Fearing Democracy

October 12, 2013
Posted by Jay Livingston

Let’s give Michelle Bachman her due. She speaks her mind. She also speaks the minds of other Republicans who won’t: Her words are what oft was thought but ne’er so outrageously expressed.

Yes, she likened Obamacare to crack.
President Obama can’t wait to get Americans addicted to the crack cocaine of dependency on more government health care.
Some keen-eared liberals detected subtle racist overtones in that metaphor. Heavens no. I’m sure Rep. Bachman’s intentions were pure. But let us ignore the possibly offensive metaphor and look at the substance of what she said.  After all, her idea, even without that metaphor, is something you can hear in many Republican hangouts. 

Taken at face value, her statement is saying that in a democracy, the people cannot be trusted.
 Because, once they enroll millions of more individual Americans it will be virtually impossible for us to pull these benefits back from people.
All they want to do is buy love from people by giving them massive government subsidies.
What she’s saying is this: If the government does something that is overwhelmingly popular with a majority of the people, it will be impossible to undo that policy using democratic means.

It may seem odd, at least to those of us raised on an ideology of democracy, that there’s a danger in the government enacting programs that people like. But that seems to be what Bachman and other Republicans fear.  Their worst nightmare is that once Obamacare is fully implemented, it will be successful; people will like it, and they will vote for the party that created that program. 

That fear about the electoral consequences of a successful Obamacare is overblown if not downright incorrect. But that fear does reveal a deep distrust of democracy and of ordinary voters. 

1 comment:

shari valentine said...

Definitely a distrust of Democracy. Well argued.

They might argue that they do not distrust "ordinary" voters (read white and Christian, preferably rural)it is us not so ordinary voters. Such as, gay, urban, different colors, and not so much Christian.

I tell people often that the American people get the government they deserve for their lack of attention to democracy. Unfortunately, I also get the government they deserve :)