Democracy of Dolts

It is an unflattering moment for America.

A national election is unbecoming at any time. But this year seems to bring out the worst in the American character. Americans are as susceptible to fraud and illusion as any people, but more ready to give into self-adulation than most. A long run of very good luck has made fools of them. They fly the flag from every lamppost and TV antenna and congratulate each other on what a fine country they’ve put together. But it is a Republic of happy morons — going deeper and deeper into debt with no clue how ever to get out; meanwhile, they sell houses to one another and believe they are getting rich. It is a Democracy of dolts, ready to believe that the world’s most powerful nation is in a life or death struggle against a handful of Muslim fanatics; every speaker in Boston reminds us of what a patriotic soldier John Kerry was and how he will make such a good leader in the great battle ahead.

When times are really good, government is an inevitable but amusing flim-flam. In small, annoying ways, government bosses around its citizens, pretending to do so for their own good — that is, as a u2018public service.’ When times are bad, government murders people — either its own citizens or those of some other government — again, for the good of those who are left living.

"Government," said George Washington, "is not reason. It is not eloquence. It is force."

The Democrats’ national convention might just as well be a huge group of Kiwanis members… or a Moose get-together. Attendees wear funny hats and have some vague intention of doing good for their fellow men… while also having a good time for themselves. What sets this reunion in Boston apart is that it is part of the process of government, which means that ultimately, should they prevail in the November elections, whatever these clowns want could become the law of the land.

Bill Bonner [send him mail] is the author, with Addison Wiggin, of Financial Reckoning Day: Surviving the Soft Depression of The 21st Century.