“Dear incompetent ninny …” No. “Dear complete imbecile …” I suppose not. “Dear feeble-minded simpleton …” I’d better not. Well, fine, then. “Dear State Representative …”
This is actually quite profound. We are often tempted to get angry with state functionaries. But since we are usually begging things from them, rather than demanding them in the manner of one who could take his business elsewhere – with the state there is no elsewhere, we usually choose to remain polite. And if we finally get what we are begging for, we tend to be effusive in our thanks, if only because so pleased that the ninny did something less than completely ninny-ish. The result is a world in which state functionaries genuinely imagine themselves to be loved by almost all of their victims and hated by hardly any of them.