Mitt Romney's 47% Coming Home to Roost
A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine. -Thomas JeffersonAs I write this, it seems that Obama got 50.4% of the popular vote, which would be consistent with Jefferson's comment. The problems of democracy have been evident for thousands of years. We can start with Aristotle's warning that "extreme democracy is tyranny," followed by Homer's comment that "it is not good to have the rule of many," then put a bit of perspective with Plato's comment that "democracy is the worst of good constitutions, though the best of bad ones." (Churchill gets a lot of credit for his rephrasing of this idea.)
A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine. -Thomas Jefferson
As I write this, it seems that Obama got 50.4% of the popular vote, which would be consistent with Jefferson's comment. The problems of democracy have been evident for thousands of years. We can start with Aristotle's warning that "extreme democracy is tyranny," followed by Homer's comment that "it is not good to have the rule of many," then put a bit of perspective with Plato's comment that "democracy is the worst of good constitutions, though the best of bad ones." (Churchill gets a lot of credit for his rephrasing of this idea.)
Because majority rule is a central characteristic of democracy, the danger always exists that a majority, free of restrictions on its power, will oppress members of the minority. This so-called "tyranny of the majority," as Alexis de Tocqueville called it in his book, Democracy in America, is the greatest disadvantage of representative democracy (of course, the tyranny comment originally was Aristotle's).
Democracy arose from men's thinking that if they are equal in any respect, they are equal absolutely. -Aristotle (384 BC-322 BC)
In a democracy the poor will have more power than the rich, because there are more of them, and the will of the majority is supreme. -Aristotle
You can fool all of the people some of the time, said Lincoln. This time it was not all, but in American democracy, 50.4% is just enough.
Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education. -Franklin D. Roosevelt
Obviously I suggest that they did not choose wisely. The Obama trend is clearly toward socialism and against what have been the foundation concepts of America: personal responsibility and initiative, limited government, fiscal responsibility, liberty of action, strong national defense, energy independence, and non-politicized courts and justice system.
I suggest that it is safe to assume that the 47% that Mitt Romney referred to -- those who are on the dole, who get food stamps, years of unemployment payments, disability payments, fat union retirement benefits, cushy government jobs -- make up a major portion of the group who supported Obama. They represent values inverse to the classical values of the USA. They want to make sure that the poor have more power and less responsibility than the rich even if it leads to ruin. They truly want to go for government-dominated socialism, whose allure and appeal have taken hold of them. Keep in mind that over 100 million people receive means-tested benefits from the federal government. In an indicative case, on election day, a man robbed a convenience store in Ohio and told the clerk to vote for Obama.
A thing isn't good or legitimate just because the majority wants it. Democracy and freedom aren't synonyms, but most people associate democracy with freedom. The theory of modern democracy asserts that having a large enough number of supporters -- a majority of the population -- makes a government and its policies legitimate and just. This simply is a variation of the idea "might makes right."
The word for this is "populism," the name for movements that charge elite groups (the "1%") with having betrayed the public interest. It gathers followers in the hopes of gaining large enough numbers for its claims to speak on behalf of "the people" to be taken seriously. It pushes for more "fairness." Successful populism is the "tyranny of the majority," which Alexis de Tocqueville warned the Americans about in the 19th century.
What if the majority wants something evil? What if they want to oppress a minority? What if they want to tax the rich to give to the poor (which is currently happening)? Should they be allowed to?
Second terms are always more difficult than first ones. Obama, the political narcissistic sociopath, will now have time to cede more foreign policy terrain to Putin, to continue to dodge his irresponsibility in Benghazi, to continue his hypocrisy with Israel, and to continue his dhimmitude to the Arab world, along with four more years of no government budget and trillion-dollar deficits (can we pass $20 trillion in debt?).
Obama says that he is inspired when it comes to the work to do in his second term, but that inspiration will not change his lazy ways. He is egocentric enough to be worried about his "legacy" but too lazy to do anything meaningful. He will continue to play golf, will continue to lead from behind, and will continue to be slothful in the execution (or should I say dereliction) of his duties. He will not be able to increase employment.
Maybe the economy will tank, and there will be a chance for Republicans in 2016.