G. K. Chesterton on the candidates

The Anchoress has found a wonderful quote from G. K. Chesterton that seems to describe the two major party candidates for president in a nutshell:

“There are two kinds of peacemakers in the modern world; and they are both, though in various ways, a nuisance. The first peacemaker is the man who goes about saying that he agrees with everybody. He confuses everybody. The second peacemaker is the man who goes about saying that everybody agrees with him. He enrages everybody. Between the two of them they produce a hundred times more disputes and distractions than we poor pugnacious people would ever have thought of in our lives.” (G.K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News 3-3-06)

When I read the comments, I was amazed to find one asking which peacemaker was supposed to be McCain, and which Obama, since the answer seemed obvious to me. Imagine my surprise when another comment said that of course McCain is the guy who says everyone agrees with him. I took it the exact opposite way: McCain is the one who says he agrees with everyone, who has always tried to build consensus, to be bi-partisan, to have a cordial working relationship with the likes of Ted Kennedy and Charles Schumer. Obama, on the other hand, is the messianic figure who wants to “bring us all together” and somehow produce “unity” under his essentially Marxist aegis. When he calls for unity, he’s calling for everyone who thinks the way I do to stop it, and start thinking the way he does – or better yet, stop thinking at all, and just start chanting “O-ba-ma” like the people in that creepy TV commercial.

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