H. L. Mencken

US editor (1880 - 1956)

I believe that all government is evil, and that trying to improve it is largely a waste of time.

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

Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule - and both commonly succeed, and are right.

The capacity of human beings to bore one another seems to be vastly greater than that of any other animal.

It is even harder for the average ape to believe that he has descended from man.

All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it.

In this world of sin and sorrow, there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican.

God is the immemorial refuge of the incompetent, thehelpless, the miserable. They find not only sanctuary in His arms, but also a kind of superiority, soothing to their macerated egos; He will set them above their betters.

The chief value of money lies in the fact that one lives in a world in which it is overestimated.

A judge is a law student who marks his own examination papers.

If I had my way, any man guilty of golf would be ineligible for any office of trust in the United States.

The only really happy folk are married women and single men.

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

Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.

A poet more than thirty years old is simply an overgrown child.

A Sunday school is a prison in which children do penance for the evil conscience of their parents.

The most common of all follies is to believe passionately in the palpably not true. It is the chief occupation of mankind.

A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin.

Wife: one who is sorry she did it, but would undoubtedly do it again.

Democracy: The worship of jackals by jackasses.