The Airing of Grievances
Monday, November 15, 2004
H.L. Mencken: The Real Nostradamus
Check out what the man wrote in the Baltimore Evening Sun on July 26, 1920.
"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.Wow.
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."
PS: As the inimitable Frank Costanza pointed out, "The man has broken down several months of AofG ranting in two paragraphs. If Mencken were alive, we'd invite him on board, so long as he posted under the alias of The Maestro."