Demagoguery

A fantastic little passage from Book I of Hooker’s Laws, which could apply as much to the Limbaughs and Glenn Becks of today as it did to the Presbyterian demagogues of his own day.

“He that goeth about to perswade a multitude, that they are not so well governed as they ought to be, shall never want attentive and favourable hearers; because they know the manifold defects whereunto every kind of regiment is subject, but the secret lets and difficulties, which in publike proceedings are innumerable and inevitable, they have not ordinarily the judgement to consider.  And because such as openly reprove supposed disorders of state are taken for principall friends to the common benefite of all, and for men that carry singular freedome of mind; under this faire and plausible coulour whatsoever they utter passeth for good and currant.  That which wanteth in the waight of their speech, is supplyed by the aptnes of men’s minds to accept and believe it.  Whereas on the other side, if we maintaine thinges that are established, we have not onely to strive with a number of heavie prejudices deepely rooted in the hearts of men, who thinke that herein we serve the time, and speake in favour of the present state, because therby we eyther holde or seeke preferment; but also to beare such exceptions as minds so averted before hand usually take against that which they are loath should be powred into them.”

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