The H.L. Mencken Field Guide to Life- Election Edition
It has been some many months since I penned the Field Guide Part One. As we edge ever closer to the circus that we so grandly call the electoral process it seem wise to turn our eyes once gain to the Sage of Baltimore for some keen observations and perhaps a shred of advice for dealing with the sewer of shit and dogmatic politics that is the current state of American Politics and Government.
I suspect Mencken would be appalled to see the mess we have made of the American system of government and politics. Much of what he warned us about has indeed to come to pass, and I do not think he would like the world he saw before him. Back in 1920, he wrote “The American of today, in fact, probably enjoys less personal liberty than any other man of Christendom, and even his political liberty is fast succumbing to the new dogma that certain theories of government are virtuous and lawful, and others abhorrent and felonious. Laws limiting the radius of his free activity multiply year by year: It is now practically impossible for him to exhibit anything describable as genuine individuality, either in action or in thought, without running afoul of some harsh and unintelligible penalty. It would surprise no impartial observer if the motto “In God we trust” were one day expunged from the coins of the republic by the Junkers at Washington, and the far more appropriate word, “verboten,” substituted. Nor would it astound any save the most romantic if, at the same time, the goddess of liberty were taken off the silver dollars to make room for a bas-relief of a policeman in a spiked helmet. Moreover, this gradual (and, of late, rapidly progressive) decay of freedom goes almost without challenge; the American has grown so accustomed to the denial of his constitutional rights and to the minute regulation of his conduct by swarms of spies, letter-openers, informers and agents provocateurs that he no longer makes any serious protest.”
How much less personal liberty does the average American have today? He is told by various overseers what color he must paint his house and landscape his yard. He must wear a seat when operating his automobile, and only the foulest black-hearted bastard would allow their child to enjoy the pure pleasure of riding a bike without a helmet as well as pads about the knees and elbow. He does not dare light a cigarette in his own office. There are those among us who would restrict the size of the soda she buys at the convenience store. City dwellers are under almost constant observation from cameras of one sort of another when outside of their home. Government agencies can listen to every single phone conversation you have and see every file stored on your computer at will. We must buy certain insurance contracts is we wish to move about in public and avoid certain penalties. We can only use intoxicants that are on the approved list. Every law, rule, and regulation passed by the US Congress down your homeowners association restricts out personal liberties, and we are not doing one single thing to stop it. As long as we the people have the internet, cable TV and cheap beer we just do not give a flying fuck.
Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.
This is the new essence of American Politics and government. We were not supposed to be a democracy. The founding fathers were afraid of pure democracy and turned to the Republican form of government. Citizens would elect learned and earnest men who would vote upon the matters of state and reach common sense solutions. Unfortunately, the learned and sincere men have become money grubbing shit holes whose entire purpose in life is getting re-elected to keep the money and blow jobs flowing in their direction. The founders feared this and created two houses of the legislature with only one house with very short terms of office and one with a longer term that governors and state legislatures would send to Washington to protect the interest of the state and its citizens. For the first 125 years o National existence this worked very well. So well, in fact, the politicians realized that doing away with this provision and allowing a direct election for both houses opened up a whole new path to personal prosperity. Now they could browbeat and scaremonger the general public into longer and more lucrative term of government. So in 1913 it was changed to allow direct election of Senators. The ordinary people of the unwashed electorate were now firmly in charge of the electoral process.
What does the great unwashed want? Whatever they can get. What will they settle for? As near I can tell the answer involves cable TV and beer. The public is being bent over double by elected officials, and their massive bureaucracy is giving it to the common good and hard every day and the public not only takes it they cheer for some of these morons and swear allegiance to their own destruction. If a politician can convince one sector f the Convinced that he is their champion he becomes not a mere money grubbing man but a disciple of truth justice and the American Way even as he violates them in the vilest of manners.
The fact is that the average man’s love of liberty is nine-tenths imaginary, exactly like his love of sense, justice, and truth.
Here is the truth of it all. We profess to love liberty, but liberty carries an awesome and awful responsibility for our own actions. If we are free, we have to accept the consequences of our choices. If we fuck up and get fired or lose our business we are on our own. If we make a wrong decision it is on our own heads and no one else is responsible. We have to actually read and think, tasks that scare the average person absolutely stone cold shit less. Our survival and prosperity then depend on our own achievements and efforts with no assistance. If we cannot make enough to buy the things we want, we silly will not have them. If we start a business that harms people or treats them poorly, then the failure is on our own head, and there will be no bailout. The free man pays his own way and is responsible for his own actions. If someone else achieves more than we do there is nothing the free man can do but strive harder to achieve more. Very few want that and will gladly trade the liberty to avoid the responsibility.
The kind of man who wants the government to adopt and enforce his ideas is always the kind of man whose ideas are idiotic.
The ugly truth is that anyone who files to run for office should be automatically disqualified for moral reasons. Politicians are right there with religious leaders as members of the Absolutely Convinced that for some strange, bizarre set of reasons thinks they know more about how you should live your life than you do. The idea that someone could make their own decisions about where to live, where to work, how to raise their kids, what to drink or eat, who and how to love is a pure puzzlement to them. They have conversed with the universe and deities and are the truly enlightened that can you lead down to the path of righteousness and prosperity. All too often the path will result in unfettered imbecility and a great deal of ass raping.
The best person to guide your life is you. As long as your actions are Hippocratic in nature and do no harm, then your politics should be based on the concepts of “Leave Me the Fuck Alone, and I will do the same for you” than any of the drivel produced by these two criminal gangs.