Mencken on Democracy

This is an appropriate thought for election day. From H.L. Mencken:

“Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.” H. L. Mencken

Now get to the polls, people! You know what you want! And you should get it!…

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Categories: 2012 | Tags: , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Mencken on Democracy

  1. Rob S.

    More fun from Mencken on election day. From “The Bad Boy of Baltimore” a biography of H.L. Mencken by Marion Elizabeth Rodgers. On page 409 of that book is the following:

    “By the mid-1930′s, thanks to the New Deal, all that self-reliance had changed, prompting Mencken to declare: ‘There is no genuine justice in any scheme of feeding and coddling the loafer whose only ponderable energies are devoted wholly to reproduction. Nine-tenths of the rights he bellows for are really privileges and he does nothing to deserve them.’ Despite the billions spent on an individual, ‘he can be lifted transiently but always slips back again.’ Thus, the New Deal had been ‘the most stupendous digenetic enterprise ever undertaken by man…. We not only acquired a vast population of morons, we have inculcated all morons, old or young, with the doctrine that the decent and industrious people of the country are bound to support them for all time. The effects of that doctrine are bound to be disastrous soon or late.’

    When someone asked, “And what, Mr. Mencken, would you do about the unemployed?” He looked up with a bland expression. “We could start by taking away their vote,” he said, deadpan. Mencken was not surprised when the majority disagreed. “There can be nothing even remotely approaching a rational solution of the fundamental national problems until we face them in a realistic spirit,” he later reflected, and that was impossible so long as educated Americans remained responsive “to the Roosevelt buncombe.”

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