Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Froming the Lanunage of The Constissuetion

The past few years have given us many priceless (if cringeworthy) moments from the Conservatists. It occurs to me that they don't really believe in representative democracy, are disinterested in the documents that created it no matter how often they cite them, and are enamoured of a totalitarian state so long as it does what they want.

In Iowa, for instance, we have a gubernatorial candidate who thinks that as governor he can override a state supreme court decision, and that doing so is right and proper. And related to the recent decision there, we have pundits that think that law is perpetual once written, and that judicial decisions that modify or reverse law are advisory and not compulsory.

We have the Conservatist pundit class, instead of "supporting the President" as they harped for the last eight years, doing their best to go for the jugular when the current administration is faced with its first international incident.

And we have multiple voices in the 'blogosphere that seem to think that DHS investigation and monitoring, while OK for Islamofascists, Liberals and other apparata of the New World Cryptomuslim Marxofascist Order, is horrifically unjust when directed at Far Right extremist groups.

At every point, the public policies the Conservatists embrace are produced by one particular governmental body - which, at that moment, the Conservatists demand be the only one listened to by lawmakers. Conversely, any governmental body that does something the Conservatists dislike is immediately proof of some vast effort to eliminate them - and therefore eligible for immediate and permanent dissolution.

The pattern evolving from this behaviour is one where the Conservatists display supreme unhappiness with representative democracy. The ideal they seek is one where any and all branches of government are staffed by strict adherents to their philosophy and advocates of its agenda. Agreement with this is, by their arguments, rational; disagreement is somehow worse than a lack of patriotism but not quite approaching outright blasphemy. A court decides a case not entirely in their favor? Oust those "activist judges." A legislature passes a law they don't like? Recall the legislators that voted for it, take the law to court, and protest about legislators "not doing the people's work." A referendum doesn't go the way they want? They failed - at "educating the people about the severity of the problem." In each case, it's not their cause that's the issue; it's that the various organs of civic authority don't act according to their very specific wishes, and that means that the system is somehow flawed.

The only system that would actually make these people happy, from these instances, is a totalitarian system tailored to their specific goals. A theocratic nation, created according to their precise ideals and run by strict adherents to their philosophy, is the only defensible political construct that would appease them.

There are two problems with this.

First, it's already been tried. In a place called Europe, a country coalesced that was called the Holy Roman Empire. It dictated acceptable behaviour, the beliefs of the populace, and held all accountable to a strict legal code based on the Teachings of the Church. The chief problem with this is that the Holy Roman Empire collapsed centuries ago, in no small part because the philosophical ancestors of the new Conservatists decided that the status quo was wrong, the Church was misleading people, and that the corruption inherent in the religiopolitical structure was intolerable. Somehow, though, they fail to see that the same cycle would be repeated - after much oppression of dissidents, suppression of the populace and erroneous philosophy inflicted on the people - in the governmental form that most accommodates their worldview.

Second, the only reason these people are able to spew this bile is because of a little thing called The Constitution. Freedom of speech, of assembly, and of worship are all guaranteed in that document. This was done precisely because their philosophical ancestors saw what had been done in other countries where the dissent the Conservatists now despise was suppressed, and sought to prevent such in the new government they were creating. Also, their own philosophy was once dissent in those very nations that influenced their predecessors, and was suppressed at least as ruthlessly as they would suppress dissent in their ideal nation. They would throw away the entire legacy of their nation in this misguided effort to "save" it.

The Conservatists insist, despite their behaviour, that they believe in the Constitution. But they treat it the same way they do Leviticus: they keep the Second Amendment the same way they tout Leviticus 18:22, and throw out all the rest since it doesn't suit their agenda.

H/T to The Phydeaux Speaks Experience for the title's inspiration.

1 comment:

  1. They hold fast to -- and expand upon -- the Ben Franklin line from the play 1776, "You should know that rebellion is always legal in the first person -- such as 'our rebellion'. It is only in the third person -- 'their rebellion -- that it is illegal." Only they apply it to every aspect of civil and private life.

    (also, glad to help inspire titles :) )