SWAP IN some names and this could be on the op-ed page this morning:
“We have seen what happens when the word ‘democracy’ is taken to be a synonym for mediocrity; is not taken to mean to raise all of its members to the highest possible level, but on the contrary to reduce such members as aspire to excellence down to the lowest common denominator.
We have begun to see what happens to a country when it is run according to the rules of a popularity contest, we have begun to see that we ourselves are far more dangerous for ourselves than Khrushchev or Castro. What we do not know about our black citizens is what we do not know about ourselves; and what we do not know about ourselves is that we do not know about the world– and the world know it.Nothing can save us– not all our money, nor all our bombs, nor all our guns–if we cannot achieve that long, long-delayed maturity.”
— James Baldwin, from “What Price Freedom?,” 1964