Our Elites’ Selective Support for Democracy

Our Elites’ Selective Support for Democracy, by Andrew Bacevich.

The ongoing parallel crises in the United Kingdom and the United States invite us to contemplate unwelcome truths about the nature of politics in the 21st century. In both countries, deep divisions have resulted in paralysis. In both, that paralysis represents something more profound: disagreement over the meaning and proper conduct of contemporary democracy. Yet there is little evidence that elites on either side of the Atlantic understand the actual problem at hand. Hence, the likelihood that it will fester. …

Brexit and the US shutdown are both in part about immigration — over the replacement of historic white nations with left-voting immigrants from the third world.

Neither would have occurred if not for the great realignment — in which the left stopped championing the working class, and instead turned to pursing power by identity politics and being (in their own eyes) morally superior to “deplorables.”

In both, the outcome of what was a manifestly democratic process confounded elite expectations. …

Politics is always fraught with hypocrisy. Yet the hypocrisy on daily display in London and Washington of late has become difficult to stomach. This is especially so when it emanates from quarters that otherwise do not hesitate to chastise other governments for failing to honor democratic principles.

In a recent op-ed denouncing Brexit, New York Times columnist Roger Cohen wrote, “A democracy that cannot change its mind is not a democracy.” Let’s unpack that. What Cohen really means is this: when a democracy comes to a decision of which I disapprove, there’s always room for a do-over, yet when decisions win my approval, they become permanent and irreversible. So just because Americans elected a president who promised to withdraw from NATO and overturn Roe v. Wade doesn’t mean that such possibilities qualify as worthy of consideration. NATO membership is forever. So, too, are abortion rights.

We only have curated democracies nowadays. How disappointing!

It is no doubt true that the United Kingdom and the United States are democracies, with the people allowed some say. But to be more precise, they are curated democracies, with members of an unelected elite policing the boundaries of acceptable opinion and excluding heretics. Members of this elite are, by their own estimation, guardians of truth and good sense. They know what is best.

Unfortunately our current elites are unusually dumbed down, and given to actually believing the PC fantasies. Imagine falling for the carbon dioxide theory of global warming, without even doing any due diligence! Or believing that evolution applies to all species except humans, and therefore all large groups of humans have the same statistical parameters — that is, human groups are identical and therefore interchangeable. Transgender craziness is just the tip of the iceberg.

hat-tip Stephen Neil