Sunday, December 07, 2008

A Reply to Linoge

(Linoge, I don't mean to be picking on you, buddy — it's just that my reply was getting long and so I decided to make it into a post of its own.)
Linoge, in comments to the last post:

what, exactly, are they going to do with the people who voted that government into existence?

I don't know. Tell 'em "You leave us alone and we'll leave you alone"? Call a truce, as it were? Or perhaps educate them on freedom, responsibility and all those forgotten concepts? You might think that a flip answer, but Vanderboegh and those folks don't strike me as the kind who would herd their ideological adversaries into boxcars and take them to camps with things like "Arbeit Macht Frei" written on the gates. (The victorious North didn't do that to the vanquished Southerners in the aftermath of the War Between the States, did they?) They don't strike me as the right-wing equivalent of Bill Ayers and the Weather Underground. A cursory examination of Vanderboegh's writing might not yield the conclusion that he actually ISN'T some crazed wackjob, but a deeper reading would yield that conclusion. You might think Vanderboegh makes the absolutists look like fools, but I think people like that dumbass over at Ahab's place who tried to make Mike and his supporters out to be a bunch of racists make the pragmatists look like even bigger fools. More ignorant by SEVERAL orders of magnitude, to be sure. I note as of yet said dumbass hasn't responded. I hope he enjoys that crow. Maybe some ketchup will help it go down. If he comes back chastened and enlightened I'll happily retract that criticism, but I'll be surprised as hell, too.
As far as our government being a representative republic...well, yeah, it is, but how many people do you think know that, or why it was set up like that as opposed to pure democracy? I'm more or less with Concerned American, the Western Rifle Shooters Association blogger who says,
If a majority of the voters says that I can come to your house to kill, skin, and eat your dog (or child or wife), can I?
Would you just bow your head sheepishly and shrug, saying “The will of the people be done”?

Sure it's a reductio ad absurdum, but the basic principle is quite sound: At some point the people might just have to be told "No." Or "Hell no," or, even "You take one more step and you're a dead man, friend." It won't be a popular thing to do, but, just to illustrate, as someone who might well have been characterized as a "useless eater" by Adolf Hitler due to a certain physical affliction, well, let's just say I personally have a vested interest in STAYING able to back up my "Hell, no" with something better than just a stronger "Hell, no" in case one day a majority of Americans say I should be shipped off to some camp, denied health care or what-have-you. I know the point at which the people will have to be told "No" with hot lead is a different one for many, but I think we're just going to have to agree to disagree on this one.