The spectacle is appalling. We live in an atmosphere of hypocrisy throughout…The depravity of the business classes of our country is not less than has been supposed, but infinitely greater. The official services are saturated in corruption, bribery, falsehood, maladministration, and the judiciary is tainted…The best class we show is but a mob of fashionably dress’d speculators and vulgarians…It is as if we were somehow being endowed with a vast and more and more thoroughly appointed body, and then left with little or no soul.

Walt Whitman

“Democratic Vistas” 1871