Quote of the Day: The Imagination and the Electoral Process

From “The Vocation of Eloquence” in The Educated Imagination:

“During an election campaign, politicians project various images on us and make speeches which we know to be at best a carefully selected part of the truth.  We tend to look down on the person who responds to such appeals emotionally: we feel he’s behaving childishly and like an irresponsible citizen if he allows himself to be stampeded . . . What the responsible citizen uses is his imagination, not believing anybody literally, but voting for the man or party that corresponds most closely, or least remotely, to his vision of the society he wants to live in.  The fundamental job of the imagination in ordinary life, then, is to produce, out of the society we live in, a vision of the society we want to live in.” (85-6)

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