Aspen Ideas Festival Highlights

The Aspen Ideas Festival is billed as several days of interesting conversation. But what are these people actually saying? Since not everyone can make it to Aspen for the meeting of the minds, here are some of the top quotes to come from the past few days (sourced for Aspen Ideas Festival staff). The Aspen Ideas Festival, presented by the Aspen Institute, runs through July 2: 

“China is a country ruled by men as opposed to laws.” —Hank Paulson

“Once you establish the right to equality, once you establish the right to marry, I don’t think you’re going to get backlash. You sometimes find backlash when you establish a new right. Nobody thinks allowing gays and lesbians to marry is going to harm them; they may disapprove, but they don’t think it’s going to harm.” —David Boies

“I think of revenue like oxygen: it’s vital for life but it’s not the purpose of life. You don’t think, ‘I’ve got to get enough oxygen today.’” —Dick Costolo

“We grossly overestimate the short-term impact of technological advances, but we underestimate the long-term impact of the advances.” —Eric Lander

House Majority Leader Cantor discussed a variety of topics with Ramesh Ponnuru, including immigration. “I don’t think many people would say you’re going to deport 11 or 12 million people, or that they’re going to self deport,” said Cantor. “We’ve got to figure out some way to arrive at a status for an individual so they don’t have to worry when they get pulled over at a traffic stop they’re gong to get deported.”

“Every elected leader should spend at least a year running a big, high-volume restaurant. Because there’s no margin for enemies.” —John Hickenlooper

“The country is becoming more diverse, and the Republican Party can and should do better. We have more responsibility to attempt to do better among nonwhite voters, which includes Indians, Norwegians, and grumpy people.” —Karl Rove

“Women must not pay the price for the stability [Egypt] is requiring. We are the cheapest bargaining chips thrown across the table to appease people.” —Mona Eltahawy
“Elections are necessary, but they’re not sufficient. If one is focused only on an election and not on institution building, you’ve only got half the story.” —Madeleine Albright