The View From 1776

The Spanish Elections: Democracy and Mob Rule

      http://www.thomasbrewton.com/index.php/weblog/the_spanish_elections_democracy_and_mob_rule/

Democracy based on volatile popular opinion is not the form of government intended by our Constitution.  Spain’s craven kow-towing to Al Queda is called democracy, but it’s simply liberal-socialism in action, the posture advocated by liberal Republicans and Democrats in the United States.

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You already know that Al Queda successfully panicked Spanish voters into electing a socialist who promised to withdraw Spanish troops from the war on terror in Iraq.  Voters appeared to believe that Islamic terrorists are basically nice guys who won’t attack Spain again if the Spanish promise not to annoy Al Queda in the future. But the Mafia and Al Queda demand more than respect from those under their protection.  Appeasement in this case may be expected to “bring peace in out time” to the same extent it did when British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain agreed not to oppose Adolph Hitler’s annexation of part of Czechoslovakia in 1939.  (For those among you too young to understand that reference, Chamberlain’s appeasement merely convinced Hitler that he could do as he wished.  The result was World War II.)

Socialism in Spain, and among American liberals, is based on theory with no more structural integrity than a sand castle in mid-air.  Liberals believe that everything in life is the product of rational thought in the minds of socialist intellectuals, implemented via government planning.  Metaphysical realities like patriotism, steadfastness, loyalty, and bravery, not to mention religious fanaticism, are regarded as superstition and ignorance, barbaric relics of the pre-socialist past.  Liberals operate as if these powerful political forces can be removed from the playing field simply by thinking it so.

Hence their total faith in and reliance upon “world opinion” and “the international community” to turn international affairs into a quiet tea party where everyone observes rules of decorum.  Romano Prodi, the socialist chief of the European Commission, summed up liberals’ reaction to the bombings in Spain: “It is clear that using force is not the answer to resolving the conflict with terrorists….Europe applies different instruments, suited to help our citizens leave fear behind: using politics and not just force, which has created further fear.”

Events in Spain clearly have implications for us here in the United States.  First, if Bin Ladin is as smart as he seems to be, there will be no Al Queda attacks here before the November elections.  He already has seen that, when someone hits us, we, unlike the Spanish, hit back.  The odds of Bush’s re-election would rise tremendously.  But, if John Kerry wins the election, hold onto your hats.  Senator Kerry loudly proclaims that unnamed foreign leaders (Bin Ladin no doubt among them) are anxious for him to oust President Bush.  If he does, we can expect massive waves of bombing and other attacks to follow.  Bin Ladin will rely on Kerry’s promise to treat terrorist attacks, not as acts of war, but merely as violations of “international law” to be dealt with by the UN and the World Court.  Like Hitler in 1939, Bin Ladin will know that he already has won; he can attack the United States with complete impunity.

Second, Democrats are likely to invoke Florida’s contested vote in 2000 and again call for electing the President entirely on the basis of the popular vote totals.  The Spanish fiasco demonstrates why the Constitution prescribed the Electoral College as the means of electing our Presidents.  As Madison and Hamilton explained in The Federalist, the idea was to have people at the local levels select representatives to state legislatures, who would, in turn, select delegates to the Electoral College.

 

A two-fold purpose was to be served: first, average citizens would know little if anything about potential national leaders in distant states, but they would have sound basis for judging their own local legislators.  Those legislators, knowing and participating with members of Congress, would have the experience of dealing personally with potential Presidents on a daily basis.  The likelihood of electing a competent person of sound judgment was much greater in that process.  Second, it completely insulated the election of a President from the volatile whims of public opinion.  An over-night flip-flop of the Spanish sort would be impossible.  No terrorist group could unilaterally determine the results of a Presidential election.

Unfortunately, the electoral college has become mostly a formal relic, making political party spinmeisters the captains of your fate.