“Why did we go and perform that ritual around that other oak tree? How does that help us become better human beings?” “Precisely because most people don’t perform rituals around oak trees anymore, and because by performing apparently absurd rituals, you get in touch with something deep in your soul, in the oldest part of yourself, the part closest to the origin of everything.”
the American version of representative government assures that such qualities of intellect and ethics as might equip a man to lead a powerful nation responsibly are precisely the qualities that would prevent him from subjecting himself to the debasing performances of vote begging and delegate swapping. It is a truism of American politics that no man who can win an election deserves to.
Trevanian, Shibumi: A Novel