Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever: that considering numbers, nature and natural means only, a revolution of the wheel of fortune, an exchange of situation, is among possible events
–Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia (1783)
As democracy is perfected, the office of the president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and a complete narcissistic moron.
–H. L. Mencken, The Baltimore Evening Sun, July 26, 1920
Powerful quotes, but the premise of Mencken’s is nowhere near true. No “perfected” Democracy would pick the loser of an election (especially one who lost to another candidate by 2.9 million votes). Ours is unfortunately an ersatz democracy, very far from one person one vote, which has been for a few years moving further from perfection rather than closer. So while a downright fool and a complete narcissistic moron does now occupy the White House, he only represents the inner soul of a minority. (About 25% of citizens voted for the moron, and 74 million people voted for someone else.)