“…to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”
“The consent of the governed” – and what a concept, hey? And outlined in our very own Declaration of Independence. That the government has authority only as far as those it governs permits, allows or tolerates; a notion which seems to have escaped the more stubbornly authoritarian among us, such as the governors of certain states: among them Gavin “Gruesome” Newsom, of California, the Unspeakable Kate Brown of Oregon, Gretchen Witmer, the Grand Karenator of Michigan, J.B. “Jabba the Hutt” Pritzker of Illinois, Ralph Northam, the Baby-Killer of Virginia and the weaselly and nipple-pierced autocrat of New York, Andrew “Missed It By That Much!” Cuomo. All the above-listed, and a good few others of lesser notoriety and office went on an authoritarian kick: “Close all the things!” seemed to be their rallying cry, after first ignoring the first warning signs of the Wuhan Coronavirus, aka the Chinese Commie Crud, and then losing their damned minds when the National Establishment Media lost theirs.
So having done nothing much until the Commie Crud was upon us, then instituting a near-total lockdown in the name of keeping the hospitals from being overwhelmed, the above and others then mounted that specific goal on wheels and sent it careening all over the field. This, despite it becoming obvious by early May that the rate of fatalities was not such that bodies were piling up a dozen deep in American morgues, nor were mass graves having to be hastily dug, nor funerals held around the clock, as was in the case of the last massive pandemic, that of the 1918 Spanish Flu. In fact, most people who had active cases of the Chinese Commie Crud had no noticeable symptoms at all, and those fatalities from it were mostly, although not exclusively, over the age of 65 and/or with preexisting health conditions.
But never mind – the petty authoritarians did not like having their dictates flouted, although it has been noted, with considerable resentment, that they themselves felt perfectly free to go to their holiday homes, have their hair cut, or hang around with more than ten non-family members. Members of the advantaged classes, whose income is secure and whose work can readily be done from home have been rather brutally contemptuous of those whose income and mortgages are dependent upon them physically going back to work. It’s a very ugly kind of class snobbery, quite unfitting those who otherwise appear to pride themselves on their toleration and sensitivity. What seems to send the snobs and authoritarians over the moon with frustration alike is that many of us are fed up with confinement without any charge other than “You wanna kill Grandma!”
Yes, we want to go out and shop recreationally for non-essentials, get a manicure, go to a movie (if there were anything worth seeing, that is) walk in the park, float the river, see a live band at a bar, eat at a sit-down restaurant, go on a road trip, participate in a book festival or a historical reenactment, camp at a national park, or just go to the beach – practically the safest option around, what with sunshine, warmth and naturally-acquired Vitamin D apparently being inimical to the Chinese Commie Crud anyway. And after two months of having those simple pleasures denied to us by as septic a bunch of tattle-tales and professional Karens of both sexes as ever afflicted a middle school or a neighborhood home-owners association – and for no good purpose – we will have them.
Signs of quiet and not-so-quiet defiance are cropping up all over.
Again, I circle back to “consent of the governed.” Yes, we will observe such reasonable precautions, as long as those precautions appear to serve a real purpose. What the ‘drunk off their heads with authority’ civil Karens don’t seem to grasp is that on the whole, Americans obey the laws because we are generally a civically responsible and generally law-abiding people. We obey laws because we see the sense of them, and we consent, sometimes rather grudgingly, to obey them. We cannot be driven, harassed, hectored into obeying the irrational dictates of the professional political class – or at least most of us cannot. We are Americans: we can be led, but we cannot be driven.
Comment as you will. Personal observances and anecdotes of defiance are especially solicited. My own defiance, BTW – is on-line reference to the Wuhan Coronavirus (AKA the anodyne Covid19) as the Chinese Commie Crud, my own raised middle finger to the idiot mayor of my fair city, as well as those other scum-seeking politicians seeking to have any such descriptor cast as racist.
13 thoughts on “Consent of the Governed”
What a lot of the self-imagined overclass would do well to remember is that the majority of Americans came here from the rootstock that chose to leave places like Germany rather than conform and comply with things like mass conscription. We are, in the final analysis, the people who the rest of the world chose to drive away with their authoritarianism. Eastern Europeans came here to get away from the pogroms and the governments of Europe, and if you go back far enough, what you find are the people who chose to be pirates rather than put up with the BS at home.
This does not make for a generally compliant population, and I would suggest that unless they want to recapitulate the experience of the Ceaucescu family, they might want to try leadership as opposed to coercion. You want to do something with Americans, you’d best be pulling, rather than pushing.
Had a conversation, once upon a time, with a German veteran of WWII. He professed confusion as to how Germany and Japan lost the war, with their compliant and complaisant populations that would willingly lay their lives down for Hitler and the Emperor. I had to disabuse him of the notion that either of those mentalities were advantages, and point out that while I’d have a hard time persuading American troops to die for FDR, those same troops could make up their own minds to do the necessary when it got down to it, and because they’d been the ones to do that rather than be forced by a false oath to the Fuehrer to do the “right thing”, they were more likely to actually do it, and be a lot more damaging when they did. Indoctrinated fanatics are one thing, but when you’re dealing with pragmatic types who’ve reasoned themselves into cold fury…? Well, you’re going to find out why heated fanaticism isn’t a marker for effective results.
In our form of democracy, we hand authority to a highly non-representative group of people whose main enjoyment comes from telling other people what to do. And if they order us peons to do one thing while they themselves do the opposite, the enjoyment factor increases exponentially. (Just count those private jets flying into Davos). And, to be blunt, if they happen to end up personally wealthy (Harry Reid, Joe Biden) — well, they believe they deserve it.
How to control those peons? It usually comes down to “Divide & Conquer”. Our Betters have now learned how willingly a large section of the population (“herd”, to use their term) will go along with unjustified intrusive limitations on their freedoms in the name of “safety” — and how other peons react against it. Our Betters’ actions on this virus successfully divided the citizen body. Just another tool in our Betters’ armory for dividing us peons into warring camps — along with gender, race, patriotism, age. They will use it again.
I “checked out” when the following two things happened. The state parks here behind the cheddar curtain were closed, yet we could have an in person election. The subway in NYC was open, yet the beach was closed. With that, to keep it simple, I called “bullshit” and knew that this wasn’t about science anymore.
It was about science? At most all I heard were some half assed guesses by people that may have been scientists many years ago. Those were filtered through politicians and promulgated through corrupt and ignorant media. Then there was the output of random number generators. No “science” to be seen.
A lot of the “consent of the governed” has to do with people’s choices. Most Americans do not want to be members of the government. Traditionally, government jobs traded security for lower pay. That changed about the time of the JF Kennedy EO that allowed government employee unions. A lot of government jobs are dull managing of paperwork. I don’t blame a lot of them for wanting more money but, before the unions, that was their choice.
Politicians tend to be people who want to tell others what to do. I had some experience with state and local government, very little with federal. At the state level in California, I found Democrats usually smarter than Republicans. This makes sense because Democrats like government and like government careers. Republicans who go into government as politicians either have had prior careers that made them a nice living and politics was kind of a hobby or a “payback for success,” or they were not very successful and look at Politics as another job.
An example of the former was a state Senator from Orange County who had founded the real estate company “Century 21.” His name was Ollie something. He got interested in organ transplantation for some reason I don’t remember and got a bill passed to set up a system to help recruit organ donors by putting donor families and recipients together. I was on his Board for a while and finally put a hospital nursing supervisor on it who organized our hospital program. The program greatly increased the availability of transplant donors in the state.
At the local level, I got involved in a reform effort in my little city of Mission Viejo. It’s a long story but a group of us managed over a period of four years to oust a clique of arrogant high handed careerists only to find the reformers we thought we had replaced them with to be every bit as arbitrary and corrupt as the old team. The reform group disbanded after a couple of years.
Cuomo will never be able to live this down
They even underlined it in the order to emphasize how important they thought it was. This is your government at work. When the going gets tough, they get tough on their own citizens, assuming the authority to decide who is approved to live and who is approved to die. The ultimate utilitarian logic after tallying up projections of life and death in separate columns is to proceed with the policy until everyone falls neatly into place damn the consequences. Soon, instead of guiding policy, the projections become the goal of policy.
These are about the UK, but their decision certainly factored into ours.
IS THE CHILLING TRUTH THAT THE DECISION TO IMPOSE LOCKDOWN WAS BASED ON CRUDE MATHEMATICAL GUESSWORK?
Neil Ferguson’s Imperial model could be the most devastating software mistake of all time
The boss of a top software firm asks why the Government failed to get a second opinion from a computer scientist
Then there’s the fact that it’s apparently been floating around for longer than originally believed
After retesting samples, French hospital discovers COVID-19 case from December
And the elephant in the room which no one in the media ever manages to comment on…
CDC Data: Average Age of Those Who Have Died from COVID-19 in US: 75
The average age of Americans who died from COVID-19 between February 1 and May 2 is 75, according to an analysis of a provisional data set published by the Centers for Disease Control’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) on Wednesday.
And this, which seems particularly relevant:
Unicef warns lockdown could kill more than Covid-19 as model predicts 1.2 million child deaths
‘Indiscriminate lockdowns’ are an ineffective way to control Covid and could contribute to a 45 per cent rise in child mortality
More sundry observations of worth:
Can We Discuss Flatten-the-Curve in COVID19? My Eight Assertions
The Pandemic Panic Panic
The burden of proof is on those who impose burdens (Updated)
The problem is and always has been, that those who want power are the last people you should trust with it. This is democracies Achilles heel. In America you have refined the art of persuasion to a degree, that its one of you biggest problems.
So right, democracy isn’t a very good form of government. The problem is that all the others are worse. At least in a constitutional republic, the rule of law has some effect in holding the elites in check without having to resort to violence. I wonder which government has the longest continuous functioning without a revolution? I’m not sure, but it isn’t Russia, North Korea, Iran, China or Cuba.
There was something coming out of the cloud of Communist lies and Italian statistics. No one knew or knows how Americans would respond or how our sub-populations interact, if at all. President Trump let the governors do their thing (Federalism, don’t cha know.) while reserving his options to tighten or loosen the response as needed.
Basically, no one knew nuthin’.
We got a very good idea of who had dreams of wearing the jack boots and who was willing to kill to get what they wanted, but The Man in the Bully Pulpit was able to throttle back the enthusiasm of the “storm troopers”.
Not too shabby, all in all. We got information while the machine was created but left to run at a low idle in case the Commie Crud turned out to actually be something out of a nightmare. It wasn’t “free” but wasn’t bad insurance considering the possibilities. The Chinese rice paddies, where the wild animals, the farm animals, and a billion or so humans, all drink, feed and crap together, have been creating nightmare diseases for millenia. Before antibiotics and mouse traps, the paddy plague ’bout wiped out Europe.
It may be that people in North America cooperated so well that the development of “herd immunity” was all but blocked by hand washing and social distancing. China, in comparison, appears to be a “super ghetto” where no one did anything but the minimum and then only while the man with the gun was watching. The shake-out on this weill be interesting.
President Trump seems to have seen something beyond the White House fence, that he could reach out to and use.
Pardon my giggles….
Death 6: “So right, democracy isn’t a very good form of government.”
There is a case that there is nothing wrong with democracy. The problem is that what we have now is NOT democracy. It is effectively rule by an activist minority and a self-selecting bureaucracy with very limited actual accountability to the citizenry. As the good folks at Hillsdale College point out, we are no longer governed in accordance with our Constitution. In fact, the form of government we have now bears striking resemblances to the situation back in the 1770s with remote intrusive rule by people who did not have the best interests of the inhabitants at heart.
A key thing is that ANY free country and people will only remain such so long as the vast majority of the people believe that the actions of those in power are legitimate and in accord with the accepted political framework, culture, and how justice is defined in that country. They have to believe that the rules will be applied equally and equitably. If they do not believe that, when the percentage of disillusioned passes something along the line of 10%, the odds of civil war heat up. Right now, we are functionally divided into several nations on racial, cultural, political, religious, and national loyalties. We are nearing the tipping point.
Consent of the governed is becoming a shaky concept. Look at those who rule us now, and the differing response of the governors. 27 Republican -v- 23 Democrat, with a real division of 26-24 because the Republican governor of Massachusetts is a Leftist Democrat in all but title. In general, Republican run states are trying to open up and allow citizens to be as free as medically possible. Democrats are trying to lock down everyone, for as long as possible.
I suspect that division is going to be important in what is to come; but one can say that there is very little consent of the governed involved between those two groups and each side is well over 10%. And that is just one of many fault lines.
To restore consent of the governed people have to believe that they will be treated fairly and equitably under the law and Constitution, AND the peaceful means of seeking redress of grievances are something more than an attempt to stall.
It’s going to become more and more obvious that the “lockdown” has done immense damage, even in the places like Texas where it came late and left early. The pain has only just begun and will now grow and extend into the indefinite future.
As this begins to play out, the political future of the lockdown enthusiasts will depend on them convincing their voters that this pain is caused by the unwillingness of the Federal government to print enough money to make everyone whole rather than their disastrous decisions. Even the governors in places like Texas are going to have a lot of ‘splaining to do.
Some of us will remember that when it started, there was wasn’t much actual information and a great deal of speculation in the form of expert pronouncements to guide the various authorities. Some of us will remember and give credit to those that got it wrong to start and quickly corrected. And, some of us will remember those like DeSantis that used their limited resources in ways that made a major difference.
The media is already trying to obscure and ignore the mistakes of their favored persons like Cuomo. Some of us will remember those as well.
In the end, it will come down to how many of us remember and how well the interests which are now dependent on confusing, covering up and ultimately silencing the truth succeed.
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