… is from pages 105-106 of George Will’s newly published and superb 2019 book, The Conservative Sensibility :
Alchemy, which was the dream that chemistry could turn base metals into gold, is properly derided as a medieval superstition. Many contemporary Americans, however, have faith in political alchemy: The faith is that 270 electoral votes can do more than turn a person into a president, they can turn a lout into a gentleman, a mediocrity into a savant, a master of electoral politics into a moral tutor and embodiment of the national spirit.
DBx: Listen to the typical successful politician. He or she promises to perform miracles. He or she assures listeners that reality is optional. He or she is a con artist seeking power by duping gullible voters.