Althouse cited a great quote from C.K. Chesterton. It states, with that impeccable and understated sophistication I can only dream of, what I’ve cried about politics to my circle of acquaintances. Over, and over, and over…
But who cares?
We have our toys, our cheap entertainment, we can flaunt our consumption conspicuously. Does it matter that the dynamics of our representative democracy is fraught with self-perpetuated, systemic incompatibilities with any sort quality leadership?
For every practical purpose of a political state, for every practical purpose of a tea-party, he that abaseth himself must be exalted. At a tea-party it is equally obvious that he that exalteth himself must be abased, if possible without bodily violence. Now people talk of democracy as being coarse and turbulent: it is a self-evident error in mere history. Aristocracy is the thing that is always coarse and turbulent: for it means appealing to the self-confident people. Democracy means appealing to the different people. Democracy means getting those people to vote who would never have the cheek to govern: and (according to Christian ethics) the precise people who ought to govern are the people who have not the cheek to do it.
The very fact that politics, in our American government, is left, by obnoxious default, to those who seek power and possess the will to rule, in itself disqualifies dignified and benevolent governance.
American politics are extroversion, embodied: blustery, egregious, artificial, overblown, hysterical, lacking equanimity and introspection.
Modern American politics are not the realm of the silent, pensive man. We need a dictatorship to put this country back on track. We need to install quality rulers, not vote in wilting, plastic idols of public opinion and cheesy popularity.
It reminds me of the old axiom about youth and life experience.
“Youth is wasted on the young.”
But for American politics, the analogy would be: “Governance is wasted on the egotistical.”
Better yet, “democracy is wasted on the individual.”