I’ve been meaning for a while now to start another occasional series, like my previous ones recalling Hayek and James Burnham, to recycle some timeless gems from G.K. Chesterton. Via the Chesterton page on Facebook, here’s a Chesterton meditation perfect for our election season, from a 1921 interview with the Cleveland Press:
The men whom the people ought to choose to represent them are too busy to take the jobs. But the politician is waiting for it. He’s the pestilence of modern times. What we should try to do is make politics as local as possible. Keep the politicians near enough to kick them. The villagers who met under the village tree could also hang their politicians to the tree. It’s terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hung today.
My own favorite Chesterton story, which may be apocryphal, is about the time the portly Chesterton encountered the very thin George Bernard Shaw, and said to him, “My God, man, from the looks of you there’s a famine in the land.” To which Shaw replied, “And from the looks of you, you caused it!”