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Village idiot and comrades, don't complain

Nuku'alofa, Tonga


After reading letters from the village idiot, but more especially reading in the paper about his fellows is getting quite monotonous and actually I am beginning to believe - that it really causes physical brain drain (ie. the actually lowering of a person’s Intelligence Quotient; I am not referring to the phenomenon of aggregate skills and knowledge leaving a country but an actual chemical change in the human brain!). I do not know why they complain, they chose those people to represent them in the last elections.

A quote by H. L. Mencken comes to mind, “When a candidate for public office faces the voters he does not face men of sense; he faces a mob of men whose chief distinguishing mark is that they are quite incapable of weighing ideas, or even of comprehending any save the most elemental - men whose whole thinking is done in terms of emotion, and whose dominant emotion is dread of what they cannot understand. So confronted, the candidate must either bark with the pack, or count himself lost. His one aim is to disarm suspicion, to arouse confidence in his orthodoxy, to avoid challenge. If he is a man of convictions, of enthusiasm, or self-respect, it is cruelly hard …

“The larger the mob, the harder the test. In small areas, before small electorates, a first-rate man occasionally fights his way through, carrying even the mob with him by force of his personality. But when the field is nationwide, and the fight must be waged chiefly at second and third hand, and the force of personality cannot so readily make itself felt, then all the odds are on the man who is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre - the man who can most easily adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum.

“… As democracy is perfected, the [elected] office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people [ie village idiotocracy]. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House [the Parliament in Tonga’s case] will be adorned by a downright moron[s].”

If I did not know that Henry Lewis Mencken died over 50 years ago I would have thought he was referring to the evolution of Tonga’s Parliamentarian elections.

Amazingly true!

Kataki hono fakahoha’asi kimoutolu.

Faka’apa’apa lahi atu,

Daniel K. Fale

mauitekelangi [at] gmail [dot] com