Thursday, June 22, 2017

Democrats Hit Reality After GA06

Judging by The New York Times our liberal friends are all getting together to blame Nancy Pelosi for her failure to turn a mildly Republican House seat over to the Democrats in Tuesday's special election.

Reading all the reactions to the Democratic defeat I got to thinking. First of all there is my definition of government that I developed here. It goes:
Government is an armed minority occupying territory and taxing the inhabitants thereof to reward its supporters.
And that is all. I developed the talking point from the ideas of St. Augustine, Mao Zedong, and British politician Norman Tebbit. I also threw in Max Weber, so it must be right.

But one thing I missed out, that came through in the aftermath of GA06 and the victory of the very ordinary Karen Handel. Your average armed minority wants to clothe itself in the "decent drapery" of a saving truth. It does not want to think that it is just a band of political robbers, but members of a highly principled movement that is only reduced to using force to bend the arc of history towards justice because of the evil abroad in the land: landlords, capitalists, racists, sexist, homophobes.

Actually, that's not quite right. If you are a Cesar Chavez or a Joseph Stalin you really don't care about the "decent drapery." You are pretty clear that you are interested in power and anyone in your way is going to be wasted. But even they need an enemy that has to be defeated and destroyed.

However, if you are a rich kid, whether a Karl Marx, a Herbert Marcuse, or one of our modern day progressives that wants to get into activism, you really need your "decent drapery" to cover the nakedness of your grab for power. Never mind that the "decent drapery" is really a provocative getup that is significant for what it reveals rather than what it hides.

However, everyone is human, including especially political activists, so it is understandable that since the election the disappointed Democrats are all beating up on Trump and evil Republican racists, sexists, and homophobes rather than tempting the voters with provocative new free stuff.

Nevertheless, in the final analysis politics is not about me and my feelings; it is about doing what it takes to win elections. So the Good Little Liberal Girl at the Ossoff campaign HQ that was captured in tears when she learned of her candidate's defeat makes the point. Don't get mad (or tearful), get even.

And the point was made by the Democratic big cheeses quoted in The New York Times waking up to the fact that their Blame Trump message was not working. So, echoing Disraeli in his political novels, they were basically asking "what is our cry?" That is what the political operatives Taper and Tadpole always wanted to know in Coningsby and Sybil. In modern political speak the Tapers and the Tadpoles talk about "our messaging." As in:
Democrats scrambled to regroup on Wednesday after a disappointing special election defeat in Georgia, with lawmakers, activists and labor leaders speaking out in public and private to demand a more forceful economic message heading into the 2018 elections.
Of course, the question is: do the persuadable voters want to hear that the government will grow the economy to create jobs, or do they want to hear that the government will tax the rich to provide them with bigger benefits? I have to say that I don't know the answer to that. Indeed, that is why we have elections, to let the voters decide who they want to be their rulers.

Because, as Joseph Schumpeter wrote 70 years ago, under Democracy, the people do not get to rule. They just get to select who will rule over them. Actually, they don't even get to do that. They get to vote for Four More Years or for Time for a Change. And that is all.

Although I don't know what the voters think I can tell you what the settled science says. It says that letting the economy grow to create more jobs is how we got the Great Enrichment of the last 200 years. Giving out free stuff is what conquerors and pirates -- and now socialists and progressives -- have done since the dawn of time. And it doesn't create wealth; it just takes it from one set of people and gives it to another.

Until it runs out of other peoples' money.

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