That Mencken Quote

Ladies and Gentlemen!  By popular demand!

No … seriously.  I read a quote from a book on H.L. Mencken yesterday and immediately people started begging for either a link or for me to put the excerpt into my notes.  So … your obedient servant here is honoring your request. 

The comment begins with “I just finished M.E. Rodger’s book on Mencken and I would like to share some of page 409” and continues thusly:

“By he 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, young or old, 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.”

You just have to love that quote.  Amazing stuff.  But I’m really loving the answer Mencken gave to someone who asked him “But Mr. Mencken, what would you do about the unemployed?”  His answer?  “We could start by taking away their vote.”

Imagine Mencken doing a radio talk show.  Lordy .. now THAT would be entertaining. 

Before we move on to the reading assignments … here’s another Mencken goodie.  We will put this in bold type .. it deserves it. 

“As democracy is perfected, the office of the president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people.  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.” 

I’m not saying a thing.  Just contemplate that for yourself. 

*Digenetic:  of or relating to a subclass of termatode (worms) in which sexual reproduction as an internal parasite of a vertebrate alternates with asexual reproduction in a mollusk.” 

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