"The worst government is the most moral.
One composed of cynics is often very tolerant and humane.
But when the fanatics are on top there is no limit to oppression."
H. L. Mencken
(1880-1956) American Journalist, Editor, Essayist, Linguist, Lexicographer, and Critic
Minority Report
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Reader comments about this quote:
There is no positive corelation between "moral" and "fanatics", though there may well be a very strong negitive corelation. King George W's reign is a perfect example. Corrupt and immoral to the core, yet strongly (perhaps even definitionally) fanatic. Yet, if you eliminate the first sentance from this quote, it rings very true.
 -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US     
    It all depends on how you define moral. The current leftist political correctness and fanatical fascist moralities are very intolerant, inhumane, and are eliminating all limits to oppression as fast as possible. Both sides are inflicting the once individual sovereign with horrible government. I would prefer the Christian morals that inspired the Constitution.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    LOL ... "It all depends on how you define moral???" Now THAT is liberal double-speak if ever I've heard it Norwalk. The worst government is the one which makes so many laws everyone is a criminal without knowing. The "moral majority" are fanatics who think only they know what's right, and will do or say anything, even immoral, to prove they know what is right ... for them, for you, for the country, for the world. And of course, your thoughts, rights and beliefs don't matter, because they are right.
     -- Joe, Rochester, MI     
  • 1
    "When the fanatics are on top there is no limit to oppression" -- you got that right. Morality cannot be legislated. It is the right and responsibility of the people to 'be good' -- each of us knows what that means, and how much we don't do it. We reap what we sow, Government is not and cannot ever be our 'savior,' so stop looking to the state for protection against having to be responsible. Life is a risk -- nobody gets out alive.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    Interesting how Christians are labeled as fanatatics for believeing there is real right and wrong, yet Islamic Fascists are given a pass for killing 10s of thousands for what they consider to be the same thing. Yes unfortunately is important how you define moral. To say otherwise is idiotic.
     -- helorat, Milton     
    Ditto helorat...for sure. You are right on the money when you said Christians are persecuted for believing that there is "real right and wrong." Well said. I would suggest to you, and for many "lunacy" in morals is the goals. Good thing there is no such thing as left wing fanaticism huh? Like communism, socialism, PC-ism, global warming-ism, environmentalism (see ALF, and ELF), and ...wait, do I recall correctly, Adolf Hitler had the National Socialist Party?? The true fanatics in this day in time are the anarchists among us.
     -- Michael, Houston     
    Indeed Reston, we have the worst of two kinds with King George W, but Menken, I believe, was referring to a party which is Moral is more likely to be unpopular with the Juggernauts because it helps the weak, education, the infirmed, and the edlderly, and God forbid we do that, as we would be called one of those dirty names like Liberal, or Socialist - have a nice day. And NO GUNS KILL not people - take away guns and bombs and let the Generals fight it out in a ring - that would be the only time I would approve of boxing. Yes, we are still animals with our shadows on the walls of caves.
     -- Robert, Sarasota     
     -- jim k, Austin      
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