The Making of the President, 1960

White, Theodore H.

Atheneum, 1960

p. 211

“With the end of the nominating process, American politics leaves logic behind. If the conventions have done their work well, as normally they do, then the American people are offered two men of exceptional ability. Now they must choose. And they must choose in a primitive and barbaric trial. Although the contest is bloodless, the choice that ends the contest is nonetheless as irrational as any of the murderous, or conspiratorial, choices of leadership made elsewhere in great states. Until Plato’s republic of philosophers is established, leaders will always be chosen by other men, not out of reason, but out of instinct and trust.” White adds a couple of aphorisms on politics (author or authors unknown): “’To err is human; to blame it on the other party is politics.’ ‘The purpose of politics is not only to throw the old rascals out, but also to throw the new rascals in.’”