I’ve occasionally quoted journalist H.L. Mencken’s quip that the “whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”
But after years of covering California politics, I think the quotation needs revision.Modern politicians often alarm the populace about real problems rather than hobgoblins. The flaw is that their solutions usually make things worse. Politicians promise to lead us to safety, but don’t admit that the latest danger was caused by their previous policies.