As America becomes more and more ignorant and intellectually dim, the business of holding or obtaining high office or rule becomes more and more a matter of despotism or Machiavellian chicanery—not so much because the opportunity lies open for it, but because the times and the people themselves call for it. They cannot accept or understand anything else. It is they who would bring on the corrupt rulers, not the rulers who would “fool” the electorate. Yes, some duping would occur, and some regrets. But we need not think that the system is altogether a bad fit, comparing ruler and ruled. Bad, yes. But bad fit, no.
Opportunism, where power-seekers are concerned, is in this sense overrated. Yes, it exists. But the “opportunity” is also to be viewed from the reverse direction, from the viewpoint of the electorate. When their intellect is darkened, do they not have different “goals” and “ideals”? Do they not find different things appealing? Are they, these masses, to be opposed—can they be opposed?—when they want something different than that which is sought by an ostensibly higher-minded or more virtuous constituency? Perhaps this is what Plato meant by saying that different societies have different rulers. Water seeks its own level.
Thus, any plan for “saving” a people calls for a change at the most basic level, not a fix at any level of leadership.
Because of this eventuality, it is only when we begin to contemplate a change at its most “unthinkable” level (or at its most “impossibly” far-reaching, grassroots level) that we truly begin to contemplate, for the first time, any real change at all. It all has to come down to incrementalism. To building a society from the bottom up. What basic beliefs that entails is a question many could debate, but it should be no secret to those who read my opinions that I believe it all comes down to how a society looks upon God. But whether one agrees with that or not, it should be clear that it all comes down to a change in the individual member of society, and such changes are always an outgrowth of that society’s overall worldview. It all comes down to a focus on the most fundamental aspects of society, and on the most elemental and even simplistic (but virtuous) inclinations, down to those twig-is-bent leanings toward or away from timeless morals. And it all must be backed by a belief that a summoning and prioritizing of values can effect a chain reaction, a domino effect, a yeast that spreads through the system. It’s the idea that what really is good for man can be what really is good for man… that what really is good for mankind can be what mankind perceives as really good for itself.
Seeking a turnaround in a nation by seeking a better leader, in such a darkening world, is a matter of too little too late. We ought seek a better leader, yes. But maintaining any hope based on that kind of leadership, in that kind of climate, is rather like spitting in the ocean.
Meanwhile, as with all nobler schemes, dreams, or plans, a hope for a better society calls for a leap of belief, a commitment to a plan or ideal that at first, and even at the end, will not be accepted by all. For such is the nature of all such ideals—they will never be perceived as the ideal, nor even as the happy medium, by all who would be the target of such causes. Yet that consideration—their disinclinations—cannot be given any credence by those who do believe.
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