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Posted: 6/5/2003 2:12:55 PM EDT
http://www.reviewjournal.com/lvrj_home/2003/May-04-Sun-2003/opinion/21225710.html Copyright © Las Vegas Review-Journal COLUMN: Vin Suprynowicz Making the world safe for mob rule Libertarians and constitutionalists for decades have rolled their eyes whenever another spokesman for the central government starts waxing eloquent on how we aim to export or install "democracy" in some foreign hellhole. (How's Haiti working out, by the way?) "No, no, no," we sigh in exasperation. "Mencken's working definition of democracy was, `The theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.' A more modern formulation defines democracy as two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner. The communist slave states of Eastern Europe weren't called `people's democracies' for nothing." America's Founding Fathers recoiled in well-informed horror at the notion of democracy, which they reviled as "mob rule," realizing such a form of government could avoid falling into the tyranny of pack dogs turning on a wounded mate only so long as the citizens could be prevented from realizing how easily they could "vote themselves a subsidy from their neighbor's pocket." (See Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, farm subsidies, checks for "dependent children" on the first Monday of the month, child day-care centers called "public schools" funded by forcible extractions from our neighbors who chose not to have children ... ) Yes, the founders employed qualified democratic voting -- often, and quite sensibly, only those who could show they actually paid taxes were allowed to elect those who would set and enforce the taxes -- as a mechanism for choosing delegates to a legislature of limited powers. But America is not a democracy -- was never meant to be a democracy -- and unfolding events in occupied Iraq are about to remind us why. You see, one's choice of words really can matter. Our sloppy spokesmen have been promising everyone our central government intends to allow and encourage "democracy" in Iraq. Many of the 60 percent of that nation's populace who are long-oppressed Shiite Muslims are now responding quite predictably, and at an escalating volume, that they wish to take this opportunity to vote to create there not a secular regime on the American (or even the Turkish) model, but rather a fundamentalist "Islamic republic" like that of neighboring Iran, where moaning mullahs and gibbering muftis would enforce the 7th century edicts of the Quran, ordering women caned for going about without their hair or ankles covered. Retired Gen. Jay Garner (more on him next week), the U.S. civil administrator for Iraq, is thus being set up to inevitably respond, "Oh, did you think we meant the kind of democracy where you could choose any type of government you wanted? How cute. I guess we didn't mention that student council votes to hire the Red Hot Chili Peppers to play the senior dance are subject to, um, veto by the principal, did we? Oh, you kids. Can't you get anything straight? Now go back and try again." This will expose America to widespread "I-told-you-so" ridicule for hypocrisy, in a way that's totally unnecessary, simply because the socialists in Washington have fallen into the lazy (and self-serving) habit of asserting we are -- and hope to help everyone else become -- a "democracy." America is -- or was intended to be -- a constitutional republic. A democracy can easily vote to create a state religion, and punish those who decline to fall into line. Sound like a good idea? It can't happen in a constitutional republic. In a republic with a Constitution and a Bill of Rights like the one America had up through 1912 (or 1932, interpretations vary), here's what happens if the people go to the polls and vote, all nice and democratic-like, by a margin of 219,999,999-to-1, that they want the government to enact some "sensible gun control laws," requiring citizens to -- oh -- show a photo ID, and register their weapons by serial number when they buy them ... and submit to fingerprinting and pay a tax if it's a machine gun: The 219,999,999 voters lose, because the Constitution says the right of that last lonely gun owner to keep and bear arms "shall not be infringed" -- and rights can neither be eroded, nor new powers delegated to the government, by a simple popular vote, under the system of government established on this continent in 1787. Americans -- lulled and hornswoggled for two generations by union schoolmarms and transvestite prosecutors tricked up in black dresses -- may have forgotten they are a free people. The Constitution can't protect you if you allow a judge or politician to tell you this charter of our freedoms is "moot" without promptly trying, convicting and hanging him. But the real answer in the former Iraq is to encourage the three new nations of Shiistan, Sunnistan, and East Kurdistan (our new best friends the Syrians won't have any trouble giving the sovereign Kurdish state access to the sea through Aleppo, right?) to set up constitutional republics -- the form of government we enjoyed here in America up through 1912 ... or was it 1932? They'll likely refuse, being largely unaware of any political progress made out beyond the sand dunes since the 7th century. So pull back to Basra. No need to repeat the frustrations of the Brits, 80 years ago. Get our guys out of Sniperstan. Charge the locals an export duty adequate to support the overhead of our big new base on the gulf. Smuggle in Playboys and barbecued ribs. And why are we blowing up all those AK-47s, by the way? Bring them home and hand them out to freedom-loving Americans. We taxpayers ought to get something out of these adventures. Congress does have the power to "provide for arming the militia," you know. That's Article I, Section 8. Vin Suprynowicz is assistant editorial page editor of the Review-Journal and author of the books "Send in the Waco Killers" and "The Ballad of Carl Drega."
Link Posted: 6/5/2003 2:18:22 PM EDT
Those 219,999,999 won't have much trouble amending the constitution though, and that last poor SOB will be screwed.
Link Posted: 6/5/2003 7:08:12 PM EDT
ya got him there
Link Posted: 6/5/2003 7:42:34 PM EDT
"transvestite prosecutors" I like Vin, always have. Having said that, though, one should never admit to visiting San Francisco. cynic
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