Aesop’s Fables: The Frogs Ask for a King
The Frogs, unhappy that they had no established Ruler, petitioned Jupiter for a King. Realizing the Frogs were simple-minded and didn’t know what was good for them, Jupiter threw down a huge log. The Frogs were terrified by the splash the log made and hid in the depths of their pond. But once they realized the huge log did nothing but sit there, they began squatting on it in contempt. After a while they felt neglected by such an inert Ruler, and asked Jupiter to send them another, so Jupiter sent them an Eel. When the Frogs discovered the Eel’s easygoing nature, they asked Jupiter to send yet another. Jupiter, enraged by the Frogs’ ingratitude, sent the Frogs a Heron, who gobbled up the Frogs one after another, until none were left to croak upon the pond.
Election Fraud, Conventionally Defined
We all know what the term "election fraud" means, conventionally defined.
Election fraud means inflating one’s own vote count or deflating the opposition’s vote count during the ballot casting stage by stuffing invalid ballots into the ballot boxes, or by removing valid ballots from the ballot boxes and hiding or destroying them.
Election fraud means inflating one’s own vote count and deflating the opposition’s vote count during the ballot counting stage, physically by sleight of hand, or arithmetically by creative accounting.
Election fraud means preventing eligible voters from voting even once, while enabling ineligible voters to vote twice, thrice, or even more, physically by naked intimidation, or legally by procedural barriers.
Election fraud, in short, means interfering with the election process so as to ensure that the final vote count fails to reflect the actual votes cast, or would have been cast in the absence of interference with the election process.
Toy Steering Wheel on Infant Car Seat
Election Fraud, Realistically Defined
Democratic universalists, for whom democracy is a secular religion, and "free and fair elections" its holiest sacrament, would have us believe that granting citizens of a nation "the right to vote" safeguards their natural rights and individual liberty.
In fact, "the right to vote" is nothing more than one of those toy steering wheels mounted on infant car seats that give infants the illusion they are actually driving the vehicle.
Democratic universalists denounce "election fraud." But at a deeper, more fundamental level, all elections are fraudulent, including elections that precisely reflect the number of votes cast.
All elections are fraudulent because they delude the electorate into believing that the privilege of voting out Elective Dictator A and replacing him with Elective Dictator B actually makes a difference.
All elections, including "free and fair elections" in "advanced democracies" are fraudulent because they fail to provide the electorate with "public servants" who actually serve the public.
In fact, they do the exact opposite.
In fact, elections turn the electorate into indentured servants of elected officials, physically coerced by the machinery of government tax collectors backed up by armed police to support the elected official against the electorate’s wishes.
Contrary to popular belief, elections do not safeguard the interests of the electorate. They safeguard the interests of elected officials. Elections are rubberstamps that allow elective dictators to claim "The People have granted me a mandate!" therefore "I speak for The People!"
Theory and Practice
"In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is."
~ Yogi Berra
Elections in Theory:
"An election is a decision making process whereby people vote for preferred political candidates or parties to act as representatives in government. This is the usual mechanism by which modern democracy fills offices in the legislature, and sometimes in the executive and judiciary, and in regional and local government. In political theory, the authority of the government in democracies derives solely from the consent of the governed. The principal mechanism for translating that consent into governmental authority is the holding of free and fair elections."
~ Wikipedia, as quoted by Answers.com
Elections in Practice:
An election is a mindless process whereby "sheeple" (people who behave like sheep) choose their own oppressors. Elections are the mechanism by which modern democracy fills political offices with elective dictators. In theory, democracy’s elective dictators answer to "The People." In practice, since there is no such thing as "The People," democracy’s elective dictators answer only to themselves. The principal mechanism for translating the consent of the victim into governmental oppression is the holding of "free and fair elections."
Elected Officials Are Not Public Servants
Elected officials are commonly referred to as "public servants." Elected officials, ostensibly, are servants whom the electorate hires and fires at its discretion.
But are they really?
An American president, elected in accordance with America’s presidential system, is for all intents and purposes, an emperor. An elective emperor, but an emperor nonetheless.
What is the presidential inauguration ceremony but a coronation? What is the White House, but the royal palace? What are Air Force One, Marine One, and the bulletproof black Cadillac limousines, but royal carriages? What is the US Secret Service but the Praetorian Guard?
The last time you hired a servant, did you commemorate the event with an inauguration ceremony? The last time you hired a servant, did you provide your servant with a stately mansion more spacious than your own tract house? The last time you hired a servant, did you provide your servant with a chauffeured limousine more luxurious than your own aging subcompact? The last time you hired a servant, did you provide your servant with armed bodyguards, with orders to shoot anyone who approached without permission, including you?
Then let’s not kid ourselves. Elected officials are not "public servants."
Voters are Frogs, Officials are Herons
"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard."
~ HL Mencken
The widespread belief that our relationship with our "public servants" is the same as our relationship with our servants in the private sector is pathetic self-delusion.
When we hire servants, we become the servants’ employers, and the servants become our employees. If we are dissatisfied with our servants’ performance, we simply tell them, "Thank you, but your services are no longer required."
When we elect a president, we are not hiring a "public servant."
Are you able to tell US President George W. Bush or ROC "President" Chen Shui-bian, "Thank you, but your services are no longer required."
When we elect a president, we are like the Frogs in the Aesop’s ancient yet prescient fable, "The Frogs Ask for a King." Not content to enjoy our precious freedom, we foolishly demand "good government" instead. We foolishly demand "democracy" and the right to vote ourselves into servitude and oblivion.
Life without Herons
"I believe that all government is evil, in that all government must necessarily make war upon liberty."
~ HL Mencken
"So what do you suggest instead of democracy?" democratic universalists will ask, "You certainly complain a lot. But what’s your alternative? Or don’t you have one?"
In fact the alternative is right under our noses.
The alternative is to learn from the Frogs, from their fatal assumption that they needed a Ruler, hereditary, elective, or otherwise.
The Black Flag of Anarchy
The alternative is to realize that We the People, aka the Frogs, never should have petitioned Jupiter for Herons, Eels, or even Logs in the first place. We don’t need them. Never did.
The alternative is to realize that the right to choose which Heron who will gobble us up is not a hard-won prize, but a booby prize.
Democratic universalists concerned about "election fraud" are Frogs who worry about whether Jupiter is sending them the Ruler they asked for.
What they should be asking themselves is, "Why should we petition Jupiter for a Ruler at all?"
August 17, 2006
Bevin Chu [send him mail] is an American architect of Chinese descent registered to practice in Texas. Currently living and working in Taiwan, Chu is the son of a retired high-ranking diplomat with the ROC (Taiwan) government. His column, “The Strait Scoop” is published on his website, The China Desk.