“The Suffrage Was Become A Mere Machine”

Mark Twain, among his many other gifts, seems to have been something of a seer.

While perusing a collection titled The Bible According to Mark Twain (primarily devoted to excoriating the god of Abraham), I came across an unpublished piece of Twain’s, written in 1901, that seems to perfectly encapsulate the state of the nation, as we prepare to move from the reigns of George I, Clinton I, and George II, to that of Clinton II.

Twain’s text below the fold:

But it was impossible to save the Great Republic. She was rotten to the heart. Lust of conquest had long ago done its work; trampling upon the helpless abroad had taught her, by a natural process, to endure with apathy the like at home; multitudes who had applauded the crushing of other people’s liberties, lived to suffer for their mistake in their own persons. The government was irrevocably in the hands of the prodigiously rich and their hangers-on, the suffrage was become a mere machine, which they used as they chose. There was no principle but commercialism, no patriotism but of the pocket. From showily and sumptuously entertaining neighboring titled aristocracies, and from trading their daughters to them, the plutocrats came in the course of time to hunger for titles and heredities themselves. The drift toward monarchy, in some form or other, began; it was spoken of in whispers at first, later in a bolder voice.

1 comment

  1. Bottom! O most courageous day! O most happy hour!

    Thanks, Bottom

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