The Future Belongs to Them?

Anti-Israel protesters chant outside the City College of New York (CCNY) on May 1, 2024—one day after the New York Police Department cracked down on protest camps at both Columbia University and CCNY. (Photo by Alex Kent/Getty Images)

There is a certain kind of political partisan who always believes that the people—the People!—are always with them. The People lack a coherent political outlook and so aren’t really on anybody’s side, of course, and I don’t see why you’d want them on your side.

The people are, generally speaking, the worst. 

There’s a very fine scene in Lincoln in which a couple who have come up to Washington from Missouri to lobby the president about a business matter are asked whether they’d support the 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery, if the Confederacy first capitulated and the war came to an end without an abolition amendment. The Missourians confess that they’d rather not see the institution abolished. Secretary of State William Seward asks why, and the husband looks at him like the answer is too obvious to need saying:

This content is available exclusively to Dispatch members
Try a membership for full access to every newsletter and all of The Dispatch. Support quality, fact-based journalism.
Already a paid member? Sign In
Comments (552)
Join The Dispatch to participate in the comments.
Load More