People were so naive about plants, Ellie thought. They just chose plants for appearance, as they would choose a picture for the wall. It never occurred to them that plants were actually living things, busily performing all the living functions of respiration, ingestion, excretion, reproduction---and defense.
That's the one thing a politician mustn't have - political opinions or principles. He can have prejudices - indeed he must have prejudices and share all the popular political superstitions of the moment as ardently as he can. But he must not have principles. He must never let the people suspect that they cannot eat their cake and have it. He must promise them a defense program and a higher standard of living. He must never use that dreadful little word or.