Friday, April 15, 2016

The Walrus and the Carpenter

'I like the Walrus best,' said Alice: 'because you see he was a little sorry for the poor oysters.'
'He ate more than the Carpenter, though,' said Tweedledee. 'You see he held his handkerchief in front, so that the Carpenter couldn't count how many he took: contrariwise.'
'That was mean!' Alice said indignantly. 'Then I like the Carpenter best—if he didn't eat so many as the Walrus.'
'But he ate as many as he could get,' said Tweedledum.
This was a puzzler. After a pause, Alice began, 'Well! They were both very unpleasant characters—'
-- Through the Looking-Glass, by Lewis Carroll

As the political machine moves into full gear, I am already hearing from the usual sources that it is my moral duty to vote for the Walrus.  After all, failing to vote for the Walrus is just like voting for the Carpenter, and we all know what he's going to do -- why, he's shameless about it!  And sure, the Walrus may do the same things, but "Politics is the art of the possible," (Otto von Bismarck apparently being America's favorite political philosopher), and the Walrus doesn't really want to do these thing!
"It seems a shame," the Walrus said, "To play them such a trick, 
After we've brought them out so far, 
And made them trot so quick!" 

When we oysters base our votes not on what a candidate or a party has actually done, and therefore can be expected to continue doing, but rather on emotions and intentions which cannot be verified, the result is "scarcely odd".

No comments:

Post a Comment