“The man who calls each morning to empty my garbage can is a high dignitary in the Patriotic Order Sons of America, and has ten times as much political influence as I have. On election day he ceases from his labors and devotes himself to inoculating the great masses of the plain people — of whom I have the honor to be one — with enthusiasm. At public gatherings of the electorate he bears a torch and howls like a wolf. On election day I find that he has already voted when I reach the polling-place, and I enjoy the soothing consciousness that his ballot has nullified mine. Later on, perhaps, he will vote again, for he has nothing else to do all day. As for me, I must get back to my desk and finish my article on ‘The Republic versus Despotism.’”


H. L. Mencken, Men versus the Man, 1910.