Since Barack Obama himself has made no such demand and has the good sense not to make it, why should anyone care about the likes of Collins and Matthews? One reason is that they are engaged in a very public display of their bad manners and bad manners are contagious. Manners play an important part in civic life. Why do we stand in line at a buffet and not rush to the front if we can get away with it? Why do we observe rope barriers when it would be easy to duck under it or jump over them? Because it isnâ€™t the done thing. The Collins and Matthews proposal to install Obama in office right away if they could get away with it is in many ways like shouting that in a cafeteria queue that it would be better to clamber over the steam tables because youâ€™re in a hurry to eat. JJ McNab observed that most things happen through voluntary compliance.
Good manners are in short supply these days, and sadly that’s true of much of our side as well.