Trial Balance: The Education of An American

By Alan Valentine | Go to book overview

XI
The Political Mind

THE fugitive from the ivory tower had become the fugitive from Capitol Hill. Education had led him to politics and politics had led him to new education, but neither had taught him how to function happily in either environment. To both he was now a displaced person. He had no desire to be anything else, but his come-uppance in politics left him with much to think about, and a sharpened curiosity about the mental machinery of those who direct democratic government. Though he remained remote from the doings of capital and campus, he continued to speculate on the vagaries of their practices.

The practice of politics has been called the systematic organization of hatreds. Though Angus had some reasons for disillusion, he could not agree. He had not found hatred the chief ingredient of the Washington stew. The politician, as distinguished from the statesman, may not shrink from using for his purposes whatever hatreds come easily to hand, but he seldom creates or organizes them. Men who pull the wires in Washington, or in any

-218-

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