A European Perspective on Washington
"We must all hang together, or assuredly, we shall all hang separately."
Benjamin Franklin, at Philadelphia, 4 July 1776
Politics is about the representation of conflicting demands; government is about resolving these conflicts authoritatively and to a nation's benefit. In principle, the two activities should be complementary. In practice, politics and government can be in opposition, for what people want or what interest groups demand may not be what government can (or should) provide. A government must be responsive to popular demands to maintain political consent. Yet a government must also make decisions that are unpopular yet necessary to maintain its collective authority.____________________
In view of the particular thrust of the chapter, it should be emphasized that the author writes from the perspective of a Truman Democrat, albeit a native Missourian who has "come a long way from St. Louis" since commencing the study of comparative politics by sailing to England in 1953, and has crossed the Atlantic many times since to study governments on opposite sides of the Atlantic.