October 1, 2004

God knows, I’ve strongly avoided inflicting my personal politics on folks reading this site.  There are a metric shitload of political blogs out there, and people don’t need to come here to find my take on things.  Besides, my political leanings tend to annoy most avid consumers of realpolitik, as they can pretty much be summed up as “Both sides owe favors to the same people.  All the rest of it is noise meant to distract people into believing they have an actual choice that will affect the outcome of any significant decision.”

So, I mostly don’t talk about it.  On the other hand, having just been asked for the bazillionth time whether I watched the debates (hey, are you kidding? When the major news outlets get caught filing their coverage hours before the debate itself, you know there ain’t going to be much actually newsworthy going on), I decided that I’d fill up some of the recent silence here with a few of my favorite H.L. Mencken quotes…

“Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.”

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

“The most dangerous man, to any government, is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable, and so, if he is romantic, he tries to change it.  And even if he is not romantic personally he is very apt to spread discontent among those who are.”

No, I don’t agree with Mencken on everything.  I don’t even agree with ME on everything.  These seem to me to be as apt for our times as they were nearly 100 years ago, however.


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