I’ve written before about people such as Thomas Friedman and his many acolytes who long to see an abolition of democracy, with the reins of power handed over to the bureaucracy, in a system of government known as “technocracy.”
I mocked the Friedman-esque writer in the above link, and pilloried him for wanting to neutralize Congress and give all the real power in the United States to our unelected, unfireable, unsupervised, largely anonymous bureaucrats, whose general level of competence is on full display with the Obamacare rollout and whose arrogance was on full display with paramilitary raids on behalf of supposedly benign departments such as Education or the EPA. The underlying theme is that the bureaucrats just couldn’t give two shits about what the citizens they govern think, because those citizens cannot do anything to fire, replace, or limit said bureaucrats — or even know who they are! Unlike police officers, a bureaucrat may ruin your day without ever revealing his name.
But, as much as the above is true, people are starting to realize that the alternative to technocracy — democracy — may be hopelessly broken and in need of replacement. And by that I mean, the Republican Party is hopelessly broken, and the reason the Republican Party is broken is due to primary elections that hand outsized power to the right-wing citizens of this country. All it takes is the threat of being “primaried” to bring even moderate Republicans in line with the fanatical far right. These Tea Partiers will not brook any negotiation or compromise with Obama and the Democrats, period, end of story, because their hatred of Obama and of Democrats is limitless. Their objective is to hurt Obama and the Democrats, and if they need to destroy the country to accomplish this, all the better: since Obama is president, he’ll get the blame if the United States of America falls apart. And maybe it was time this country, which they regard as decrepit and “fallen,” went the way of the Roman Empire anyway. There is nothing — nothing — your average Tea Party citizen would consider off the table as long as it means “getting Obama.”
Besides the shutdown meltdown and the Obama Derangement Syndrome, a good example of the Tea Party right wanting to destroy the United States is something we’ll be hearing more of in the coming years: the movement for an Article V Convention.
Instead of going through the usual deliberate process of sponsoring and approving constitutional amendments, there exists one other, never-used before: a system of conventions to approach changes rapid-fire and without limit. Basically, instead of Congress, a national “convention” would propose amendments; instead of state legislators, a network of similar conventions in the states would then ratify said amendments. The rules of said conventions were left vague in the constitution, so they can take on whatever nature is wanted by whomever actually has control. And since some Tea Party radicals backed by limitless amounts of anonymous “dark money” would be in charge…
Needless to say, this is the quickest and easiest way to dismember the United States if one is so inclined, and will be the process in which the USA meets its formal demise in the end, whether 500 years from now or in 5. The reason why it has not happened yet is because no sizable percentage of voters have either wanted to destroy their own country or else change it into something completely unrecognizable (with one obvious exception). But, as we have seen, that has changed.
As many countries like Greece and Egypt have recently experienced, and as Weimar Germany experienced, the fatal flaw of democracy is what happens when a sizeable percentage of voters are voting specifically to destroy the democracy. There is no constitution that can cover that Achilles’ heel of democracy, no matter how carefully worded. Weimar Germany had a stellar constitution, after all, but it was irrelevant if the voters and their elected officials decided to simply trample over it. The reason why this American system of democracy has carried on for so long, since 1783, is not mainly due to the genius of the Founders or their constitution, but because of the civic-mindedness of the citizenry that, no matter what their differences, generally wanted what was best for their country (again, with the obvious exception of the Confederate rebellion). They may be corrupt, they may be selfish, they may be dishonest, but at the end of the day, the politicians and citizens wanted a stronger rather than a weaker United States.
This isn’t so true in the 21st century anymore, as the right wing has come to realize that by breaking the Republican Party, they can in turn break the government and in turn harm the country, all in the name of “getting Obama.” But it’s more than that: the right wing has come to actually hate and loathe what most of us consider America. They hate America’s culture, they hate its “Hollyweird” movies and TV, they hate its liberation of women, they hate its big cities such as NYC, they hate its pop culture, they hate its music, they hate its secularism, and they sure as shit hate its racial diversity. If it dawns on you that al Qaeda would agree with them on just about every point, you may see where I’m coming from in stating that the Tea Party is rabidly anti-American. Prominent right-winger Dinesh D’Souza has himself, in addition to being a clear anti-American, has stated that the right wing has more in common with radical Islam than people realize. I agree.
And because unlike last time, there is no easy Mason-Dixon geographic line separating America from the right-wing that hates it, which means they cannot secede, the right-wing voter’s only alternative is to destroy America.
I have an aunt who is a Tea Party regular and a fanatical anti-American who would love to see D.C. quite literally burn. She and her loathsome boyfriend want to leave America because they hate it so much, and they are not alone. Such anti-Americans are why the Republican Party is what it is, and why D.C. is more broken than it has been at any point since 1861.
So, getting back to the beginning of this epic rant: if a sizeable number of voters wants nothing more but to destroy democracy, we might have to beat them to the punch and convert this country to a technocracy, where the bureaucrats have all the power and elected officials are window dressing. This is increasingly the political system favored throughout the world. The EU’s elected MEPs are there just for show, and the unelected bureaucrats of Brussels make all the real decisions, accountable to nobody. China’s elections have long been for show, but over the last few decades they’ve converted from an old and busted Communist oligarchy to a technocracy. Russia has done the same, in a more crude fashion; and, typical of Russian history, one single strongman lords over the other technocrats. Canada is much more technocratic than the US as of late, and there is increasing agitation up there for the elected PM and his appointed ministers to be neutralized once and for all. Point is, as bad as technocracy is, it’s the global trend — and, considering how the Tea Party is working as hard as they can to break the country, it may be the only alternative left.
So, yes. Let’s have our Article V convention. But let’s be ready for it. Let’s beat the Tea Party at their own game and convert this country into one run by progressive bureaucrats. The bureaucrats may be arrogant and incompetent, but at least they aren’t the right wing. Let’s give final authority over all congressional bills to the respective bureaucracies, which will make our broken Congress irrelevant. Let’s have the president just be a figurative head-of-state, and have the real power sit with cabinet secretaries who will now be chosen by the bureaucrats themselves rather than the president and Senate. Let’s also have Supreme Court justices be picked by the bureaucrats. May as well go whole hog.
It’s either that, or have this country be picked apart by the ravenous right-wing who make al Qaeda look like a bunch of pussies. So let’s do this.