In the aftermath of this year’s election, I was in the midst of throwing out all the books in my bookshelf that contained the word “sense” (“Sense and Sensibility”, “Common Sense”, “The Sixth Sense – Novelization”, “Senseless – The Glenn Beck Story”) when I found an old business card that had somehow found its way behind these books. I saw that it read, “Alexis de Tocqueville” and remembered running into him several years ago at a Starbucks.
I was in a rush that day to get my chinchilla shaved and accidentally cut in front of him. I knew that he must be from another country and not an American because instead of saying in a huffy voice, “Hey numbnuts, the line’s back there, are you fucking retarded?!”, he simply pulled out a diary and wrote in it. After ridiculing him using the terms, “Einstein” and “numbnuts”, I became intrigued in his continued writing and eventually struck up a less Teabagger-esque conversation.
Chatting over our Peppermint Mocha Chip Fraps, he explained to me that he hadn’t visited the U.S. since 1831 and had come to update his views of American democracy. I asked him, “So, what do you think of where we are today?” After talking him down from the edge of the roof of the Starbucks, we struck up a wonderful conversation…until the police arrived and took him away to a mental institution.
He did give me his card beforehand which is the one I recently found. So, upon finding the card, I texted him, “u still in crazy jail?” and surprisingly, I got a reply almost immediately, “no numbnuts and you owe me a fucking frap!” (obviously, the years in a CA mental institution were just the ticket for his assimilating to modern America). We renewed our acquaintance over Pumpkin Spice, Macadamia Nut Fraps at a different Starbucks (too many bad memories at the other one…and he was banned after throwing overpriced sandwiches from the roof before threatening to jump) and I invited him to post his observations on present day America. Here now is his blog:
Bonjour, mes amies.
I am aware that some may not be as familiar with my original work or, as I’ve discovered while recently exploring towns across America, even be familiar with “reading” so permit me the presumption of sharing some quotes from my original work, published in two volumes, in 1835 and 1840, “Democracy in America”:
“A democratic government is the only one in which those who vote for a tax can escape the obligation to pay it.”
“All those who seek to destroy the liberties of a democratic nation ought to know that war is the surest and shortest means to accomplish it.”
“An American cannot converse, but he can discuss, and his talk falls into a dissertation. He speaks to you as if he was addressing a meeting; and if he should chance to become warm in the discussion, he will say “Gentlemen” to the person with whom he is conversing.”
“As one digs deeper into the national character of the Americans, one sees that they have sought the value of everything in this world only in the answer to this single question: how much money will it bring in?”
“I cannot help fearing that men may reach a point where they look on every new theory as a danger, every innovation as a toilsome trouble, every social advance as a first step toward revolution, and that they may absolutely refuse to move at all.”
“I know of no country in which there is so little independence of mind and real freedom of discussion as in America.”
“In the United States, the majority undertakes to supply a multitude of ready-made opinions for the use of individuals, who are thus relieved from the necessity of forming opinions of their own.”
“The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.”
“The Americans combine the notions of religion and liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive of one without the other.”
“The surface of American society is covered with a layer of democratic paint, but from time to time one can see the old aristocratic colours breaking through.”
“There are many men of principle in both parties in America, but there is no party of principle.”
“What is most important for democracy is not that great fortunes should not exist, but that great fortunes should not remain in the same hands. In that way there are rich men, but they do not form a class. “
“When the past no longer illuminates the future, the spirit walks in darkness.”
“The health of a democratic society may be measured by the quality of functions performed by private citizens.”
Once again, I feel it necessary to remind you that however contemporary these quotes may seem, they are from my work in the mid-1800s. Now that I have spent a matter of years in a mental asylum, I feel adequately prepared to share with you some new observations that I have made from exploring America in 2010:
“The American electorate is divided into three basic segments. Those who blindly vote for Republicans, those who blindly vote for Democrats and those who just blindly vote, referred to as “swing voters.”
“In the American media, news and gossip are frequently synonyms.”
“There is not a journalistic responsibility in America against the presentation of unfounded accusations, this has been replaced by either phrasing them in the form of a question or expressing accusations so outrageous that the very making of them is news and thus is widely disseminated as such.”
“The American Dream is imprinted on Americans at an early age. It is an anecdotal fairy tale presented as a social system. Americans believe that by protecting the wealth of those who already have it, one is protecting oneself and the inevitable time when oneself, like all Americans, will become a millionaire. Americans prefer to protect this myth because it makes them feel good instead of conceding the less pleasant reality that their prospects for wealth diminish each year under those most vociferous about The American Dream. “
“More Americans may vote in televised talent contests than in elections so it might behoove candidates for higher office to make a priority of acquiring singing and dancing skills instead of political and educational experience.”
“According to The United States Supreme Court, money is equivalent to free speech. The logic of the inverse is inescapable. If money is free speech, then having less money means having less free speech. Having no money, one would therefore have no free speech.”
“The winning of elections in America has eclipsed the purpose of elections. Instead of being an initial step in governing as representatives of the people, becoming elected and re-elected is what it now means to serve the people.”
“The highly conservative citizens in the United States respond to non-conservative governance by gathering and cloaking themselves in noble and altruistically-named groups such as “Moral Majority” and “Tea Party”, under which they embark on ignoble and self-serving campaigns for power over the very Americans they claim to represent. “
“In America, accomplishing the biggest goals that one is elected to accomplish is the surest way to lose the support of voters.”
This is a work in progress, your understanding is appreciated. I am hoping to complete this new volume soon but as I have just been hired to write the new Transformers sequel, it will have to wait.