It is amazing how many of the horrors of the 20th century were a result of charismatic quacks misleading millions of people to their own doom. What is even more amazing is that, after a century that saw the likes of Hitler, Lenin and Mao, we still see no need to distrust charisma as a basis for choosing leaders, either in politics or in numerous organizations and movements.
Why are some people so shocked at the idea that campaign contributions bought presidential pardons, when they were not shocked at the idea that illegal campaign contributions from China bought a presidential release of American technology that can enable the Chinese Communists to incinerate American cities with nuclear missiles?
Since USA Today and the Miami Herald have just finished their own Florida recounts and concluded that Bush won, will the Democrats now follow the advice they have given to others in the past: "Get over it" and "Let's move on"?
When Japan sells us enough cars to buy Rockefeller Center, that is just another even exchange. But accounting rules call it an international trade "deficit" because the cars crossed international borders, while Rockefeller Center stayed put. Yet the media, politicians and the intelligentsia spread alarms because they pay more attention to the word than to the reality.
A joke has it that members of the Clinton administration approach the Pearly Gates to ask Saint Peter to let them into heaven. When he checks his list and can't find their names, they suggest that he go check with the Almighty, in case there is a later list. After Saint Peter checks and still can't find their names, he returns to tell them -- and then suddenly turns around and runs back to the Almighty.
"They're gone!" Saint Peter says.
"No. The Pearly Gates!"