"The tendency of democracies is, in all things, to mediocrity."
by:
James Fenimore Cooper
(1789-1851) American Novelist
Source:
The American Democrat, XIV, 1838
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That's giving democracies way to much credit.
 -- Mike, Norwalk
 
The quote is very cynical. I think democracy at times may lead to mediocrity but not in all cases. Hillary Clinton graduated Magna Cum Laude from both Wellesley College and Yale Law, she could potentially very good work as President(not that I am voting for her,,,) Again, Barack Obama graduated Magna Cum Laude from Columbia University and Harvard Law School. He was the first African American to head the Harvard Law Review. He's a really bright guy, hence he could do a very good job. Again John McCain graduated from the US Naval Academy and survived being tortured in Vietnam, They are all fantastic candidates.
 -- Mark Abell, Northfield,MN
 
The quote is a good one. True but the alternatives are hideous. We probably have done the best we could by modifying it to be a democratic republic. Unfortunately with the three worst candidates for president in history, mediocrity is looking pretty good.
 -- warren, olathe
 
Much truth here. One man one vote means illiterates get to vote also. We must look beyond public life if we wish to escape mediocrity. Hitler was really big on elitism and distained mediocrity or at least what he called mediocrity.
 -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas
 
Magna Cum Laude at an Ivy League School is completely mediocre if you ask me -- nothing but obedient drones memorizing what the ruling class feeds them to support the ruling class. If people would only understand that we do not live in a democracy and do not have to give in to the will of the majority (the bulk of which are common, marginally educated, and debtors) we might better attain high levels of excellence. Being tethered to underachievers who want to be taken care of more than they want the responsibility of their own freedom is what has fueled this steady march to American socialism adoringly called 'Democracy.' Ptooey!
 -- E Archer, NYC
 
Archer, thank you for stating issues at the heart of the matter.
 -- Mike, Norwalk
 
Mark misses the point. Where Hillary or Obama went to school has nothing to do with the quote.
 -- kilpeg@austin.rr.com, austin, tx
 
My idea of democracy is about human rights. Just because folks are illeterate or not college does not mean that they are less human or have less that anyone else's rights. I'll take mediocrity and universal brotherhood in the political arena (the big tent idea) over elitism every time.
 -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas
 
Cooper is right. Which is one of many reasons why the U.S. was founded as a republic.
 -- Al, Smithtown
 
 
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