To members and friends of the H.L. Mencken Club:

We recently completed the eleventh annual meeting of our club, and were overwhelmed by the number and enthusiasm of those present. The topic of this year’s conference was “Is The United States Still A Nation?”, and most of the 80 attendees participated in all the discussions. The responses were particularly exuberant and emotional when we came to Saturday night’s special theme, “Is the Conservative Movement Worth Saving?” (Does anyone care to guess which side I took?) Bob Weissberg emceed our sessions with remarkable humor; and his adlibbing was fully worthy of a mid-twentieth century Borscht Belt comic. Besides benefiting from insightful papers from our members, we learned much from the presentations of our two guest speakers, R. Stacey McCain of American Spectator and Amy Wax of the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Law. Indeed it is hard to think of any of the presentation that were given at our meeting that did not evoke spirited comment.

Next year we plan to address the theme “American Nationalism?” (Please note the use of the question mark.) Unlike the advocates of “American exceptionalism” and the exponents of “American nationalism,” some of our members wonder in what sense America remains a recognizable nation. If we no longer are such an entity, is it possible to represent a position that can be correctly described as “American nationalism”? We shall leave it to our speakers and audience to hash out that question, in between socializing and enjoying the superlative fare that will be served again at Mencken Club meals. Registration information will be posted on our website at the end of July.

We are posting on our website some of the speeches delivered at our meeting . This is being done despite my personal reservations. My own position is that those who are interested in our remarks should make every effort to be present at our event.

We hope to see you in 2019!