"The only good bureaucrat is one with a pistol at his head.
Put it in his hand and it's good-bye to the Bill of Rights."
H. L. Mencken
(1880-1956) American Journalist, Editor, Essayist, Linguist, Lexicographer, and Critic
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Reader comments about this quote:
I doubt ANY "good bureaucrat" currently exists in the United States.
 -- Joe, Rochester, MI     
    Mencken, along with Twain, are a constant vacation for me from the lies, hypocrisies, empty bureaucratic lingo-ese that I encounter so often in newspapers and TV news (which I hardly watch) ........ thanks for reminding us to keep thinking and keep dreaming.
     -- Susan Deer Cloud, Binghamton, NY     
  • 1
    I am certainly no fan of bureaucracy, which is wholly different from a bureaucrat (the person). This is a rather lame and unthinking quote. A bureaucrat may be just some guy doing his job, and having to negotiate through the insanity of bureaucracy himself. Bureaucrats don't create the beast, politicians do.
     -- Sheldon, Cortez Colorado     
  • 4
    Politicians come and go...but the bureaucracy remains entrenched. Which is why even a noble politician can affect no change. Too many bureaucrats "just doing their job". If a bureaucrat had one good idea...his head would explode.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
  • 3
    Susan and J Carlton got it right and Mencken is one of my favorites along with Mark Twain. Twain described public servents this way: "Persons chosen by the people to distribute the graft". L.Neal Smith described government this way: "Government is a disease masquerading as it's own cure".
     -- jim k, Austin, Tx     
  • 1
    And that is what the 2nd Amendment is all about -- the explicit prevention of Congress from making ANY law abridging the right of the people from possessing and carrying weapons for their own defense and the defense of the state.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 2
    A quote like that would get any grade-schooler suspended and any high-schooler jailed. Probably, today it would get Mencken sent to Gitmo.
     -- Jesse, Mitchell, IN     
  • 1
    The reason no bureaucrats in the US are good is the US Constitution was written, by slavers, to protect imagined, ancient rights, of white men, particularly those, which owned slaves.

    We've migrated, through the machine age, into the computer age, but in the midst of idiocrats, and after four years, of an Obamney Presidency, I don't see much, in the way of suggestions, how we need a constitutional convention, an end to senates, the electoral college, and misconduct, but hey, we need better security and process, to maintain RIGHTS.

    You all might think of that, before we have nothing LEFT. Can you SMELLLLLL, what Barack is cooking?

    Climate change, with failure of physical and funding infrastructure are like guns, pointed at our heads, allowed by bureaucrats, which shot us, already, but some of you are so dead in the head, you don't even know you are wounded!!!

    Our legal infrastructure failed, ALREADY. It can't keep up, with Sharia Law, so don't be surprised, how our corrupt POTUS and his droning Hildog had no kibbitzing, with proposed articles, for the violent Arab Spring. Hey, if they showed any talent, at suggesting articles, for a NEW CONSTITUTION, our idiocrats would want one, over here. Just saying . . .
     -- Bob, Mountain View     
    An over simplification but extremely accurate in the broadest sense. The standing army that is the local policing departments is an in your face example.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 1
    " To some the Oath is more than just words " General Mad Dog. USMC

     -- Ronw13, Yachats Or     
    The purpose of gun control laws is to take the gun out of the citizen's hand and put it into the bureaucrat's hand...
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 1
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