"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, 1920

The fact that Trump had any chance at all of getting elected is an indictment of the education system and the process of education in this country.

We clearly need to rethink and overhaul BOTH the political system and process and the educational system and process.

If we don't, democracy in this country is doomed....

Views: 62

Comment by Robert B. James on January 18, 2019 at 8:53am

The educational system was busted like urban America...by design. 

Comment by Tom Cordle on January 18, 2019 at 5:28pm

That quote was disinterred with the election of Junior Bush, who now looks statesmanlike, in comparison to Hairball

Comment by Maui Surfer on January 18, 2019 at 5:28pm

Go to school. Learn we GENOCIDED the Natives, then bought and paid for Africans and rented Irishmen for 7 year stretches ... then propped the whole thing up with Manifest Destiny, The Dunning School, Segregation and the Nadir, Minstrel and Coon Calling Shows as the number ONE form of entertainment for White Folks ... yeah, some herstory 101 Class we offer up.

Comment by Tom Cordle on January 18, 2019 at 6:01pm

Thought you might like to see a longer excerpt from the essay from which that quote is ddrawn:

When a candidate for public office faces the voters he does not face men of sense; he faces a mob of men whose chief distinguishing mark is the fact that they are quite incapable of weighing ideas, or even of comprehending any save the most elemental — men whose whole thinking is done in terms of emotion, and whose dominant emotion is dread of what they cannot understand.

So confronted, the candidate must either bark with the pack or be lost ... All the odds are on the man who is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre — the man who can most adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum.

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.”

Comment by Ron Powell on January 18, 2019 at 6:28pm

@TC; "

When a candidate for public office faces the voters he does not face men of sense; he faces a mob of men whose chief distinguishing mark is the fact that they are quite incapable of weighing ideas, or even of comprehending any save the most elemental — men whose whole thinking is done in terms of emotion, and whose dominant emotion is dread of what they cannot understand.

So confronted, the candidate must either bark with the pack or be lost ... All the odds are on the man who is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre —" 

There it is in a nutshell....

I REPEAT:

"The fact that Trump had any chance at all of getting elected is an indictment of the education system and the process of education in this country.

We clearly need to rethink and overhaul BOTH the political system and process and the educational system and process."

Thanks for your contribution....i very much appreciate the value of the context you provide with the entirety of the excerpt...It brings sharper focus to the urgency of the need for the reformation of the cornerstone institutions upon which this nation's societal structure rests...  

Comment by Tom Cordle on January 18, 2019 at 8:32pm

Glad to contribute, and I agree with much of Mencken's analysis, though I am less inclined to agree with the solutions he offered to this or any other problem, solutions, which I hasten to add, were rare.

Mencken must be taken in small doses, for he was acerbic to the point of vitriol. He was also an ardent Libertarian – a man with little use, if any, for democracy. Still, he was no doubt brilliant, insightful, and entertaining. I think of him as a sort of high-toned Will Rogers, without the warmth.

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