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"White House will be adorned by a downright moron."

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  • Ram Lau
    http://www.snopes.com/politics/quotes/mencken.asp As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 5 10:07 PM
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      http://www.snopes.com/politics/quotes/mencken.asp

      "As democracy is perfected, the office of 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." — H. L. Mencken

      Origins: The statement quoted above, attributed to H. L. Mencken,
      gained currency on many political blogs at the end of 2004,
      undoubtedly because it expresses the way many of President George W.
      Bush's detractors regard him. But did it really issue from the pen of
      Mencken, or is it — as is often the case — a modern sentiment by some
      anonymous wit which has been falsely attributed to a famous
      pithy-but-dead commentator in order to lend it an air of credence?

      In this case the attribution to Henry Louis Mencken, a prominent
      newspaperman and political commentator during the first half of the
      20th century, is accurate. Writing for the Baltimore Evening Sun on 26
      July 1920, in an article entitled "Bayard vs. Lionheart" (and
      reprinted in the book On Politics: A Carnival of Buncombe), Mencken
      opined cynically on the difficulties of good men reaching national
      office when such campaigns must necessarily be conducted remotely:
      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.
      Last updated: 14 November 2004
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