Democracy in America in the 21st Century

“If you argue with a madman, it is extremely probable that you will get the worst of it; for in many ways his mind moves all the quicker for not being delayed by the things that go with good judgement. He is not hampered by a sense of humor or by charity, or by the dumb certainties of experience. He is the more logical for losing certain sane affections…The madman is not the man who has lost his reason. The madman is the man who has lost everything except his reason.” -G.K. Chesterton

Democracy and politics are rough businesses. There is no expectation of civility, fair play, honesty, or evenhandedness. Democracy is a dog-eat-dog scrabble of voices, interests, and opinions all vying for power and primacy in a scorched earth, zero-sum, total war. There are no heroes in politics. There are no saints. There are no friends, only temporary allies, useful idiots, and cannon fodder. There are only polls and demographics and issues and elections and votes. Consensus? Consensus is a pipe dream invented by the less motivated and the weak willed. Compromise is surrender. Ideals? Ideals are words and words are wind. Negotiation? Discussion? Those are for the ceasefire; the moments taken to regroup and plan the next assault on the enemy. Meet the enemy on even ground? Nonsense. Force them to fight on ground not of their choosing and force them to defend the indefensible. Do your sympathetic and erstwhile allies start to show some sympathy for the opposition or question the nature of your attacks and the convictions of the struggle? Gouge their eyes out. Never retreat. Never surrender. Find the enemy and run him through with the bayonet. That is politics. That is democracy. That is America. Fall in line.

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