Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on July 14, 2014

in Politics

… is from page 31 of H.L. Mencken’s, A Second Mencken Chrestomathy (1995); specifically, it’s reprinted from Mencken’s 1926 book, Notes on Democracy:

He is a man who has lied and dissembled, and a man who has crawled.  He knows the taste of the boot-polish.  He has suffered kicks in the tonneau of his pantaloons.  He has taken orders from his superiors in knavery and he has wooed and flattered his inferiors in sense.  His public life is an endless series of evasions and false pretenses.  He is willing to embrace any issue, however idiotic, that will get him votes, and he is willing to sacrifice any principle, however sound, that will lose them for him.  I do not describe the democratic politician at his inordinate worst; I describe him as he is encountered in the full sunshine of normalcy.  He may be, on the one hand, a cross-roads idler striving to get into the State Legislature by grace of the local mortgage-sharks and evangelical clergy, or he may be, on the other hand, the President of the United States.  It is almost an axiom that no man may make a career in politics in the Republic without stooping to such ignobility.

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