I have finally figured out how the left wins votes. They insult voters (implying they are stupid, afraid, etc…) and the voters say, “Thank you for the insults. Here is my vote. Will you insult me again?”
A friend posted this status on Facebook today, and it set me to thinking.
It is easy to dismiss this attitude as arrogance, mock it, and move on, but I think that the underlying causes of this behavior are worth deeper consideration.
Just what would lead a politician to say something like this?
“And it’s not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”
or something like this:
“We will restore science to its rightful place…”
or something like this:
“Part of the reason that our politics seems so tough right now and facts and science and argument does not seem to be winning the day all the time is because we’re hardwired not to always think clearly when we’re scared, and the country’s scared.”
Or try so very, very hard to sell us something we don’t want and they don’t have the authority to force with images like this:
Do these examples display an arrogance? Certainly. In any other era, to insult the electorate would be the kiss of death for a politician. In this day and age, it is becoming remarkably commonplace. What’s changed? The common belief that “experts” are necessary to address every problem, and 80 years of the government providing “solutions” to a whole host of issues, only a few of which were actually within its enumerated powers. The result is decades of tending to trust these “experts” to have the right answers, a habit only recently questioned by a society waking up to the abuse of trust perpetrated by the experts and government officials, who are increasingly wearing both hats. This development should surprise no one. Afterall, politicians at their core are about amassing power. There simply is no other reason to endure the mudslinging and life in a fishbowl that characterize life in the profession for most of today’s politicians.(Recognizing, of course, that questions that are fair game for any other politician are magically transmuted to the status of “hateful” and “racist” when applied to the current occupant of the Presidential golf course.) And what better way to gain and build power than be being an “expert”. America usually makes people work for its attention and assent. You don’t generally get political power simply by being born into the right family (yes, I realize I might think differently if I ran for office against someone named “Kennedy”, but they are blessedly the exception and not the rule), we have no crowned heads, and no nobility, but we do have notoriety and wealth, which is not the same thing.
And that’s the way it should be. People running for office should ask us for the job, rather than presume it is their’s for the taking, and they should never assume that they have our votes because of the party they belong to, or the things that the party claims to represent. Unfortunately, this is where reality has taken a left turn in recent years. The left, with an established history of applying its expertise to a compassion that just happens to coincide with dependence in the recipient class, has come to the conclusion that only people who are trained or have experience in government are fit for office. In their estimation, political office is a profession, to be trained for and studied for in the right schools, where the students can be carefully inculcated with the “proper” viewpoints and attitudes about the profession that they are readying themselves for. They believe that government is an end to itself, and that it is so hopelessly complicated that the average person should only be allowed to chose from those who have chosen the vocation, and never be allowed to thing that they themselves can do the job.
It doesn’t trouble these people, many of whom have spent their entire lives on the public payroll, that they have never had to punch a timecard, and put in the sweat and effort required between punching in and punching out. They still believe that they understand you and can “feel your pain”. It doesn’t bother these same people that they have never owned a business, created a job for another person, or had to be able to meet payroll. For many, the closest they have come to adversity is a contested election. And yet, at the core of their being is not a belief in Americans, and their ability to solve problems and create innovated advancements in technology and jobs; instead, they believe that no achievement can be had without their benevolent guidance, and they are threatened whenever they are met with evidence to the contrary. That is why, in an election cycle where more Americans than ever have been shaken from their complacent acceptance of the expertocracy’s dictation to them, the left has demonstrated a failure to comprehend what drives the average American’s anger, or the arrogance to assume that we are simply children who are acting out, like teenagers who are chaffing at the authority and wisdom of their parents.
I can think of no idea more contrary to the nation’s founding principles than the idea that the success of the American people is dependent upon the government’s assistance and guidance.
The government was never contemplated to be a substitute parent for each citizen, helping us to make “good choices”(as determined by those in government, of course) and meting out punishment when we fail to choose from any of the options government and our “leaders” (who work for us) offer us, and it was never granted the authority in the consent of the governed (our permission) to decide which of our endeavors are worthy (AIG) and which are not (Bear Stearns). The government was never meant to decide what was good for us, and then force it upon us like small children resisting taking medicine (you’ll have to pass it to see what’s in it).
The Declaration of Independence stated the purpose of government plainly: To secure the unalienable rights granted to man by his Creator, and that these governments are instituted among men deriving their power from the consent of the governed. Presuming that you are better than those who elect you, and that you can dictate to them starts to stray from this purpose. The Federalist Papers expanded on this purpose. John Jay discussed the government’s role to provide security for the citizens of the nation, both by ensuring domestic tranquility within and protection from foreign arms and influence without:
Among the many objects to which a wise and free people find it necessary to direct their attention, that of providing for their SAFETY seems to be the first. The SAFETY of the people doubtless has relation to a great variety of circumstances and considerations, and consequently affords great latitude to those who wish to define it precisely and comprehensively. At present I mean only to consider it as it respects security for the preservation of peace and tranquillity, as well as against dangers from FOREIGN ARMS AND INFLUENCE, as from dangers of the LIKE KIND arising from domestic causes. As the former of these comes first in order, it is proper it should be the first discussed. Let us therefore proceed to examine whether the people are not right in their opinion that a cordial Union, under an efficient national government, affords them the best security that can be devised against HOSTILITIES from abroad.
-John Jay, The Federalist No. 3
Madison discussed the aim of keeping factionalism at bay:
By a faction, I understand a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or a minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adversed to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.
There are two methods of curing the mischiefs of faction: the one, by removing its causes; the other, by controlling its effects.
There are again two methods of removing the causes of faction: the one, by destroying the liberty which is essential to its existence; the other, by giving to every citizen the same opinions, the same passions, and the same interests.
It could never be more truly said than of the first remedy, that it was worse than the disease. Liberty is to faction what air is to fire, an aliment without which it instantly expires. But it could not be less folly to abolish liberty, which is essential to political life, because it nourishes faction, than it would be to wish the annihilation of air, which is essential to animal life, because it imparts to fire its destructive agency.
The second expedient is as impracticable as the first would be unwise. As long as the reason of man continues fallible, and he is at liberty to exercise it, different opinions will be formed. As long as the connection subsists between his reason and his self-love, his opinions and his passions will have a reciprocal influence on each other; and the former will be objects to which the latter will attach themselves. The diversity in the faculties of men, from which the rights of property originate, is not less an insuperable obstacle to a uniformity of interests. The protection of these faculties is the first object of government. From the protection of different and unequal faculties of acquiring property, the possession of different degrees and kinds of property immediately results; and from the influence of these on the sentiments and views of the respective proprietors, ensues a division of the society into different interests and parties.
-James Madison, the Federalist No. 10.
Madison also recognized that government must protect property no less than individuals:
Government is instituted no less for protection of the property, than of the persons, of individuals. The one as well as the other, therefore, may be considered as represented by those who are charged with the government. Upon this principle it is, that in several of the States, and particularly in the State of New York, one branch of the government is intended more especially to be the guardian of property, and is accordingly elected by that part of the society which is most interested in this object of government. In the federal Constitution, this policy does not prevail. The rights of property are committed into the same hands with the personal rights. Some attention ought, therefore, to be paid to property in the choice of those hands.
-James Madison, The Federalist No. 54
And Alexander Hamilton stressed that the object of the government was the happiness of the people:
A good government implies two things: first, fidelity to the object of government, which is the happiness of the people; secondly, a knowledge of the means by which that object can be best attained. Some governments are deficient in both these qualities; most governments are deficient in the first. I scruple not to assert, that in American governments too little attention has been paid to the last. The federal Constitution avoids this error; and what merits particular notice, it provides for the last in a mode which increases the security for the first.
Alexander Hamilton, the Federalist No. 62.
The more we are talked down to and insulted by our elected officials, the more I am convinced that they have not read the Federalist Papers, and do not respect the foreshadowing in the Declaration of Independence:
That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
But the men principally responsible for the Constitution understood it perfectly, and considered it a check on the potential excesses of our employees:
But it may be again asked, Who is to judge of the NECESSITY and PROPRIETY of the laws to be passed for executing the powers of the Union? I answer, first, that this question arises as well and as fully upon the simple grant of those powers as upon the declaratory clause; and I answer, in the second place, that the national government, like every other, must judge, in the first instance, of the proper exercise of its powers, and its constituents in the last. If the federal government should overpass the just bounds of its authority and make a tyrannical use of its powers, the people, whose creature it is, must appeal to the standard they have formed, and take such measures to redress the injury done to the Constitution as the exigency may suggest and prudence justify.
-Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist No. 33
The architects of our government did not envision a government that ruled over subjects, nor did they envision a nation of people who were not equipped to rule themselves:
But in a confederacy the people, without exaggeration, may be said to be entirely the masters of their own fate. Power being almost always the rival of power, the general government will at all times stand ready to check the usurpations of the state governments, and these will have the same disposition towards the general government. The people, by throwing themselves into either scale, will infallibly make it preponderate. If their rights are invaded by either, they can make use of the other as the instrument of redress. How wise will it be in them by cherishing the union to preserve to themselves an advantage which can never be too highly prized!
-Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist No. 28
And what about “Putting science in its rightful place”?
It is notable that science is mentioned in the Constitution:
The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
-Article I, Section 8
Of course, this by no means indicates that science’s rightful place was to be a tool to amass data to be used to bully and cajole people into changing their behavior and preventing any discussion about it. Nor does it indicate that science was ever meant to do anything other than elevate and improve the life of man. In contrast, there are members of the current administration who would use science to diminish man’s primacy, and to rob him of his dignity by denying the sanctity of life. One need look no further than Science Czar John Holdren:
Indeed, it has been concluded that compulsory population-control laws, even including laws requiring compulsory abortion, could be sustained under the existing Constitution if the population crisis became sufficiently severe to endanger the society.
-John Holdren, Ecoscience
Our current rulers are right; they are facing a revolt. The revolt of a people that have remembered that they are not supposed to be in service to their government, and are angry that their employees presume so very, very much, and have so astonishing confidence in themselves and astonishingly little confidence in us.