Mencken Lives

Years ago, reading Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism, I was struck by a line early in the book, where he criticized the American Left for not remembering their own intellectual history. What struck me about it was that Goldberg seemed to be astonished by this revelation. It is tempting to think, upon learning something new, that you are the first person to have the insight. Young people tend to suffer from this, coming home from college convinced they know the secrets of the universe. In the case of the Left, Goldberg may have been the last person to notice the Left’s hatred of the past.

The other thing that was striking is that modern conservatives suffer from the same defect. Read any of the so-called conservative writers of the Official Right™ and you get the impression that the world began in 1938. Every bad guy in the world is Hitler and any hesitation about rushing into war is appeasement. More important, they think the great intellectual tradition of the Right starts with the day Bill Buckley penned God and Man at Yale. Everything before that is fairy tales and mythology from a foreign people.

Of course, this is not an accident. Buckley conservatism was a break with the old traditional Right, if it was ever actually of the Right, which is debatable. George Will famously called Buckley’s Yale book “a lovers’ quarrel with his alma mater.” It was also a good way to describe the conservatism of Bill Buckley and his followers. It was and still is a lover’s quarrel with the Left. Put another way, it was the child admonishing the parent for not living up to the ideals the parent preached to their children.

To be fair, the Buckleyites borrowed some political objectives from traditional conservatives, along with some of the language of the Right, but it was essentially a Progressive heresy over the issue of communism. It’s why the Buckleyites had exactly zero wins in the culture war. They never bothered to fight it. Their singular reason to exist was opposition to communism, foreign and domestic. It’s why after the Cold War, they declared themselves Big Government Conservatives.

Anyway, Goldberg’s ahistorical view of conservatism came to mind when reading this post over at the ironically named The American Conservative.

H.L. Mencken has a conservative problem. The Baltimore journalist became the poster boy for literary modernism thanks to his literary criticism and nationally syndicated op-ed columns, in addition to his work as a magazine editor, most notably at American Mercury. But he ranks well behind the modernist poets T.S. Eliot or Wallace Stevens as an acceptable literary figure for conservative consumption. The reason has much to do with Mencken’s skepticism and irreverence. He mocked Puritanism famously as the cultural force that gave Americans a moralistic squint. Worse, he recommended the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche as an antidote to Victorian morality and then promoted Theodore Dreiser, whose novels offended censors. Mencken proved his heretical ways at the Scopes Trial, where he mocked the prosecution led by William Jennings Bryan and the “simian faithful” who hung on the Great Commoner’s every word. Everywhere Mencken turned, his mantra seemed to be “just say no” to inherited moral, intellectual, and literary standards.

The most recent conservative complaint about Mencken is that he was an elitist who ridiculed his fellow Americans. Kevin D. Williamson of National Review objected that the debunking mentality prevalent in Mencken’s work represented a “genuine fervor to knock the United States and its people down a peg or two.” For Mencken, “the representative American experience was the Scopes trial, with its greasy Christian fundamentalists and arguments designed to appeal to the ‘prehensile moron,’ his description of the typical American farmer.” Fred Siegel of the Manhattan Institute registered a similar complaint in his book The Revolt Against the Masses: How Liberalism Undermined the Middle Class. He charged that Mencken was part of a company of liberal thinkers who wanted to create an American aristocracy that could “provide the same sense of hierarchy and order long associated with European statism.”

The unhinged madhattery on display here is breath taking. The starting point of Anglo-Saxon conservatism is skepticism, particularly a skepticism of universalism and Utopian lunacies like Puritanism. Similarly, the Right has always accepted that humans are a hierarchical species by nature. Therefore, the structure of society, including the political system, will always reflect this reality, as it has at all times and all places. Egalitarianism is a fetish of the Left, not the Right. Yet, the modern Right now claims it for their own.

Those two paragraphs describe what Buckley Conservatism is today. It is vinegar drinking prudery, a cartoonish version of Christian piety and unquestioning reverence for the jingoistic version of American history, that has little resemblance to reality. Put another way, it is kept men tut-tutting about manners, droning on about the old church and demanding you send your sons off to fight pointless wars of choice, claiming it is your patriotic duty. No wonder its constituency does not extend beyond the Imperial Capital.

Mencken was a man of his age so much of what he wrote about no longer has relevance or it strikes the delicate ear of the modern reader as hate speech. He also wrote a lot and that leads to a degree of inconsistency and incoherence. When you are writing to be read, your first goal is to be entertaining, so a degree of logical inconsistency is inevitable. Even so, Mencken is an important figure to study, because it is the conservatism of his era that is roaring back in the form of the populist upheavals we are seeing in our politics.

64 thoughts on “Mencken Lives

  1. Surprised to see Kevin Williamson piling on. Wasn’t he the one who wrote the piece about how the oxycontin-addicted white trash who love Trump should die off? That’s not exactly exalting the salt of the Earth.

    I think the main reason they won’t touch Mencken is his antisemitism, but even though that’s socially handicapping now, most philosophers and intelligent men of the right throughout most of history at least distrusted Jews. Mencken was in some respects progressive on race, at least by the lights of his time. He said quite a few flattering things about the first really famous black boxer, Joe Gans, when most of white America was up in arms about the reign of the dusky pugilist.

  2. I’ve had my troubles with Mencken’s worldview myself, but certainly not on any of the elements raised here. As to your penultimate paragraph, Preach, brother!

    Your characterization of the Buckley right as a prog heresy is increasingly coming into view everywhere. I used to think of the “new right” [a term later used over and over again, to be sure, but here meaning early NR] and “new left” of the 60s as both being revolts against the established American system of the day. It’s just that unlike some others, I think of that system as being basically left in the sense of being the Prgressive/New Deal Consensus. OK, not leftist in many ways we’d expect now, but left enough in its big-everything corporatism and its liberal drive to utopia. It was the seekers of utopia that had just beaten their fascist rivals and wanted to see off their communist ones. The new right and new left wanted to replace it.

    I still see them in that kind of relationship to the older system, but under your influence as both Progressive heresies. The one to go faster and down more radical/individualist [or at least different collectives] paths about race and sex, the other to focus on beating the Soviet rival.

    Guess who won.

    Nothing really conservative was even on the field. Arguably the New Dealers were the closest thing. [Pause to retch].

    I mean I still find common intellectual ground with Buckley, Meyer, Kuehnetl-Leddihn, Ernst van den Haag, O Sullivan, Buchanan, and especially Burnham. I know that’s an eclectic list.

    But what a waste it all has been.

    I pick up NR fairly regularly for book reviews. I now look at the contents with greater care than I did 18 months ago, lest my barely suppressed manic rage get the better of me. It’s still better than the formerly not-insane Atlantic. I can’t even pick up Canada’s ‘right-wing’ paper the National Post without an anticipatory cringe. My local rag I get for the decreasingly accurate TV Guide and bin the rest unread.

    I really need to chill.

  3. H.L. Mencken
    “Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.”

  4. I read a Carnival of Buncombe a couple of years ago – a collection of Mencken’s columns from the late 20’s to early 30’s – and the almost supernaturally adroit evisceration of character and pretension (a sort of Fred Astaire of political take-downs) was still, after all these years, laugh out loud hilarious. Highly recommended.

  5. The best for last:

    “I enjoy democracy immensely. 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. Is it inordinately wasteful, extravagant, dishonest? Then so is every other form of government: all alike are enemies to laborious and virtuous men. Is rascality at the very heart of it? Well, we have borne that rascality since 1776, and continue to survive. In the long run, it may turn out that rascality is necessary to human government, and even to civilization itself – that civilization, at bottom, is nothing but a colossal swindle. I do not know: I report only that when the suckers are running well the spectacle is infinitely exhilarating. But I am, it may be, a somewhat malicious man: my sympathies, when it comes to suckers, tend to be coy. What I can’t make out is how any man can believe in democracy who feels for and with them, and is pained when they are debauched and made a show of.”

    Indeed “the suckers are running well the spectacle is infinitely exhilarating”.

  6. But wait, there’s more!

    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

  7. Mencken could see the future wrote about Obama:

    “As democracy is perfected, the office of the President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. 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 occupied by a downright fool and complete narcissistic moron.”

    I sincerely hope it was not Trump that he foresaw.

    • I just left this comment there

      “Thanks for the laugh, I do like well done satire, please play again soon.”

    • That’s real. Keep in mind that every last thing must be politicized. And we always thought lactose intolerance was a biological thing, not a political thing, silly us.

  8. My favorite Mencken quote:
    “”…no other president ever slipped into the White House so easily, and none other ever had a softer time of it while there. When, at Rapid City, S.D. on August 2, 1927, he loosed the occult words, ‘I do not choose to run in 1928,’ was it prsecience or only luck? For one, I am inclined to put it down to luck. Surely there was no prescience in his utterances and maneuvers otherwise. He showed not the slightest sign that he smelt black clouds ahead; on the contrary, he talked and lived only sunshine. There was a volcano boiling under him, but he did not know it, and was not singed. When it burst forth at last, it was Hoover who got its blast, and was fried, boiled, roasted and fricasseed. How Dr. Coolidge must have chuckled in his retirement, for he was not without humor of a sad, necrotic kind. He knew Hoover well, and could fathom the full depths of the joke.
    In what manner he would have performed himself if the holy angels had shoved the Depression forward a couple of years — this we can only guess….my own is that he would have responded to bad times precisely as he responded to good ones — that is, by pulling down the blinds, stretching his legs upon his desk, and snoozing away the lazy afternoons. Here, indeed, was his one…notable talent. He slept more than any other President, whether by day or by night.
    …I can find no relation of cause and effect between the Coolidge somnolence and the Coolidge prosperity, but it is nevertheless reasonable to argue that if the former had been less marked the latter might have blown up sooner. We suffer most, not when the White House is a peaceful dormitory, but when it is a jitney Mars Hill, with a tin-pot Paul bawling from the roof. Counting out Harding as a cipher only, Dr. Coolidge was preceded by one World Saver and followed by two more. What enlightened American having to choose between any of them and another Coolidge, would hesitate for an instant? There were no thrills while he reigned, but neither were there any headaches. He had no ideas, and he was not a nuisance.”

    • I’d been familiar with the Coolidge barbs, not the conclusions. Menchen adds up his insults to Coolidge toward the end and concludes that Silent Cal may have had the measure of them all. Extra points for Menchen. Silent Cal, mute in six languages, was the last President to have understood the Constitution in detail, and care to stay within his bounds. He despised Hoover.

      • Mark Steyn has a soft spot for Coolidge. He described visiting that president’s simple grave, standing among other family gravestones, in Plymouth Notch, Vermont. “Seven generations of Coolidges are buried there all in a row – including Julius Caesar Coolidge, which is the kind of name I’d like to find on the ballot next November (strong on war, but committed to small government).”

  9. Albert Jay Nock was a (lesser known) contemporary of Mencken who’s very much worth reading, particularly his autobiography “Memoirs of a Superfluous Man” (hint: it’s much more) that is superb.

    • Soviet of Washington, I haven’t heard our leftist state called that in a long time.

      I’m a retired TacomaFire. We were picking up a bum off the street once, when one of the guys described the steps he’d take to work himself out of being a bum. “I’d save and get a lawnmower, and work my way into an apartment…” “Todd, that’s why you’re not a bum. If you gave that bum a lawnmower and a can of gas, he’d pawn the lawnmower, buy a bottle, and use the can of gas to start a fire, which would probably blow up in his face and start a brush fire under the bridge that we’d have to put out.”

      People should work. It’s biblical, a creation mandate; “If you don’t work, you don’t eat.”

      I enjoy reading this blog and the comments. I learn a lot, but I’m a simple Christian. President Trump speaks my language. I didn’t vote for a pastor in chief, but for a president who obeys the biblical rule to “reward the good, and punish the wicked.” If it weren’t for millions of people like me, and the grace of God, and people like all of you, we’d have a president who punishes the good, and protects the wicked.

    • Don’t overlook Lysander Spooner, one of my favorite 19th century thinkers. Listed as an anarchist, but I’m sympathetic, especially his thoughts on jury nullification.

  10. mencken was one of the few writers to see through all the tendentious lunacy prevalent in the progressive age that has continued on until today. He never subscribed to a single political program or even a philosophy beyond a vague Nietzscheism. He poured a general scorn on all of America high, low and middle. His writing still packs a punch to this day. Ambrose Bierce and Robinson Jeffers are the only other two Americans that come to mind in terms of clear sightedness towards what had occurred and what was going to occur with the country.

    More and more I find all the best writers are reactionaries

    • Has anyone ever postulated that Mencken got his shtick from Will Rogers? Mencken’s always seemed to me a lot like Rogers with a good dose of nasty, sarcasm, snark or whatever thrown in.

  11. “The most recent conservative complaint about Mencken is that he was an elitist who ridiculed his fellow Americans.” This of course could be said of most of Conservative, Inc. A lot can be said about Mencken, but for sure he hated phonies, which leads me to believe that he’d hate most of Conservative, Inc.

    • Yeah, he would have driven Sloppy Williamson to suicide. I’m an admirer of Mencken and I share his distaste for phonies.

    • Kevin Williamson can’t see the value of the debunker of all the great Utopian schemes for the improvement of Man, Henry Louis Mencken? Mencken, the man who wrote, “Americans may be stupid, but they’re not stupid enough to fall for communism.*” Egad! Williamson has struck me as a twink, but I wasn’t aware of how severe his limitations actually were.

      *Quoted from memory, so I might have gotten the phrasing slightly wrong, but the sentiment is, I believe, intact.

      • Williamson is a gold plated phony. His quill pen act is intended to conceal a mediocre mind. I’m being generous by calling him mediocre. Strip away the purple prose and his writing is recycled material from the comments sections of

        • And is the intellectual home of those too stupid to know the difference between Libertarian and Libertine.

  12. Mencken is great for “go to” quotes. Less so for any overarching philosophy or consistency of ideas. He would feel right at home today, with tweets and blogs. He probably stands out now, in part, because he found a megaphone for his thoughts back in the day, when megaphones were hard to find. Today he would be a blogger, and might even be lost in the crowd.

  13. “Egalitarianism is a fetish of the Left, not the Right. Yet, the modern Right now claims it for their own.”

    One wonders if you’re conflating equality of opportunity (a conservative view) with equality of condition (that the Left seeks like Eden, and your “Cloud People” perpetuate in a pseudo-religious manner).

  14. I’m past the point of hanging my hat on any one author or thinker. All of them let you down sooner or later. Formulating a comprehensive and consistent system of political philosophy is just as difficult as any attempt at a philosophical system, and probably moreso because the interface with reality comes much sooner.
    I hadn’t really thought about this before, but what I do could be described as having certain categories of thought and when confronted with something, deciding which category that idea fits in with and making a judgement based on it in light of decisions already made as to how things in that category are to be treated. I’d bet most people do this. To do otherwise would be to allow one’s judgement to be ideologically constricted, ultimately forcing one into contradictions and cognitive dissonance. Even Mencken had his own internal contradictions. After all, he, the consummate woman hater and bachelor, married.
    No system is geometrically perfect, and sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

    • People understand their world through narratives, placing what they see into a comprehensible stories and explanations. Once you subscribe to one, you become hostage to it, and then must try to defend it. The real world is much more messy, complicated, and random than any narrative can explain or predict. Utopians will not accept that we just might be living in the best of all possible worlds today. They must put their fingerprints all over things, trying to fit our reality into the narrative of their choice.

    • If Menchen was smart enough never to offer a philosophy, that should not be held against him. A man can do me greater service by pointing out I am pissing down my leg than than he can telling me how to build a latrine. On second thought, perhaps that is the best political philosophy. The Invisible Hand is paring away all those things that do not work to reveal those happy accidents that do.

  15. “…an elitist who ridiculed his fellow Americans. Kevin D. Williamson of National Review…”

    “The truth about these dysfunctional, downscale communities is that they deserve to die.”

  16. Mencken never died. Most people know what he said even if they don’t know he said it. A bit like the Bible, in some respects, but without the Source Authority, of course. A few:

    For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.

    Communism, like any other revealed religion, is largely made up of prophecies.

    Puritanism. The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.

    Immorality: the morality of those who are having a better time.

    Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.

    The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

    …you can kind of see why the Government Party would not approve…

    • Similarly, I’m amused by how scandalized they are over Trump’s embrace of Jacksonian Democracy.

      • The thing all these people are dealing with at the end of the day is that feeling of rejection. A lot of people voted for Trump simply “because HE is not YOU.” It’s not even policy-based. It’s mainly just the country having an immune response to the failures of the Government Party, and the realization that both are heavily invested in screwing over the rest of us.

        • There’s a great deal of that, for sure. A fair number of them got high off their own supply and became convinced they were the vanguard of the people. I think a bigger part of it is that a Snopes – Compson dynamic. For so long, vast swaths of the country have been excluded from public debate. Through sheer numbers they are forcing their way onto the stage. One side seems to know what’s happening, while the other is in denial.

          • I recall and am paraphrasing a quote from a few years ago, that “The Right threatens the world, because they want to get elected, so that they can exercise the power of government to leave people alone”. The Left seems to have really taken that sentiment to heart lately, even though Trump isn’t exactly about all that.

          • I think Trump will probably wind up spending a lot of money, but his budget scares the hell out of the people’s who main job is to erect “…a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our People, and eat out their substance,” as Jefferson put it.

            It’s weird to watch a guy who simultaneously wants to rebuild roads, while gutting Cabinet departments by 25-30%. It’s kind of cool.

          • Good point. The GOP and Democrats have largely been fighting over the left side of the country, illegals, minority groups, low skill single moms, drug users, the media/entertainment folks, and the sexually open minded. If you ignore 50% of the country, and tell them you wish they would just die, somebody’s going to exploit that…

          • Clinton assembled a coalition of the Privileged, the Perverts and the Parasites and was so fucking stupid as to rub the noses of the Payers into that fact.

            It really is a form of mental illness

      • Years ago, my Lib relatives asked me to define my politics, since they couldn’t quite get a handle on my thinking. I told them “Andrew Jackson, the guy on the $20 bill, minus the Indian massacres”. They didn’t know enough to respond at the time, but came back later aghast at what they learned about him (and me). Next time it came up, I twisted the knife with “you know, the guy who invented the Democrat Party”. Like throwing hand grenades into an intellectual knife fight. Great fun. They leave me alone now.

        • Tangential story, but my now-ex sister-in-law who is ultra liberal showed up for Thanksgiving dinner around the table of my very conservative family (more than half of us are ex military to boot). She’s one of those people who is so smart they don’t realize how dumb they are, so she started poking the tiger.

          By the time we were done with her, I found her passed out next to am empty bottle of wine next to the toilet in the guest bathroom.

          It was awesome.

        • “Andrew Jackson, the guy on the $20 bill, minus the Indian massacres” & ““you know, the guy who invented the Democrat Party”.

          Thanks for both of these. I will use them. Frequently.

          • I’ve had a hoot of late using
            “Democrats haven’t been this mad since Republicans took their slaves away from them”

            Gets them both: the left and the right.

            Don’t recall where I first saw it but kudos to the coiner.

      • Jackson is clearly no model for modern politicians. During his last two years as President, with a national population of about 15 million, total federal indebtedness sank below $40,000. (No, I didn’t leave out any zeroes.)

      • Trump is two years older than I am, and I would bet he read “Andy Jackson, Boy Soldier” when he was in grade school, back when Jackson was considered an admirable figure. (This would have been one of those orange biographies so many Boomers read when they were growing up.)

        Even when I was in high school (Class of 66) Jackson was still praised as the first president to come from the people. Somewhere around about the time of McGovern and Wounded Knee Jackson became the evil white guy who drove the Cherokee out, and that’s all she wrote. Now Johnny Horton’s “Battle of New Orleans” is never played, and the movie “The Buccaneer” (Yul Brynner as Jean Lafitte and Charlton Heston as Andrew Jackson) is never aired.

        I love that Trump hung the portrait of Jackson in his office. The other portrait he has in there is Thomas Jefferson. Pretty funny, if you remember the Jefferson-Jackson dinners before the democrats got so PC. I think there’s a message there.

        Jonah Goldberg, of course, being a shallow thinker, is probably using those portraits to prove that Trump is a closet democrat. He will prove it geometrically or something.

  17. The greatest tragedy to ever befall the Republican Party was the fall of the Soviet Union. The fall of the one led to the fall of the other.

    • It has not been good the Left or the Right. What was worse, I think, is they became convinced, in the immediate aftermath, that their detente could hold as a permanent ruling majority. As a result they lost sight of what was going on in the culture. It’s why I call them yesterday men.

    • They lost the straw man they could hide like behind like to cowards they are.
      The left and deep state is the Amerikan version of the old Soviet Nomenklaturer State of Administrative Tyranny. The fact the Republican party has never even intimated such an organ of communist marxism exists within their midsts tells you they are if anything greater treasonous scum than their cultural marxists bedfellows on the left.

      • The Democrats lost their bracket on the left. They couldn’t get too far out on the left because they could not let themselves be called commies.

        Since then, the have been flying leftward at warp speed.

        • Easy when you have a cuck majority in congress running the pick for you. And vice versa.
          Thats why they take turns on which family of the federal crime syndicate holds a majority. It’s how you make it look like something is getting done when all they are doing is shifting the players around.
          The crowds love it.
          WooHoo! Conservative Majority in both houses!
          Now things are really going to get done!

          This is what a crock of shit and lies looks like:
          All they ever needed to stop obamacare was for the House of Reprentatives to stop funding for it. Done deal. The House has sole discretion on every penny. No other entity has that power, or the power to stop or make the house do otherwise.

          There. Is. No. Voting. Our. Way. Out. Of. This.
          It’s not pessimism or defeatist to say that.
          It is reality other forms of redress are required.

    • Lincoln was the greatest tragedy to ever befall the republican party. He was the original statist neocon and if you disagreed he simply burned your city to the ground.

      • When I started to delve into the not state approved revisionist history of Lincoln, it became apparent the guy was a marxist. I have no proof other than putting 2 and 2 together from what I’ve read so far. He shares a lot of similarities with Obama in his style of administrative centralism and the mental gymnastics both practiced to conflate or revise constitutional law and original intent. Never mind the oratory of justifying their more grander violations of rule of law. Not to mention how they both pounced on crisis as a means as a tool to do things that would be not near as obtainable otherwise.
        Haven’t read it yet, saved something few days ago that refers to Karl Marx corresponding with Lincoln.
        But his written and oral justifications for waging a war of aggression against American’s citizens are the rival of the most diabolical genocidal dictators of history. Lincoln just had a way of making them sound so pleasant.
        It is mind boggling the scope of revised history that has surrounded him. He was a blood thirsty genocidal psychopath.
        It has become apparent to me, and this is seriously my own conclusions, the Fabian’s went to great lengths to assure he was venerated and wrapped in that cloak of Yankeedom’s revised history.

        But what I’ve come to understand, if you think Trump and the dirt peoples great fuck you that put him in the oval office drives the kultural marxists insane, secession is something that turns them into raving lunatics.
        Seceding, or Abolition as it was termed back in Lincoln’s time, is the ultimate act of rejecting marxism in all its forms, secession is the crux of self determination and sovereignty, to abolish from ones life and prosperity tyranny, that by doing so, the only way the marxists can stop liberty in action is to kill everyone involved. And that is what Lincoln did. The only issue of slavery in the civil war was about slavery to the leviathan state the kultural marxist in the north east where creating. It is no different today. The war of northern aggression if the kultural marxist in the north east aka the deep state is being waged against not the southern dirt people but an entire nation of dirt people who, even if they do not recognize it, yet, are on the threshold of secession from tyranny.
        And I believe that is why they despise, and fear, Trump and us dirt people. We are becoming Abolitionists.
        It’s a real pickle for the kultural marxist. They simply do not have the resources and manpower to wage war like Lincoln did in a full size USA of 50 states. The kind of “popular” support they have generated is not the kind of army Lincoln had at his disposal. The secession today is one of hearts and minds spread out over a vast geological territory, and there are no gentlemanly 1st generation warfare general Lee’s to wage war against.
        This secession today is nebulous, it is grass roots, provincial in nature. It is arming itself also, not just with guns, but knowledge and ways of living free from the state, spread out small community support across the geographic mass of America.
        How do you go after and root out millions of tiny bastions of resistance in a nation such as ours?

  18. The love hate relationship between the political left and right elites is political incest. Once they got a taste of carnal knowledge with their siblings, nothing could surpass the thrill of such forbidden fruit.
    But really what its about is combined, both parties found they had more political power than they could imagine than if they where separate entities, to do anything they wanted. And they have, they do. And now they are in a serious pickle. They are seen as the incestious political scum they are. Inbred dilettantes. A criminal syndicate who betray everything as a matter of course. Who don’t give a rats ass about the dirt people.
    There isn’t enough rope or lamp posts.

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