Monday, January 09, 2006

deHaven Smith on the Florida election scandal: "At that point, frankly, my political orientation quit mattering. What started mattering to me was having a democracy, having a government that was actually responsive. One of the things I would hear a lot is people would say, well, if the Democrats were in, they would do the same thing. And I thought about that, and…my conclusion…is “hell no, they wouldn’t.” I know the Democrats; I know Reuben Askew. That guy would have been an absolute maniac about being technically and legally and ethically straightforward and correct in the application of the law. If there had been a recount under his administration, he would have been bending over backwards to make sure it was right. (But) today, the belief in the truth, that there (even) is a truth, has pretty much vanished across the board. It’s not just Democrats; it’s not just Republicans. But it’s been replaced by cynicism."

"After Socrates was executed, Plato, his student, went out to the countryside to buy a piece of land. He bought it from the family of a war hero named Academus. … And the academy today is called that by virtue of this decision. The reason Plato went out of town is, he realized the town people didn’t want to hear that their beliefs about the gods were myths, that their institutions were founded somewhat arbitrarily, that they didn’t know what they were talking about when they said they wanted justice. You’d like to hope that in the 21st century people would be mature enough, but I don’t know. This is a turning point potentially for us. If we don’t recognize the disorder, I don’t think we have many years left of democracy in the United States. I’m not entirely convinced that it’s not too late, even as we speak."

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