January 15, 2005

Crankiness...

Alan writes on the current craziness among a considerable proportion of Democrats...

...In this contempt for the electorate, we already see the first stage of a mass descent into madness. During close elections Democrats have taken to cheating on a scale beyond Nixon's dreams; and they do it with clear consciences, for the greater good, while making spurious claims about racial abuses by the opposition. But now the party sees that it cannot cheat its way to power. The electoral tide has begun to run more strongly against it. So Democrats will renounce the very idea of consensual government. Many have already done this in their hearts. That's why they accuse moderate Republicans of being 'extremists.' They are projecting their own impulses, since they believe everyone is motivated by the will to power...

My thought is that we can also see our Constitution's answer to this at work right now. We have a winner-take-all system, Federal, state and local. If you win 48% of the vote in your district, you don't get 48% of the seats in the Reichstag. You get zzzilch. Zip. You get punished.

"Descent into madness" is a very human reaction to losing the world you grew up with, and to losing a privileged position you assumed you would inherit by right of being born "one of the good guys." But now the Dems are going to be punished brutally. They are on a course of implosion: as moderates desert them the crazies gain more power in the party, which will tend to drive out even more moderates.

One's first thought is likely to be, "That's terrible! We need two parties for our system to function." True, but the very extremity of the punishment will be the saving of them. Younger Dems will be forced to re-think. Dems of my (babt-boom) generation are not going to change, but their gray-haired crankiness will become an object-lesson to those who are still mentally flexible. (I on the other hand, am getting younger, politically speaking. A world that had seemed constricted and frozen in old patterns is suddenly opening up into dazzling vistas and possibilities. Picture me jumping and clicking my heels like a kid let out of school.)

Posted by John Weidner at January 15, 2005 10:13 AM
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