Tug-of-War Is Good for Liberty
looks like Don Goreleone and the crime family known as the "Democrats"
are trying to steal themselves a presidential election. Theyíve
dispatched a cloud of lawyers and politicos down to Florida and,
true to the Clinton tactic of "legal spamming," will continue
to file lawsuits, hold demonstrations, and babble about "the
will of the people" until a beguiled nation awards Uncle Al
his precious presidency.
this be the last peaceful transfer of power we enjoy in America?
Are fair elections passe? From now on, will presidential aspirants
and their factions conspire to off their rivals in the grand tradition
of the Roman Emperors?
so, lovers of liberty have reason to mourn for the final remnants
of their beloved Western heritage, which includes the towering achievements
of limited government and the rule of law. On the other hand, we
Americans have always had a way of making lemonade out of lemons.
Letís look at this from another angle.
governmentís ability to rule relies on its citizensí belief that
its rule is legitimate. If Al Gore and his minions succeed in manipulating
the election results to their favor, an incoming Gore administration
will face the daunting prospect that at least half of the country the
half that voted for Bush views it as illegitimate. Add to that half
the millions who, out of disgust or indifference, didnít bother
to vote, as well as the third-party voters, and you have, perhaps
for the first time, a majority of Americans who believe the federal
government rules unlawfully. And with all of the alarums and excursions
provided courtesy of the Democrats, a Bush administration might
not have a much better time of it.
course, the federal government as presently constituted operates
well beyond the bounds set for it in the U.S. Constitution and will
continue to do so, no matter who sits in the White House come January.
However, decade after decade of arbitrary edicts and capricious
ukases from a largely unlimited government has resulted in a blooming
consciousness among the American public that something is wrong.
dramatic example of this rising consciousness comes to mind. Following
the Oklahoma City bombing tragedy, every media talking head in the
land could be seen screaming loudly for new federal powers to investigate
and prosecute "right-wing terrorists." Even Rush Limbaugh
was suddenly decried as an instigator of violence. After weeks of
this ham-handed propaganda, an April 1995 Time/CNN poll found
not only that 61 percent of respondents believed the government
already had adequate power to investigate terrorism, but a majority--52
percent believed that "the federal government has become
so powerful that it poses a threat to the rights and freedoms of
donít put much stock in polls, but nevertheless I continue to find
these results noteworthy. In the face of the largest, most hysterical
propaganda campaign against political conservatives that I can remember,
the propaganda outletsí own polls still seemed to be showing that
majorities werenít buying what they were selling. Even more importantly,
the polls seemed to be showing plenty of people willing to say what
I bet even more are thinking: the government has overstepped its
bounds and is out of control.
let the political class bicker and argue over their latest "constitutional
crisis." The more they publicly break the rules while making
fools of themselves, the more ordinary Americans will realize just
how ridiculous it is to trust any of them with the large amounts
of power and authority that weíve ceded to them over the years.
way this electoral cookie crumbles, it looks like the real winner
could yet be liberty.
Bardallis is co-editor of LexNatura.Net,
a conservative, Catholic journal of politics and culture.