Friday, August 15, 2003

The Problems of California Governor Gray Davis
Alexander Marriott August 12, 2003

Those who have read my writing before know I have a severe distaste for democracy. For those of you who have not, my objection lies primarily in the fact that democracy (NOT OUR CURRENT GOVERNMENT!) is merely an un-objective lawless rigmarole of majority opinions that may be right or wrong, depending upon whatever 51% of any group of people think at any given time. Given this highly dangerous and highly sporadic nature, democracy is highly undesirable and would only last as long as is necessary for any aspiring tyrant to take it over.

So when I heard there was a recall in the works of Governor Gray Davis in California two thoughts immediately came to mind. First of all, didn’t they just reelect that incompetent? And second, it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. The first thought reflects my own aversion to all forms of direct democracy now in many state governments today, these being Ballot Initiatives, Referendums, and Recalls. As I oppose democracy in all of its forms I naturally oppose recalls of elected officials. There are elections for reasons, poor leadership normally is rewarded by a boot out of office, but Gray Davis managed a reelection in 2002, and California is paying for it, as they should considering they already had him as Governor for four years and knew he wasn’t too sharp, effective, or knowledgeable.

But who can resist the irony of it all? It was the intellectual forbears of men like Davis and the Democratic Party that spearheaded all of the direct democracy in the government today. Including the three things already mentioned, but also the direct election of senators by the people instead of the state legislatures and the extension of the franchise to everyone regardless of any standard at all, by which I mean property and not arbitrary things like sex, religion, or race. Despite all of these efforts to make a Republic into a Democracy, the reaction when the recall option finally came to fruition, but against someone of the wrong party, was to call it an evil abomination. Had it been Ronald Reagan or Pete Wilson who had faced a recall the same people in the Davis camp who claim that the whole thing was somehow bought or is fraudulent would be cheering from the rooftops about the greatness of democracy and the virtues of living in such a “progressive” state.

Whatever happens let it be a lesson to those who are in California and everywhere else for that matter. A lesson that electing mediocrities and liars, and then rewarding them with reelection only serves to embolden their mediocrity and lying. A lesson that direct democracy is a mess and shall always remain one, whether the outcome is just and correct or monstrous and cruel. And a lesson, hopefully, that when you enact Soviet style policies all businesses will begin to pack up and leave.

Will any of these lessons be learned? Probably not, but at least, since I don’t live there, I can sit back and watch the whole thing fall apart without too much sadness about it.

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