Sunday, November 05, 2006
Pinnacle of democracy
A recent survey conducted by Britain's Guardian, Canada's Toronto Star and La Presse, Mexico's Reforma and Israel's Haaretz saw Bush coming in second place on a list of world leaders most likely to pose a 'great or moderate danger to [global] peace', behind boogieman Bin Laden but ahead of such stalwarts as North Korea's Dear Leader Kim Jong-Il; Hizbollah head honcho, Hassan Nasrallah; and Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

It seems timely to once again dust off that observation by H L Mencken:

The larger the mob, the harder the test. In small areas, before small electorates, a first-rate man occasionally fights his way through, carrying even the mob with him by force of his personality. But when the field is nationwide, and the fight must be waged chiefly at second and third hand, and the force of personality cannot so readily make itself felt, then all the odds are on the man who is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre—the man who can most easily 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.

posted by Hong at 9:36 pm | Permalink | 0 comments