The Government is going to be mad at me for this blog …

… but I promise, Twain made me do it!

Mark Twain in his quarry farm study

In light of sooooo many political ads we are all enduring – I mean seeing – this time of year, (especially those lucky enough to live next to Illinois and Iowa – a three for one deal!) I thought a blog showcasing some of Mark Twain’s thoughts on politics might give everyone a laugh, or a moment of pause, and show you exactly how much things HAVEN’T changed in the last 150 years or so.

So, regardless of your political affiliation, read on!

[In the Galaxy Magazine]: I shall not often meddle with politics, because we have a political Editor who is already excellent and only needs to serve a term or two in the penitentiary to be perfect.Mark Twain, A Biography

Fleas can be taught nearly anything that a Congressman can.What Is Man?

“Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to reform.”

Patriot: the person who can holler the loudest without knowing what he is hollering about. – More Maxims of Mark

“For in a Republic, who is ‘the country?’”

Twain wearing the gown he received with his honorary degree from Oxford.

“Is it the Government which is for the moment in the saddle?
Why, the Government is merely a servant — merely a temporary servant;
it cannot be its prerogative to determine
what is right and what is wrong,
and decide who is a patriot and who isn’t.
Its function is to obey orders, not originate them.”

There is something good and motherly about Washington {DC}, the grand old benevolent National Asylum for the Helpless. – The Gilded Age

Men write many fine and plausible arguments in support of monarchy, but the fact remains that where every man in a state has a vote, brutal laws are impossible.A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court

…the true patriotism, the only rational patriotism, is loyalty to the Nation ALL the time, loyalty to the Government when it deserves it. – The Czar’s Soliloquy

And just remember, if you are upset/surprised by any of the above quotes, Mr. Twain died in 1910; 100 years ago.  Pretty impressive that a man who has been gone for 100 years can still raise eyebrows, isn’t it?

Mark Twain at his Boyhood Home in Hannibal.

Perhaps you’ll want to delve deeper into this author, humorist and “moralist in disguise.”  His biography, which was not to be released until 100 years after his death to avoid backlash against his family, is being released in its entirety.

Volume 1 is now available.  Why not pick it up at the Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum website?  It will be embossed, and it will help keep Twain’s legacy alive in Missouri, so he can keep people laughing, or booing, but at least thinking, for generations to come.  And why not share your favorite Twain quote in the comments?

Written by Megan Rapp, assistant director of the Hannibal Convention and Visitors Bureau.

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