It is a favourite trope of Dawkins-type atheists to claim that faith is unjustified belief, and thus by definition a bad thing, which could not possibly have arisen by natural selection, except as a sort of metastasis of trust in our parents.
But the important quality of faith is not initial credibility, but persistence. When Barlow says “I was raised a mormon, and now I believe pretty much everything” the joke works because it implies he forgets everything he knew before the last doob. And actually, persistence of belief in the face of disconfirming evidence is essential if social institutions are to be built and maintained. This morning’s example.
If democracy produces leadrs like George W Bush, there’s no pressing reason for the rest of the world to adopt the system. The unique advantage of democracy is that it can remove such people from power. None the less, if he does win, we should not abandon faith in democracy.