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Monday, November 11, 2013

Codevilla: Lies Corrupt Democracy

Angelo M. Codevilla writes about the damage done when officials lie--and their party, the media, and supporters go along with it.


Democracy has no cure for a corrupt demos. Politicians’ misdeeds taint them alone, so long as their supporters do not embrace them. But when substantial constituencies continue to support their leaders despite their having broken faith, they turn democracy’s process of mutual persuasion into partisan war.
Consider: In 1974 President Richard Nixon lied publicly and officially to cover up his subordinates’ misdeeds. His own party forced him to resign. In 1998 President Bill Clinton lied under oath in an unsuccessful attempt to cover up his own. But his party rallied around him and accused his accusers. In 2013 President Barack Obama lied publicly and officially to secure passage of his most signature legislation. But when the lies became undeniable, his party joined him in maintaining that they had not been lies at all.
The point is that Nixon’s misdeeds harmed no one but himself because no one excused them. But Clinton’s and Obama’s misdeeds contributed to the corruption of American democracy because a substantial part of the American people chose to be partners in them.
 ... Forty years ago, just as in our time, the President of the United States headed a coalition of groups with material and ideological interest in his Administration. But, back then, the beneficiaries of power were willing enough to subordinate their interests to the greater good of maintaining the bounds of democratic partisanship. In our time, however, the constituents of Democratic Administrations so identify their own status and benefits with “the greater good” that the very notion of bounds to their own partisanship makes no sense.

... The deadly problem is that Barack Obama is not just an individual, nor even the head of the US government’s executive branch. He is the head of the party to which most government officials belong, the party of the media, of the educational establishment, of big corporations – in short of the ruling class. That class, it seems, has so taken ownership of Obama’s lies that it pretends that those who are suffering from the “Affordable Care Act” don’t really know what is good for them, or that they are perversely refusing to suffer for the greater good.
This class, in short, has placed itself as far beyond persuasion as Obama himself. Democracy by persuasion having become impossible, we are left with democracy as war.
(Underline added).

Codevilla has been warning for years of the growing confrontation between the "ruling class" and the "country class" over the course and direction of the country. Oswald Spengler would have termed it a a conflict between "Civilization" (a particular term denoting a society that has entered its imperial stage, with money and power concentrated in "world-cities") and "Culture" (a term he uses specifically to denote the traditions and values that had propelled the society to greatness, and embodied in the rural gentleman).

In any event, as Codevilla points out, the Democrats are now beyond persuasion. They will not accept a middle-ground unless it is forced upon them. That is why RINOs need to be marginalized and moved aside. The fact that RINOs constantly seek compromise make them incapable of dealing with an opposition party that will not reason; their membership in the ruling class makes their loyalties suspect, at best.

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