Monday, March 10, 2008

Plumbing the Depths: How the Gears Turn (Fred Reed)

Fred Reed sums up politics in America with his usual amazing clarity:

Common delusions notwithstanding, the United States, I submit, is not a democracy—by which is meant a system in which the will of the people prevails. Rather it is a curious mechanism artfully designed to
circumvent the will of the people while appearing to be democratic. Several mechanisms accomplish this.

First, we have two identical parties which, when elected, do very much the same things. Thus the election determines not policy but only the division of spoils. Nothing really changes. The Democrats will never seriously reduce military spending, nor the Republicans, entitlements.

Second, the two parties determine on which questions we are allowed to vote. They simply refuse to engage the questions that matter most to many people. If you are against affirmative action, for whom do you vote? If you regard the schools as abominations? If you want to end the president’s hobbyist wars?

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