Long have I heard about G. K. Chesterton and his amazing writing. Finally, I picked up his book Orthodoxy at the suggestion of my cousin and found this passage:
The democratic contention is that government (helping to rule the tribe) is a thing like falling in love, and not a thing like dropping into poetry. It is not something analogous to playing the church organ, painting on vellum, discovering the North Pole (that insidious habit), looping the loop, being Astronomer Royal, and so on. For these things we do not wish a man to do at all unless he does them well. It is, on the contrary, a thing analogous to writing one’s own love-letters or blowing one’s own nose. These things we want a man to do for himself, even if he does them badly.
I am not here arguing the truth of any of the conceptions; I know that some moderns are asking to have their wives chosen by scientists, and they may soon be asking, for all I know, to have their noses blown by nurses. I merely say that mankind does recognize these universal human functions, and that democracy classes government among them. In short, the democratic faith is this: that the most terribly important things must be left to ordinary men themselves – the mating of the sexes, the rearing of the young, the laws of the state. This is democracy and in this I have always believed.
It is plainly obvious people ought to be left to govern themselves in the “most terribly important things.” Love that. Nice, Mr. Chesterton. We still believe it in America, too…for now.