Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Democracy and conservatives

Earlier today I had a Twiscussion with a "top conservative" about various topics. One of the things that came up was that he started talking about "starving the beast", i.e., making it impossible for government to do things in a timely and effective manner.

Puzzled, I said to him, "but in a Democracy governmen is We The People doing things for our common benefit. Why should We The People want to hamper what we can do with our government?" He then stated that he did not trust democracy because it panders to the least common denominator. I complimented him on at least being honest about his dislike for democracy, so many conservatives pretend to love democracy while doing their best to hamper its effective operation. But it does show the world view that many conservatives have -- We The People are not to be trusted, and government must be hobbled and hampered in order to keep We The People from effectively implementing democracy.

Winston Churchill once said, "Democracy is the worst of all systems of government, except all others that have been tried." He also said, "Americans will always do the right thing, but only after trying all else." I guess the difference between me and this "top conservative" is that I think Churchill was right, and he thinks Churchill was wrong. I chaffed when the American people voted the Busheviks into office, but I did not deny that it was the will of We The People and that We The People got what we deserved, good and hard (H.L. Mencken :-). That said, I stuck around rather than heading to Canada because I believe Winnie and trusted We The People to eventually get it right. That trust is what this "top conservative" lacks -- and is why he distrusts democracy and will do whatever he can do in order to undermine its effectiveness.

-- Badtux the Democracy Penguin


  1. I'm sure if you talked to that "top conservative" four years ago, he would have been singing a different song. Something to the effect that they won and Bush has his mandate and it is their right to make their changes. Now, many of those same people are complaining about the "tyranny of the majority" and how this country is going to die.

  2. It doesn't stop at a lack of trust. Both Churchill and Mencken had a sense of humor in addition to a keen understanding of human nature. That top conservative Twitter-pal of yours has no apparent sense of humor. He is a cynic -- and a cynic is one who strives to make life as miserable for others as he has made it for himself.

    You may want to avoid that guy in the future...

  3. Terrant, the irony did not escape me. I don't know whether this guy would have been so honest four years ago when democracy seemed to be validating his views.

    Jim, lots of us are cynics. Yet humanity has somehow managed to muddle through, somehow. I like to know thine enemy, so to speak. Knowing that the conservatives actually oppose real democracy despite all their nattering to the contrary is an important piece of information, in my opinion.


Ground rules: Comments that consist solely of insults, fact-free talking points, are off-topic, or simply spam the same argument over and over will be deleted. The penguin is the only one allowed to be an ass here. All viewpoints, however, are welcomed, even if I disagree vehemently with you.

WARNING: You are entitled to create your own arguments, but you are NOT entitled to create your own facts. If you spew scientific denialism, or insist that the sky is purple, or otherwise insist that your made-up universe of pink unicorns and cotton candy trees is "real", well -- expect the banhammer.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.