Sunday, March 09, 2008

Good and dull beats exciting and stylish

“We got a mad crush on the lot of them. They were so stylish, so charming, and - at least in their public moments - so gracefully behaved… This may be the stupidest thing that has ever happened in a democracy. And it certainly shows an emptiness at the center of our idea of government, if not at the center of our lives. A desire to adore a head of state is a grim transgression against republicanism. It is worse than having a head of state who demands to be adored. It is worse even than the forced adoration of the state itself… There are some 230 million of us and we’d better start talking sense to ourselves soon. The President of the United States is our employee. The services he and his legislative cohorts contract for us are not gifts or benefices. We have to pay for every one of them, sometimes with our money, sometimes with our skins.

If we can remember this, we’ll get a good, dull Cincinnatus like Eisenhower or Coolidge. Our governance will be managed with quiet and economy. We’ll have no need to go looking for Kennedys to love. And no need to boil over with hatred for them later”

- From “Mordred Had a Point - Camelot Revisited” in “Give War a Chance”

blog comments powered by Disqus