Posts Tagged ‘H.L. Mencken’

“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, On Politics: A Carnival of Buncombe

Well, H.L. Mencken was certainly proven correct, only 60 years after he published the words above back in 1956.

I don’t know what that truly says about us as a people and our inner soul. But I do know that today we have a chance to clean up that lapse in judgement.

It’s election day 2020! Kick out the jams, folks! Let’s get this thing done. To be honest, I was going to use a different word here instead of folks. All you old MC5 fans out there will know what I was thinking.

I am not going to drone on. Just asking you to participate, to get out there and vote. Thank you for all who have already taken their civic responsibility seriously and voted early. And if you have yet to vote, stand tough and get that vote in today.

Take nothing for granted and do not be discouraged, intimidated or swayed.

Just vote.

I used the painting above from Norman Rockwell albeit with the addition of a mask to make it even more relevant to 2020. Even without the mask, it seemed to sum up this year pretty well. You can interpret it for yourself.

Have a good day and let’s hope together that we vote for a different and better future than the one we’ve been headed towards for the past four years.

Here’s an ad from the Lincoln Project, a group of longtime Republican operatives who have been actively opposed to the current iteration of their party and this president***. This is their final message for the election and it features the magnificent rendition of America the Beautiful from Ray Charles. It’s the only time his foundation has allowed the use of his music in a political ad.

This ad doesn’t attack or elevate either candidate even as it asks for you to vote for a change from what is now at hand. It aspires to the ideal of America, its vision and promise. It’s about what we hope to be, How we wish the world to see us and how we hope to see ourselves.

Only one candidate this year can take us anywhere near that goal.

Like the ad says, the time has come.

Vote for change.

Vote for America.


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The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naïve and usually idiotic. He is, more likely, one who likes his country more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest of us when he sees it debauched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime; he is a good citizen driven to despair.

H.L. Mencken

I have been trying to stay away from current events but seeing this morning that the Department of Justice is looking to take over the defense of the president in a defamation lawsuit brought against the president*** by a private citizen over an alleged rape that took place twenty years ago just raises my blood. The fact that we, the people, are now paying for his legal defense and any subsequent settlement for is beyond the pale.

It is just another mile marker on the road to authoritarianism.

Factor in what is happening under the rulers this thing in our white house so much admires and refuses to criticize, often even as they imperil our citizen soldiers. You have the kidnappings of opposition leaders in Belarus. The poisoning of opposition leader and Putin critic Alexei Navalny in Russia, which was, by the way, not the first such occasion under the Putin regime. And then there is the crazy number of Putin critics and journalists who “accidentally” fall from high rise windows or mysteriously get shot with sight of the Kremlin.

Not to mention the brutal killing and dismemberment of a US based journalist by the Saudi regime that he often coos about, an atrocity that is now barely a blip in a radar screen filled with atrocities.

That’s the world to which our creature in charge aspires. And 40% or so of our population thinks, or in the absence of thought, believes that this is just fine and dandy.

I can’t accept that.

I will not succumb to the dark world being forced upon us. Will not keep my mouth shut. Will not close my eyes to the wrongs being perpetrated. Will not turn my head away from the rampant corruption or the many injustices of this regime.

I won’t do it.

And the 40% of us that are his true believers view this as being unpatriotic.

Well, we obviously have different views on patriotism.

I am going to defer to Aristotle on this: “It is not always the same thing to be a good man and a good citizen.

If being a good citizen requires me to be less than a good man, then I will cease being a good citizen.

Sorry for the spew this morning. Here’s a song that says this much better than my angry words. It’s from way back in 1984 from Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul and his album Voice of America. You might know him better as Miami Steve Van Zandt from Springsteen’s E Street Band or as Silvio, Tony’s lieutenant and the owner of the Bada Bing Club on The Sopranos. Or from his Sirius radio channel Little Steven’s Underground Garage or from his Netflix series, Lilyhammer. He’s a busy, multifaceted guy.

And a patriot by my and Mencken’s definitions. Here’s his I Am a Patriot.

The painting at the top, The Way of the Brave,  is from quite a few years back. It’s a longtime favorite of mine and one that I used when I last played this song here back in 2009. It still fits the song.

Have a good day.


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