Jim Hightower

Texas author and liberal political activist

James "Jim" Allen Hightower (born January 11, 1943) is an American syndicated columnist, progressive political activist, and author. From 1983 to 1991 he served as elected commissioner of the Texas Department of Agriculture.

Jim Hightower in 2008
Jim Hightower in 2012


  • There's nothing in the middle of the road but a yellow stripe and dead armadillos.
    • There's Nothing in the Middle of the Road but Yellow Stripes and Dead Armadillos (1998)
  • If you do not speak up when it matters, when would it matter that you speak? The opposite of courage is conformity. Even a dead fish can go with the flow.
    • "A celebration of agitation". Arizona Daily Star. 2002-07-26. 
  • Populism is at its essence [...] just determined focus on helping people be able to get out of the iron grip of the corporate power that is overwhelming our economy, our environment, energy, the media, government. [...] One big difference between real populism and what the Tea Party thing is, is that real populists understand that government has become a subsidiary of corporations. So you can't say, let's get rid of government. You need to be saying let's take over government.
  • Here come the Democrats, again, you know, just weaker than Canadian hot sauce. You know? Offering a little reform. I saw one of the Senators, Democrats, saying, we're going to have a robust disclosure program. Oh, good. They're going to tell us they're stealing from us. But at least we're going to know.
    • Bill Moyers Journal, 30 April 2010
  • The water won't clear up until we get the hogs out of the creek.
    • Bill Moyers Journal, 30 April 2010
  • Responding to withering public criticism of the state's chaotic and disastrous response to a killer winter storm, Abbott fumed, "What happened this week to our fellow Texans is absolutely unacceptable."... Abbott pointed his outrage at ERCOT, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the agency charged with maintaining a reliable flow of electricity... But wait... ERCOT merely administers policies set by the Public Utility Commission... And who appointed the three members of that commission? Why, Greg, it was you! In fact, the chairwoman and one of the two other members of PUC are former top staffers of the governor... Abbott has been governor for six years, and not once has he proposed legislation to require that the corporate owners of electric utilities protect the grid from freezes... he also claims that the 2021 winter vortex was unprecedented and therefore couldn't have been anticipated. Oops ... wait again. A notorious rolling grid failure in a 2011 snowstorm left millions of Texans in deadly darkness.
    • Jim Hightower, What the Texas Deep Freeze Revealed About Corporate-Run Government, Common Dreams (24 February 2021)
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