H. L. Mencken Says Obama Is Not The Problem

Our problem is not Obama. Don’t get me wrong, I think he is a disgrace as a President. But that is solvable. That is why we have elections.

Obama is temporary and hopefully will be viewed by history as an aberration. Sadly, our real problem is much bigger and more intractable than Obama. Reader Doug provides his view:

Monty, let’s face it, our greatest enemy is the sheer self-induced ignorance of the American people. I say self-induced because when its all said and done the truth is out there to be known. Despite our “education” system, MSM and big entertainment working in league with world wide socialists and communists, experience and common sense should direct 70-80 percent of our populous in the right direction. Instead, the only consideration seems to be which party is sticking money in my pockets whether through handouts for the parasites or work opportunities for the “moderates” and “conservatives”. Most Americans apparently have no core values or understanding of what makes a nation, a people or culture work and that spells the ultimate doom of our republic.

Could the current fool in the Whitehouse get reelected? Yes, it is possible. Could the powers that be keep this economy that’s being held together with smoke, mirrors, bailing wire and duck tape above water or even “improving” until after this November? Maybe. The rational person inside me says, no way will he be reelected, surely people aren’t that stupid, but you can’t fix stupid, can’t make people who prefer to be blind to see.

On the plus side, the GOP has just gone through a brutal primary while Obama has skated with the MSM providing good cover and Romney appears to be slightly ahead in the current polls. Also Romney seems like he is going to take the battle to the “One”, a great move, one McCain refused to make. Obama’s foreign policy is in shambles. Those of us who educate ourselves have observed and known this all along. Whether a great visible catastrophe will take place so that even the 70 percent dunce segment of our population will begin to grasp what Obama has wrought remains to be seen.

Well, anyway, lets be optimistic, if there’s a shred of America left in America then Obama should lose in a landslide, lets hope so.

I agree with Doug’s comments, although am likely less optimistic than he. Perhaps Obama loses this next election in a landslide. But that does not remedy the real problem of the country. How could such an aberration ever have attained the highest office in the land in the first place? And how is it possible that we are concerned that he could possibly be re-elected? What has happened to our country?

An election can correct for Obama, but it doesn’t change the ignorance of voters who elected him in the first place. These voters enabled government to become too big, intrusive and predatory. Government is not good and never was intended to be. Nor is it a source of benefits. It cannot give anything to anyone that it first has not taken away from someone. It has no resources of its own.

Our Founders knew about government and set one up knowing the risks. They attempted to temper the risks with a Constitution. George Washington’s unambiguous warning typified their views:

 Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.

Unfortunately government burst from its chains (the Constitution). It did so by carefully cultivating the weakest minds. It sold its expansion under false notions such as claims of wisdom and goodness.  It convinced a large section of our population that they are entitled to live off the production of others.

Government convinced many that it is necessary in every aspect of their lives as protector against questionable evils. It destroyed the notion of responsibility, suggesting that luck is the determinant of success or failure. Effort has no bearing. One lifestyle is as good as another. Some have more than others only due to luck or exploitation. Remedies must be supplied by a wise government to remedy such inequities.

When you have “bad luck,” government’s role is to offset it. By default, the only way to do so is to penalize good behavior to subsidize bad. In the process bad habits are reinforced and multiply. Society becomes coarser as a result. Politeness is replaced by crudeness. Civility by incivility. Cooperation by force. Ultimately society collapses into anarchy. That point has not been reached, but we approach it.

Over time the relationship of government to its people inverted. It is more lucrative for government that people work for them than that it works for the people. Government has become everything that our Founders abhorred and tried to prevent.

The great H. L. Mencken understood the follies of democracy as did our Founders. He was ahead of his time in observations about government and where it would take the country. He knew that the masses were easily duped and that a clever government would have no trouble doing so. This observation is the key to understanding the reason why Obama got elected. No democracy can survive its uneducated masses.

Although Mencken did not deal with whether democracy could survive educated masses (he likely considered that an impossibility), it likely cannot. A clever government, with virtually no constraints, will appeal to whatever the wants, needs and desires of the electorate by using promises and gifts to obtain votes. Even educated masses will react to short-term incentives, living their lives guided by Keynes’s famous adage: “In the long run we are all dead.”

Mencken understood our current situation before it happened and certainly better than current political analysts. Somewhere he is likely chuckling over a good cigar and a stiff drink looking down on our deteriorating plight. Here are but a few of his observations/warnings that apply:

Government is actually the worst failure of civilized man. There has never been a really good one, and even those that are most tolerable are arbitrary, cruel, grasping and unintelligent.

No one in this world has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby.

Democracy is a form of worship. It is the worship of jackals by jackasses.

Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.

Giving every man a vote has no more made men wise and free than Christianity has made them good.

If a politician found he had cannibals among his constituents, he would promise them missionaries for dinner.

The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.

The only good bureaucrat is one with a pistol at his head. Put it in his hand and it’s good-by to the Bill of Rights.

Obama is merely a natural outcome of the cancer that afflicts a once great nation. He was inevitable. Long before Obama was born, Mencken foresaw his coming, although he didn’t know his name:

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 hearts desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.

Obama is the natural outcome of a democratic society driven by deliberately-cultivated ignorant and dependent voters. These people bought the siren songs of politicians. Instead of understanding our Founders and their warnings, they believed government was good and the source of benefits. Their beliefs are irrational; their actions less so. If you believe that government produces goodness and benefits, it is rational for you to vote for those who want to increase its size and power.

The mistake we call Obama can be corrected easily via an election or the passage of time. Sadly our real problem, the ignorance of our population, is not easily remedied. Obama will be gone soon, but our problem will not. Unless the underlying problem can somehow be solved, others like Obama will follow.

Years from now some may look back and yearn for the good old days of Obama. If you don’t believe that, think about how good Jimmy Carter looks today!

13 Comments

  1. Nothing will change regardless of the election results. Reckless borrowing, wars, erosion of freedom. These have all occurred no matter which party has held the White House the past decade. Romney is a warmonger and a Wall Street insider, we will see no changes from him. Only total collapse of the system will wake people up to quit voting the current two parties into office. Democrats and Republicans have to lose the job security they have had for some time. Only when their job is on the line will they care what is happening to middle America. The problem is that citizens have to wake up and become interested and involved in the political process. I don’t see that happening. Even when a group like Occupy Wall Street organizes, they don’t seem to have any understanding of what needs to change. Politicians and the elite don’t care if you are out protesting. You have to change the people in office to get anything done. Changing this mess is going to be a generational project. Older Americans don’t seem to be interested in change. We just want our entitlements to stay in place and keep taxes low. We’re screwed.

  2. I have to say that I no optimism that things will get better.I wish that was not true ,we are leaving a legacy of slavery,death .If people believe that the NDAA will not be used against them ,they only need to look to history.Things will not change in this country,to many would lose benefits and government jobs.

  3. it would seem that our public education system and the main stream media have done much to brain wash the braid dead masses into their socialistic program since the 1960′s and as a result Obama.

  4. Mencken – you have found the enemy. The enemy is “the do nothing” us…..and I am included, with lots of excuses, of which, none that I can justify. The country has so many major problems and the “MEDIA”, ignores items of reporting, and the apathetic public dewlls in a blithely stupor. The politicians have a mountebank agenda of self help and only John C Public can make the change. Yep … right after the game, and the lawn, and …….. later ….

  5. The problem is even more basic. The problem is liberalism. It’s a failed ideology and has destroyed every nation it has infected. Virtually every one of society’s problems can be traced back to a liberal law, policy or ideology.

    1. I am beginning to think you guys don’t like Obama. Government reflects the citizenry, Bush was re-elected and he was no prize pig either. Romney is a tear down specialist, that’s what he does for a living. Something about him gives me the creeps. Yes Obama is not perfect and the Congress gave away the constitution for a cash payment, but we can fix it and we will, that’s what Americans do best. So I’ll be voting for Obama because I prefer the moron I know to the moron I don’t know.

      1. So tell us, what are you more proud of that leads you to this stellar decision?

        The record unemployment, the record poverty, record debt, record deficits, never passed a budget since in office, the 47 unelected czars, the record dollar devaluation, alienating our foreign allies, the NDAA, Fast and Furious, imposing law upon citizens against their will using an illegal voting method mandating action in violation of the Constitution, hiding his entire past, releasing two forged documents, or defending armed foreign invaders over tax paying US citizens?

        So many reasons to choose. I think you’d vote for Hitler, Lenin and/or Stalin before voting for Thomas Jefferson.

        MORON !

        1. Sorry about the repeat, I think you’ll make it. So let’s see…
          Record unemployment:
          Not even close to being true, check out a history book and read once in a while.

          Record poverty:
          Again, reading is fun-duh-mental. See books on the 30′s.

          Record debt:
          Fighting 2 wars combined with tax cuts for boneheads is something I’m sure you’re proud of.

          Never passed a budget…
          It’s just a suggestion. Congress(the opposite of PRO-gress) passes budgets.

          47 unelected czars…
          A brilliant system created by conservative republicans. Job well done!

          , imposing law upon citizens against their will using an illegal voting method mandating action in violation of the Constitution

          We all support the legalization of Marijuana…give it time.

          The rest of your drivel is pure fantasy, Barrack Obama…born in the USA! Jefferson slave owner(I’m sure you’re proud) slave rapist, non-believer, farmer…you’d throw that guy in Gitmo.

          Remember reading good…thinking better.

  6. I am beginning to think you guys don’t like Obama. Government reflects the citizenry, Bush was re-elected and he was no prize pig either. Romney is a tear down specialist, that’s what he does for a living. Something about him gives me the creeps. Yes Obama is not perfect and the Congress gave away the constitution for a cash payment, but we can fix it and we will, that’s what Americans do best. So I’ll be voting for Obama because I prefer the moron I know to the moron I don’t know.

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