By N.S. Palmer
“Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it — good and hard.”
— H.L. Mencken
America’s current election campaigns by the two major political parties remind us yet again of the stupidity, foolishness, and gullibility of the electorate.
In California, the Republican U.S. Senate candidate is Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of computer maker Hewlett-Packard. So far, she has not promised in her campaign to do for California what she did for Hewlett-Packard: throw people out of work, run the state into the ground financially, and walk away with a Golden Parachute severance package.
In Nevada, Lunatic Republican Sharron Angle, who can’t tell the difference between the border of Mexico and the border of Canada, is running for the Senate seat held by Gutless Democrat Harry Reid, who can’t tell the difference between caving in to Republicans on every issue and fulfilling Democratic campaign promises.
In Delaware, anti-masturbation scold Christine O’Donnell is running as the Republican Senate candidate on the platform that she is just as ignorant as the most ignorant people still capable of signing their names on a voting register. One wonders if she really cares about winning, or if she just wants to raise some cash and get people to pay attention to her.
What gets lost in all the hoopla, gets lost on purpose. If you bog everyone down in nonsense about who’s a witch and who supports death panels, they don’t have time to discuss substantive issues. Like unemployment. And ruinously expensive, unjustified wars. And an increasingly oppressive police state. And the fact that government should promote the greatest good for the greatest number, not just enact policies to benefit Wall Street, giant corporations, and the super-rich.
The truth is that democracy is a sacred cow but it really doesn’t matter that much. It’s just a means to a goal. The goal is to promote a just, free, humane, and prosperous society.
Whether the government is chosen by voting, by hereditary titles, or by a lottery isn’t important. If it does the right things, then it’s a good government. If it does the wrong things, then it doesn’t matter how many votes it gets: it’s a bad government.
We have a middling government that’s trending toward bad. Voting doesn’t seem to help much. I wonder what will.
Copyright 2010 by N.S. Palmer. May be reproduced as long as byline, copyright notice, and URL (http://www.ashesblog.com) are included.