Yes, yes, I know this is supposed to be a Day of Blogging Silence, to "protest" Brett Kimberlin and his ilk and the tactics they've deployed against anyone who dares to speak of their thuggery, but I've never been enamored of silence as a tactic of protest. I write when, where, and what I please. Let him silence me who can. No one has succeeded yet.
By now, I hope you've viewed the "Democracy died tonight" video sniveler and formed an appropriately contemptuous opinion of him. I doubt he could better articulate what so distresses him even if he were given a month to prepare his response. That's because he shares a malady that's becoming ever more common among our people: He's both highly suggestible and profoundly stupid.
We tolerate quite a lot of both failings in our young folks. Indeed, suggestibility is a trait our educrats prize highly; the government-run schools regard a youngling of independent mind as a troublemaker. It's all about "legitimate authority," you see -- and the preference of our political masters and their allegiants that the "legitimacy" of their "authority" never be questioned.
Unfortunately for them, they've painted themselves into a corner, at least as regards this matter of "democracy."
The Wisconsin recall elections are an excellent case for study. Why is our social-fascist / government-worshipping class so exercised about these elections? Because the results went against their preferences. How did that happen? More voters voted against them than for them. Why? Because Wisconsin voters preferred it that way, by a majority sufficient to overcome the unions, their "organizers," and the flood of outside money and labor that propelled the recall effort.
Oh dear, I've committed a mortal sin, haven't I? I've mentioned that the Left's efforts were largely propelled by outside contributions! We're not supposed to mention the sins of the Disloyal Opposition. It's just not done. But sauce for the goose and all that, inasmuch as they continue to claim that they were outspent 7 or 8 to 1, and that a lot of the money contributed to support Scott Walker, Rebecca Kleefisch, and the targeted Republican state senators came from outside Wisconsin.
So: Nostra culpa. Nostra culpa. Nostra maxima fucking culpa. Sit on it and rotate counterclockwise, Leftist thugs. You were perfectly happy to "nationalize" the Wisconsin recalls for your own purposes. You were overjoyed that unions with national organizations were willing to contribute money and volunteers to your undertaking. You just resent that you got outvoted.
But that's "democracy," isn't it? Or are you prepared to say "not when it goes against us" -- ?
"Democracy" has often been equated to mob rule. The charge has some substance. A mob that commands a local majority, and is unrestrained by any concept of rights, is about as democratic a form of "rule" as you can get. (For the purposes of this tirade, we shall omit consideration of a "mob" that constitutes a majority of all of Mankind, though that's among the Left's wetter wet dreams.) But as has been said about as often, the United States is not a democracy; it's a federal republic, whose states are guaranteed a "republican form of government" by Article IV, Section 4 of the Constitution of the United States.
A republic is a polity whose government concerns itself with the rei publicae -- that is, the "public affairs" of the nation -- and nothing else. Those matters must be spelled out explicitly in a constitution; otherwise, the State will happily claim ever greater scope, ultimately translating "public matters" into all matters, as New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is even now attempting to do. If you like that sort of tyranny-of-supposedly-good-intentions, you're welcome to it, but you and I have nothing further to say to one another.
Republics usually have representative governments. Those representatives are usually chosen through a democratic process: some sort of election. Such elections may be regularly scheduled, or they may be contingent on particular events. But however the State's powers and other mechanisms are defined, neither the elected representatives nor their appointees nor their hirelings are thereby empowered to go beyond the sphere defined for them in the applicable constitution or charter; that would undo the concept of a republic.
The Left dislikes republics. In truth, the Left also dislikes democracy, except as a sometimes handy rhetorical bludgeon. What the Left would prefer, given its druthers, is uninterrupted, unlimited rule by the Left.
In the United States, with its republican constitutional order and its tradition of regular elections, the Left can only achieve its dream through the mob.
A mob need not constitute a majority of any sort to be politically effective. Hitler's supporters in the pre-Third Reich period were not a majority. Neither were Lenin's in the pre-Soviet years. But both groups were exceptionally militant and energetic.
We've had periods of mob rule, actual and attempted, in parts of this country. The Huey Long years in Louisiana are a good example. More recently, the Occupy mobs have attempted to impose their wills on the locales they afflicted. But Wisconsin is probably the best case study of all.
It is impossible to overstate the importance of unions in the Wisconsin contretemps. The limitation of their collective bargaining privileges and the removal of their power to compel government employees to pay union dues were the reasons for the uproar. In attempting to punish Scott Walker and the legislators who had done that, Wisconsin's government-employee unions appealed to every other union in the country for assistance -- and they got it. Union money poured into the recall effort from all over America; union agitators, organizers, and protestors were bused into the state throughout the campaign. It was among the largest ad hoc mobs formed in the history of American politics.
It didn't succeed, which gave us the "Democracy died tonight" video sniveler and those who agree with him. But if Wisconsinites and Americans generally were more cognizant of the dissonance between republican government and that sort of mob uprising, it wouldn't have come nearly as close as it did.
As Louis Nizer wrote, defeat is education. (If you prefer Orson Scott Card's formulation, "Your enemy is your teacher.") The Left will draw an important lesson from its Wisconsin defeats. The lesson will not be that it can't win.
At the next iteration of mob tactics, there will be more violence. It will be more widespread, more personal, and more destructive. And "democracy," the Left's rhetorical ideal, will have even less to do with it.