And To This Republic
The Left envisions a democracy of implied mandate, not a republic
Christopher Nolan could have written Obama’s reaction to the Democrat Waterloo last week.* If you’ve seen Interstellar, you’ll understand. It hurts my mind to think about how the people on the Left like Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)Heritage ActionScorecardRep. Nancy PelosiHouse Democrat Average11% can blame those who stayed home, then claim they were suppressed.
The far-Left that controls the Democratic Party really believes this stuff.
Pelosi’s invocation of “universe” and “community” appears to be betray a uniquely far-left belief that also appears to have driven President Obama’s de facto assertion that he — and apparently he alone — represents the two-thirds of Americans who didn’t vote this time out. The left really wants “universal registration,” and apparently will cry “voter suppression” until it arrives.
What’s universal registration? It’s the abolishment of all voter registration requirements. If you are on a government list, you can vote. By mail, or Internet, or however. To the Left, the civic act of becoming educated on issues, choosing a candidate, and going to the polls to cast a vote is humiliating and onerous. Voting should be no more than a popularity contest, like American Idol or Dancing With the Stars. Text “OBAMA” to VOTENOW, or tweet your #vote, that would sit well with the Left. Something that requires little thought and less action.
There’s one little problem with the Left’s vision: this country is not a pure democracy. It’s a republic. Benjamin Franklin is reported to have replied to the question “what have we got a republic or a monarchy” with “a republic if you can keep it.” A sure way to lose it is to submit to utter and forced majority rule, where the act of not voting is considered a mandate for the status quo.
Obama seriously considers a plurality of those who can vote to be a mandate versus those who did vote. He and Leftists like Aaron Hanlon dismiss the concept of “voter apathy” and call it “voter suppression”—that Millenials didn’t vote not because they felt betrayed by Obama and his hope and change smoke and mirrors, but because they simply could not overcome such Jim Crow laws such as North Carolina’s refusal to accept student ID’s as a valid voter ID (but they do accept concealed carry permits). Never mind the fact that carry permits are issued by judges and vetted by the state, and student ID’s are good for—not much except a cafeteria lunch, it must be inherently unfair.
If this was just poppycock, it wouldn’t be worth thinking about, but it’s really a dangerous course. Maintaining a republic requires a responsible electorate, who select representatives from amongst themselves to directly participate in governance. This is what separates a republic from a monarchy or absolute rulership. When we start moving away from that model, to one in which all “voters” are considered to have voted regardless of their own action to vote, we fall into Josef Stalin’s famous proverb:
I consider it completely unimportant who in the party will vote, or how; but what is extraordinarily important is this—who will count the votes, and how.
Our President responded to his own party’s (and his own policies) unquestionable rebuke by the electorate with this statement:
What stands out to me, though, is that the American people sent a message, one that they’ve sent for several elections now. They expect the people they elect to work as hard as they do. They expect us to focus on their ambitions and not ours. They want us to get the job done. All of us in both parties have a responsibility to address that sentiment.
Still, as president, I have a unique responsibility to try and make this town work. So, to everyone who voted, I want you to know that I hear you. To the two-thirds of voters who chose not to participate in the process yesterday, I hear you, too.
This demonstrates not only a shocking degree of tone-deafness and raw hubris, but a dangerous attitude of noblesse oblige. President Obama believes he is acting out of duty toward those who lack the privilege of supporting him and his policies, who—not by their own choice—but by a systemic defect, are, to him, unable to express their approval. The electorate, the free press, and all responsible citizens owe it to our republic to call him out on these words.
President Obama swore an oath of office to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, not to “make this town work”. Nor is his responsibility unique. It takes all elected representatives and the president to make Washington work. The voters have spoken, Mr. President. Your duty is to hear them.
*I am kind enough to warn you to stop reading here if you haven’t seen Interstellar.
The mass non-voting public was speaking to him from some distant future where the Left reigns supreme. By not voting they exercised the right to grant a mandate of apathy, because anything that can happen surely will.