“The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons” is from the writing of Ralph Waldo Emerson (“Conduct of Life: a Philosophical Reading”), who apparently …
“The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons” is from the writing of Ralph Waldo Emerson (“Conduct of Life: a Philosophical Reading”), who apparently adapted it from the words of Jame’s Boswell’s ‘Life of Samuel Johnson” (1791) and still earlier (1768) in Boswell’s “An Account of Corsica.” And Boswell’s words to me immediately conjure up the person of Donald Trump these many years later.
From the 1791 usage: “I added that the same person maintained that there was no distinction between virtue and vice. Johnson: ‘Why, Sir, if the fellow does not think as he speaks, he is lying; and I see not what honour he can propose to himself from having the character of a liar. But if he does really think that there is no distinction between virtue and vice, why, Sir, when he leaves our houses let us count our spoons’.”
I love old writing styles. So the more the guy bragged on himself, the more he began to sound dishonest and likely thieving, and it would be a good idea to check the silverware as he was heading out the door. Or, as one modern Internet commenter put it, “it means the louder one speaks of such as patriotism, the more doubtful we are about the speaker's sincerity as a patriot in the true sense.”
Congratulations, Donald. You are the ultimate exemplification of the type of sneaky hypocrite being written about as far back as at least 251 years ago.
And speaking of where vice and virtue are concerned—and the “spoons” are the well-being of the American people—also brings us to the Republican members of the U.S. Senate who might be called upon to vote on the impeachment of Donald Trump in the not-too-distant future. Some 20 of them would have to vote with Democrats to effect impeachment if and when the matter is presented to them by the House. But there appears to be little chance of more than a meager few of them putting integrity above their personal hold on office, fearing the wrath of their red-state voters.
Interestingly, the word on the street the other day was that if the
Senate vote were by secret ballot, enabling them to hide their virtuous side from their supporters, an estimated 30 Republicans in that chamber would vote to convict Trump. “That’s not true. There would be at least 35,” said former Arizona Republican Senator Jeff Flake.
However, the reality seems to be that expressed by Paul Waldman in The Washington Post Oct. 4 on Trump’s wanting to make impeachment a truly partisan issue. His strategy is “as always, pure Trump: frenzied, dishonest, impulsive, erratic, angry and convinced that if what’s worst in America can be properly stimulated he will emerge the victor.
“When Republicans vote to acquit him (as they almost inevitably will) he’ll declare himself vindicated and say the whole thing was a waste of time. But before we get there, he’ll remind us on a daily basis of what led us here in the first place.”
And in my opinion, the impression on the public mind of what brought us to a move toward impeachment will be invaluable to voters in the 2020 election. And it also will be interesting to see how GOP senators now tip-toeing carefully near the edge of the abyss will fare at the polls. Unfortunately, a relatively small number of Republican senators will be up for re-election this time around.
However, one will be elderly Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who has prostituted our democratic government. My money (and I mean that literally) will be on his opponent Amy McGrath, a retired U.S. Marine fighter pilot and mother of three young children. I see in her true patriotism and great inspiration for concerning herself with the nation’s future on all fronts.
MEANWHILE, what has our society come to? After years of effort by Stephen Miller, the president’s top immigration adviser, the administration issued a regulation in August that would allow officials to deny permanent legal status to immigrants who are poor. The regulation, which imposes an aggressive wealth test on legal immigrants, has faced several legal challenges but will go into effect on Oct. 15 unless it is blocked by a court.
Donald’s actually found a way to rape the Statue of Liberty.
I’m a bit short of space here, but this is all over the Internet. You might like, for a change of pace, to read about it at https://www.theroot.com/trump-will-deny-visas-to-immigrants-who-don-t-have-heal-1838795312
That’s “The Root—Black News, Opinions, Politics and Culture.”