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The Genial Idiot
His Views and Reviews

written by "Bangs, John Kendrick, 1862-1922"
.... “The more outrageous the better. For instance, when The Sunday Jigger comes out with a four-page revelation of your Republican candidate’s past, in which we learn how, in 1873, he put out the eyes of a maiden aunt with a red-hot poker, and stabbed a negro cook in the back with a skewer, because she would not permit him to put rat-poison in his grandfather’s coffee, you know perfectly well that that story has been put forth for the purpose of turning the maiden aunt, negro, and grandfather votes against him. You know well enough that he either never did what is charged against him, or at least that the story is greatly exaggerated—he may have stuck a pin into the cook, and played some boyish trick upon some of his[163] relatives—but the story on the face of it is untrue and therefore harmless. Similarly with the Democratic candidate. When the Daily Flim Flam asserts that he believes that the working-man is entitled to four cents a day for sixteen hours’ work, and has repeatedly avowed that bread and water is the proper food for motormen, everybody with common-sense realizes at once that even the Flim Flam doesn’t believe the story. It hurts no one, therefore, and provokes a great deal of innocent mirth. You don’t yourself believe that last yarn about the Prohibition candidate, do you?” “I haven’t heard any yarn about him,” said the Bibliomaniac. “That he is the owner of a brewery up in Rochester, and backs fifteen saloons and a pool-room in New York?” said the Idiot. “Of course I don’t,” said the Bibliomaniac. “Who does?” “Nobody,” said the Idiot; “and therefore the story doesn’t hurt the man’s reputation a bit, or interfere with his chances of election in the least. Take that other story[164] published in a New York newspaper that on the 10th of last August Thompson Bondifeller’s ya...

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