I do not think they mean what you want me to to think they mean.
Whenever I hear some politician talking about “our democracy,” I wonder if I’m included in the group he means when he says, “Our.”
Also, whenever I hear a politician talking about “democracy,” I’m reminded of how Benjamin Franklin described the form of government being created by the Constitutional Convention: “A republic, if you can keep it.”
I think so, Brain … but if the committee proceeds democratically, the vote will be a head count regardless of contents.
I think so, Brain … but if we solve this democratically, that will make my ignorance worth as much as your knowledge.
That’s the title of an excellent short essay by Kevin Williamson over at NRO.
The relevant facts are these: 1) Very powerful political interests in Washington insist upon the scrupulous enforcement of environmental laws, and if that diminishes the interests of private property owners, so much the better, in their view. 2) Very powerful political interests in Washington do not wish to see the scrupulous enforcement of immigration laws, and if that undercuts the bottom end of the labor market or boosts Democrats’ long-term chances in Texas, so much the better, in their view.
Read the whole thing.
When you’re finished, take a look at this by George Will. His post deals with a fundamental disconnect between Conservatives and Progressives as described in a new book by Timothy Sandefur.
Progressives, who consider democracy the source of liberty, reverse the Founders’ premise, which was: Liberty preexists governments, which, the Declaration says, are legitimate when “instituted” to “secure” natural rights.
Progressives consider, for example, the rights to property and free speech as, in Sandefur’s formulation, “spaces of privacy” that government chooses “to carve out and protect” to the extent that these rights serve democracy.
Read all of this one too.