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Its Mencken Time

The larger the mob, the harder the test.

In small areas, before small electorates, a first-rate man occasionally fights his way through, carrying even the mob with him by force of his personality.

But when the field is nationwide, and the fight must be waged chiefly at second and third hand, and the force of personality cannot so readily make itself felt, then all the odds are on the man who is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre—the man who can most easily 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.

Reader Comments (3)

Ed – Set that to a snappy beat and I dare say you have yourself a hit!
– C. dog
December 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterC. dog

Just about everything H.L wrote was a jewel.

He hit most issues right between the eyes.
December 8, 2012 | Registered CommenterEd Naile

We don't agree on much, but we agree on Mencken. I bought a copy of Mencken's Chrestomathy years and years ago and pull it out every January to read it again. He captures the frailties of humanity better than anyone I know.
December 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMike Marsh

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