You can fool all of the people some of the time.
That’s one-third of a famous quote, from Abraham Lincoln. Cynics depend on that to maintain power. After all, in a democracy you only have to fool most of the people once in a while, at the time of an election, to rule.
At a transformative time — and this is such a time — that trick doesn’t work. But it does work most of the time, which is why concern trolls continue to trot it out. Even now.
"I’m not a racist. I’m an adult. But most people aren’t," they’ll say. "Most people are easily manipulated. They’re fools. Want proof? They listen to me."
Want further proof? Just look at the polls.
In the face of such "overwhelming evidence" it is easy for idealists to get discouraged. The worst thing that can happen, however, is that you accept the trolls’ premise. I’m an adult, you’re an adult, but those people over there are children, easily led, just looking to follow.
That way lies madness.
Now I think Mencken was one of our greatest writers, but his own politics were fascist. His sensibility, the idea that there is a "better" class of person and that the majority is a mob, sounds great in the salon, but if you really believe that blatherskite you should turn in your American citizenship.
Each new Thesis rises based on reaction to what came before. The cynicism of the Nixon Era, whose sunset we now see before us, was a reaction to the idealism, the Capra-corn if you will, of the Roosevelt Era. Which itself was a reaction against Menckenism.
But a sunset is a mirage. It’s a trick of the light. It’s the same
Sun, its light falling on the same Earth, only the angle at which it is
hitting the atmosphere is oblique, so it bounces around and you get
these cool color effects.
Don’t be fooled. Don’t let the short term bump of a day or even a
few days deter you from your basic mission, a belief that Americans are
not children, that we are adults, that we can be treated as adults
and, if so treated, will do the right thing.
Thanks to the concern trolls this has become the issue of the 2008 campaign. This has
become the choice, between idealism and cynicism, between the top-down
and the bottom-up.
Don’t believe me. Read Obama’s speech yourself.
Listen to it for yourself. He deliberately gave it a flat delivery, so
that you might engage your mind and not be carried away by anyone’s emotions, even his own.
These next few weeks are a test of the emerging thesis, the idea
that a bottom-up movement can face down the top-down nattering classes.
Barack Obama is not being tested here. You are.
If you let yourself be swayed by the concern trolls, frankly, you
deserve to lose everything you have, and everything you hold dear. You
will have surrendered your freedom to think for the last time. We’ve
already lost our economy, our incomes, and our reputations, under the
leadership of these media asshats.
But if you want your country, you have to take it back. And part of
taking it back means standing on your own two feet, doing your own
research, making your own decision, and taking responsibility.