Republicans at Highest Levels Really Want to Do Away with Democracy for All
Continued from previous page
This is a constant meme among libertarian free-market ideologues: Americans have too much freedom to decide their own freedom. Hassett worries that time is running out for the Republican free-market elites, who are locked in a suicide pact with the boneheaded majority of American voters, a mass of idiots too short-sighted to grasp how unregulated capitalism is the best thing for them. Instead of acting in their own interests and voluntarily voting to hand power over to a Chinese-style Politburo, we idiots keep on grunting for socialist policies like Medicare, Social Security, and unemployment insurance when we're too weak to face unemployment on our own.
You'd think Hassett would have been driven into a cave after that column, but then again, this is the same guy who co-wrote one of the biggest embarrassments in finance literature: Dow 36,000, a book released 10 years ago predicting the Dow would soar to 36,000 in no time. We're dealing with a professional huckster here, but that's sort of the point--selling the gullible fools one kind of snake oil in 2000, pitching them another kind of libertarian snake oil today.
From the Republican elite's perspective, abolishing democracy is a matter of self-defense for the rightwing billionaire class, which they expect everyone to sacrifice their lives for.
Bill Archer, an old free-market colleague of Tancredo's, let loose the Republican elite's loathing for democracy in a Wall Street Journal article back in 2001, bleating over the fate of his billionaire sponsors: "Politicians may find it easier and easier to raise tax rates that apply only to a minority of middle- and upper-income earners in order to finance new government spending primarily benefiting lower-income individuals. The result will be class warfare at its worst and a sort of tyranny of the majority."
You got that? Freedom is when an elite minority pushes the tax burden down the class ladder; tyranny is when the struggling majority votes to put a cramp in the super-rich's Marie Antoinette lifestyle. Which is pretty much what another major inspiration in the Tea Party movement, Grover Norquist, once said. A few years ago, the notorious tax-slashing Republican lobbyist who heads Americans For Tax Reform told a Republican Log Cabin conference:
"Democracies are dangerous. Look what happens in California where they pick on the richest ten percent." Yup, that's dangerous all right. Norquist, who helped shape Gingrich's 1994 Republican Revolution and who practically owned Washington during Bush's first term, has always pitched himself as a radical libertarian whose goal is to "shrink the government until it's small enough to drown in a bathtub." Why does he want to shrink and murder government? Because government technically can be used by us -- the majority -- to one day threaten Grover's rightwing billionaire circle's monopoly on power and wealth. Kill off the American government, and the American people are left naked and powerless against the super-rich elites.
Bryan Caplan, a George Mason professor, and one of the last up-and-coming libertarian ideologues before the 2008 crash, is one of the newest and most degenerate models in the libertarian cadet system. A graduate of the familiar Milton Friedman School of Hucksternomics, Caplan laid out this increasingly shrill hatred of American democracy back in 2007 in a book titled The Myth of the Rational Voter. Here's how Caplan described his book:
The central idea is that voters are worse than ignorant; they are, in a word, irrational -- and they vote accordingly. Despite their lack of knowledge, voters are not humble agnostics; instead, they confidently embrace a long list of misconceptions. Economic policy is the primary activity of the modern state. And if there is one thing that the public deeply misunderstands, it is economics. ... So what remedies for voter irrationality would I propose? Above all, relying less on democracy and more on private choice and free markets... Another way to deal with voter irrationality is institutional reform. Imagine, for example, if the Council of Economic Advisers, in the spirit of the Supreme Court, had the power to invalidate legislation as "uneconomical." Similarly, since the data show that well-educated voters hold more sensible policy views, we could emulate pre-1949 Great Britain by giving college graduates an extra vote.