"A Galileo could no more be elected president of the United States than he could be elected Pope of Rome. Both high posts are reserved for men favored by God with an extraordinary genius for swathing the bitter facts of life in bandages of self-illusion."
H. L. Mencken
(1880-1956) American Journalist, Editor, Essayist, Linguist, Lexicographer, and Critic
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Reader comments about this quote:
 -- Anonymous, Reston, VA, US      
 -- jim k, Austin      
A nation of know nothings and rednecks will seldom elect an egg head to high office. Al Gore was derided for being intelligent, logical and scientific. The erudite Adlai Stevenson went no where. A gift of gab helps and thus Clinton and Obama sneaked in to an otherwise lackluster cast of Presidential Characters.
 -- Waffler, Smith     
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     -- RBESRQ      
     -- Dick, Fort Worth      
    Galileo was a keen observer of experimental facts and was talented at using those facts to postulate truth. Galileo had, however, a poor understanding of human nature because he thought the truth might actually matter to politicians, i.e. the Pope et al. By the way, Al Gore is a charlatan con-man who has profited from fraudulent research. Of course he was not ignorant of the fraud. He was complicit in it and probably should be doing time with Madoff as his neighbor.
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
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    First off, Ken in WA you got that right. As to the quote, Mencken is too often harsh. Great and good leaders are rare, but they do occur. I call the late Pope John Paul II, the first Pope in my lifetime who was a believer, in my opinion. "Judge not lest ye be judged." tends to get your attention.
     -- J. B. Wulff, Bristol, CT     
    Yes, Al Gore is brilliant and dazzling. He was actually able to lead the world about by the nose when he convinced the masses that the myth of global warming was the truth. The really sickening part of this is that so many were convinced and never took the 2 hous time to do some research to see if the message was true or not. After all it came from Al Gore... Smart enuff to fool the majority of the world...but the truth prevailed. There is no terrorism but that which removes individual liberty. Abigail Adams
     -- abigail adams, hun bch     
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    To deny truth (the truth of global warming) is the same thing that society and the Pope did to Galileo. Oh! will they ever learn, WILL PEOPLE EVER LEARN! Gore speaks the truth, you folks are forever being purely political.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    Waffler, you're an idiot and that is why no one can take you seriously. You accept a lie as the truth and promote tyranny as freedom.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    No one knows more than Al Gore. You are hubristic if you think so. Abigail why should I believe you when it is Al Gore that got the Nobel Prize and 90% of scientists and governments disagree with you. There are truths that are inconvient, sorry.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    A certain measure of the greatness of any people is the measure of the faculty that they possess to faithfully discern the character of the characters of those whom they designate to minimally govern them.
     -- Patrick Henry, Red Hill     
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    Is "bathing the bitter facts of life in bandages of self-illusion" a nice way of presenting and justifying "alternative facts"?
     -- Mick, Manchester     
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    Mencken was an admirer of Friedrich Nietzsche, and loathed higher mathematics. Saying, Issac Newton was full of hogwash. Not a very sharp razor, envying those he thought he should be.
     -- Ronw13, Oregon     
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    If God's will is done, Mencken may have a point ...
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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