Does this sound like the current state of politics?
The most trivial question escapes not our controversy, and in the most momentous we are not able to give any certain decision. Disputes are multiplied, as if every thing was uncertain; and these disputes are managed with the greatest warmth, as if every thing was certain. Amidst all this bustle ’tis not reason, which carries the prize, but eloquence; and no man needs ever despair of gaining proselytes to the most extravagant hypothesis, who has art enough to represent it in any favourable colours. The victory is not gained by the men at arms, who manage the pike and the sword; but by the trumpeters, drummers, and musicians of the army.
David Hume, Introduction to A Treatise Of Human Nature, first published in 1739.
Is it any wonder that a recent survey of French voters’ feelings about politics came up with these numbers:
(Still, you’ve got to hand it to les Français for even knowing what lassitude and moroseness are. I’d like to see the pollsters try that in Australia. )