Thursday, October 23, 2008

A certain Senator demagogue ...

"What all his critics fail to admit is that he has enormous charm and sex appeal and a characteristic man's man way of talking which dominates everyone around him, so that to a person ignorant of politics, he would seem just wonderful. The result is that it's truly terrifying to watch him work, because you wonder how can this man be stopped? Yet, on the other hand it's possibly not as bad as it seems, for I think a lot of his support is not active enthusiasm for his ideas, methods, etc., but simply the response of ignorant people to his vast and clever charm. The hope there is that when all the showdowns come, his minions may be startled to discover the ideas behind this guy they think is so great. The hope, I believe, is that he remains a reactionary. Just let him pick up a social program, and he'll be dictator, because as a demagogue he is really extraordinary. Even hating him, you have to admire him because he's so good at what he does."
--Norman Mailer, on McCarthy, in 1954

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