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Bark With The Pack or Be Lost

"[W]hen a candidate for public office faces the voters he does not face men of sense; he faces a mob of men whose chief distinguishing mark is the fact that they are quite incapable of weighing ideas, or even of comprehending any save the most elemental--men whose whole thinking is done in terms of emotion, and whose dominant emotion is dread of what they cannot understand. So confronted, the candidate must either bark with the pack or be lost...

[A]ll the odds are on the man who is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre--the man who can most adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum. The Presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men. As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."

This is a great quote about the mindset of the electorate. When I first read it, I thought it was written recently. But when I got to the end I found it was written in 1920 by H.L. Mencken. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Thanks to Andrew Sullivan.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
silverdee
Nov. 10th, 2004 09:33 am (UTC)
I just read something about that in the last week. The article said Rove has used this method through Bush's career very successfully. It does not bode well for the future of informed, issue-oriented political discourse.
preciousfew
Nov. 10th, 2004 04:09 pm (UTC)
that is really scary and sad all at once.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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