“There are two distinct species of popularity; the one excited by merit, the other by resentment.”
Too often it seems as if our political leaders and those seeking power pander toward the worst in people – intolerance and resentment, fear and prejudice. Achieving popularity by inciting the darker passions in people may win elections, but it does not constitute merit.
“Every lie is welcome that suits its purpose.”
Nobody wishes to be called a liar, but many will believe in lies to reinforce a delusion.
To every lie, its purpose.
“When I look into history and see the multitudes of men, otherwise virtuous, who have died, and their families been ruined, in the defense of knaves and fools, and which they would not have done, had they reasoned at all upon the system; I do not know a greater good that an individual can render to mankind, than to endeavor to break the chains of political superstition.”
The path to ruin is sometimes paved with good intentions. Power wields unto itself often an authority it does not deserve, wisdom it does not process, and devotion of which it is not worthy.
Good men with right hearts must sometimes rise up and declare the emperor has no clothes.