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October 19, 2012

The Death of Democracy

The next four years may prove to be a trying time for those who truly love democracy, those who abhor ideologues, extremists and agenda driven radicals. For democracy at its very essence is a continuous uneasy balance between varying yet reasonable opinions, valid alternatives – a respectful conversation. It is not the bulldozing of one side by the other, as though one side’s ideas always have a superior lock on the truth, a permanent fix on reality.

The forthcoming election is more than being about the middle, the centrists, the moderates, holding sway between a little left versus a little right. It’s fast becoming the seminal election of the century, with two game changing policies that may determine, eventually, the very nature of our democracy, the heart of America.

Firstly, up to four of our Supreme Court Justices are likely coming up for retirement over the next four years – Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer are all over 74 years old. Currently there is a successful working balance between the more liberal and more conservative judges, preserving the wonderful checks and balances our unique constitution is founded on. If a dominant Obama gets to appoint all or a few of these new judges, then for 2 or 3 decades thereafter he could conceivably ensure an overwhelmingly left leaning Supreme Court. Any semblance of moderation and balance will likely be lost if his past appointees to the Federal bench, to cabinet positions and his 42 elite special “Czars” to the White House are anything to go by.

Secondly, a built-to-order constituency, dependent in some material way on the largesse of government, may be enlarged by the next Obama administration to become a semi-permanent majority. Just think of the voters who already fall easily into the Obama camp; a camp largely identified with ever increasing entitlements:

  • 46.7 million receive food-stamps (only 17 million did so during the Clinton era)
  • There has been a 59% increase in food stamp recipients over the last 3 years
  • In fact, 67 million Americans depend on the federal government for either housing, food, income, student or other assistance
  • Around 20 million work for the local and federal governments
  • Half of America does not pay federal taxes (151.7 million paid no federal taxes in 2009 versus only 34.8 million in 1984
  • Immigrants, the young and African Americans will all be constituents increasing in numbers and amenable to the Democratic ideology, ably inspired by the media and Obama’s incredible communication and savvy public relations teams

All of these voting groups will continue to grow under Obama – the Democrats are after all the party of big government, of multitudinous favors and of entitlements, to which the Republicans themselves are certainly no strangers either.

With all this desperate spending, our inconceivable debt of $16 trillion will likely grow to $20 trillion over the next 4 years of an Obama administration; almost half of all the debt of all the worlds’ government put together. This Olympian record will eventually bury us as interest rates rise, and they will – this will bankrupt us, so much so that all our children’s taxes will only be servicing the debt; not saving, not building, not creating.

The result: with more handouts, with bigger government, with superb media finesse – Obama and a more extreme left may, with another 4 years under their belt, engineer a cataclysmic change in the traditionally healthy political balance of America, where for the first time there will be more dependents, more receiving handouts, more in need than not – so the majority will finally be beholden to government and effectively, loyally, on Obama’s payroll.

Ultimately balance will be lost, the conversation ended; democracy will take a backseat to Eurostyle idealism, to leftist naivety in a country of dependents rather than pioneers. The moderates on both sides of the aisle will be increasingly disenfranchised by the extremes of both left and right.

The individuals, the autonomous, the free and the bold may find more in common with South Korea, Singapore and Australia than with Obama’s future America. And what of the self-balancing democracy of our founders? Maybe not yet gone but certainly diluted.

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