Mencken comma where is he now that…

I’m sure that lots of people are getting out their Mencken quotations, umbrellas in stormy weather. Here are some especially trenchant bits, posted as part of a comment to a Washington Post op ed piece:

The one permanent emotion of the inferior man is fear – fear of the unknown, the complex, the inexplicable. What he wants beyond everything else is safety.

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

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.

And what is a good citizen? Simply one who never says, does or thinks anything that is unusual. Schools are maintained in order to bring this uniformity up to the highest possible point. A school is a hopper into which children are heaved while they are still young and tender; therein they are pressed into certain standard shapes and covered from head to heels with official rubber-stamps.

…and he’s been gone for, what, 50 years…

One thought on “Mencken comma where is he now that…

  1. oook

    Indeed, Google has 57,000 or so instances of the “downright moron” quote, but fewer than 100 of the “school is a hopper”, which is probably the more significant in the long run.

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