The dog wags back!

A sometimes funny, somtimes angry, but mostly progressive, blog on the politics and issues of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and America.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Why does the Right fear Democracy?

There is a distinct fear of Democracy emanating from the Right. By the Right (with a capital R) I mean the elite, embittered cabal that sits atop the levers of power. I am not talking about the petty right - the white trash, the suburban xenophobes, the small-time purveyors of hate, bible-thumpers, minimum-wage assholes, lowbrow bigots, race baiters, unfair marketeers, and others of the vast couch potato class that variously make up the bulk (literally and figuratively) of the American voting class.

These are the folks who yearn for the return of the limited franchise - the good, old, old, days when only the landed aristocracy not women, blacks and common laborers, were deemed worthy of choosing the overlord. But then came suffrage and finally the GI Bill that swept much of the great unwashed into a new egalitarian middle class and we began to have a messy Democracy (with a capital D). But this form of Democracy has always been uncertain and prone to pursue lofty idealistic goals.

Not content to bankrupt government through war and tax cuts, the Right has deemed it necessary to undermine the foundations of Democracy itself. Perhaps that is a bit too extreme, but there is no doubt that the Right is anxious about the possibility of majority rule. Not content with the usual tactics of flooding the electorate with an onslaught of tedious irrelevance until we are all literally asleep at the poles - they have turned to actually turning away voters and shutting down the polls.

Donald Rumsfeld has enthusiastically embraced the idea of a limited election in only pacified regions of Iraq. While the pragmatism of this solution may appeal to some, we have to consider the legitimacy of an election, from the perspective of Iraqi participants and international participants. Of course this is not a solution that was crafted in Iraq - on the contrary, it was pioneered in the good, not so old, USA. In 2000, when blacks and other unpatriotic voters couldn't be discouraged from voting in sufficient numbers, they were simply purged from the voter rolls, although in some precincts it was deemed necessary to shot down polling places.

These successes have emboldened a new assault on our Democratic rights and privileges. Purging of the voter rolls continues in Florida, with promises (wink, wink) that those improperly purged will be returned to the rolls after the election (nudge, nudge) when, supposedly, their votes would - no, wait, their votes wouldn't count, it would be too late.

Truth time - I can't really answer why the Right fears Democracy - but I suspect it is because it threatens their hold on power.