Friday, March 30, 2012
Mad Rant: The Republican Illusion
Take someone like myself for example. As I sit here on the Texas-Mexico border, we have yet to hold a primary and the available choices are already down from around 10 candidates to 3 candidates. And, before anyone here has had a chance to vote, we are being told to ignore 2 out of the 3 because Romney already has it in the bag and you would only make things worse by voting for someone else. Also keep in mind that where I live, forget the candidates, I don’t often have even a choice of party. I live in a very predominately Hispanic area that is so heavily and faithfully Democratic territory that for most local offices the Republican Party doesn’t even bother to run candidates. So many people simply vote for whoever has a “D” after their name that the Republicans consider my part of the state a waste of resources to campaign in, so for most local offices ballots have one name beside them -take it or leave it, like it or not, you get whoever the Party chooses to run. Is that what passes for democracy? And I’m sure that in other parts of the state the Republican Party dominates in exactly the same way and if you are a Democrat living in one of those areas you are out of luck.
In a sense, every government anywhere that is or ever has been has been to some extent “democratic” in that people get the government they deserve. No government, no matter how totalitarian it pretends to be, can exist without the support or at least the acceptance of a majority of the people. However, for the most part, countries are governed as their rulers see fit regardless of the popular will. Take the United Kingdom for example, where republican malcontents rail about how “un-democratic” it is to have a hereditary head-of-state rather than an elected one. Yet, the vast majority of laws which govern the modern United Kingdom are made in Brussels by the European Union which is led by a ruling clique and a President that no one in Britain (or any other country) ever voted for. The only people in the EU that are elected have very little power over anything of importance. In fact, in Brussels, the biggest pain in the posterior for the EU ruling elite are those shouting for “freedom and democracy”. It may also be useful to compare the United Kingdom to the current Republic of Italy. In the U.K. the Queen is not elected but has very little power. The Prime Minister is elected and s/he actually governs the country. In Italy the President is elected by Parliament, not by a popular vote of the people, but also has very little power. However, the current Prime Minister of Italy, the man who actually governs, is, in this case, a man who was not elected and, in fact, never elected to any prior office in his life. In which case do the people have more control over their government?
However, the drive persists with the belief in republicanism and democracy assuming an almost religious status. I say “almost” because this belief is a mythology which requires a greater leap of “faith” than even most mainstream religions. Religious figures like Jesus Christ, the Apostles or the Buddha or Confucius are all real people who actually existed and taught people things. In the case of Confucius, his descendants are still alive and well in China today. Yet, when it comes to the republican mentality, people blindly go along thinking that they have “freedom” because they have elections in spite of the fact that governments today, even the most liberal and democratic ones, more heavily regulate the everyday lives of ordinary people than at any other time in history. Everything from the food you eat to the air you breath, the car you drive, the house you live in, even the light bulbs you use are regulated by the State. And the people making these regulations are not like the monarchs of old. They are written by politicians with no vested interest in the welfare of the people or the good of the country, people who are in office for limited period of time and are eager to get what they can while they can and they are influenced by crony capitalists looking to enrich themselves or social activists and other assorted lobbyists with narrow self-interests looking out for number one and no one else.
It is ironic that it is these democratic-republican types who are today the ones at the forefront of pushing for secularism, most likely to call themselves atheists (proudly) and oppose any support for traditional religion while at the same time displaying such mindlessly slavish devotion to their own faith in the “god” of republicanism. “Republicanism is the answer”, they say even though the vast majority of the worst, most arbitrary tyrannies in the world today are republics. “The world needs more democracy” they say, even though democracy has not exactly worked out well on the countries it has recently been imposed upon. You can point out to them the long list of brutal tyrants who gained power via the democratic process, you can point out how un-democratic their most ideal societies and organizations today are and it does not shake their blind faith in their failed “god”. “Liberty, Equality and Fraternity” are their “holy trinity” and they go on applauding and justifying the French Revolution and every other revolution no matter how horrific the consequences. It reminds me of the words of Lady Thatcher who pointed out that, “Human rights did not begin with the French Revolution” and that when it came to, “Liberty, equality, fraternity’ -they forgot obligations and duties I think. And then of course the fraternity went missing for a long time”.