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Sam Johnson, regarded as the most powerful intellect of the 1700’s, was a keen observer of London politics. He saw and articulated aspects of human nature in relation to politics that seem to still ring true.

Regarding politicians who follow the party line, he observed: “men, being numbered, they know not how nor why, in any of the parties that divide a state, resign the use of their eyes and ears, and resolve to believe nothing that does not favour those whom they profess to follow…They deny the most notorious facts, contradict the most urgent truths, and persist in asserting today what they asserted yesterday, in defiance of evidence, and contempt of confutation.”

But, as for the electorate, he felt that most people are far more concerned with personal matters than with the affairs of government:

“How small, of all that human hearts endure,
That part which laws or kings can cause or cure.”

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