"Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under."
H. L. Mencken
(1880-1956) American Journalist, Editor, Essayist, Linguist, Lexicographer, and Critic
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A bit of a generalization but, true enough, a sufficient part of the time, to garner a 5 star rating ;-)
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
    It is those that corrupt the nature of our Constitutional form of self government that feel no guilt so to feel ashamed and most Americans feel no guilt and shame for letting them get away with it which in truth helps them get away with it.
     -- Anon     
    If not ashamed of it, he's certainly scared of it.
     -- jim k, austin     
    This quote should read "any man who wishes to make himself appear to be decent will attack the government he lives under". The little mind and the little man in order to make himself feel important will attack those he perceives to be above or over him. The world is full of small men or small minds trying to knock others off of what they percieve to be a pedastal. Since Mencken is stating what he believes to be a universal comcpet it has no bearing or reference to the US, its Constitution, its present or past state of affairs. It applies to all men and all governments anywhere and at all times. He is stating a sad human condition not an indictmen of any government. I give it a five for I believe it to be a correct insight into the depravity of the human spirit. .
     -- Waffler, Smith     
    I would say so. I guess Waffler thinks he is the decent man instead of the small man he alludes to. He reveals the basis of his worship of authority: he believes that the human spirit is depraved. The only problem with that is that his solution is more human intervention into other people's lives. The only way this view can be held is through the ignorance of one's own depravity... In my mind, if all are depraved, then none should have the power to compel others to obey. That is why the system of justice is supposed to be a 'system' of due process, not through the opinons of selected men. Is the US government corrupt and hypocritical? Absolutely -- and wherever I travel I feel I have to apologize for my government.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    You and I are the government Archer.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
    Waffler, we are self-governing individuals that elect others to represent us -- that is government. When those that we have chosen to represent us and to protect our rights use their offices to dictate our behavior, extort money from us upon threat of imprisonment or worse, and lay claim to our labors and property without compensation, our representatives have assumed more power than they have been given. Our government is not based on the idea that the human mind is depraved. It is based on the self-evident truth that human life is sacred. To use government offices to expoit and condemn other people is unlawful and tyrannical.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
     -- warren, olathe      
     -- Anonymous      
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