Commentary Magazine


The Democratic Assault On Democracy

In the post-election analysis, a lot of people are saying that the Republicans lost because they drifted away from their core principles. But oddly enough, right now the Democrats are engaging in assaults on something even more fundamental to their own nature — the very democratic process itself. Three examples come to mind.

First, we have the Orwellian “Employee Free Choice Act,” which has been crafted to make it easier for unions to organize workplaces. Many of the provisions of the bill are debatable, but there is one aspect that is garnering all the attention — and well it should, for it ought to be a deal-breaker for anyone with the least bit of interest in the rights of the individual.

Under the EFCA, unions would be able to bypass the requirement for a vote by the workers by collecting signed pledge cards from a majority. In other words, the current requirement for a vote by secret ballot will be replaced by union organizers requesting, face to face, that the worker make a declaration whether or not they support bringing in a union.

Thank heavens that unions have no history of violence, intimidation, corruption, or deception. Because if they did, the potential for the abuse of this system would be instantly realized.

The right to the secret ballot — to cast one’s vote in private, with no fear of retaliation or intimidation — is fundamental to freedom. We have scorned — and rightly so — so-called “elections” in other nations where there is no secret ballot, or where voter otherwise compelled to reveal to any and all concerned parties precisely how they voted. And in this case, the Democrats in Congress wish to strip that right, that fundamental protection, from American workers.

Another example is what has been unfolding in California since the election. On that day, Californians passed Proposition 8, which overturned a court decision and once again banned same-sex marriages.

The system worked, the people have spoken, the measure passed. Right?

This is the second time that Californians have used the referendum process to reject gay marriage. The first time, the supporters got a court to set aside the decision. This time, they’re being a bit more forceful.

Gay marriage supporters have assembled their own “blacklists” of those who donated money in favor of the referendum. They are picketing their places of work, urging that people boycott their employers, and have cost at least one man his job. At one of their rallies, a little old lady showed up with a Styrofoam cross. She was screamed at, intimidated, and had her cross taken away and smashed.

The Mormon Church was very much in favor of the proposition, and urged its members to work to get it passed. As a consequence, it finds itself under attack on numerous fronts, with all sorts of threats (legal and otherwise) being made.It’s worth noting that the Mormons who worked and voted in favor of the proposition are vastly outnumbered by the black and Hispanic churches who did much the same in greater numbers.

Finally, in Minnesota, the Senate race between Norm Coleman and Al Franken has yet to be decided. However, the number of voting irregularities continues to skyrocket — “misplaced” ballots turning up in an official’s trunk, “errors” in reporting vote totals almost entirely for the Senate race and no others, many of the new numbers coming out of three small precincts, and so on. Meanwhile, the Franken campaign is working to match up absentee ballots with voters, shredding the anonymity of the ballot. And the Democratic Secretary of State has been making public statements that the Coleman campaign is “trying to win at any price,” then denying he said it.

In all three examples, and in countless others, the message is the same: the people can be trusted only as long as they choose the “right” way. Certain things are too important to leave up to the unwashed masses to decide, because they’ll simply screw it up. The list of such matters grows longer all the time, but it now apparently includes whether the state should sanction gay marriage, whether a worker should join a union, and who should serve as your senator.

There’s an old aphorism that “in a democracy, the people get the government they deserve.” One ideal example is the commonwealth of Massachusetts, where the government is almost entirely Democratic (100% of the Congressional delegation, the governorship, and over 85% of the two houses of the state legislature) and is quite possibly the most dysfunctional state government in the nation.

It appears that that is being supplanted by “the people get the government we think they deserve, whether they want it or not.” That doesn’t seem quite democratic — but it’s rapidly becoming very Democratic.

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