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The Democrats' contempt for democracy

 
 
Reply Fri 19 Sep, 2003 10:12 am
The Democrats' contempt for democracy
Ben Shapiro

For the American left, democracy has become an obstacle. If you believe in liberalism -- the idea that the economy should be heavily controlled, that resources should be distributed "fairly," that opportunities should be allocated by a central authority -- then you hate the idea of an independent American populace. Because when the population rears its ugly head and decides it simply does not want you to control it, it impedes "progress."

Democracy, according to the left, means only part-time democracy: It's democracy when people vote for us; it's a threat to democracy when they vote against us. It is no coincidence that fascism in the 20th century sprang from socialism. Socialists and the modern-day left feel that they have the only Truth. If democracy fails to recognize that Truth, democracy must be superseded.

When the left senses an impending electoral loss, it immediately attempts to circumvent true democracy. Control must stay in the hands of the elite few who "know better." To prevent policy from falling into the hands of the unwashed masses, a higher authority must take control. That authority must not be subject to the whims of public opinion.

The only branch of American government largely separated from public accountability is the judiciary. The Democrats have taken full advantage of that cloistered and powerful elite. Close elections in recent years have ended up in the courts, almost universally at the behest of Democratic losers.

Nowhere is liberal scorn for democracy more clearly evident than in the California recall election. Citizens are obviously unhappy with Gov. Gray Davis. So the state constitution provides them a way to discard a rotten politician: recall him.

The recall is true democracy. Gray Davis is holding town hall meetings. He's "listening" to the complaints of angered citizens. Yet Davis supporters continue to trot out the canard that recall is a "threat to democracy." Davis himself claims that the recall "threatens the very fabric of democracy." Why? Because he is about to lose. And with Tom McClintock likely to drop out and clear the way for an Arnold Schwarzenegger governorship, liberals are running scared. And running straight to the courts.

Hence the American Civil Liberties Union's attempt to derail the recall by delaying it until March, Democratic primary season. By appealing to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, liberals hoped to stifle democracy and let the courts decide the conditions under which Democrats would be best positioned to win elections.

The ACLU's case rested on the assumption that minorities are as dumb as bricks. Since minorities are incapable of filling out punch cards, the argument went, their votes would not be counted. If their votes were not counted, the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution would be violated. The pink-tinged 9th Circuit agreed with the ACLU.

Naturally, the ACLU was overjoyed by the 9th Circuit's decision in favor of part-time democracy. American Civil Liberties Union attorney Margaret Crosby said, "This is a victory for democracy. A constitutional democracy rests on the principle that every vote should be counted equally." This is untrue. A constitutional democracy rests on the principle that every properly cast vote should be counted equally. It is the responsibility of the voter to properly cast his vote.

The recall debacle is merely the latest in a long line of liberal attempts to defeat true democracy. The New Jersey Supreme Court decided that Democratic Sen. Robert "The Torch" Torricelli could be replaced on the ballot by another Democratic candidate fewer than 51 days prior to the Senate election, violating state election law. The Florida Supreme Court ruled that Al Gore's request for a recount did not violate state electoral law, even though it assuredly did.

For the left, popular support for a perfectly legal measure should not take precedence over the liberal agenda. In California, Proposition 187, a 1994 measure designed to curb illegal immigration by prohibiting illegals from receiving taxpayer benefits, was backed by 60 percent of voters. Then, it was overturned by federal Judge Mariana Pfaelzer after the ACLU took the measure to court. The 9th Circuit upheld Pfaelzer's ruling.

Liberal judges can turn defeat to victory for the left -- but only as long as the "select" of the judiciary are themselves leftists. Maintaining a leftist judiciary is a direct attack on true democracy. It usurps the power from the people. It is the best hope of the left. Is it any wonder that Democrats are desperate to prevent President Bush's nominees from reaching the bench?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 7,523 • Replies: 128
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plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Sep, 2003 10:19 am
We have more to fear from the right. Remember when bush called himself a "compassionate conservative"? If conservatives were compassionate, the label would have been unnecessary. Think of the movements that historically have been associated with the right, then think of movements that have been associated with the left throughout human history.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  2  
Reply Fri 19 Sep, 2003 11:37 am
Re: The Democrats' contempt for democracy
Ben Shapiro wrote:
If you believe in liberalism -- the idea that the economy should be heavily controlled, that resources should be distributed "fairly," that opportunities should be allocated by a central authority -- then you hate the idea of an independent American populace.

Strawman argument. Nobody defines "liberalism" in this idiotic fashion except conservative columnists eager to discredit liberals.

Ben Shapiro wrote:
Because when the population rears its ugly head and decides it simply does not want you to control it, it impedes "progress."

There's actually a small grain of truth here. But, as the saying goes: even a blind pig can sometimes find a truffle.

Ben Shapiro wrote:
It is no coincidence that fascism in the 20th century sprang from socialism.

Fascism sprang from many sources, one of which was socialism.

Ben Shapiro wrote:
Socialists and the modern-day left feel that they have the only Truth. If democracy fails to recognize that Truth, democracy must be superseded.

I would assume that every political movement believes, in some sense, that they have the only "Truth." Like religion, there's not much point in having a political movement if it is acknowledged that other political movements are just as good.

Ben Shapiro wrote:
When the left senses an impending electoral loss, it immediately attempts to circumvent true democracy. Control must stay in the hands of the elite few who "know better." To prevent policy from falling into the hands of the unwashed masses, a higher authority must take control. That authority must not be subject to the whims of public opinion.

Classic projection.

Ben Shapiro wrote:
The only branch of American government largely separated from public accountability is the judiciary. The Democrats have taken full advantage of that cloistered and powerful elite. Close elections in recent years have ended up in the courts, almost universally at the behest of Democratic losers.

Really? Name three. And I'll even spot you Al Gore in 2000.

Ben Shapiro wrote:
Hence the American Civil Liberties Union's attempt to derail the recall by delaying it until March, Democratic primary season.

The ACLU was not a party to the appeal.

Ben Shapiro wrote:
By appealing to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, liberals hoped to stifle democracy and let the courts decide the conditions under which Democrats would be best positioned to win elections.

Question-begging.

Ben Shapiro wrote:
The ACLU's case rested on the assumption that minorities are as dumb as bricks. Since minorities are incapable of filling out punch cards, the argument went, their votes would not be counted. If their votes were not counted, the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution would be violated. The pink-tinged 9th Circuit agreed with the ACLU.

Strawman argument.

Ben Shapiro wrote:
For the left, popular support for a perfectly legal measure should not take precedence over the liberal agenda. In California, Proposition 187, a 1994 measure designed to curb illegal immigration by prohibiting illegals from receiving taxpayer benefits, was backed by 60 percent of voters. Then, it was overturned by federal Judge Mariana Pfaelzer after the ACLU took the measure to court. The 9th Circuit upheld Pfaelzer's ruling.

Young Mr. Shapiro fails to understand the nature of a constitutional republic. A majority vote -- even a unanimous vote -- cannot validate an unconstitutional law.

Ben Shapiro wrote:
Liberal judges can turn defeat to victory for the left -- but only as long as the "select" of the judiciary are themselves leftists.

I'm sure the left also relies upon fair-minded conservative jurists.

Ben Shapiro wrote:
Maintaining a leftist judiciary is a direct attack on true democracy. It usurps the power from the people. It is the best hope of the left. Is it any wonder that Democrats are desperate to prevent President Bush's nominees from reaching the bench?

The judiciary is independent of the people (and, in effect, anti-democratic) precisely because the drafters of the constitution distrusted the people. The judiciary is the only thing that is saving democracy from the unrestrained, mercurial will of the citizenry.
0 Replies
 
Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Sep, 2003 11:50 am
McGentrix loves to post easy targets. Joe's delivered enough darts to oblitirate this one.
0 Replies
 
Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Sep, 2003 11:51 am
(They're certain trying to get revenge for Al Franken's "right" on book).
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Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Sep, 2003 12:10 pm
Whenever I read one of these right wing screeds, the first thing that comes to my mind is something Joe brought up immediately -- the strawman creation.

Apparently many conservative columnists think Americans are so ignorant -- that they will accept whatever description of "liberal" they decide to use in order to make whatever point it is they are trying to make.

I can only hope that most people see through this silly,ethics challenged rhetorical devise -- and get a good laugh from articles that deserve little more than the chuckles we give them.

I'm not a liberal myself -- and I certainly find lots about liberal positions and advocates to find fault with. But to listen to a conservative pointing out the defects in liberalism is like listening to a wart hog talking about how ugly a water buffalo is.
0 Replies
 
Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Sep, 2003 12:15 pm
Frank Laughing
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Sep, 2003 12:33 pm
Ben Shapiro wrote:
It is no coincidence that fascism in the 20th century sprang from socialism.

Fascism sprang from many sources, one of which was socialism.

The only historically known source, where socialism and fascism can be combined, is it's mentioning in the [German] National Socialist Workers Party.
0 Replies
 
Italgato
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Sep, 2003 12:45 pm
I am very much afraid that JOe from Chicago again uses his own Strawman, the Strawman ploy.

As I hope Joe from Chicago is aware, A strawman argument is an argument that is intended to divert from the real issues.

Instead of a pithy, and it seems to me, slothful, attempt to dispose of an argument with one questionable epither, Joe from Chicago should show us what the "real issues" are.

Joe from Chicago is apparently fond of generalizations. I don't know if he read the guidelines on debate, but generalizations are frowned upon.

The generalization that no one defines LIberalism in this way any more is patently false and another lazy way to attempt to dispose of the argument.

It is clear that Joe must have fallen asleep in his Poly. Sci. class.

Liberalism has been defined in many ways.

A Liberal may believe that freedom is a matter for the individual alone and that the role of the state should be minimal or he may believe that freedom is a matter for the state and that the state can and should be used as an instrument to promote it.. The former view in its extreme tends towards Anarchism while the LATTER TENDS TOWARDS SOCIALISM CALLED WELFARE LIBERALISM.

I am very much afraid that Joe from Chicago is not aware of Political nuances.
0 Replies
 
Italgato
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Sep, 2003 12:56 pm
I do not think that Joe from Chicago knows what Fascism really is.

He says that FAscism comes from many sources( a very vague statement) but will not be specific.

Fascism, like so many movements in the world, does indeed have various sources but only one who is unschooled in the origin of Fascism will not agree that its MAIN source is Socialism.

Let us be specific. The Biography of Benito Mussolini, written by Laura Fermi tells us thata:

P. 163

"Fascism was a LEFTIST, rather revolutionary program that included universal suffrage( although women were excluded from the polls throughout the Fascist period, SUPPORT OF WORKERS DEMANDS FOR A SHARE IN THE MAMAGEMENT OF INDUSTRY; A PROGRESSIVE TAX ON CAPITAL ABD THE CONFISCATION OF ALL ECCLESISTICAL PROPERTY"

If that isn't a Socialist program, I would like to see a better one.

Them Joe from Chicago tells us that the ACLU wasnot party to the appeal/

Does he deny that the ACLU was and is right in the middle of the fracas.

Quote

"The ACLU planned to urge the Appealate Court to leave Monday's ruing intact"

Whenever you want to see radical Liberalism at work, click on to the ACLU's website.

I am sure that Joe from Chicago knows that the only lawyers who go to the ACLU to work are the ones who can't make it in big law.

It is my OPINION that the ACLU's lawyers are just half-way educated in the law. They took the Constitutional Law course and skipped all of the others.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Sep, 2003 12:56 pm
No, IG, your opening remark is, flatly, a lie. A strawman argument is one in which he or she who makes it, posits a false thesis, or makes a false restatement of a perceived opponents actual thesis or statement--one which that individual feels confident of being able to knock down (hence, straw man), as opposed to the actual thesis or statement, which that debator is avoiding. Usually, those making strawman arguments do so because they don't have an answer for the opposing thesis, or because they wish to create a false impression in aid of their screed.
0 Replies
 
Italgato
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Sep, 2003 12:58 pm
Walter Hinteler- Please be so good as to read any reilable History of Italy in the first part of the 20th century or a good biograph of Mussolini.

You will find you are mistaken.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Sep, 2003 12:59 pm
Walter Hinteler wrote:
The only historically known source, where socialism and fascism can be combined, is it's mentioning in the [German] National Socialist Workers Party.

There are far more than just one connection between socialism and fascism. Mussolini, for instance, was a leader of the Italian socialists before turning to fascism. But fascism and socialism are more related in terms of organization and tactics than ideology. Read Ernst Nolte's Three Faces of Fascism, or some of the works by George Mosse.
0 Replies
 
Italgato
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Sep, 2003 01:00 pm
SetanPlease be so good as to post the FALSE THESIS you speak of.
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Sep, 2003 01:00 pm
Surely the folks here are capable of constructing communication directed at issues and not the people writing about them.

I am really growing tedious of the efforts to drag down the quality of discussion here at A2K. I request that more of an effort be made to discuss the issues and not personalities/education of the poster.

Thank you.
0 Replies
 
Italgato
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Sep, 2003 01:02 pm
I see Joe from Chicago skipped the quote from Laura Fermi's biography.

I wonder if it is too much for Joe from Chicago to handle??

You should have tried Harvard or Yale, Joe, they would have given you the tools you need.

So sorry!!!
0 Replies
 
Italgato
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Sep, 2003 01:11 pm
You are quite correct, btryfly. I continually have to remind myself to check the GUIDELINES FOR DEBATE

They Say:

l. Be specific

2. If it is only your Opinion say it is only your opinion

3. Do not make unsupported generalizations.

The guidelines say:

"Few things are more irritating(NOT TO MENTION WORTHLESS) than reading some poorly thought out claim'

You must really forgive me and please note that I am not referring to individuals but rather to substance.

I find that the posts made by Joe from Chicago and Frank A Pisa do not follow those guidelines.

I hope,btryfly. that you do not consider than a personal comment.

It is clear, Brtyfly, that the guidelines also state:

Verify your comments:

I find NO verification in any of the comments by Joe from Chicago in his posting of McGentrix's submission.

I hope that is not considered a commentary that is personal since it refers to Substance.

Also, Btryfly, the Guidelines say:

If your claim does not permit you to be able to verify, note that it is only your OPINION."

Alas, Brtyfly, I cannot find the word Opinion anywhere but once in MY post.

Thank you for your commentary, Btryfly.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  2  
Reply Fri 19 Sep, 2003 01:11 pm
Italgato wrote:
As I hope Joe from Chicago is aware, A strawman argument is an argument that is intended to divert from the real issues.

Because no one else defines "strawman argument" in this fashion, your criticism of a strawman argument is actually a classic strawman argument, gato. No doubt you intended some kind of meta-critical critique, or sur-ironic commentary. Well done!

Italgato wrote:
Instead of a pithy, and it seems to me, slothful, attempt to dispose of an argument with one questionable epither, Joe from Chicago should show us what the "real issues" are.

The "real issue" is that the author, Ben Shapiro, has a flawed argument. And I showed that.

Italgato wrote:
Joe from Chicago is apparently fond of generalizations. I don't know if he read the guidelines on debate, but generalizations are frowned upon.

Are generalizations frowned upon in general?

Italgato wrote:
The generalization that no one defines LIberalism in this way any more is patently false and another lazy way to attempt to dispose of the argument.

And your claim that my claim is patently false is, in some way, not a lazy attempt to dispose of an argument? I have to admit, your ability to meta-criticize is truly awe-inspiring.

Italgato wrote:
It is clear that Joe must have fallen asleep in his Poly. Sci. class.

I took many political science classes. Do you have a particular one in mind?

Italgato wrote:
Liberalism has been defined in many ways.

All the more reason to reject the single definition offered by Mr. Shapiro.

Italgato wrote:
A Liberal may believe that freedom is a matter for the individual alone and that the role of the state should be minimal or he may believe that freedom is a matter for the state and that the state can and should be used as an instrument to promote it.. The former view in its extreme tends towards Anarchism while the LATTER TENDS TOWARDS SOCIALISM CALLED WELFARE LIBERALISM.

And extreme forms of anything are not proper foundations for the definitions of those things.

Italgato wrote:
I am very much afraid that Joe from Chicago is not aware of Political nuances.

It's my secret shame.

[edited for purely stylistic reasons: jfc]
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Sep, 2003 01:18 pm
IG, Joe has already stated the false thesis in the first passage of Shapiro's screed which he quoted.

This is the second time i've seen you attempt in these fora to claim that a strawman argument is not a strawman argument. A dead give-away is that the author begins their rant by telling the reader what it is that the writer's opponent(s) or putative opponent(s) believe or say. Were it presented in the form of a quote, it might be reliable--Shapiro has not done so here, he's only made a statement, and a wildly distorted and denigrating statement, about what liberalism means.

The following comes from the Logos site of the Community College of Rhodes Island, to which i have referred in the past. Although i already knew what a strawman argument is, i thought i'd provide this so that you can challenge that definition, as well as the one i've supplied.

"DEFINITION: The arguer distorts or misrepresents an opponent's argument for the purpose of more easily attacking it, proceeds to demolish the distorted position, and then concludes that the opponent's actual argument has been destroyed. By so doing, the arguer has set up a straw man (easily refuted position) and knocked it down, only to conclude that the real man (opponent's genuine thesis) has been knocked down as well. Politicians utilize this fallacy frequently, primarily because many voters are insufficiently informed to notice that a given position has been unfairly characterized or depicted.

Italgato wrote:
As I hope Joe from Chicago is aware, A strawman argument is an argument that is intended to divert from the real issues.


It is correct that the person using a strawman argument intends to avoid the actual thesis which is distorted in the strawman argument; however, simply stating the purpose of the argument does not provide the definition. As i've noted, you've tried this trick before--you can only assert that Joe is incorrect about the strawman argument if you assert that Shapiro's definition of liberalism is valid, in which case, you need to back that up, which i doubt that you can do. Otherwise, it needs to be taken for what it is, right-wing vituperation used to create a straw man.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  2  
Reply Fri 19 Sep, 2003 01:19 pm
Italgato wrote:
I do not think that Joe from Chicago knows what Fascism really is.

I'm sure that gato can give some vivid illustrations of it.

Italgato wrote:
Fascism, like so many movements in the world, does indeed have various sources but only one who is unschooled in the origin of Fascism will not agree that its MAIN source is Socialism.

Then even you would agree that Mr. Shapiro is wrong in stating that fascism sprang from socialism.

Italgato wrote:
Let us be specific. The Biography of Benito Mussolini, written by Laura Fermi tells us thata:

No doubt Richard Posner is still working on his biography of Mussolini.

Italgato wrote:
"Fascism was a LEFTIST, rather revolutionary program that included universal suffrage( although women were excluded from the polls throughout the Fascist period, SUPPORT OF WORKERS DEMANDS FOR A SHARE IN THE MAMAGEMENT OF INDUSTRY; A PROGRESSIVE TAX ON CAPITAL ABD THE CONFISCATION OF ALL ECCLESISTICAL PROPERTY"

If that isn't a Socialist program, I would like to see a better one.

Well, maybe one that doesn't seek to establish an empire in Ethiopia, that would be a good place to start.

Italgato wrote:
Them Joe from Chicago tells us that the ACLU wasnot party to the appeal

I am but a single individual. No need to refer to me as "them Joe."

Italgato wrote:
Does he deny that the ACLU was and is right in the middle of the fracas.

I don't know. What does it mean to be in the middle of this particular fracas?

Italgato wrote:
"The ACLU planned to urge the Appealate Court to leave Monday's ruing intact"

Source?

Italgato wrote:
Whenever you want to see radical Liberalism at work, click on to the ACLU's website.

Link?

Italgato wrote:
I am sure that Joe from Chicago knows that the only lawyers who go to the ACLU to work are the ones who can't make it in big law.

No, I don't know that at all. Perhaps you could provide some evidence for this assertion?

Italgato wrote:
It is my OPINION that the ACLU's lawyers are just half-way educated in the law. They took the Constitutional Law course and skipped all of the others.

Wait a minute. Aren't generalizations generally frowned upon?
0 Replies
 
 

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