On Politics in General

“I suppose that’s why you shouldn’t discuss politics in mixed company,” Mrs. Bowman said.

“But there is one political discussion you can always have without risk of giving offense,” Mr. Magundi remarked. “We can always say that all politicians are venal liars, that they are all looking out only for themselves, that they don’t care about their constituents at all. You will get nothing but agreement from everyone in the room, whatever other political beliefs and fanaticisms may divide them. It is as neutral as saying that the weather is rainy today, or that the leaves are beginning to turn.

“And isn’t that a dreadful calamity? Why are we so thoroughly convinced that the representatives we have chosen for ourselves are bad choices? Aren’t we reflecting very poorly on our own performance at the voting booth? Why do we not automatically leap to the defense of the men and women we ourselves have elected? I myself will start the conversation: I believe that the city councilwoman from our district is industrious, intelligent, and incorruptible, and I will fight anyone who says otherwise.”