Paul Jacob

The media--that crazy guy--speaks of the California recall as if the voters of that state are the victims of war or natural disaster. Words like "chaos," "mayhem," "loco" and "dis is crazy boss" are tossed about with such hectic abandon that if one did not know better one would be sure that one were witnessing either the LA riots or the heat death of the universe. In fact, I think the LA riots may have even gotten better reviews--oy, those poor underprivileged marauding thugs, no wonder they had to torch the Korean grocer.

Seems Mr. Media and Mr. Political Elite like democracy best when the voters are shoved to the sidelines. Impeached former President Clinton went to California to oppose the recall too, and, like everybody else who sneers against direct democracy, he certainly didn't bother to defend the track record of one Mr. Gray Davis, who is the subject of the recall vote. Even the man who can spin anything can't spin Gray's gray performance into anything creditable. Nonetheless, California's much-pummeled voters are supposed to simply grin and bear it. Otherwise, opines the impeached former President, they risk becoming "laughingstocks." Uh...okay, whatever.

Let's get serious here for just a moment. I mean, come on. Should we really be ashamed of a political process in which voters have the power not only to elect their leaders but also to fire them, without firing a shot? The constituencies of Hitler, Stalin and Idi Amin should have been so lucky. No one was going to recall Saddam Hussein or the Taliban. There's no recall process in North Korea, nor in any other dictatorship. Yeah, they're crazy over there in California. Crazy like a fox. Or a people who believe they are free to exercise some minimal measure of governance over their governors.

The world may be laughing at us. (Doesn't the world have anything better to do?) But, unfazed by the corrupt mockers of the old world, Americans have long chosen the "chaos" of freedom and democracy over the calm and orderliness of boss rule.

Democracy. We think we'll keep it.

Paul Jacob

Paul Jacob is President of Citizens in Charge Foundation and Citizens in Charge. His daily Common Sense commentary appears on the Web and via e-mail.