While normal daily editor David Leonhardt is on vacation, the New York Times is bringing in outside writers to cover the morning newsletter until Aug. 27. This week’s authors are Meagan Day and Bhaskar Sunkara of Jacobin, the socialist magazine. The NYTs, by providing this very visible platform on what is basically the official newsletter of the Democratic Party, allows for an insight into just where they are heading. And that is a brazen, all-out attack on the US Constitution. From the Day and Sunkara newsletter:
Consider a few facts: Donald Trump is in the White House, despite winning almost three million fewer votes than Hillary Clinton. The Senate, the country’s most powerful legislative chamber, grants the same representation to Wyoming’s 579,315 residents as it does to 39,536,653 Californians. Key voting rights are denied to citizens in the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and other United States territories. The American government is structured by an 18th-century text that is almost impossible to change.
These ills didn’t come about by accident; the subversion of democracy was the explicit intent of the Constitution’s framers. For James Madison, writing in Federalist No. 10, “Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention” incompatible with the rights of property owners. The byzantine Constitution he helped create serves as the foundation for a system of government that rules over people, rather than an evolving tool for popular self-government.
Writers on the left such as Jacobin’s Seth Ackerman and the journalist Daniel Lazare have long argued that constitutional reform needs to be on the agenda. Even some liberals like Vox’s Matthew Yglesias rightly worry that the current system of governance is headed toward collapse.
These perspectives are vital at a time when many progressives regard the Constitution as our only line of defense against a would-be autocrat in the White House. Yet whether or not the president knows it, the Constitution has long been venerated by conservative business elites like himself on the grounds that it hands them the power to fend off attempts to redistribute wealth and create new social guarantees in the interest of working people. There’s a reason we’re the only developed country without guarantees such as universal health care and paid maternity leave. While preserving and expanding the Bill of Rights’s incomplete safeguards of individual freedoms, we need to start working toward the establishment of a new political system that truly represents Americans. Our ideal should be a strong federal government powered by a proportionally elected unicameral legislature. But intermediary steps toward that vision can be taken by abolishing the filibuster, establishing federal control over elections and developing a simpler way to amend the Constitution through a national referendum.
How hard would change be? As Mr. Ackerman reminds us, while constitutional change is straightforward and feasible in most countries, “an amendment to the U.S. Constitution requires the consent of no less than thirty-nine different legislatures comprising roughly seventy-eight separately elected chambers.”
But it’s a problem worth confronting. As long as we think of our Constitution as a sacred document, instead of an outdated relic, we’ll have to deal with its anti-democratic consequences.
Okay. Here they go again, attempting to conflate Mr. Trump as a “would-be autocrat”, you know, the guy that just cut taxes, and has been inch by inch dismantling government overreach established by the Obama Administration. Despite the abject level of ignorance regarding why the Founding Fathers would have placed so many checks and balances on government, they don’t seem to grasp that changing the Constitution would open them up to the kind of autocracy that they fear. Or do they? What they hope for is to weaponize the electoral process to hopefully install a Democratic Socialist majority to bring about “social justice and change”. Given the ignorance and laziness and stupidity of the American people, this could very well happen. The beauty of our system is, once the mobile vulgus realize that they’ve been had, they can vote them right out again. Which is the point of the NYTs newsletter? Once they gain power, they want to be sure that they don’t have to give it up (change the Constitution). Notice the words, National Referendum? In other words, the left wing ratholes of New York, Boston, Chicago, San Fran and all of Cali get to decide for us.
This is basically how Hitler consolidated power for the socialists. General Election – only 44 percent of the population vote for the Nazis, who win 288 seats in the Reichstag. Enabling Act – the Sturmabteilung (SA, or the Storm Detachment, begins functioning as the original paramilitary wing of the Nazi Party (NSDAP), similar to Antifa thugs. It played a significant role in Adolf Hitler’s rise to power in the 1920s and 1930s), intimidates all the remaining non-Nazi deputies. The Reichstag voted to give Hitler the right to make his own laws. Local government is reorganized – the country is carved up into 42 Gaus, which are run by a Gauleiter. These Gaus are separated into areas, localities, and blocks of flats run by a Blockleiter. Hitler sets up the Gestapo. Trade unions are abolished and their leaders arrested. Political parties are banned – only the Nazi party is allowed to exist. People’s Courts – Hitler sets up the Nazi people’s courts where judges have to swear an oath of loyalty to the Nazis. Night of the Long Knives – some SA leaders are demanding that the Nazi party carry out its socialist agenda, and that the SA take over the army. Hitler cannot afford to annoy the businessmen or the army, so the SS murders perhaps 400 of the SA members, including its leader Röhm, along with a number of Hitler’s other opponents. Führer – when Hindenburg dies, Hitler declares himself jointly president, chancellor and head of the army. The 1938 Regulations Against Jews’ Possession of Weapons, which came into force the day after Kristallnacht.
Today, socialists and their “democratic” counterparts differ only about the means by which to reach the same ends: total state control of the lives of everyone in a society. Even Bernie Sanders has not fully renounced his allegiance to Leon Trotsky and his Bolsheviks.
That prominent “democratic socialists” have endorsed the ends of socialism without openly embracing violence and murder to install it into place does not mean that they should be left off the hook. We further can assume that employing an electoral process to vote socialist measures into place is not going to make socialism work better than it has in the past, since the mechanics of socialism do not differ whether the socialist regime is installed via revolutionary violence or through the ballot box. After all, both Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro were overwhelmingly elected to office in Venezuela in what generally are believed to be relatively free and fair elections, and now that the state-directed economy has collapsed, “democratic socialist” supporters in the USA either pretend that the government is not socialist or that the Maduro regime is not socialist enough. Declares The Nation:
If socialism is understood as a system in which workers and communities (rather than bureaucrats, politicians, and well-connected entrepreneurs) exercise effective democratic control over economic and political decision-making, it would appear that Venezuela is suffering not from too much socialism, but from too little.
This quote is significant in analyzing “social democracy” if only for the use of rhetoric as a tool of social organization. Social Democrats promise all sorts of “free” goods and services from medical care to housing as part of their platform, yet want us to believe that rhetoric by itself also provides the means to provide these “free” items without creating economic havoc.
It is not as though socialists suddenly have discovered the word “democratic.” We have the socialist nation we know as North Korea is actually the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The country we knew as East Germany, is officially was named the German Democratic Republic, and so on. For that matter, the deadly Cambodian regime that murdered more than a third of the nation’s population from 1975 to 1979 ruled over the nation named Democratic Kampuchea.
Can we get an Amen for Denmark!!
Democratic socialists claim that they don’t want a totalitarian system; they just want us to be like Denmark. As the Occupy Democrats meme tells us, Denmark is the world’s “happiest country” because it has lots of free stuff, like healthcare, education, and childcare, kind of like the old USSR.
Yes, Denmark has lots of government services paid for via very high marginal tax rates. However, they also have relatively-low business taxes in order to ensure that private enterprise can produce enough wealth to fund the Danish welfare state. The recent political caterwauling over the reduction in corporation taxes in the USA from 35 to 21 percent tells us that democratic socialists in this country have no idea that the vast welfare state they want to create must be undergirded by someone, somewhere, producing all of that “free stuff.” Also, would American democratic socialists really be able to deal with the overarching demands for total social conformity? While much of the current call for socialism in the USA is coming from entrepreneurial billionaires, and especially those on the West Coast, there is no room for such people in Denmark. There are no Mark Zuckerbergs or Steven Jobses.
In order to create their utopias, they ultimately would have to respond to the normal resistance that comes when authorities are heavy-handed and when they try to expropriate one’s property to use it for political purposes. The government response almost always is the same: gratuitous violence. Once upon a time, Sanders understood the “need” for violence and even murder in the creation of the socialist state, and he tacitly approved it. Today, he and Ocasio-Cortez pretend that they peacefully can create that happy utopia where everyone is happy, and there is a coffee shop on every corner.
Lucky for us, the Founding Fathers saw all this nonsense coming and made it very hard do. But it’s not impossible. So, when you hear phrases like “our Constitution as a sacred document, instead of an outdated relic”, load your firearms. That is if the Social Democrats haven’t confiscated them.