I've always thought that Tufte isoverblown. I mean, sparklines - duh, its a small graph without axes. The famous "Napeleon's army" chart is really not any more enlightening or informative than just reading a paragraph or two and looking at some tables of numbers.
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And who exactly is this tolerance-legislating straw man you put up? As if somehow we have only two choices (1) Crazy Racist Ron Paul, or (2) unnamed candidate who "legislates tolerance".