Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Cooks, Physicians, and the American People

I try to avoid talking about national politics on this blog, but I couldn't resist this one. Apparently, a poll of children under 18 has been nearly a perfect indicator of how an election will end up, with its lone two mistaken predictions coming in extremely close elections. Adults, in other words, are making roughly the same choices as children. It makes me think of a metaphor offered a few gazillion years ago on the subject of rhetoric:
Cookery simulates the disguise of medicine, and pretends to know what food is the best for the body; and if the physician and the cook had to enter into a competition in which children were the judges, or men who had no more sense than children, as to which of them best understands the goodness or badness of food, the physician would be starved to death.

The implication, made explicit a few lines later in the dialogue, was that as cookery is to medicine, so rhetoric is to justice. Yet if a decision were up to a bunch of people whose ability to judge was comparable to that of children, one would surely end up with cookery and rhetoric instead of medicine or justice. And so we have cookery.

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