Wednesday, July 17, 2024
Miles from the Mainstream
D. R. ZUKERMAN, proprietor

Guardian-in-Chief Barack Obama?

January 30, 2013 --

The left dominates national politics, today. In its vanguard is the Democratic Party backed by an accomodating media, with collateral support from the bulk of academia and a very significant segment of the corporate world. One observer of American politics has noted that when the political party balance is lost, "[i]t sometimes happens that" one of the political parties "obtains an irresistible preponderance, overpowers all obstacles, harasses its opponents, and appropriates all the resources of society to its own purposes." The observer continued--"This is precisely what occurred in America; when the democratic [cq] party got the upper hand, it took exclusive possession of the conduct of affairs and from that time the laws and the customs of society have been adapted to its caprices." The observer, Alexis de Tocqueville was not writing about President Obama''s second Inaugural Address. These comments appear in his book Democracy in America, published in 1835.

"Aristocracy" is defined as "a form of government in which the power is vested in a minority consisting of those felt to be best qualified to rule." As LPR see it, the left is not only aristocratic in mindset today; it always has been aristocratic; the terms "communist," "socialist" intended, at best, as euphemisms to cover up the true nature of leftist parties: the quest of a self-serving few to dominate the many. De Tocqueville suggests that this mindset is not necessarily despotic.

Photo from the LPR Archives (2009) --
The Saks building opposite Rockefeller Center

In Democracy in America, he wrote that if despotism were established in a democratic country the people would be subject to rule by guardians, not tyrants. These guardians, standing above the people as "an immense and tutelary power" would "keep them in perpetual childhood."

The president as candidate, speaking in Manhattan, very, very early in his first campaign (with LPR barely able to get an image).

De Tocqueville added, "For their happiness such a government willingly labors, but it chooses to be the sole agent and the only arbiter of that happiness: it provides for their security, foresees and supplies their necessities, facilitates their pleasures, manages their principal concerns, directs their industry, regulates the descent of property, and subordinates their inheritances--what remains, but to spare them all the care of things and all the trouble of living."

Under what LPR will call guardianism, de Tocqueville wrote, "t]he will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent and guided: men are seldom forced to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting, such a power does not destroy, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupifies a people, till each nation is inclined to be nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.

De Tocqueville went on to dismiss the possibility that the votes of "a subservient people" would elect "a liberal, wise, and energetic government."

LPR would quibble, here, with de Tocqueville. However illiberal and unwise guardianship government is, under President Obama, LPR does not doubt that it will be "energetic."