The Democrats' contempt for democracy

Ben Shapiro
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Posted: Sep 17, 2003 12:00 AM

For the American left, democracy has become an obstacle. If you believe in liberalism -- the idea that the economy should be heavily controlled, that resources should be distributed "fairly," that opportunities should be allocated by a central authority -- then you hate the idea of an independent American populace. Because when the population rears its ugly head and decides it simply does not want you to control it, it impedes "progress."

Democracy, according to the left, means only part-time democracy: It's democracy when people vote for us; it's a threat to democracy when they vote against us. It is no coincidence that fascism in the 20th century sprang from socialism. Socialists and the modern-day left feel that they have the only Truth. If democracy fails to recognize that Truth, democracy must be superseded.

When the left senses an impending electoral loss, it immediately attempts to circumvent true democracy. Control must stay in the hands of the elite few who "know better." To prevent policy from falling into the hands of the unwashed masses, a higher authority must take control. That authority must not be subject to the whims of public opinion.

The only branch of American government largely separated from public accountability is the judiciary. The Democrats have taken full advantage of that cloistered and powerful elite. Close elections in recent years have ended up in the courts, almost universally at the behest of Democratic losers.

Nowhere is liberal scorn for democracy more clearly evident than in the California recall election. Citizens are obviously unhappy with Gov. Gray Davis. So the state constitution provides them a way to discard a rotten politician: recall him.

The recall is true democracy. Gray Davis is holding town hall meetings. He's "listening" to the complaints of angered citizens. Yet Davis supporters continue to trot out the canard that recall is a "threat to democracy." Davis himself claims that the recall "threatens the very fabric of democracy." Why? Because he is about to lose. And with Tom McClintock likely to drop out and clear the way for an Arnold Schwarzenegger governorship, liberals are running scared. And running straight to the courts.

Hence the American Civil Liberties Union's attempt to derail the recall by delaying it until March, Democratic primary season. By appealing to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, liberals hoped to stifle democracy and let the courts decide the conditions under which Democrats would be best positioned to win elections.

The ACLU's case rested on the assumption that minorities are as dumb as bricks. Since minorities are incapable of filling out punch cards, the argument went, their votes would not be counted. If their votes were not counted, the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution would be violated. The pink-tinged 9th Circuit agreed with the ACLU.

Naturally, the ACLU was overjoyed by the 9th Circuit's decision in favor of part-time democracy. American Civil Liberties Union attorney Margaret Crosby said, "This is a victory for democracy. A constitutional democracy rests on the principle that every vote should be counted equally." This is untrue. A constitutional democracy rests on the principle that every properly cast vote should be counted equally. It is the responsibility of the voter to properly cast his vote.

The recall debacle is merely the latest in a long line of liberal attempts to defeat true democracy. The New Jersey Supreme Court decided that Democratic Sen. Robert "The Torch" Torricelli could be replaced on the ballot by another Democratic candidate fewer than 51 days prior to the Senate election, violating state election law. The Florida Supreme Court ruled that Al Gore's request for a recount did not violate state electoral law, even though it assuredly did.

For the left, popular support for a perfectly legal measure should not take precedence over the liberal agenda. In California, Proposition 187, a 1994 measure designed to curb illegal immigration by prohibiting illegals from receiving taxpayer benefits, was backed by 60 percent of voters. Then, it was overturned by federal Judge Mariana Pfaelzer after the ACLU took the measure to court. The 9th Circuit upheld Pfaelzer's ruling.

Liberal judges can turn defeat to victory for the left -- but only as long as the "select" of the judiciary are themselves leftists. Maintaining a leftist judiciary is a direct attack on true democracy. It usurps the power from the people. It is the best hope of the left. Is it any wonder that Democrats are desperate to prevent President Bush's nominees from reaching the bench?