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Do You Believe in Magic?

Posted By Don Boudreaux On October 8, 2010 @ 7:31 am In Hubris and humility,Myths and Fallacies | Comments Disabled

Here’s a letter to USA Today:

Jonah Goldberg might be correct that young Americans are today much less spellbound by Barack Obama than they were in 2008 (“To Obama’s chagrin, young voters get serious [1],” Oct. 7).  But I wonder if the perverse instincts that prompted such rapturous devotion in the first place are really disappearing.  A feature of the national character that H.L. Mencken diagnosed in 1919 likely remains no less vibrant today, for it appeared as recently as two years ago: “We are, in fact, a nation of evangelists; every third American devotes himself to improving and lifting up his fellow citizens, usually by force; the messianic delusion is our national disease.”*

Barack Obama is only the most recent symptom of this ridiculous and dangerous malady.

Sincerely,
Donald J. Boudreaux

* H.L. Mencken, Prejudices: A Selection [2] (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996), pp. 7-8.

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[1] To Obama’s chagrin, young voters get serious: http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/forum/2010-10-05-column05_ST_N.htm?loc=interstitialskip&POE=click-refer

[2] Prejudices: A Selection: http://www.amazon.com/Prejudices-Selection-Buncombe-Collection-Mencken/dp/0801885353/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1286537425&sr=1-2-fkmr0

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