Alexis de Tocqueville, culture, Culture of Illusion, Democracy in America, politics, President Barack Obama, President of the United States, Talking Heads, US, US 2012, US Presidential Election 2012, US presidents, writing
As I happened to be reading Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville, this Sunday morning, I came across a passage that seems to contain some resonance as regards the approaching Circus. Here I share it with you now:
For a long while before the appointed time is at hand the election becomes the most important and the all-engrossing topic of discussion. The ardor of faction is redoubled; and all the artificial passions which the imagination can create in the bosom of a happy and peaceful land are agitated and brought to light. The President, on the other hand, is absorbed by the cares of self-defence. He no longer governs for the interest of the State, but for that of his re-election; he does homage to the majority, and instead of checking its passions, as his duty commands him to do, he frequently courts its worst caprices. As the election draws near, the activity of intrigue and the agitation of the populace increase; the citizens are divided into hostile camps, each of which assumes the name of its favorite candidate; the whole nation glows with feverish excitement; the election is the daily theme of the public papers, the subject of private conversation, the end of every thought and every action , the sole interest of the present. As soon as the choice is determined, this ardor is dispelled; and as a calmer season returns, the current of the State, which had nearly broken its banks, sinks to its usual level: but who can refrain from astonishment at the causes of the storm.
Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was. etc. etc. etc.