Dear Washington Times: Rhetoric of 'Doom'

Editor, The Washington Times

Dear Editor:

Joseph P. Carrigan is understandably disturbed that President-elect Obama predicts doom if a new "stimulus" plan isn't enacted (Letters, January 11). Alas, Mr. Obama is simply following his profession's code of conduct. What H.L. Mencken astutely observed back in 1918 is no less real in 2009: "Civilization, in fact, grows more maudlin and hysterical; especially under democracy it tends to degenerate into a mere combat of crazes; the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary."*

* H.L. Mencken, In Defense of Women (New York: Knopf, 1918), p. 53.


Donald J. Boudreaux

Don Boudreaux is the Chairman of the Department of Economics at George Mason University and a Business & Media Institute adviser.