July 27, 2016
A Perfect Democracy

Sister Pat sends along this 1920 prediction from H.L. Mencken, who would have been not even a little bit surprised by last week’s GOP convention:

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.

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Posted by Jerome Doolittle at July 27, 2016 05:01 PM
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Being a decades-long Mencken aficionado, I remember the quoted passage occurring to me as apt in the context of the '04 re-election of W. However, it may be even more apt as applied to Herr Drumpf.

Posted by: CH on July 28, 2016 11:47 AM
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