There's talk at National Review Online's Kerry Spot that the Republicans may soon increase their majority in the Senate to 56/44. Ben Nelson of Nebraska, a Democrat, is rumored to be contemplating either a defection or taking a position in Bush's cabinet. If he does the latter, Nebraska's Republican governor will doubtless appoint a Republican to replace him.
Thursday, November 18, 2004
Bill passes along a link to an article by Hans-Herman Hoppe the author of Democracy: The God That Failed. Hoppe makes the oft-noted point that in a democracy people soon learn that they can, through judicious use of their ballot, seize wealth which belongs to others and distribute it among themselves. He also writes that:
Viewpoint shares the concern that demagogues find much fertile soil to till among the lower classes in democracies, but even so, Hoppe's statement here seems a bit hyperbolic. Contrary to what he avers, representative democracy in a structural context of checks and balances is the best system of those devised by man for avoiding the ascension of ruthless tyrants to positions of power. At least a search of the historical record doesn't offer much evidence that there's a better way.
Rather than quibble with Hoppe's claim, however, we wish to call our readers' attention to a great passage he quotes from H.L. Mencken. It's worth reproducing in full here:
We wish we would have come across this gem during the recent political campaign. It's a remarkably vivid description of one of the candidates in particular.
Hugh Hewitt points us to an article in The New York Times wherein the paper of record discusses the Democrats' religion problem. Unfortunately, it seems as if most of the people the Times interviews for the piece believe that the only changes the party needs to make are purely cosmetic. A number of the commentators seem to think that it's the Democrats' image that is the problem. They have to start speaking the language of middle America on matters of religion and clothe their positions on abortion and gay marriage in religious garb, the thinking goes, and the voters will then warm to them.
Elizabeth Cavendish, interim president of Naral Pro-Choice America, is an example. She's quoted as saying that, "The party needs more religious language, but not new positions." Go ahead and dazzle the simpleminded with a few "amens" and "hallelujahs", Ms Cavendish seems to be saying, but there's no need to question any of our convictions.
Many Democrats and liberal Christians, the Times informs us, say privately that they may need to distance themselves more forcefully from the idea of same-sex marriage, standing instead near Mr. Bush in support of civil unions. This, however, sounds more like a tactic than a recognition that one holds a position that needs to be abandoned. It sounds as if the advice being dispensed here is do whatever it takes to get elected and then you can implement your real agenda. Here's how Jim Wallis of Sojourners magazine puts it:
In other words, if they camouflage what they believe, call it by a different name, they can hoodwink the voters into a false sense of security until they manage to turn a red state blue. Then they can go ahead and push for the very thing that so many of the gullible resent. Wallis isn't recommending genuine change, he's recommending subterfuge.
Many religious leaders, the Times continues, are also pushing the Democrats to be more assertive in fighting poverty and promoting "social justice" but also to soften their stance on abortion. "There is an interest in finding a middle way," he said. "It predates the election year, but there is a little more willingness to listen to it now."
Evidently, Democrats see the need to adopt a more religious facade only because they can't win elections just by being themselves.
Here's a quaint idea: Let's have politicians and parties simply tell us what they believe and what they will try to do if elected, and let the voters decide whether that's what they want to vote for. Let's have no more attempts to fool and deceive the electorate through political posturing and phony image projecting. It's ludicrous, for example, that liberals refuse to identify themselves as such. If they're ashamed of the liberal label then don't be one, and if they're not ashamed of it then don't hide it or run from it.
Many voters may indeed be duped by clever make-overs into thinking that the Democrats share their values on particular issues, but nowhere does the Times article suggest that Democrats should actually be sincere in their expressions of faith, and nowhere does the article suggest that Democrats need to actually do or change much of any consequence, except perhaps around the margins, to persuade religious unsophisticates to vote for them. Evidently, a lot of Democrats still think politics is all a matter of packaging, advertising, and spin. Show the rubes what they want to see and tell them what they want to hear and you'll win their vote. It's as cynical as it is dishonest.
Apparently those who voiced concerns about the harmful effects of RU-486 before it was approved for use in the U.S. are being tragically vindicated. This report from Fox News is very disturbing. It begins with an anguished father wondering why the drug that killed his daughter is still on the market:
Viewpoint wonders how many people suffered serious life-threatening effects like these from Vioxx? It is unlikely that RU-486 will go the way of Vioxx, however, because the abortion pill has a certain politically correct pedigree that will insulate it from blame. At least for a while.