Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Public Opinion

St. Louis -- National Politics are often like a weather vane, with the actors feeling the winds of public opinion and drawing their maps according to the way the ships would like to sail. If the people do not want to see a shoal or a reef in their way then it does not exist in politics.
Those that do not follow will lose their job, thus the leaders become the followers, wishing rather for ease and comfort then the slightest turmoil and difficulty, no matter how great the rewards.
When a patient is sick it is not always nor often that the cure is enjoyable or easy. When there is a man to whom his sickness is pleasure, health and happiness for him can never be a coexisting reality, the physician who takes away his sickness, which the patient perhaps does not think he has, the physician will be set upon as an enemy, no matter how dangerous the illness he cured was.
It is the same with politics, if a political malady is enjoyable to many an attempt at a remedy may be made by a few, a few who will be called radical, dangerous, or insane, they go against the norm, refuse to predict the wanted weather, but rather they tell the truth, and are laughed off of their stage.
All revolutions, however peaceful, begin by being looked on as comic acts, however, sometimes they are as necessary as a physician’s painful but helpful touch, like a leg that is infected being sawn off.
Principle is not always a very convenient thing, it is much easier to go with public opinion than anything else. Applause is easier to listen to than boos. We are a nation who values comfort, in everything from our chairs to our “work.” It is more comfortable to float with the stream than to go against it.
In America comfort and conform must go hand in hand, you cannot have the first without the last. He that conforms the best will have the most comfort. It is easier to walk in a crowd than to walk alone, the lone man does not have others to hide behind. A flock of sheep blown about by every shepherd that comes along feels more secure than a lone wolf raising up his voice.
Revolution is the cry of the lone wolf.
I close with a quote I saw on the wall of the Guilford Courthouse Battlefield Museum while there in 2012.

I hold it, a little revolution now and then is a good thing, and as necessary to the political world as storms to the physical.-Thomas Jefferson.

Andrew C. Abbott

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