The Wisdom of Mencken, Nock Are Fresh Today; Believing in My Bones, as I Do, That Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump Are Unworthy and Unqualified to Be President of the United States Has Inspired Me to Do a Lot of Soul Searching. and That Has Drawn Me More and More to the Writings of the Legendary H.L. Mencken and Less-Than-Legendary Albert J. Nock. [Derived Headline]

By Goldberg, Jonah | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, July 7, 2016 | Go to article overview

The Wisdom of Mencken, Nock Are Fresh Today; Believing in My Bones, as I Do, That Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump Are Unworthy and Unqualified to Be President of the United States Has Inspired Me to Do a Lot of Soul Searching. and That Has Drawn Me More and More to the Writings of the Legendary H.L. Mencken and Less-Than-Legendary Albert J. Nock. [Derived Headline]


Goldberg, Jonah, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


Believing in my bones, as I do, that both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are unworthy and unqualified to be president of the United States has inspired me to do a lot of soul searching. And that has drawn me more and more to the writings of the legendary H.L. Mencken and less-than-legendary Albert J. Nock.

Both were friends and intellectual comrades in arms who stood athwart the progressive and populist passions that defined American politics in the first half of the 20th century.

Under Democrat Woodrow Wilson, the United States established the first modern ministry of propaganda, the Committee on Public Information. The Wilson administration jailed political dissenters by the thousands, encouraged the brown-shirt tactics of the American Protective League and censored newspapers and magazines with abandon.

Nock wrote a scalding editorial for The Nation criticizing labor leader Samuel Gompers for supporting the government. The Wilson administration responded by temporarily banning the publication.

Prohibition demonstrated for both Mencken and Nock that the zeal to muck about with peoples' lives was a bipartisan affair.

"The more obvious the failure becomes, the more shamelessly they exhibit their genuine motives," Mencken wrote in 1926. "In plain words, what moves them is the psychological aberration called sadism. They lust to inflict inconvenience, discomfort, and, whenever possible, disgrace upon the persons they hate -- which is to say, upon everyone who is free from their barbarous theological superstitions, and is having a better time in the world than they are. …

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The Wisdom of Mencken, Nock Are Fresh Today; Believing in My Bones, as I Do, That Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump Are Unworthy and Unqualified to Be President of the United States Has Inspired Me to Do a Lot of Soul Searching. and That Has Drawn Me More and More to the Writings of the Legendary H.L. Mencken and Less-Than-Legendary Albert J. Nock. [Derived Headline]
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