Alex Massie

Mencken’s Thought for the Day

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Writing the diary column* for this week's edition of the magazine, I can't believe I failed to quote from HL Mencken. The insufferable nonsense provoked by what passes for a healthcare "debate" (on both sides of the Atlantic) would have entertained the Sage of Baltimore no end. As Peter Suderman reminds one, Mencken viewed these absurdities with an appropriately jaundiced eye:

“I enjoy democracy immensely," he wrote. "It is incomparably idiotic, and hence incomparably amusing. Does it exalt dunderheads, cowards, trimmers, frauds, cads? Then the pain of seeing them go up is balanced and obliterated by the joy of seeing them come down.”

*Probably the only piece you'll read this week featuring Alex Salmond, Calvin Coolidge, Bob Woodward and Mark Ramprakash.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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