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Are Too Many People Allowed to Vote?
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Recently while working on a paper concerning the English political journalist Walter Bagehot and his 1867 classic The English Constitution, I was struck by Bagehot’s heated objections to the Reform Act of 1867. An act introduced by the Tory government of Benjamin Disraeli and reluctantly supported by most Liberal MPs, it doubled the franchise in England and Wales from one to two million. In the boroughs it extended the vote to small property-holder and lodgers who paid at least 10 pounds per annum; in the rural counties it gave the vote for the first time to day laborers with exceedingly small property holdings. Although full manhood suffrage would not be reached in England until the 1890s, the Reform Act of 1867 brought about the equivalent in opening up the franchise, as Bagehot put it, “not only to skilled but also to unskilled labor.” The author attacked this in the preface to the second edition of his work in 1873 as a leap into the dark. What kept the English constitution, with its system of ordered liberty, operating, he argued was the presence of a “deferential community.” The middle class understood the need for “political excellence” even if they didn’t often embody it; and while they thrilled to the “theatrical show” of the monarchy, they were emotionally stable and had an investment in the existing society.

Bagehot’s argument runs through the writings and speeches of nineteenth-century European liberals (mind you, liberals, and not only the counterrevolutionary Right). For these defenders of the historic middle class and of a lawful society, it seemed reckless, as I stress in my book After Liberalism, to extend the vote to those who would subvert the existing constitutional order and abolish inherited liberties. Traditional liberals in the nineteenth century typically favored the distinction that was introduced during the first (and liberal) phase of the French Revolution between active and passive citizens. Although all citizens should enjoy certain basic liberties regarding the free exercise of religion and the rights to express political opinions, hold property and assemble for peaceful purposes, not every citizen, it was reasonably assumed, should be allowed to vote. Only those who paid taxes in a certain amount and who were people of substance should be declared censitaires, that is, eligible for the franchise. Others would have to wait until they reached a certain level of wealth and presumably sobriety before they could enjoy the same right. A similar practice was introduced under the liberal July Monarchy in the 1830s, which limited active citizenship to men of means, or what the premier Francois Guizot called the classe capacitaire, leaders of French society who had a stake in preserving it.

I certainly wouldn’t argue that in our peculiar historical situation we should limit the franchise to people of material substance (perhaps typified by the Clintons, Sheldon Adelson, NFL players and Beyoncé) because these are the only people who would exercise the vote discreetly. Rather I would contend that there is enormous value in restricting the suffrage to those who are law-abiding, accept constitutional restraints on the actions of government, and do not view the majority of the citizenry as a hostile, oppressive force that needs to be disempowered. Allowing a hostile, generally ignorant majority or even a significant minority that meets this description to acquire the franchise is to play with fire. Such indulgence is not an exercise in “justice,” with all due respect to the American civil rights lobby and our celebrants of the Voting Rights Act and its periodic extensions supported by both national parties. Classical conservative and classical liberal notions of justice centered on safeguarding the integrity of the family and protecting property and private association, not rolling the dice in the name of creating the widest possible franchise, no matter where it may lead.

Last week I disputed the charge that the white South African government was being unjust or immoral by not turning the country over to a black majority. Contrary to this view, I argued that the Afrikaners were working to preserve a highly civilized, materially productive society, with an irreproachably honorable judiciary, from being overwhelmed by African tribal societies and their black-nationalist and Marxist-Leninist advisors. I have no idea how the agreement that F. W.de Klerk struck with the representatives of the ANC in 1993 to give his country a black majority government had anything to do with justice. It was a regrettable betrayal of de Klerk’s people that had been forced on him by among others American politicians and the American media. Incidentally, remaining apartheid laws had been repealed before this deal was struck, and the later surrender of de Klerk’s government to the ANC was not necessary to remove laws barring blacks and the Colored from what had been previously all-white facilities and areas of settlement.

Let me mention those incisive tracts that Carl Schmitt wrote in the early 1930s, before Hitler’s ascent to power, in which the renowned jurist asked the question whether a constitutional government should be expected to capitulate if the Nazis or the Communists won a majority of the votes in Germany. Schmitt maintained that no sane constitutional order would will its own destruction by bringing its adversaries to power. But we may no longer be dealing with sane opinion-molders. The same people who would say “never” if they imagined the Right would come to power via a majority vote had no problems with surrendering South African whites to the tender mercies of the Xhosas. There seems nothing implausible about the theme of Michel Houllebecq’s latest novel Soumission. Here we areshown leftist and centrist parties in France making an alliance with Muslim fanatics in order to keep the conservative National Front from forming a government. The cultural Left hates white, Christian bourgeois nations far more than their Third World enemies. Majorities only count for the Left if they can be used to weaken what they hate or to empower those who are the enemies of their enemies.

ORDER IT NOW

This brings me to the spirited response of William F. Buckley to the efforts of civil rights activists to mobilize the black vote in the South in the 1950s. One may be bowled over in reading these passages in a fortnightly that now dutifully advances the state cult of Martin Luther King and worships Lincoln the Great Emancipator. Indeed in a recent commentary, National Review ‘s editor not only celebrates the voting-rights activists at Selma but gives the impression that there was a total suppression of the black vote in the South before the Civil Rights Act of 1965.

Not only did a Southern black vote exist before then but in states like Texas massive gerrymandering was already occurring a hundred years ago to minimize the effects of black-voting. (Curiously, one can find evidence for these data on civil rights advocacy sites.) Although blacks in the Deep South were kept from the polls, particularly in areas in which they were the majority, what is suggested by Rich Lowry, that blacks were not allowed to vote anywhere in the South before the Civil Rights Act, is false. One can note the intimidation of black voters and the efforts to depress black turnout at the polls, without going over the top and denying that there was in fact a growing black vote in Southern cities, and this became particularly the case by the 1960s even before the VRA was passed. Least of all do I understand the by now ritualistic rejoicing from Republican publicists like Lowry that so many blacks are now voting. Are they stupid enough to revel in the results?

Perhaps the statement of Buckley’s made in 1957 should be quoted in full to convey some sense of how far his magazine has wandered in the direction of the PC Left:

The central question that emerges – and it is not a parliamentary question or a question that is answered by merely consulting a catalog of the rights of American citizens, born Equal – is whether the White community in the South is entitled to take such measures as are necessary to prevail, politically and culturally, in areas in which it does not predominate numerically? The sobering answer is Yes – the White community is so entitled because, for the time being, it is the advanced race.

My response to this statement is that it is entirely correct in principle but that the author may have chosen a difficult case on which to base his argument for a restricted suffrage. I too would have opposed the reach of the Voting Rights Act and if I had known where it would lead, I would have resisted even more strongly the extension of the vote to women. My reasons would not have been a commitment to a more advanced race or to a more advanced gender but my concern with maintaining a stable regime that protects life and property and does not engage in “family planning” and social engineering.

The Voting Rights Act and women suffrage, in my view, pushed us exactly in the opposite direction by creating or vastly expanding what became a radically egalitarian constituency. But my objection to permitting certain groups to enjoy the franchise has never been categorical. I would prefer granting the vote to particular blacks and particular women more than to just about any male academic or Goldman-Sachs employee. It would pain me if the franchise were set up in such a way that some of the white male dummies I tried unsuccessfully to teach would be able to exercise it but not, say, Phyllis Schlafly or Walter Williams.

But looking at the aggregate effect of black and female voting, anyone who believes in a constitutionally limited government that allows private associations and permits employers to hire and fire whom they want without state interference should rue our present franchise. The disproportionate corruptness of black elected officials and the race mongering of black political activists should make our conservative establishment wonder (given this group’s pandering to the MSM, I doubt this will ever happen) whether mobilizing the black vote in the way the government did was really a good thing. Personally I think this voting-expansion is an ongoing disaster, and the fact that black voter fraud is no longer even exposed by the putative conservative opposition, except by such principled reactionaries as Jeff Sessions, makes the matter even worse. What we see is by no means a “just” outcome but, given the distaff vote being thrown in for good measure, a problem that threatens our once relatively free constitutional republic.

By the way, although I couldn’t think of a more exhaustive treatment of the subject of justice in a social or political sense than Aristotle’s Politics, nowhere in this magisterial text does Aristotle indicate that it is “unjust” to exclude women from the franchise or that everyone living in a Greek city state should be permitted to vote. That voting is claimed as a “human right” proves nothing: “human rights” are invented every mini-second by our educators and media. But then perhaps we shouldn’t include Aristotle as a member of our progressively enlightened civilization. Certainly this sexist, parochial ancient Greek didn’t belong to the “West,” as presently defined by our “Western” media.

 
• Category: History, Ideology • Tags: Civil Rights, Democracy 
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  1. Jefferson says:

    Watter’s World shows just how extremely uninformed most American voters are. A high percentage of Hussein Obama’s Millennial voter base can not even name the current vice president of The United States.

    • Replies: @Maj. Kong
  2. 22pp22 says:

    The vote has been extended to 16-year-olds in Scotland. It was Wee Alex’s way of boosting the independence vote. Ethnic Scots living in the rest of the UK and Scottish soldiers serving in the British army could not vote. These “reforms” look set to be adopted nationwide.

  3. Anyone who can’t use a slide rule is a cultural illiterate,
    and should not be allowed to vote.–Robert A. Heinlein

    • Replies: @Kevin O'Keeffe
  4. rod1963 says:

    Voter ID and basic testing of civic information would eradicate most voter problems. First off voter ID gets rid of the Democratic scammers; secondly basic testing of civic facts would scare off the stupid, lazy, drunks, drug addicts, college students, most blacks and Mexicans.

    This would reduce the Democratic party to that of a rump party basically consisting of some urban intelligentsia and coastal liberals. Not enough to elect a dog catcher.

    • Replies: @RW
  5. Maj. Kong says:
    @Jefferson

    Most of the Fox News audience arguably shouldn’t be voting either. O’Reilly and the odious Hannity cannot be considered intellectually legitimate. The Birther mentality is an excellent distraction from the real Obama, and an easy way to smear the right as eeevil racists.

  6. abj_slant says:

    Lol…well, at least if we were more ‘discriminating’ in who is allowed to vote, we wouldn’t have to expend so much energy in gerrymandering.

    • Replies: @Maj. Kong
  7. SFG says:

    You’ve got to admit, this does sound an awful lot like ‘only people I agree with should be allowed to vote’, which is hard to defend.

    Also, women weren’t particularly liberal until the rise of the feminist movement. You have no clue how these things are going to turn out 100 years down the line.

    If you’re going to restrict the franchise, how about making people pass a citizenship test? (And voter ID, of course, as suggested above.) Branches of government, how a bill becomes law, etc. Multiple choice, of course, given the huge size of our nation. Seems fair to me. We already bar felons in many states, after all.

    • Replies: @Stan D Mute
  8. Rich says:

    Excellent article which shows the value of Unz and its diversity of opinions. Obviously Gottfried’s point of view would be shunned and silenced in “polite” society, but being able to read that which was a fairly common sentiment not too long ago, is a great pleasure.

  9. TheJester says:

    In the 1960s, my wife and I canvased for a Democratic candidate for Congress in Lawrence, KS. We walked the neighborhoods armed with a list of registered Democrats and their addresses. To our shock, we ran across a significant number of false addresses (and perhaps false identities) … non-existent houses in alleyways, stand-alone garages masquerading as houses on the voter list. Were these false addresses and identities used to stuff the ballot boxes? I have no proof, but it is hard not to conclude that voter fraud was alive and well in Lawrence, KS, in the 1960s. I have been very cynical of the democratic process ever since.

  10. TomB says:

    I don’t dispute that there are problems with the Voting Rights Act, nor that we have a lot more voting fraud than is officially acknowledged. But there are so many things wrong with this otherwise it’s hard to know where to start.

    For instance, Mr. Sailer writes:

    I would contend that there is enormous value in restricting the suffrage to those who are law-abiding, accept constitutional restraints on the actions of government, and do not view the majority of the citizenry as a hostile, oppressive force that needs to be disempowered. Allowing a hostile, generally ignorant majority or even a significant minority that meets this description to acquire the franchise is to play with fire.

    If you really want to talk about playing with fire then talk about disenfranchising people. If, for instance, there should be no taxation without representation, and the original tea-party people were in the right heaving those barrels over the gunwales, why should they obey any *other* laws then? Including heaving the enfranchised over some gunwales?

    It’s all fine and dandy to talk about … Bagehot’s distinctions, or this or that other one, but it’s a well-known game/trap to pretend that there’s no distinctions between relevancies. So that, for instance, the (indeed merely alleged) relevance of there being a distinction between “active” and “passive” citizens is equally important as their being distinctions between legitimate and illegitimate governments. (When, that is, gov’t is supposed to be of the people, by the people and for the people.)

    I say governmental legitimacy is a more important factor by far than the fact that some voters hold real property and some don’t, or some agree with the idea of “family planning” and some don’t or etc., etc. And I think that legitimacy is more important both on a moral/ethical/fairness plane *and* on a pragmatic plane: Again, go ahead and disenfranchise a whole bunch of people: See them discover the veto power of the gun and the Molotov and the riot.

    It also ought to make people shiver to consider Mr. Sailer’s (no doubt just provocatively made) thoughts about what qualifications there should be to vote on the order of limiting same to those who … “do not view the majority of the citizenry as a hostile, oppressive force.” Because let the Left get into power for just one minute and I can guarantee you a literal tsunami of disqualifying beliefs and attitudes they would come up with, and ever-more add to, all which would sound just oh-so-high-minded. E.g., “do you believe all men are created equal?, if not please leave the voting booth…”

    There is then in this piece also the simply massive, double-barreled misconception concerning Steve’s “constitutionalism” (where he suggests an embrace of “constitutionally limited government” might also be a good, necessary voting qualifier) that’s unfortunately so common on the Right and that stunts their ability to argue validly further.

    It’s so common because of course whenever the Constitution is mentioned people just immediately think rather exclusively of the federal constitution, and get exercised over how the Courts have allowed the federal government all sorts of powers the Framers never intended.

    Now, that’s fair enough, but only so far as it goes, and that is limited.

    In the first place while we have seen that expansion somehow in this discussion the Right forgets about all the *mountain* of governmental limitation that we’ve also seen the constitution imposing, no doubt to some degree because when it comes to much of that—what might be called “where the Right’s ox gets gored—the Right get positively apoplectic. E.g., all the cases limiting the government when it comes to due process and equal protection and criminal law prosecutions and etc. And let’s face it, when it comes to what power of government is most acutely to be concerned with it is indeed the government’s power to prosecute you and put you away from something criminal.

    So there’s more than just a dab of hypocrisy and blindness there.

    But, secondly, all too often (if not damn near invariably) when those on the Right talk so fondly and nostalgically about “constitutionally limited government” they are quite obviously meaning to invoke our sense of the federal government as it was originally established. And that’s fine as indeed as the federal Constitution was originally written and followed the reach of federal government thereunder was indeed seen as very limited.

    But.

    It was most definitely *not* the understanding or belief of the Framers even that *all* government be so limited. Indeed it might be said that *all* they were about was cabining the federal government while seeing the states as being nearly absolutely *un*limited in powers. (Or, to put it more technically, while trying to forbid the federal government any “police powers,” seeing almost no restrictions on the states to exercise same.)

    So that, for instance, to hearken so absolutely back to the Framer’s the reality is they are being misused because what they accomplished did no violence whatsoever to the idea that indeed the states could … establish their own religions, ban guns, prosecute absent probable cause or due process or etc., etc., etc.

    So just because the States largely and eventually did sign on to restricting themselves from the exercise of many if not most of those powers via either their own constitutions or their own regular legislation doesn’t mean that if one or many had not—and indeed many did not for some time—that this would have been considered a delegitimizing thing. Something that damned them because they didn’t constitutionally limit themselves hugely.

    It is just simply an obvious blindness to say that our historical understanding of a proper, valid constitutional government means a government of extremely constricted powers. Yes it meant that vis a vis the *federal* government, but not our states at all. And no not *other* foreign countries’ governments either. It all depended just simply if a government *had* a constitution and adhered to it. But that constitution might give very few individual rights indeed.

    (And this is why if one *truly* believes in limited government—instead of just Rush Limbaughing some attempted meme—lots of what the federal Supreme Court *has* done ought to be applauded, especially imposing most of the federal Bill of Rights on the states.)

    Lastly then I think Mr. Sailer’s fundamental perspective here is wrong—and indeed might be thought to be if not an “unconstitutional” one—then at least one at direct odds with the animating perspective of our Founders.

    That is, in its perception that *the* great important divide and distinction we ought to make is between us citizens. With the idea that the greatest benefit would flow by distinguishing some from the others. Some, for instance, thought okay to vote and others not to.

    The theory of the Framers however, which I believe is not just still valid but whose validity has been proven around the globe in the centuries since, is that *the* great divide and distinction is between the people and the politicians. And that recognizing and erasing that to as great a degree as possible is where the real, enduring and great benefits lie.

    Instead, however, with what I at least regard as a great mistake, we have allowed the idea of “career” politicians, allowed a political “class” to come into existence and maintain itself as a highly discrete entity, and, among other things, have otherwise have just almost totally lost the idea that they are only supposed to be our mere “representatives” and not our “leaders” in any way, shape or form.

    Or, put it more generally, we have moved just simply light years away from what one of the Framers said was the entire animating principle behind what they did which was to assume that us people wanted to govern *ourselves.*

    And so I think Mr. Sailer has fallen into the very mistake that our political class just loves. Nay, that it positively *thrives* on which is to see divisions between us where there are none, or to see them as much greater than they are, and to fight amongst ourselves instead of keeping a stern eye on *them.*

    When, for instance, in all the innumerable areas of “reform” our politicians have launched themselves on did anyone last see any really big, serious, criminal-law enforced reform of *their* sandbox? Hell, it was only just a few years ago now, and only by happenstance, that they were forbidden from partaking of the most gross insider stock trading imaginable.

    Or even, one might argue, the Civil War. With my suspicion being that but for the politicians indeed the South may have seceeded, but that beyond that either some pacific arrangement would have been worked out or, more likely as the economics of slavery worked against same, a gradual rejoining of the South to the North. All without those millions dead and wounded. And all without the century + of Reconstruction and Jim Crow and the North-South hatreds and divides that one can still sense to some degree.

    If you really want to keep your eye on the democratic ball then this perspective of Mr Sailer’s has to be put in perspective. That we really don’t *know* what really divides us, or by how much, and cannot so long as we abjure governing ourselves and give into to being “led” by others.

  11. TomB says:

    Not that I see it as being anything particularly egregious (as indeed I found it to be very stimulating and interesting) but I owe an apology to Mr. Sailer if he desires one for mistaking the piece my previous comment was directed at as coming from Mr. Sailer instead of the great Professor Gottfried.

  12. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Great article, if only the right people were allowed to vote we’d have a good and patriotic president like McCain in the white house.

  13. What a great article. Let me just add that I love women, but this country would certainly be a much better home for them, if their sex had not been granted the franchise. That was one of the signature errors of Western democracy (or “demockrazy,” if one prefers).

  14. @rustbeltreader

    “Anyone who can’t use a slide rule is a cultural illiterate,
    and should not be allowed to vote.–Robert A. Heinlein”

    This statement probably contains a distinct element of truth, but in fairness, the only time I ever found myself in the sublime presence of a slide rule, was the one we kept in the back of Mr. Donahue’s 7th grade math class (intended as a sort of cultural curiosity), back in the academic year of 1982-’83. They simply aren’t part of the life experience of more-or-less anyone born after 1965 or so, irrespective of one’s intellectual gifts. I do recall Mr. Donahue being somewhat adamant about the fact that they “used to be quite important,” or words to that effect.

    • Replies: @rustbeltreader
  15. unit472 says:

    The movement to allow ex-cons to vote shows just how far the left and black racists are willing to go to find new voters. We elect our sheriffs, county prosecutors, judges and state Attorney Generals. That there are people who see no problem with allowing convicted felons voting for the officials charged with arresting, prosecuting and sentencing them or the legislators who write the criminal laws shows what a travesty our system has become.

    I live in Florida, which is pretty good at restricting the criminal vote, but even here the county registrar has no way to check to see if a person living in Florida has a criminal record in Ohio or New York. I would like to see a national system ( attention Congress) where county election officials could access the same NCIC data base the local police use to check the criminal record of every person registering to vote.
    Those convicted of felonies are barred unless they have made restitution and or been pardoned. Those casting ballots who have unpaid court imposed fines, unpaid taxes or delinquent child support payments have their ballots tossed out too.

  16. Carl says:
    @TomB

    Whose article were you reading?

  17. Maj. Kong says:
    @TomB

    I think you don’t seem to understand that universal suffrage is a historical anomaly, since 1965. Gottfried (not Sailer) emphasizes that in the past, if you didn’t own property, you did not have the franchise. We do not expect those who are not shareholders in a corporation, to presume to pick the board and management. When one receives benefits from the government, either through welfare or a government job, the government arguably owns “shares” of that person. Allowing them to vote is a clear conflict of interests.

    A just society would correctly presume that an Islamist, for instance, has no place in it. In our society, we allow those opposed to its very existence to vote and even hold office. It is as perverse as a Catholic King appointing Anglican bishops that are not Anglican.

    • Replies: @TomB
  18. Maj. Kong says:
    @abj_slant

    Gerrymandering is a sliver of the problem. Malapportionment by the “rotten boroughs” effect is far worse.

    http://www.vdare.com/posts/rotten-boroughs-are-back

    California’s Hispanics are exercising more than twice their actual power, via districts being counted by residents rather than citizens.

    Without this effect, Luis Gutierrez would not be in Congress.

    Thanks a lot, Posner.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  19. Mike P says:
    @TomB

    Steve Sailer didn’t write this.

  20. Wonderful article, Paul. Thanks.

  21. @TomB

    Oopsie! Read it again, TomB.
    😉

  22. abj_slant says:
    @TomB

    That was a good read. Thank you!

  23. You cannot legally disenfranchise people but you can accomplish the same end legally. Turnout suppression was common in Chicago under the senior Daley. Ploys include holding the election in the worst weather possible (Feb), putting polling places in inconvenient locations, reduced hours for voting and using incompetence to ensure a slow moving line for would-be voters. People would stick their heads in the door, see the line, and then go home.

    If you want to reduce black voting, just put a cop in the front of every polling station where blacks vote. Better yet, check the voting rolls for anybody with an outstanding warrant, no matter how minor (for example, bouncing checks). Blacks will then avoid voting like the plague.

  24. syonredux says:

    One may be bowled over in reading these passages in a fortnightly that now dutifully advances the state cult of Martin Luther King and worships Lincoln the Great Emancipator.

    Useful to note that Lincoln did not favor immediate universal suffrage for Black men:

    The amount of constituency, so to speak, on which the new Louisiana government rests, would be more satisfactory to all, if it contained fifty, thirty, or even twenty thousand, instead of only about twelve thousand, as it does. It is also unsatisfactory to some that the elective franchise is not given to the colored man. I would myself prefer that it were now conferred on the very intelligent, and on those who serve our cause as soldiers.

    It’s also useful to compare the standard of leadership that America enjoyed during the period 1788-1828 (the period before universal White male suffrage) to what came after the rise of Jacksonian democracy in the 1830s……

    • Replies: @Maj. Kong
  25. Lovernios says:
    @TomB

    Mr. Sailer did not write this. No vote for you.

  26. Maj. Kong says:
    @syonredux

    Don’t be too hard on old Hickory, he was the last President to pay down the debt and abolish a central bank.

  27. @Kevin O'Keeffe

    Exhibit B: “I tell you, the slide rule is the greatest invention since girls.” Since girls!

    Case closed.

    http://io9.com/12-futuristic-worlds-where-everybody-uses-obsolete-te-1646690502

  28. RW says:
    @rod1963

    That’s right Rod, testing of civic information would be a great way to avoid the problem. If everyone were to get one vote, then people who passed the civic information test two votes, and people who did very well three votes, then we might have an even better system than in the past.

    The article brings to mind a conversation I had with a Thai woman in Bangkok who before leaving for a protest explained to me: “Democracy is rule of the stupid people!”

    • Replies: @Realist
  29. TomB says:
    @Maj. Kong

    That historical reality you raised is a good point but wouldn’t you admit that in the early days of modern democratic movement in the West (e.g., just allowing nobles to vote in the monarchies) wasn’t really about any attempt to legitimize the monarchy but something else, and don’t you think that as opposed to those other sorts of reasons it has indeed been a rise in the perceived importance of legitimacy that has been behind much of the modern extension of the franchise?

    If not, then what has?

    And if so, then and as regards your suggestion that people who have been on the receiving end of governmental benefits or holds a government job might be considered disqualified, while that makes some sense I don’t know how one could, with any even merely fair degree of reason and consistency, discriminate between types of benefits.

    For instance, what about, say, those getting patent rights from the government? Or those receiving interest on government bonds? Or those enjoying broadcasting licenses? And on and on.

    And what’s the basis for the distinction between economic benefits and non-economic ones?

    And then there’s the question of the relevance of the distinction between tangible and intangible benefits. After all, it might sensibly be observed, enjoying the governmental benefit of police protection is what allows one to hang *onto* that which allows one to stay off of tangible, economic governmental benefits, right?

    It’s not then that I think your conflict of interest point doesn’t have merit and might reasonably be considered valid enough to over-ride the legitimacy interest, but I wonder about how it could be accepted given the difficulty of finding any reasonable application of it.

  30. extend the vote to those who would subvert the existing constitutional order and abolish inherited liberties

    The people who have done the most to subvert the old constitutional order and abolish inherited liberties have not been the working class, or the lower classes, or the poor, but the “New Class” of government technocrats, businessmen, and capitalists. Marxism always was much more popular at Cambridge and Oxford than in Britain’s factories and coal mines. Marx and his followers were wrong about where their support would come from, and the opponents of Marx were equally wrong in accepting the Marxist view of the world at face value.

  31. Realist says:

    “Are Too Many People Allowed to Vote?”
    Yes way, way too many.
    Democracy is a form of government in which stupidity has no level for disqualification.

  32. Realist says:
    @Anonymous

    That is so stupid….you have got to be kidding.

  33. Realist says:
    @RW

    “The article brings to mind a conversation I had with a Thai woman in Bangkok who before leaving for a protest explained to me: “Democracy is rule of the stupid people!””
    She has more wisdom that most Americans.

    • Replies: @Thomas O. Meehan
  34. Although there are too many comments for me to respond to, there are a few that caught my eye as particularly in need of a rejoinder. I’ve no idea why anyone would believe that the female vote in Western countries is going to swing back to the right. When women first received the vote, they were still integrated into traditional families and under the influence of traditional communal and religious authorities. Those countervailing forces hardly exist any more, and partly because extending the franchise to women had the effect of politicizing women and making them sensitive to what became “women’s issues.” Moreover, I’m not comforted by the supposition that a constantly expanding franchise provides moral legitimacy to the state. I’d be delighted to strip this uncontrolled administrative apparatus of some of its moral authority. It might help restore individual and communal freedoms.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  35. I would contend that there is enormous value in restricting the suffrage to those who are law-abiding, accept constitutional restraints on the actions of government, and do not view the majority of the citizenry as a hostile, oppressive force that needs to be disempowered.

    I accept that contention. The problem is that there is no easy way, perhaps no way at all, to restrict the suffrage of those who do not accept constitutional restraints on the actions of government and who view the majority of the citizenry as a hostile, oppressive force that needs to be disempowered. You certainly can’t do it via any sort of poll tax, as the worst offenders in the respects described above tend to be members of the upper class or even the extremely wealthy. If somehow offered the choice between being able to disempower America’s welfare class or its billionaire class, the cause of limited government would be best served by taking it from the billionaires.

  36. Fake Name says:

    Without a biblical model of an orderly society to draw upon, the West will haggle over this forever. The biblical model sees God above all, delegating his power to civil and ecclesiastical authorities, and below that, to the home. The home is the core unit of societal organization. Under the older, Christian model, the franchise was extended to basically each household, that being idealized as the male head of household. He represented his family in voting. In this way, the only people who voted — at every level both high and low — did so as representatives of something larger than themselves.

    The current trend toward universal voting springs from a worldview in which the basic unit of organization is the individual, not the home. The problem with this view, of course, is that the franchise gets extended to multitudes of idiots who bear no responsibility to represent anyone other than themselves. It should be no surprise, then, to find the voting public preoccupied with self interests rising no higher than EBT cards, Obama-phones, or other freebies from a Congress of self-absorbed pols elected to represent a constituency of self-absorbed idiots. Gone from our politics, perhaps forever, is the basic concept of responsibility for others, because nobody votes as a representative of anyone else. It’s all about me, myself, and I.

  37. I estimate the number of people voting illegally in the USA to be over one million, maybe millions, mostly legal green card holders. This must be widely known by the powers that be, hence their relentless effort to ban voter ID. I can’t buy a beer without an ID or withdraw money from my bank, so why is it such a burden to produce one to prevent vote fraud? Surveys show that many foreigners with legal resident status think they have the right to vote and most think they should. So how many vote because no one checks? The billionaires prefer these “voters” because they are less educated and easily fooled by the media BS they produce.

    Fools like Jon Stewart mock those who advocate voter ID by claiming the number of convictions is tiny. Of course, if no one checks IDs it is nearly impossible to catch someone! Then our media establishment scours the nation to find some elder person who for some reason has no ID and therefore could not vote as an example. Every true democracy has a voter ID method, except the USA, even though the vast majority of voters think its a good idea, even if to prevent multiple voting by citizens. There is no better example of this nation’s corrupt “democracy” than the fact those in charge refuse to establish a verifiable voting system. Even former President Jimmy Carter declared that our voting system fails international standards for fair verifiable elections.

  38. There are two approaches this this: better voter restrictions or better candidates. I think the later is a more viable option.

  39. Wally says: • Website

    You paid no income tax? You do not get to vote.

    That would help prevent the situation of voting for a free ride at taxpayers expense.

  40. TomB says:

    In remarking upon the remarkable limits on the franchise historically Maj. Kong raises an interesting point: To wit, that as much as we view the right as sort of sacred now for the longest period that wasn’t so, nor much complained of even.

    In addition to that futile feeling that casting one’s one single solitary vote can summon then my suspicion is that people wouldn’t mind being deprived of the franchise all that much so long as whoever did the governing just delivered some reasonably consistent good results. Economically certainly, but also of course otherwise, in terms of not getting one’s country into needless war(s), in terms of otherwise smart social legislation and etc., etc.

    That’s all I suspect: Just some *reasonably* consistent good and not even great results and most would be happy not to have the vote.

    After all, for all the sense of smartness one can feel democracy is evincing when you are walking up to the polling station via soliciting and about to be counting your vote, there’s the easily equal if not greater sense of what idiocy it all is knowing of its equally enthusiastic solicitation and counting of the votes of that idiot who lives next door to you and/or who works in the adjacent cubicle and/or…

    Provokes an interesting thought experiment: If indeed you had a choice to continue to live under our democratic system, or to live under an utterly non-democratic system that could somehow guarantee to deliver some reasonably consistent, reasonable and decent-but-not great results, which would you choose?

    I know one thing about monarchies: At least those monarchs and their dynasties had some real skin in the game as opposed to our politicians for whom all logic leads to the idea that the smartest mode of conduct is to screw the living hell out of the future after you are out of power for the sake of staying in power for just a little longer.

  41. The franchise will not contract, it will expand. It is no longer permissible to argue that any group should be legally barred from doing anything another group can do. We are all the same, as you know. In the future, not only felons, but kids and illegal immigrants will vote. They may draw the line at pets, but I have my doubts.

  42. The ever wider granting of the franchise took a while. It is hard to see how it can be withdrawn, even piecemeal. Of course, far too many people vote.

    The over extension of the franchise was due to the accumulating effects of the spirit of the age. A great treatise could be written on this. Suffice it to say that the spirit of egalitarianism provided a momentum that once begun, could not be stopped. Those who remember when they didn’t have the vote are in a poor position to deny it to others.

    I think a culprit in this slide into mass democracy is the simple tendency for people who live in large complex societies to forget that such societies are mortal. One might say that most of us are not citizens so much as inhabitants of our country. We seem to be obsessed with the issue of fairness to the exclusion of any need for national function. Indeed, the idea of the nation as a functioning system that must prosper in an unfair world hardly exists now. We undertake wars we cannot pay for in order to extend Democracy to people who don’t know what it means. We expand our welfare system without taking account of its bankruptcy.

    The founders wanted a natural aristocracy to man the government. They wanted this because they lived in a compact and simple enough society to see that yeomen farmers and laborers had little practical experience of the wider world. They could not be expected to vote for the common good since they had not the information to do so. The founders reasoned that successful wealthy stakeholders would have more information while understanding their fate was tied to the common wheel.

    Today voters are not even expected to vote for the common good. They are understood to vote for their own narrow interests. These have nothing to do with the orderly, efficient management of the nations. Democracy in America consists of professional politicians conning ignorant or venal voters into voting for them in the deluded belief that they are helping themselves. Of course they only serve to promote the agendas of the politicians.

    American’s belief in Democracy approaches their former belief in God. The extension of mass Democracy is seem as the cure for all ills. Showing that Democracy causes said ills is the great taboo. If we didn’t have mass Democracy to believe in, we would be forced to see how little we have in common. The impulse to constrain popular tyranny can only exist in a society with a strong culture that deeply values particularity and tradition. That is no longer us.

    I don’t think there is a conservative cure of this. As we enter the age of oligarchs like Soros, Adelson, Zuckerburg and Gates we will see a reprise of the Late Roman Republic. Democratic politics will become a meaningless plaything of the big men and their factions until the whole edifice falls down and a authoritarian new order takes its place.

  43. I can’t resist responding to another blogger who believes that universal franchise is the only source of legitimacy for a government. Max Weber offers three different sources of legitimacy, none of which depends on everyone and his cousin voting in electoral shows organized by two sclerotic parties drowning in corporate donations and government funding. In traditional societies the power of the executive arises from the trust of communities and the hierarchical authorities that inhere in human associations. The sovereign depends for his power on religious consecration, heredity, and the affirmation of the traditional rights and liberties attached to society. Modern welfare state democracies, even more than Communist regimes, seem dedicated to social reconstruction and to the liberation of women and children from the remnants of a patriarchal or restrictively heterosexual society. I am equally bemused by the same blogger’s attempt to treat all functions of government as being of the same kind. If the state colonizes our families, takes over the supervision of children from parents and redistributes our earnings to bureaucrats and the leaders of the victim lobbies, we apparently have no right to complain. Isn’t the state also paying for the police and protecting whatever property it leaves us? In reality the state has always performed some functions, like protecting our lives, and others it has assumed to appeal to an inflated and grasping electorate and to engage in massive social engineering. By saying “yes” to the state as a protector of life and property, one does not have to endorse the larger, totalitarian agenda.
    .

    • Replies: @TomB
  44. @Anonymous

    If we could have limited the vote not just based on being a good citizen, but also having at least a 100 IQ, then that would have prevented a lot of brain-dead South Carolina evangelicals from voting for McCain in the Republican primary.

  45. Neutral says:

    From my perspective it does not really matter who or how many vote, the modern Western political system has evolved to a form where votes are only there to indicate legitimacy. The fact that the wishes of the voting public are completely ignored somehow seems to escape most voters.

  46. TomB says:
    @paul gottfried

    I’m not sure if Professor Gottfried means me as “another blogger who believes that universal franchise is the only source of legitimacy for a government” as all I was trying to say in my first post is that, right or wrong, that seems to now be regarded as such pretty widely.

    As I said in a later post I myself might well be persuaded to give up the right to vote and accept the legitimacy of another sort of government if it could be guaranteed to produce some reasonably consistent, reasonable, decent and not-even-great results.

    As regards those other sources of legitimacy that the Professor notes however one does have to observe that they are a far cry from what our Founders at least believed in with their embrace of (republican) democracy. So that … to try this or that other source and/or form one would seem to face a very fundamental constitutional problem. Very fundamental indeed.

    And, lastly, it might also be observed vis a vis those other systems based on other foundations of legitimacy, that if they had been all that good one might expect to see them still flourishing. Instead, that is, of what Frank Fukuyama has observed which has been the astonishing embrace of democracy in modern times and the durability of liberal democracy in particular. (At least as compared to other systems.)

  47. Jefferson says:

    “Most of the Fox News audience arguably shouldn’t be voting either. O’Reilly and the odious Hannity cannot be considered intellectually legitimate. The Birther mentality is an excellent distraction from the real Obama, and an easy way to smear the right as eeevil racists.”

    Most of the Fox News audience were smart enough not to vote for Hussein Obama the community organizer, so that automatically makes them more intellectually legitimate than the average American voter who drank the “YES WE CAN” and “HOPE AND CHANGE” Kool-Aid not only once but twice.

    • Replies: @Maj. Kong
  48. Maj. Kong says:
    @Jefferson

    That’s the same FNC audience that considers:
    Ben Carson (a professed moderate) to be its “Magic Negro Conservative”
    Herman Cain, above
    Colin Powell, “oops”,

    The same audience that backed Bush, McCain and Romney. (I do think Romney would have been a good administrator)

    The average Fox viewer may be on the correct side of many debates, but they get there in a haphazard-to-wrong fashion, that leaves them open to easy caricature. Not to mention that Fox is essentially sold by having hot women as its broadcasters.

  49. @Maj. Kong

    …exercising more than twice their actual power, via districts being counted by residents rather than citizens.

    Shades of the three-fifths rule. Vote inflation– or, rather, seat inflation– is nothing new.

  50. @paul gottfried

    @SFG/

    Also, women weren’t particularly liberal until the rise of the feminist movement.

    Charles Evans Hughes romped in Illinois, thanks to the ladies. Then they went for Harding, Coolidge and Hoover. Actual women voters were a lot less feminist than the insuffragettes. Except for LBJ (Goldwater was not conservative, but reactionary), Jimmy Carter was probably the first Democrat to do better among women than men.

    I’ve also read that women gave the Tories all their victories in the UK in the 20th century.

    Women just don’t like change.

    I’ve no idea why anyone would believe that the female vote in Western countries is going to swing back to the right.

    Pro-(real-)marriage rallies are heavily female, pro-life rallies even more so. Women still haven’t caught up to men in their support for abortion, have they? On some issues, at least, it’s not as hopeless as it looks.

    Single women are lost, but married women are quite persuadable when issues are couched in the safety and (actual) welfare of children.

    California’s drop from the top to the toilet of education rankings ought to get the attention of the other 49 states’ mothers… should anyone bother to point it out to them.

  51. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    I would support denying the vote to people on welfare. It is an inherently rotten idea to give the franchise to people who choose to be parasites on everyone else, and who would love to vote themselves rich at the expense of every working soul. Parasites only survive on a sick body; a healthy body keeps parasites at a minimum. Welfare was intended to be a safety net. Nowadays it’s a lifestyle choice, and working people did not give their consent for the system to make that sort of change. Unelected bureaucrats made that decision.

  52. ganderson says:

    I’m a public school teacher. I often argue that public employees should not be allowed to vote. You can imagine how that goes down among my colleagues! No one on welfare (including Social Security) should be allowed to vote. Bring back property requirements and literacy tests. And just for laughs- repeal the 19th and 26th Amendments.

    • Replies: @Thomas O. Meehan
  53. Old fogey says:

    How delightful to find that there are at least a few people who agree with me and Mr. Gottfried on this subject.

  54. Biff says:

    Too many people voting for a pre-approved pre-selected pre-conditioned pre-washed pre-heated pre-buffed pre-soaked pre-rated pre-vetted corporate approved, conditionally groomed, elitist politician? Say it isn’t so…!

  55. @Realist

    Hideki Tojo was reputed to have exclaimed at his trial, “This is Demo-crazy.” I’m not sure if he ever explained his exact meaning. And then he was hanged.

  56. @ganderson

    I agree with all this, except the social security bit. We old times didn’t have a choice as to whether we were enrolled. Just because one gets Social Security payments doesn’t make one a parasite. Most people have other pension options and or continue to work. At least in theory, we are getting money we paid in. I know, I know that this is no longer true, but we had no hand in the government’s diddling with the system.

    Finally I think you’ll find that the older population tend to vote more conservative than the average. There are professional mooches but on the whole older Americans tend to vote “our way.”

  57. Sam says:

    Prof. Gottfried is entirely right although I think the context in which he first brought this up, Apartheid South Africa meant that readers couldn’t detach the regime’s racism from a more principled discussion about the limits on democracy.

    It is amusing that many right wingers will talk about having a bill of rights and other limits on the state but they can’t comprehend voting rights only being a means to protecting those aforementioned ends and that insofar as they work against liberties we should be critical. Modern day conservatives and libertarians have a clear populist/democratic streak which comes into the open if you bring up limiting voting rights or talking about the legitimacy of certain governments. As an example of the latter I could mention the Allende regime. As a libertarian one shouldn’t feel squeamish about safeguarding constitutional rights yet many libertarians nowadays seem to equate constitutional government with democracy.

    • Replies: @TomB
    , @Reg Cæsar
  58. TomB says:
    @Sam

    wrote:

    As a libertarian one shouldn’t feel squeamish about safeguarding constitutional rights yet many libertarians nowadays seem to equate constitutional government with democracy.

    Well, what are you going to do when your own constitutional rights include a broad franchise?

    I.e., what justifies the placing of the right to live in a democracy as being a lesser right than some other?

    Once again while I think the times have just rendered this a dead issue really (which is not to say an uninteresting one), the perspective that sees an overly broad franchise as being of major concern in our system is not the primary concern that our Founders’s perspective envisioned.

    Instead, that is, of identifying our major troubles as arising from some big divides between us and some of our co-citizens who don’t see things the same way we do, the Founders saw the big worrisome divide as being between us simple citizens and our political class. A political class that, to a simply huge degree, doesn’t just like to use divide and conquer techniques upon us, but indeed depends on the success of same. Thus the creation of imaginary wedges that supposedly divide us, the inflation to the greatest extent possible of those wedges that really do divide us, and etc., and so forth.

    The solution isn’t then the extreme, endless and destructive partisanship that we see today, but a recognition that same is lots created by our political Paladins for their own narrow but spectacular benefit.

    Again, we have forgotten they are supposed to be our mere *representatives* and not our “leaders,” and we are getting exactly what that bargains for.

  59. @Sam

    It is amusing that many right wingers will talk about having a bill of rights and other limits on the state but they can’t comprehend voting rights…

    The traditional Landsgemeinden in rural Swiss cantons had a nice check which could make compromise palatable to all: militiamen had to produce a military-grade weapon in order to vote in the village square. Somebody, contact Sen. Schumer and the Congressional Black Caucus!

    This sort of thing went out when women’s suffrage arrived a generation ago, though I think in a canton-and-a-half or two, the ladies can raise their knitting needles or whatever.

  60. matt says:

    I agree with Prof. Gottfried. Far too many people are allowed to vote. In particular, too many white, male Christians.

    In 2003, a full 78% of white Americans supported the disastrous Iraq War, compared to 63% of non-whites and only 29% of blacks. Men were significantly more likely to support the war, at 78%, compared to 66% of women. (p. 230)

    Over a year later, a majority (56%) of non-Hispanic whites continued to support the war, while a over three quarters of blacks maintained their opposition. (Gallup).

    Our policy of extending the franchise to white Christians has also resulted in a foreign policy that is absurdly biased toward Israel, to the detriment of American national interests. For example, 46% of white evangelical Protestants hold the absurd position that the U.S. government is “not support enough” of Israel, compared to only 19% of black Protestants. (Pew Research Center).

    Our foolish refusal to restrict the franchise to minorities, out of some misguided commitment to majoritarian democratic shibboleths, has resulted in a reckless foreign policy of unnecessary wars and foreign entanglements. It is clear that if we will ever have a chance of obtaining the kind of cautious, conservative foreign policy that Professor Gottfried and I both want, it will come, at a minimum, by revoking the voting privileges of white Christian men.

  61. David says:

    I suggest we count the votes of congressmen from states that are net beneficiaries of federal spending at half value. This would stop Vermont, for example, from shaking down the rest of the Union every time it rains or snows up here.

  62. Max Payne says: • Website

    Voting…whoever believed in that? From Canada to the US the theme has always been the same. Those who want power take it (Harper and their scandalous revelations ousting the last elected party, George W Bush and his fraudulent counting machines).

    Voting is for plebs to make themselves feel good in pretending they have control of the world around them.

  63. Begemot says:

    I think Stalin distills this issue to its essence:

    He who votes decides nothing.
    He who counts the votes decides everything.

  64. @matt

    You should take you suggestion to its next step. Why not banish us? Then, you and the whole rainbow coalition can starve in the dark together.

    • Replies: @matt
  65. matt says:
    @Thomas O. Meehan

    I don’t think that will be necessary. Like Prof. Gottfried, I believe in classical liberal principles. White Christians have the right to live here, own property, and follow their religion. They even have the right to freedom of speech, even including speech that advocates reckless, aggressive wars that are not in the national interest. However, they have no right to elect politicians who will actually start these wars. Classical liberalism is not identical to majoritarian democracy. I am sure Prof. Gottfried would agree.

  66. Jefferson says:

    “I would support denying the vote to people on welfare.”

    Even though red states in the South have the highest percentage of people on welfare, most of the welfare voters in Southern states like Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana are Black so there for they were never part of the Republican voting base in the first place and denying them the right to vote would not hurt The Republicans in presidential elections.

    Basically denying people on welfare the right to vote would mean the GOP would win Deep South states by even bigger landslides in presidential elections than they do now because the Black poverty rate in the South is just so high.

    There is a region in the South called the Black Belt. Anybody here who has been to the Black belt knows that it looks like a 3rd world country.

    Here is a video of the poor living conditions of Blacks in the Black belt region of the South.

  67. I’d go with Rousseau, and ban self interested people from voting. That would include some poor people, but a much greater slice of the rich than of the poor. No votes for feminists, economic libertarians, advocates of oligarchic capitalism, or multiculturalists.

    You’ve got to admit, this does sound an awful lot like ‘only people I agree with should be allowed to vote’, which is hard to defend.

    It’s not hard for me to defend, at all.

  68. matt says:

    I’d go with Rousseau, and ban self interested people from voting.

    So, everybody?

  69. @SFG

    I agree on your points of civil intelligence testing. How can one make a legitimate vote without knowing how government actually operates? And how could one argue illegitimate votes benefit society?

    But I’ve always thought one very important piece also missing. That is, why should the government beneficiary be permitted to vote himself more benefits? There MUST be a test to determine the amount of one’s income derived from the public trough. If that amount exceeds what one contributes in taxes, he is then a net recipient of State welfare and ineligible to vote himself more goodies.

    What we have today is analogous to a family where the father is sole breadwinner, but the unemployed wife and six children use their seven votes to his one to decide all matters of the family budget. It is insane. It is fundamentally socialist. And inevitably it will fail as the seven vote to spend more than the one may earn.

    So too it is with a million federal government employees and forty million food stamp recipients plus myriad other beneficiaries voting to give themselves pay raises. When America falls it shall be due to her economy failing. And this failure may be laid squarely at the feet of tax-eaters voting themselves more lard on their plates.

  70. @matt

    You raise a good point, except you have it exactly backward. America was founded, solely and exclusively, by WASPS. WASPS were 100% of the Founders and in America then one could freely express the Truth. Today, WASPS comprise some 40% of the electorate and Truth is severely punished when its utterer revealed.

    When one sees some idiotic boondoggle like the desert wars, one need look no further than the prohibition on Truth to find the cause. Can you imagine a congressman or senator at the podium demanding, “Why are we discussing fighting Israel’s war? Why are we doing the Jews’ bidding for them? Let them fight their own wars and do not risk the life of a single white Christian man on their behalf!” How long would that politician remain in office? How much Truth was in his hypothetical rhetoric? Imagine today a politician demanding, “How could one consider granting the franchise to vote to someone with an IQ of just 85 who knows not even the three branches of government? How could we allow to vote a tax eating parasite who receives 100% of his sustenance from the Treasury?” Again, how long would he last? And yet when America was run by the WASP progeny of the WASP Founders just such Truths could be freely stated without punishment.

    I believe I’d give anything, everything, just to live in a place where Truth wasn’t forbidden.

    • Replies: @matt
  71. 1776 Patriot – “No taxation without representation!”

    2015 Patriot – “Stop representation without taxation!”

  72. matt says:
    @Stan D Mute

    America was founded, solely and exclusively, by WASPS.

    Yes, and virtually from the beginning, those WASPS have been waging costly and unnecessary wars, from the treasonous revolt against the King and Parliament, to the War of 1812, the Spanish-American War, and and that paradigmatic WASP Woodrow Wilson’s unfortunate intervention in the First World War.

    Can you imagine a congressman or senator at the podium demanding, “Why are we discussing fighting Israel’s war? Why are we doing the Jews’ bidding for them? Let them fight their own wars and do not risk the life of a single white Christian man on their behalf!”

    This is incredibly insulting to white Christian men: it implies that they cannot think for themselves, that they are stupid rubes manipulated by an elite Jewish cabal.

    Fortunately for white Christian men, I see little evidence that this assessment is true. As I noted above, even a brief glance at our history belies the notion that white Christian males need any prompting to initiate and fight unnecessary, wasteful wars. Moreover, Christian Zionism, far from being a cynical invention of Jewish elites, actually predates Jewish Zionism as a political movement, and today it has it’s own lobbying organizations whose power rivals that of Jewish organizations like AIPAC. Finally, white evangelical Christians are even more supportive of an extreme Israel-biased foreign policy than Jews: while only 31% of Jews believe that our government is “not supportive enough” of Israel, 46% of white evangelicals hold the same ludicrous position! (Pew Research Center)

    It is well past time for white Christians to start taking responsibility for their own pathologies.

    • Replies: @Stan D Mute
  73. iffen says:

    Maybe we should just re-think the whole democracy bit.

  74. @matt

    I don’t disagree about Christian Zionists having a greater role in America’s plight than jewish Zionists. My copious comment history will bear that out. My example however serves and stands as something that might have been said before America’s media was thoroughly infiltrated by aliens who don’t see themselves as “Americans” but as “jews” or “jewish americans” or something else with identity wrapped up with Jewishness. All politics are personal and as we admit more and stranger aliens, our realm of political speech shrinks to avoid the horrible offense of offending anyone or hurting their poor little feelings. This continues until we arrive as we are today, noted by Mr Reed recently, considering allowing women to lead marines into battle. Or as Mr Sailer frequently discusses we acknowledge transgender “rights” to be whatever sex they choose and force the rest of us to accommodate.

    And there is a vast difference between America’s wars here on the continent and her pointless adventures in Europe, Asia, Africa, etc.

  75. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @TomB

    Regarding “no taxation without representation”, I would invert it: ” no representation without taxation”. If you are a net tax eater, then you have no vote. If, on the other hand, you are a net tax payer, then you can vote. This was the clear understanding of the founders. If the government dips into my pocket then I should have some say-so. If, on the other hand, you pay little or nothing in taxes, and are therefore not a net contributor to society, by what right do you get to help make the rules?

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