On Not Learning from History and Electing Presidents

Good politics doesn't not necessarily mean good presidents

DonnaW / Pixabay

“History has tried hard to teach us that we can’t have good government under politicians. Now, to go and stick one at the very head of the government couldn’t be wise.”
-Mark Twain in the New York Herald, August 26, 1876

The process of becoming president requires a man of unique skill and talent, most of which are ill-suited for real leadership.

Yeah, so what’s my point?

Here we go again…

On Town Hall Meetings

“The thug is aware that loudness convinces sixty persons where reasoning convinces but one.
-Mark Twain

But those sixty people are convinced of an argument upon which there is no basis in reason – the thug makes a fool of his followers and a mockery of rational thought.

On Confusing Belief with Truth and Repition with Examination

“In religion and politics people’s beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue but have taken them at second-hand from other non-examiners, whose opinions about them were not worth a brass farthing”
-Mark Twain, Autobiography

I know its true ‘cause I just read it on a blog and heard Rush Limbaugh talk about it.



On Truth and the Public Trust

The Pen and the Sword - Which is Mightier?When an honest writer discovers an imposition it is his simple duty to strip it bare and hurl it down from its place of honor, no matter who suffers by it; any other course would render him unworthy of the public confidence.
-Mark Twain, A Tramp Abroad

The writer is best when he is the impostor’s worst enemy.

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On Elections, Politics, and Human Nature

“If we would learn what the human race really is at bottom, we need only observe it in election times.”
Mark Twain, Autobiography

Elections reflect the highest ideals of society, executed by the lowest means of human nature.  

On Party and Patriotism

“No party holds the privilege of dictating to me how I shall vote. If loyalty to party is a form of patriotism, I am no patriot. If there is any valuable difference between a monarchist and an American, it lies in the theory that the American can decide for himself what is patriotic and what isn’t. I claim that difference. I am the only person in the sixty millions that is privileged to dictate my patriotism.”
-Mark Twain

Party politics is the reality of our political process, but does it always foster a truly patriotic spirit?

Nobody, whether Democrat, Republican, or any other political party, can decree what constitutes individual patriotism. For better or worse, that is left for me to decide – but only for me. You’ll have to decide for yourself, as will what is now some 300 million other American souls.

What a messy business this American republic is. And when it works, what a miracle.

On Frustration with Democrats in Congress

Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of congress. But I repeat myself.”
–Mark Twain

Suppose the Democrats started to effectively engage the Bush White House on the abuse, incompetence, and deception of the past seven years.

But then I’d just be dreaming.

On the Value of Questioning Authority

Irreverence is the champion of liberty and its only sure defense”
-Mark Twain

Any power, belief, idea, or proclamation can only prove its worth through contempt and, if worthwhile and right, redemption.

It is by trial that our characters, and our ideas, or forged.