“He’s not my President.”

There’s been a lot of talk in today’s blogosphere about the way in the Left has responded to Chief Justice Roberts’ seizure, with the perfect example showing up at Wonkette’s website (h/t Independent Women’s Form):

Chief Justice John Roberts has died in his summer home in Maine. No, not really, but we know you have your fingers crossed. [Talking Points Memo]

Many who read the above were surprised by the political venom that wishes for a fellow American’s death. I’m not. I’m not surprised for two reasons: (1) my own personal experiences growing up on the Left and (2) bumper sticker insights into the liberal mind.

First, my own story. I was a student at Berkeley in March 1981, when John Hinckley attempted to assassinate President Reagan. The mood on the campus was jubilant once word got out. I remember sharing the feeling. It was simply marvelous that this horrible President, this simple-minded man who actually believed that those nice, cosmopolitan Communists were actually a bad thing, might have been struck down. No waiting for and worrying about the outcome of the next election, which wouldn’t take place for another 3 1/2 years. Instead, one wacky guy (no troubling Democratic party affiliations), and all our problems were solved. After all, no one was foolish enough to believe that George H. W. Bush would go on to take the White House on his own. He was a pale simulacrum of Reagan, and he was sure to go the way of Gerald Ford when the 1984 election rolled around. It took a lecture from my parents when I talked to them that evening to make me suddenly realize that I was gleefully hoping that another human being would die. I was unimpressed, though, by their argument that I should be shocked that the American President would die. “He’s not my President,” I said.

And now for those bumper stickers. It may depend on where you live, but I daily see cars go by with bumper stickers that say “He’s not my President.” Now that I’m 26 years older and wiser, I’m able to recognize how profoundly anti-Democratic, not to mention how ignorant, that sentiment is. Of course he’s your President. Ours is a “winner take all” system, and has been since Article II, Section 1 of the United States Constitution took effect. We don’t create wobbly little coalitions, or try to share out power between the top parties. Indeed, although the Founders originally were okay with the fact that the President and Vice President might come from different political parties, they quickly realized that this was a recipe for political instability (not to mention, for anyone thinking about it, the fact that it created an incentive to assassinate a President). If you’re an American, your President, for at least four years, is the person who gets the majority of votes in the Electoral College. End of story.

The offset to the “winner take all” approach, which does vest a great of power in a single party, is the fact that political parties get to fight it out every four years, with the incumbent President and Vice President attempting to show their worthiness to continue in office, while the opposing party/parties get a chance to strut their stuff, while simultaneously denigrating the current Administration’s effectiveness. It is an intelligent approach, that provides both stability and flexibility, and that keeps the voters aware of and engaged in the political process.

That last is an important point. This system is about the voters. Every four years, the voters get to give the thumbs up or thumbs down to any given person or political party, and the majority of voters get four years of what they wanted. If they made a good choice, great. If they didn’t, just wait four years.

But if you’re a liberal, this is a lousy system. In your mind, most of the voters are ignorant yahoos from the flyover states who regularly show their lack of intelligence by voting for such horrible people as Ronald Reagan or George Bush. Even though they can’t, and shouldn’t be, trusted with the vote, they still have it, and this terrible majority system means that the wiser people among them keep getting stuck with their ill-informed choices. What’s worse is that this same winner take all systems means you also get stuck with the fallout of those same dreadful choices, such as Supreme Court Justices who reflect the President’s viewpoints and, by extension, the viewpoints of those same ignoramuses stupid enough to vote for the President.

Looked at this way, even if you don’t believe in God, there’s an element of divine providence when a wacko tries to assassinate one of these evil Presidents or a seizure fells a Supreme Court justice. These outside influences neatly leapfrog over an unfair system that gives equal weight to the vote of an ignoramus, versus your sophisticated and humane vote, and that then leaves you stuck with the ridiculous results — results that are often very humiliating when you talk to your European friends.

Going back to my original premise, I’m therefore entirely unsurprised by the Wonkette’s tactless, but completely honest, wish for Justice Robert’s death. Democracy doesn’t work for people who genuinely believe themselves intellectually superior to the vast majority of American voters. And if Democracy has failed, all you can believe in, no matter how secular you are, is a divine providence that does away with such silly things as regular elections.

UPDATE: Here’s a perfect example of what happens when the Blues underestimate those “inferior” Reds.

UPDATE II: We all know that judicial activism is another manifestation of an anti-Democratic impulse. Thomas Lifson puts that little vice under the magnifying glass in connection with the NYT’s unseemly haste to dramatize Roberts’ affliction in what seems to be a crude attempt to lay the groundwork for his removal for the bench.

On the subject of judicial activism, if you’re wondering just how bad it can get, and what profound damage it can do to a democratic society, don’t forget to read Melanie Phillips’ wonderful and depressing Londonistan. Although it’s been out for a year, I didn’t read it immediately because our liberal library didn’t get it immediately. (Hmm. Wonder why?) It’s been in stock for about six months now and I first got it six months ago — and didn’t read it then because it was sure to be like watching a slo-mo deadly car wreck. I’m finally reading it now, and it is just as horrible as I feared, describing a Britain, unrecognizable from that I once knew, that’s headed down a suicidal path, perhaps irreparably, set for it by an activist judiciary.

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Comments

  1. T.S. says

    This was the most intriguing thing about the Reagan assassination attempt:

    Bush Son Had Dinner Plans With Hinckley Brother Before Shooting

    Source: The Associated Press
    Published: March 31, 1981 Author: wire

    Bush Son Had Dinner Plans With Hinckley Brother Before Shooting
    The Associated Press
    Domestic News
    March 31, 1981, Tuesday, PM cycle
    HOUSTON

    The family of the man charged with trying to assassinate President Reagan is acquainted with the family of Vice President George Bush and had made large contributions to his political campaign, the Houston Post reported today.
    ———————————————————–
    Scott Hinckley, brother of John W. Hinckley Jr., who allegedly shot Reagan, was to have dined tonight in Denver at the home of Neil Bush, one of the vice president’s sons.
    ——————————————————————————–

    The newspaper said in a copyright story, Scott Hinckley, brother of John W. Hinckley Jr., who allegedly shot Reagan, was to have dined tonight in Denver at the home of Neil Bush, one of the vice president’s sons.

    The newspaper said it was unable to reach Scott Hinckley, vice president of his father’s Denver-based firm, Vanderbilt Energy Corp., for comment. Neil Bush lives in Denver, where he works for Standard Oil Co. of Indiana.

    In 1978, Neil served as campaign manager for his brother, George W. Bush, the vice president’s oldest son, who made an unsuccessful bid for Congress. Neil lived in Lubbock throughout much of 1978, where John Hinckley lived from 1974 through 1980.

    On Monday, Neil Bush said he did not know if he had ever met 25-year-old John Hinckley.

    ——————————————————————————–
    From what I know and I’ve heard, they (the Hinckleys) are a very nice family and have given a lot of money to the Bush campaign.”
    SHARON BUSH
    ——————————————————————————–

    “I have no idea,” he said. “I don’t recognize any pictures of him. I just wish I could see a better picture of him.

    Sharon Bush, Neil’s wife, said Scott Hinckley was coming to their house as a date of a girl friend of hers.

    “I don’t even know the brother. From what I know and I’ve heard, they (the Hinckleys) are a very nice family and have given a lot of money to the Bush campaign. I understand he was just the renegade brother in the family. They must feel awful,” she said.

    The dinner was canceled, she added.

    George W. Bush said he was unsure whether he had met John W. Hinckley.

  2. Trimegistus says

    You can tell a lot about what Democrats want to do by just listening to the things they are accusing the Republicans of. All the “horror stories” they love to spread about wiretapping political enemies, arrests of enemies on trumped-up charges, torture, rigged elections, media lies, and assassination of opponents — those are what we can expect if a Democrat wins the White House in 2008. They’ve been psyching themselves up to it for a decade now.

  3. pacificus says

    Book,

    You are part a long noble line of intellectually honest former leftists, going back to the original neo-conservatives like Norman Podhoretz, Irving Crystal, Robert Conquest, and many others who could not stomach Stalin’s show trials in the 30’s; later refugees from the radical 60’s Berkeley left, like David Horowitz and Peter Collier; and now, post 9/11 converts like Christoper Hitchens and Dennis Miller.

    You are all uniquely valuable in helping the rest of us plumb the depths of the lost souls of those under the suasion of the hard left.

    Let me ask you–what do you think it will take to rid us of this pestilence? It is very dangerous to the health of our republic that one of the two political parties appears to have more in common with the thought of Stalin than of Jefferson. I thought we had seen the defeat of the New Left takeover of the 1968 Democrats with the rise of Reagan and Thatcher, but here we go again, this time fueled by an injection of many Soros millions, and the threshold of what is acceptable in public discourse has been pushed further than many of us can believe. Is there a coming backlash from flyover country?

  4. says

    Hitchins is still old school Revolutionary socialist, so to speak.

    I don’t think 9/11 actually physically or mentally or spiritually transmuted anybody. I think it just brought out what people were starting to think, but were afraid to find out for sure or speak out loud.

    Like I said to Pangloss, the Left could not hide their true natures after 9/11, when they spoke out for Saddam in 2002. Even the greatest of illusions have their limits.

    The Left sustained themselves upon the suffering of the Vietnamese. That was their victory and a victory of such that they were able to derive sustenance from it, as a vampire would. The Cold War victory for the US was hollow in some ways and very very cold. There were little jubliation, no effiges of Stalin, Marx, Lenin, etc being burned. It didn’t feel like a victory, and thus it was not a defeat for the Left. Just a stall in their efforts of world wide social revolution and change.

    The Left and their allies the Islamic Jihad fights hard against Iraq because if Iraq is won, the Left’s support and popularity will grossly decrease in strength and reach. Same for the Islamic Jihad.

    People and causes need victories to keep them stoked and in the group, you know. Defeat not only crushes people physically, but it crushes their souls as well.

  5. Mike Devx says

    Potential News Item two and a half years from now:
    President Hillary Clinton was knocked unconscious in a fall on the steps of the Capitol building, but doctors anticipate a full recovery…

    And then pop on over to Little Green Footballs, ten minutes later, to read the comments.

    I suspect you’d see just as bad comments about “President Hillary” as we see about Cheney or Roberts. I hope I’m wrong, but I bet I wouldn’t be wrong.

    NOT that I want to see a President Hillary! Far from it. Just pointing something out.

  6. dc says

    This is a response to #6;

    I certainly hope that any conservatives will not wish for the demise of any of our Presidents.

    This is an argument I constantly have with so called Liberals. I point out that I might have differences with a Politician, but I will never say I “Hate” the individual. Even The Clintons! I’m sure if I ever met Mr Clinton, I would probably go away a friend. Friend of a lying liar, but I won’t wish him dead.

    Bin Laden? Not an American. I can wish him dead. But I will not wish a fellow American ill.

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