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February 27, 2010

The Great American Tocqueville Revisionism.

Was young Alexis a stud or what? Three years ago, on the Sunday editorial page of one of the most conservative papers in America, we applauded Alexis de Tocqueville for that young Frenchman's uncanny prediction in his Democracy in America of a U.S. president exactly like George W. Bush. We had argued that "W", warts and all, and whether you like him or not, is indeed the "new man" Tocqueville kept seeing during his nine months here in 1831.

No American should have been too surprised to wake up in November of 2000 and learn that such a creature got the top job. Tocqueville has been getting high marks for prescience from Americans and Europeans in the last 30 years after being ignored for the first 150 years.

The interesting thing about the reactions to the article is that everyone along the politcal spectrum who read it seemed to like it. Americans are comfortable with "non-egghead" leaders. Every few elections cycles, we even give militantly anti-intellectual, the poorly-traveled and the hopelessly "uncurious" a shot.

You want more W's? We've had them before and have them waiting in the wings. Examples:

1. Warren Harding

2. Ronald Reagan

3. Sarah Palin

All 3 are "One of us".


Posted by JD Hull at February 27, 2010 11:59 PM


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