a patch on your arm to have honor. – Lt.j.g Daniel A Kaffee”
― Aaron Sorkin

 

 

 

“The world can move or not by changing some words.”
― Aaron Sorkin

 

 

“I worship at the altar of obstacle and intention.”
― Aaron Sorkin

 

 

 

“You trashed the law. But we understand. You’re permitted. You have a greater responsibility than we can possibly fathom. You provide us with a blanket of freedom. We live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns, and nothing’s gonna stand in your way of doing it. Not Willy Santiago, not Dawson and Downey, not a thousand armies, not the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and not the Constitution of the United States. That’s the truth, isn’t it Colonel? I can handle it.”
― Aaron Sorkin

 

 

“You remind me of the man that lived by the river. He heard a radio report that the river was going to rush up and flood the town, and that the all the residents should evacuate their homes.

But the man said, “I’m religious. I pray. God loves me. God will save me.” The waters rose up. A guy in a rowboat came along and he shouted, “Hey, hey you, you in there. The town is flooding. Let me take you to safety.” But the man shouted back, “I’m religious. I pray. God loves me. God will save me.”

A helicopter was hovering overhead and a guy with a megaphone shouted, “Hey you, you down there. The town is flooding. Let me drop this ladder and I’ll take you to safety.” But the man shouted back that he was religious, that he prayed, that God loved him and that God will take him to safety.

Well… the man drowned. And standing at the gates of St. Peter he demanded an audience with God. “Lord,” he said, “I’m a religious man, I pray, I thought you loved me. Why did this happen?”

God said, “I sent you a radio report, a helicopter and a guy in a rowboat. What the hell are you doing here?

He sent you a priest, a rabbi and a Quaker. Not to mention his son, Jesus Christ. What do you want from him?”
― Aaron Sorkin

 

 

“If you were the inventors of Facebook, you’d have invented Facebook.”
― Aaron Sorkin

 

 

“LTJG Kaffee: I want the truth!

Col Jessup: You can’t handle the truth!”
― Aaron Sorkin

 

 

 

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