“Democracy Dies in Darkness,” declares the Washington Post. With apologies to Alexis de Tocqueville, I reply: Doesn’t something have to live first before it can die?
There is one great advantage to the ongoing, interminable, and farcical “Russia investigation” that grips the Establishment and those who choose to be entertained daily by America’s mass media. The Russia investigation has shown the utter folly of the unreal ideals that form the ideology of modern America.
“The Russians have threatened our very democracy!” cry the myriad and bipartisan enemies of President Trump. NeverTrumpers are convinced that he colluded with the Russians. Fair-WeatherTrumpers think the investigation is overblown, but they still plan to read the Mueller report, should it ever come, with an open mind. If there’s evidence of actual collusion, we need to know! Remember the sacredness of our democracy!
What do all of these defenders of the faith mean by “democracy”? Do they even know?
Ask the question, and you may receive a platitudinous response that extols the value of “every voice” and the virtue of all of them being “heard.” Some among the democratic dogmatists are hawking the indulgence of the National Popular Vote initiative, an “interstate compact” designed to nullify the effect of having an Electoral College, that quaint constitutional provision agreed upon (not without challenge) at the Great Convention as a means of maintaining true federalism and preventing the foul noisomeness of direct democracy and mob faction.
The idea that a candidate for the presidency could win the popular vote and yet fail to be seated in the Oval Office sends the democratic ideologues into paroxysms of intersectional activism, during which they say and write insane things. “Standard civics-class accounts of the Electoral College rarely mention the real demon dooming direct national election in 1787 and 1803: slavery,” writes Akhil Reed Amar, a Columbia law professor, in Time.
Of course, a standard civics text ought to inform students that the United States is not a democracy at all.
Still, you see where this is going: Any argument in favor of the Constitution’s provision for an Electoral College or in opposition to a national popular vote is evidence of the r-word and maybe even a sign that you privately use the n-word. (The SPLC will affirm your ties to white supremacy in short order.) And why not? The Electoral College gave us Donald Trump and prevented Al Gore from traveling to Davos in a solar-powered Air Force One.
Yet too much emphasis on current efforts to circumvent the Framers’ designs, or the Ratifiers’ intentions, or on the thoughts of Publius or of Cato, might obscure a fact hidden in plain sight, to which the “Russia investigation” has called our attention: No one really believes any of this high-blown nonsense. Those who claim that they do believe are either naive or lying.
The high drama of the leaks and the firings and the tangential indictments and the tweets and the retweets has diverted our attention from the actual allegations. The Russians are not said to have altered any chads, or to have hacked voting-machines, or to have otherwise altered the data collected and tabulated via electronic wizardry for the certification of the winner of the 2016 presidential election.
And indeed, an allegation of that sort of interference wasn’t likely to be made by Establishment media, politicians, and Swamp creatures anyway, since the Preferred Candidate won the popular vote.
No, the Russians are said to have interfered with “our democracy” merely by influencing the way in which people think. In other words, by duping dumb people with fake news.
Thus, the elites who scream and cry about the absolute and vital necessity of every single human in the United States being given “a voice” think, at the same time, that a vast majority of those humans are too stupid to make a proper judgment about a Facebook post or a tweet.
And maybe they are. But that is not the point. The point is that the true democrats want both a popular vote and an electorate so ignorant of every aspect of American governance that it can be easily steered by meme and tweet to stay within the navigational buoys, left and right, that the Establishment media have set out.
No one seeking to hold onto power—especially the Russia Obsessed—cares a fig about the political opinions of the residents of Crack Row, or the “people of Walmart,” or the Marching Millennials who don’t know who their own senators are. The “voice” of the people matters to the Establishment only insofar as the Establishment maintains its exclusive claim on the right to form, shape, and direct that voice. And the people must remain ignorant for all of this to work.
Ultimately, then, anyone who interferes with the Establishment media’s narrative and the curated facts that support it is not only a racist but a Russia colluder, a true “enemy of the people.” What’s at stake is not “our democracy”—which doesn’t actually exist—but the Establishment’s power, which lives and thrives in darkness.