FOR Election Day, here are observations on politics, citizens and candidates from the Sage of Baltimore, H. L. Mencken:
POLITICS: "It is incredibly gross, Rabelaisian, vulgar, lewd, shocking and revolting . . . I thank God that I am an American, and thus admitted to such barbaric saturnalias. In a genuinely civilized country politics would be prohibited by law, and all politicians would be treated like pickpockets or street-walkers. But here they are honored and prosperous, and so they perform, and I enjoy the peculiar buffoonery that is to my taste."
7+ -- Mencken in Smart Set, February 1921.
THE Citizen: "So long as he remains a mere voter he is full of fine schemes for the quick reformation of the government -- but elect him to high office and he begins to see unsuspected but enormous virtues in the old way of doing things."
0 -- Mencken in The Evening Sun, Oct. 17, 1910
THE Candidates: "No one but an idiot would argue seriously that either candidate is a first-rate man, or even a creditable specimen of second-rate man. Any state in the Union, at least above the Potomac, could produce a thousand men quite as good, and many states could produce a thousand a great deal better."
-- Mencken in The Evening Sun, July 26, 1920