Sunday, July 18, 2010

Consent of the Governed - Revolt Against the Ruling Class

Left Coast Rebel alerted me to very important analysis that sheds light on the real need for the Tea Party movement to save America by restoring government operating with the consent of the governed. If that sounds overblown, I suggest you read the article by Professor Codevilla in the American Spectator. The article is long, and LCR has a nice summary.

"Consent of the governed," you might be asking, "don't we have elections?" Indeed we still do, but that doesn't mean that a minority party, composed of both Democrats and Republicans (but not everyone in either party) cannot retain a grip on power through gerrymander, vast bureacracy, regulation and taxation. The shibboleths of this group are a political correctness and a belief in the stupidity, racism and religiosity of the governed, called the "country class" in the article. Consider this:

While Europeans are accustomed to being ruled by presumed betters whom they distrust, the American people's realization of being ruled like Europeans shocked this country into well nigh revolutionary attitudes. But only the realization was new. The ruling class had sunk deep roots in America over decades before 2008.

Its attitude is key to understanding our bipartisan ruling class. Its first tenet is that "we" are the best and brightest while the rest of Americans are retrograde, racist, and dysfunctional unless properly constrained.

The point is this: though not one in a thousand of today's bipartisan ruling class ever heard of Adorno or McCloskey, much less can explain the Feuerbachian-Marxist notion that human judgments are "epiphenomenal" products of spiritual or material alienation, the notion that the common people's words are, like grunts, mere signs of pain, pleasure, and frustration, is now axiomatic among our ruling class. They absorbed it osmotically, second -- or thirdhand, from their education and from companions. Truly, after Barack Obama described his opponents' clinging to "God and guns" as a characteristic of inferior Americans, he justified himself by pointing out he had said "what everybody knows is true."

Our ruling class's agenda is power for itself. While it stakes its claim through intellectual-moral pretense, it holds power by one of the oldest and most prosaic of means: patronage and promises thereof.

By taxing and parceling out more than a third of what Americans produce, through regulations that reach deep into American life, our ruling class is making itself the arbiter of wealth and poverty.

Ordinary people have also gone a long way toward losing equal treatment under law. . . . The bureaucrats do not enforce the rules themselves so much as whatever "agency policy" they choose to draw from them in any given case. If you protest any "agency policy" you will be informed that it was formulated with input from "the public." But not from the likes of you.

If self-governance means anything, it means that those who exercise government power must depend on elections. The shorter the electoral leash, the likelier an official to have his chain yanked by voters, the more truly republican the government is.
Codevilla hits a home run in describing the problem. He is less sure about the exact form that a roll back of the ruling class' power will take. Given that the "Ruling Class" is a minority party of about one third of the electorate, its demise, while not assured, certainly seems possible.

In my view, and that of LCR, the "Country Party" as opposed to the "Ruling Party" is represented by the Tea Party movement. Why does the NAACP smear us with racism, with zero evidence? Because it is their natural belief as members of the Ruling Party and they realize that the Tea Party, by energizing the majority, is a real threat to their power. Why does the Ruling Party hate the Second Amendment? Because a citizenry with guns is just a little less manageable. Why do they want to control health care? To force us into dependency. Why is the financial reform bill incomprehensible, with the only sure outcome, hundreds of new regulations not subject to legislative review? To vest more power in the unelected bureaucracy and increase the power of government. Why doesn't the federal government enforce the border? Because millions of potential new voters, not steeped in our traditionally skeptical view of government, will be dependent on and grateful to the ruling class. Viewed through this lens, it all starts to come into focus.

video production using Muse's Uprising is clearly the appropriate theme song of the Tea Party, because it is time for an electoral uprising. We must throw Republicans over the side who are really part of the ruling class. This is why victories by the likes of Sharon Angle and Rand Paul are important. And we need to light a fire in the belly of ordinary Democrats, who still believe in the limits of constitutional government, so they can rid themselves of those in their party who do not.

California Tax Day Tea Party from Lipstick Underground on Vimeo.

To put this rambling wreck of an article in more succinct terms:

Government growth threatens our liberty and our prosperity.

Please join our cause in restoring a limited government that protects our freedom.

P.S. Instapundit has a call to arms.


  1. Nice work. That essay by Codevilla is blowing up around the internet.

    I have my own thoughts on the matter and I'll link back here in an update.

  2. Codevilla's piece should be tatoo'd on the Country Party's brain