As the American politician who uttered those famous words found out, insulting your electorate is not usually the wisest of career moves. He never got to fight another election.
Trevor Sargent, however, clearly believes the time has come to put us firmly in our place. According to the Minister of State for Food and former leader of the Green Party, we are "probably the most useless generation ever to have strode the face of the Earth".
This is not just because well over 90pc of us morons refuse to vote for his party, it seems, but because we can't carry out the most basic of practical tasks, such as mending a broken tyre.
When the University of Limerick's Green Party branch invited Sargent to give a talk earlier this week, a Nostradamus-like prophecy of doom combined with a Roy Keane-style pep talk was presumably not what they had in mind.
That, however, seems to have been exactly what they got. The man ironically nicknamed "Clever Trevor" by his colleagues says that the future is so perilous, we need "to adopt a World War Two lifestyle" if we're going to survive. We knew things were bad, but is a return to the days of censorship and the Glimmer Man really official policy?
It's not all bad news. Trevor promises that life in 2020 "will be busier but less stressful, and we will probably be healthier and lead more useful lives". Needless to say, however, that's entirely dependent on us cutting out oil and fully signing on for the Green agenda.
At the risk of sounding unkind, it may be pointed out that Trevor himself has not exactly made a massive contribution towards saving the planet since he took up his current position.
Last December, he found the time to issue a press release advising people on the best way to cook Brussels sprouts for their Christmas dinner. Since then, many of his announcements have come complete with a handy tip for the kitchen, causing some Leinster House wags to dub him the "Gordon Ramsay of Government" -- although it can't be stressed enough that nobody has ever heard a swear word pass the man's lips.
His bizarre University of Limerick speech is far from being the first time that Trevor's rash pronouncements have made him look a bit silly.
Before last year's general election, he delivered a real hostage to fortune when he declared that he'd resign as party leader before going into government with Fianna Fail. That promise probably didn't deliver a single extra Green vote, but it is the reason why John Gormley sits at the cabinet table and poor Trevor is stuck with one of the most powerless jobs in government.
He also forced many of his fellow Greens to stifle giggles when he publicly complained that he couldn't get invited on to The Late Late Show. His consolation prize was an excruciating performance on Podge and Rodge which ended with the terrible twins pronouncing: "Trevor, you're not nearly such a pain in the hole as we expected." For Sargent, sadly, that was about as good as it got.
We should, of course, be deeply ashamed that we don't all live up to Trevor Sargent's impeccably high standards. This is, after all, a man who rides a bike, grows his own organic vegetables and gives lessons in both the guitar and the Irish language (not at the same time). Compared to this kind of all-rounder, most of us could be forgiven for feeling inadequate.
Somehow or other, however, the most useless generation that ever strode the Earth will just have to find a way to struggle on without Trevor's approval.