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September 12, 2005

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Diogenese

It is easy to see Mencken as a man who stood out from the crowd, who knew his own mind, who despised cant, "the system" and hypocrisy.

Because that was how Mencken liked to portray himself.

In reality, however, he believed that "freedom" should be reserved for the elite few who had the intelligence to know what to do with it.
And naturally his own name came pretty near the top of the list of those entitled to enjoy freedom.

In reality Mencken despised most of the population, just as he despised democracy - which was a key reason for his hatred of William Jennings Bryan - the "Great Commoner".

Mencken supported the right of the rich and powerful to do pretty much as they liked.
WJB believed that democracy - the right of the people to determine their own fate, even if they sometimes made "wrong" decisions - was a reflection of all mankind's equality in the eyes of God.

Mencken believed that the rich and powerful had the right to make their money any way they could, no matter who or how many got hurt in the process.
WJB believed that the rich and powerful should be subject to laws (both legal and ethical) just like everyone else, though he was in no way opposed to capitalism as such. As a consequence WJB helped carry through legislation to tax the rich in order to provide pensions for the very poor.

Mencken, since he opposed democracy in principle, naturally looked with disfavour on the cause of equal voting rights for women.
WJB was a key player in the cause of getting equal voting rights for women.

But then again, Mencken was on the side of America's "secret government" (see Edward Bernays' book "Propaganda"), whilst WJB opposed it.

But since the "secret government" won, and is still winning, the battle to control America, naturally we are still being taught that Mencken was a wit, a man of letters, etc., and that WJB was an ill-informed religious nut.

Ain't it amazing the garbage we'll swallow - given half a chance!

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