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Giving every man a vote has no more made men wise and free than Christianity has made them good.
—  H. L. Mencken
Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.
—  H. L. Mencken
Temptation is an irresistible force at work on a moveable body.
—  H. L. Mencken
On one issue at least, men and women agree; they both distrust women.
—  H. L. Mencken
A celebrity is one who is known to many persons he is glad he doesn't know.
—  H. L. Mencken
We are here and it is now. Further than that all human knowledge is moonshine.
—  H. L. Mencken
It is even harder for the average ape to believe that he has descended from man.
—  H. L. Mencken
Experience is a poor guide to man, and is seldom followed. What really teaches a man is not experience, but observation.
—  H. L. Mencken
Bachelors know more about women than married men; if they didn't, they'd be married too.
—  H. L. Mencken
Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.
—  H. L. Mencken
The difference between a moral man and a man of honor is that the latter regrets a discreditable act, even when it has worked and he has not been caught.
—  H. L. Mencken
An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup.
—  H. L. Mencken
The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
—  H. L. Mencken
The fact is that liberty, in any true sense, is a concept that lies quite beyond the reach of the inferior man's mind. And no wonder, for genuine liberty demands of its votaries a quality he lacks completely, and that is courage. The man who loves it must be willing to fight for it; blood, said Jefferson, is its natural manure. Liberty means self-reliance, it means resolution, it means the capacity for doing without ... the average man doesn't want to be free. He wants to be safe.
—  H. L. Mencken
After all, all he did was string together a lot of old, well-known quotations.
—  H. L. Mencken
If there were only three women left in the world, two of them would immediately convene a court-martial to try the other one.
—  H. L. Mencken
The chief value of money lies in the fact that one lives in a world in which it is overestimated.
—  H. L. Mencken
Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods.
—  H. L. Mencken
Democracy the domination of unreflective and timorous men, moved in vast herds by mob conditions.
—  H. L. Mencken
A politician is an animal which can sit on a fence and yet keep both ears to the ground.
—  H. L. Mencken
All of the great patriots now engaged in edging and squirming their way toward the Presidency of the Republic run true to form. That is to say, they are all extremely wary, and all more or less palpable frauds. What they want, primarily, is the job; the necessary equipment of unescapable issues, immutable principles and soaring ideals can wait until it becomes more certain which way the mob will be whooping.
—  H. L. Mencken
Democracy is also a form of worship. It is the worship of Jackals by Jackasses.
—  H. L. Mencken
The truth that survives is simply the lie that is pleasantest to believe.
—  H. L. Mencken
The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.
—  H. L. Mencken
We must repsect the other fellow's religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children are smart.
—  H. L. Mencken
School days are the unhappiest in the whole span if human existence. They are full of dull, unintelligible tasks, new and unpleasant ordinances, with brutal violations of common sense and common decency.
—  H. L. Mencken
A home is not a mere transient shelter: its essence lies in the personalities of the people who live in it.
—  H. L. Mencken
The penalty for laughing in a courtroom is six months in jail; if it were not for this penalty, the jury would never hear the evidence.
—  H. L. Mencken
An idealist is one who, on noticing that roses smell better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup.
—  H. L. Mencken
The fact that a human brain of high amperage, otherwise highly efficient, may have a hole in it is surely not a secret.
—  H. L. Mencken
A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin.
—  H. L. Mencken
The capacity of human beings to bore one another seems to be vastly greater than that of any other animal.
—  H. L. Mencken
Without a doubt there are women who would vote intelligently. There are also men who knit socks beautifully.
—  H. L. Mencken
Conscience is the inner voice that warns us somebody is looking.
—  H. L. Mencken
The average man gets his living by such depressing devices that boredom becomes a sort of natural state to him.
—  H. L. Mencken
If, after I depart this vale, you ever remember me and have thought to please my ghost, forgive some sinner and wink your eye at some homely girl.
—  H. L. Mencken
Any man who afflicts the human race with ideas must be prepared to see them misunderstood.
—  H. L. Mencken
No one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public.
—  H. L. Mencken
How little it takes to make life unbearable: a pebble in the shoe, a cockroach in the spaghetti, a woman's laugh.
—  H. L. Mencken
Hanging one scoundrel, it appears, does not deter the next. Well, what of it? The first one at least is disposed of.
—  H. L. Mencken
All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it.
—  H. L. Mencken
Democracy is the art form of running the circus from the monkey cage.
—  H. L. Mencken
I don't want any yes-men around me. I want everybody to tell me the truth even if it costs them their jobs.
—  H. L. Mencken
Women have simple tastes. They can get pleasure out of the conversation of children in arms and men in love.
—  H. L. Mencken
After all, why be good? How many will actually believe it of us?
—  H. L. Mencken
Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.
—  H. L. Mencken
The fact that I have no remedy for all the sorrows of the world is no reason for my accepting yours. It simply supports the strong probability that yours is a fake.
—  H. L. Mencken
War will never cease until babies begin to come into the world with larger cerebrums and smaller adrenal glands.
—  H. L. Mencken

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