Wednesday, September 12, 2007

From the Mayor of Detroit to the President of the United States


On every given day that G.W. Bush rules over America and Kwame Kilpatrick over Detroit, you know we're in trouble. Since it's H.L. Mencken's birthday, here are two enduring observations from the "American Iconoclast" himself. . . . .

When a candidate for public office faces the voters he does not face men of sense; he faces a mob of men whose chief distinguishing mark is the fact that they are quite incapable of weighing ideas, or even of comprehending any save the most elemental — men whose whole thinking is done in terms of emotion, and whose dominant emotion is dread of what they cannot understand. So confronted, the candidate must either bark with the pack or be lost. . . All the odds are on the man who is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre — the man who can most adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum. The Presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men. As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron. (Source: The Baltimore Sun, July 26, 1920)

Civilization, in fact, grows more and more maudlin and hysterical; especially under democracy it tends to degenerate into a mere combat of crazes; the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary. (Source: In Defense of Women, 1917)

Today's Rune: Fertility.

Birthdays: Richard Gatling, H. L. Mencken, Maurice Chevalier, Alfred A. Knopf, Jesse Owens, George Jones, Linda Gray, Maria Muldaur, Leonard Peltier, Barry White, Amy Yasbeck, Caroline Aigle.

7 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

Wow, the accuracy of that quote is amazing. Lana and I talk about things all the time. Her word for those kinds of folks is "sheeple."

JR's Thumbprints said...

Civilization, in fact, grows more and more maudlin and hysterical; especially under democracy it tends to degenerate into a mere combat of crazes; the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed ...

Wow! Sounds just like Mike Bishop's ideology, but then again, I give him too much credit.

the walking man said...

Now that the inmates are running the asylum, who's going to pass out the meds?

t said...

Funnier words were never written. Libiamo! I mean what else is there to do?
Or maybe it's funny because it's so sad.

Beth said...

Funny. And sad.

Anonymous said...

Enjoy the posts Erik. I would agree with cg the quote is prophetic.

the walking man said...

Leonard Peltier

FREEDOM NOW!