H.L. Mencken’s View of the Presidency (1920)


6 responses to “H.L. Mencken’s View of the Presidency (1920)

  1. The last part of the quote as given here has been juiced up to apply more obviously to trump. The last sentence, as originally printed in the Baltimore Sun, is: “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.”

  2. From Wikipedia: At the [19th] century’s close, the term as we now know it finally emerged, with Havelock Ellis, the English sexologist, writing a short paper in 1927 on its coining, in which he ‘argued that the priority should in fact be divided between himself and Paul Näcke, explaining that the term “narcissus-like” had been used by him in 1898 as a description of a psychological attitude, and that Näcke in 1899 had introduced the term Narcismus to describe a sexual perversion’.[12]
    The twentieth century has largely defined the concept in psychological terms, with Otto Rank publishing in 1911 the first psychoanalytical paper specifically concerned with narcissism, linking it to vanity and self-admiration.[13]

  3. Let’s get back to T**** and Mencken – who is sort of right but for the wrong reasons. It’s so difficult for the educated ‘knowledge worker’ to understand that most people are bored with politics and only visit every 2 or 4 years (or in the bar/pub with shallow opinions. Not a virtue or a vice, just the way it seems to be. I’m still a-wonderin’ whether it’s all just the same, power and greed take over whatever it is that they want to, and always have done, with a few gaps, or if the game has completely changed with the social media brainwashing and it’s ability to target individuals. T**** seems to have been so incredibly lucky with the timing of all sorts of things. I assumed Reagan was the bottom of the pile. Then W – just HAD to be the bottom. And of course now I KNOW we’ve reached the bottom. Haven’t we??

  4. curmudgeon

    Inexplicably, the coinage of the word “narcissism” is routinely attributed to Näcke and Ellis in the 1890s, although it occurs in a letter by Coleridge dated 1822. See