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Do You Believe in Magic?

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,” 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.

Donald J. Boudreaux

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