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Echoes and Mirrors» Blog Archive » Is this a good thing? (Tyranny of the Majority is coming to town)

Is this a good thing? (Tyranny of the Majority is coming to town)

David Brooks in the NY Times: (via Reason)

The country is evenly divided about President Obama, but state governments are in disrepute and confidence in Congress is at withering lows. As Frank Newport of the Gallup organization noted in his year-end wrap-up, “Americans have less faith in their elected representatives than ever before.”

A tanking economy and rife injustice will do that.

The public is not only shifting from left to right. Every single idea associated with the educated class has grown more unpopular over the past year.
The educated class believes in global warming, so public skepticism about global warming is on the rise. The educated class supports abortion rights, so public opinion is shifting against them. The educated class supports gun control, so opposition to gun control is mounting.

Now that frightens me.

The tea party movement is a large, fractious confederation of Americans who are defined by what they are against. They are against the concentrated power of the educated class. They believe big government, big business, big media and the affluent professionals are merging to form self-serving oligarchy — with bloated government, unsustainable deficits, high taxes and intrusive regulation.

I think they simply want to vote for an underdog. The tea party thing might have started off with LP roots (which were quickly misattributed to the the GOP) but it quickly took a life of its own.

But the whole thing reeks of anti-intellectualism. Because intellectualism is a threat to Judeo-Christian morality. A common trope in America is that Colleges are liberal, and thus, the educated class tends to lean that direction. The University system is apparently pumping out tons of baby-killing, gun-banning, illegal immigrant hugging hippies. (Never mind that a lot of these folks have either attended college themselves or want their kids to so they can succeed in life, or whatever that entails.)

I’ve always pretty much believed that most people know what they like and don’t like by time they are adults. However, they have no idea how that scales up in politics and don’t vote accordingly. Or they simply vote based on the impression of what they like.

They don’t want taxes (neither do I) but they still want their social security, because they’ve been paying into it for 20 years (I don’t care either way and I don’t want it). They want the state to enforce noise ordinances, get rid of drugs, stop women from whoring, protect us from terrorists, but they don’t want a police state.

And the inclusion of anti-vaccine, 9/11 truthers, birthers, anti-abortion soccer moms, etc., it just seems to be a angry mob. There is no direction or ideology. And they don’t understand what they want because they reject intellectualism and the study of political philosophy. They want liberty, and even if they don’t know what that means they are going to rabble-rabble until they get it.

But it’s probably nothing new. Politicians have always gone for the “just one of the regular folks” angle. I’ve always asked, “why in the fuck would I want to vote for someone like that?” I wouldn’t trust most people with a class of high-school kids, let alone a government position that puts them in charge of much more costly and dangerous shit.

The mobilus vulgaris is coming and it seems like a good time for tin-foil hats.


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It seems that more often than not these days that you can't be for or against one tack in philosophy without being for all of it. Say if you believe in abortion rights, you can't be against gun control. Where is the political representation for those of us who straddle the lines in between left and right? I do believe that there is a self-serving political "oligarchy" that is not only built, but has been running for some time. Who do you think has more political sway with the current US government, a regular citizen making their modest campaign contributions or a multinational auto conglomerate with paid employees to lobby and invest in political campaigns? All this is besides the point, for if you make a mistake then make 1000 more in a vain attempt to compensate for the original mistake, you will fail. Only by correcting the original mistake can you serve the purpose of progress. We have voter apathy because citizenship is too available. Look to nations such as Israel and South Korea where in order to be a citizen and to make use of public services you are REQUIRED to earn your citizenship through service. Only once citizenship is worth something because of personal sacrifice can you expect it to be valued. That brings in the quality of respect. Once someone has EARNED their citizenship, no matter how you feel about their personal choices, you must respect their sacrifice. If a solution to the lobbyist driven "representative" government is found, you can expect citizen confidence in the system to rise. The average person feels not that it's us-vs-them, but that their voice isn't being listened too because there isn't a considerable dollar value associated with it speaking. Right now though you are seeing the results of 50 years of individual hegemony that has been fed by the corporate establishment through advertising and guiding public opinion. Individuals see themselves as the classic "island unto themselves" without shared goals and needs. The secondary effect of this is that if you take 100 modern Americans, they will not be able to set aside their differences in order to make conscious decisions about issues that they all share. They will be too fractured and argumentative about issues that have no bearing on the topic at hand. By this I reference the current debate over nationalized healthcare. I am PRO abortion rights I am PRO Gun rights I am PRO Nationalized Healthcare. I am AGAINST Prayer in Schools I am AGAINST Professional Lobbyists I am AGAINST Free Citizenship.