The practical history of how Hitler came into power in 1930s Germany is instructive. An appointed Chancellor, incompetent as appointees tend to be, dissolved the government, called new elections, again and again. This process enabled Hitler, opposed by 63% of the people, to gain 100% control of the country.
As Burke is credited with saying, "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."
How interesting it would be if Americans could dissolve the government whenever we see extreme incompetence, or perhaps betrayal of the Constitution.
Of course, the Founders didn’t design our system that way. They fully expected government incompetence. Logically, from their perspective, if humans were fallible, a bunch of power-loving humans in a governing role far from community restraints, and funded with the money of others, just might compound that fallibility.
The Founders envisioned a small and weak central government. Unfortunately the one we have today devours, like ravenous ants at a picnic, nearly 20% of our Gross Domestic Product. George W. "Lyndon B. Johnson without the compassion" Bush, is a spender par excellence (of other people’s money). He may be trying to grow something, but it looks like tyranny to me.
As with ants, government consumption is predictable. It constantly increases, searching insatiably for new avenues of spending, producing large and complicated structures for the ants to live in, and more ants, who in turn need more ant structures to live in, so they can produce more ants. Freedom is not an ant concept. Controlled central organization and numbing obedience is.
Ants also have an incredible pheromonic defense mechanism, instantly identifying and dealing with threats to its food supply or continued growth. Our government seems to be evolving one of its own, based similarly on the smell of fear.
Regular federal elections. Not a bad idea. Gives me a chance to vote Libertarian again and send a tiny message that the spirit of Patrick Henry and the anti-federalists survives in the rubble of our global empire of mercantilist socialism.
When we think of liberty and freedom these days, of deposing an unwanted colonizer, our minds naturally turn to our good friends in Iraq. Vicariously, we clap our hands and our hearts sing at the glorious freedom granted to that long-suffering country. June 30th will be a day to be long remembered around the world!
Except, due to security concerns, Iraq got "sovereignty" two days earlier than planned. That must have taken the wind out of the all the big sovereignty parties the Iraqis were planning! And all those plans for next year’s celebrations of the first year of neo-Iraqi sovereignty on 30 June!
Instead, the Iraqis chose June 28th, the day the Treaty of Versailles was signed. I mean, it was their choice, right? Just like in 1919.
As we prepare for our own electoral distractions this fall, we will have no problem planning our own parties. We know they won’t give us "surprise" elections a day or two earlier.
Come to think of it, though, they might move them out a bit. As always, your government is at work for you, planning for every eventuality. Like, what if a big terrorist attack happens right before the election? How about a little one? What do we do if our Homeland Defender raises the terror level to some new mystical color?
Never fear! The Federal Elections Commission is ahead of you on this one. In April, the FEC wrote a letter to Condi Rice and Tom Ridge, saying it "needs to establish guidelines for canceling or rescheduling elections if terrorists strike the United States again."
Isn’t that special? I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’m getting my money’s worth. Jeez, those guys in Washington think of everything!
The FEC commissioner with the foresight to think this up is DeForest B. Soaries, a New Jersey Republican. He says, "Look at the possibilities. If the federal government were to cancel an election or suspend an election, it has tremendous political implications. If the federal government chose not to suspend an election it has political implications,…I think we have to err on the side of transparency to protect the voting rights of the country."
DeForest wants to protect my voting rights and ensure government transparency, that’s all it is! He admits, "The states control elections," but complains ant-like, "but on the national scale where every state has its own election laws and its own election chief, who’s in charge?"
Lastly, he is deeply concerned that there be sufficient communication "between law enforcement and election officials in preparation for November." Iraq as the American model, alpha becomes omega.
DeForest walks in the steps of Patrick Henry, of course. He is inspired purely by Henry’s advice, "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel." I’m sure that’s all it is.
On the other hand, this is beginning to look a little CREEPy. Now more than ever!
Karen Kwiatkowski [send her mail] is a retired USAF lieutenant colonel, who spent her final four and a half years in uniform working at the Pentagon. She now lives with her freedom-loving family in the Shenandoah Valley, and writes a bi-weekly column on defense issues with a libertarian perspective for militaryweek.com.