Press "Enter" to skip to content

12 Political Putdowns

For When ‘Lowdown Crook’ Isn’t Specific Enough

12 political putdowns kakistocracy


: government by the worst people

About the Word:

Kakistocracy is one of those inexplicably uncommon words; a small bit of language that is so obviously useful that it boggles the mind that children are not taught this word in some early developmental stage, along with catmore, and mine. It seems that a large number of people in every generation believe themselves saddled with a kakistocracy, and if we are being cynical (by which I mean realistic), they are probably all correct.


“… transforming our old Hierarchy into a new Presbytery, and this againe into a newer Independency; and our well-temperd Monarchy into a mad kinde of Kakistocracy. Good Lord!” – Paul Gosnold, A Sermon, 1644

12 political putdowns pornocracy

Photo: Wikipedia


: government by harlots

About the Word:

In most cases, when one is confronted with the word pornocracy, one is also confronted by reference to the somewhat turbulent state of affairs in the Catholic Church in the early 10th century. It was a heady time in the church; an Italian noblewoman named Marozia was reputed to have been the mistress of one pope, and the mother of another. Much of the use of pornocracy is directed at her, and the influence she was purported to have. However, it seems easy enough to use the word with a slightly relaxed meaning and to find it useful in describing all types of political states subsequent to the 10th century Vatican.


“Tiberius and Caligula, those monsters of heathendom, were now outdone by the ‘holy fathers’ of Christendom, who vied with one another in the practice of the vilest vices, the rule of the Christian Church being actually called, and truthfully called, a ‘pornocracy.'” – James A. B. Scherer, The Holy Grail, 1906

12 political putdowns empleomania


: a mania for holding public office

About the Word:

One might very well make the argument that any person who chooses to subject themselves to the myriad indignities of fund-raising, going door to door to meet constituents, and offering their name for an elected office suffers from a form of empleomania. However, this word tends to be used for people who reallyreallyreally want to be elected. Empleomania is borrowed directly from a Spanish word, which is a combination of empleo (employment or public office) and –mania.


“A strong effort should be made to extirpate the empleomania, the eternal place-hunting, which is the bane of Spain.” – The Times (London), 3 Aug. 1854


Home | Caravan to Midnight (

We need your help to keep Caravan to Midnight going,

please consider donating to help keep independent media independent.

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Breaking News: