Governor Bev Perdue of North Carolina, currently floating in the stagnant water of sub-Obama approval ratings, decided to show off some of the statesmanship that has made her so popular at a Rotary Club meeting on Tuesday. Perdue’s headline-grabbing suggestion was to suspend democracy for two years until Congress fixes America:
You have to have more ability from Congress, I think, to work together and to get over the partisan bickering and focus on fixing things. I think we ought to suspend, perhaps, elections for Congress for two years and just tell them we won’t hold it against them, whatever decisions they make, to just let them help this country recover. I really hope that someone can agree with me on that. The one good thing about Raleigh is that for so many years we worked across party lines. It’s a little bit more contentious now but it’s not impossible to try to do what’s right in this state. You want people who don’t worry about the next election.
The local paper, the News & Observer, doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry when reporting these comments. Their in-house blog says:
The comment — which came during a discussion of the economy — perked more than a few ears. It’s unclear whether Perdue, a Democrat, is serious — but her tone was level and she asked others to support her on the idea.
But they went on to headline the post, “Perdue Jokes About Suspending Congressional Elections For Two Years.” That gives her an awful lot of benefit of the doubt, since the report most certainly does not make it sound like she was “joking.”
Within hours, Perdue’s panicked staff scrambled to latch onto the “she was just kidding” meme to get the Governor out of hot water:
“Come on,” said spokeswoman Chris Mackey in a statement. “Gov. Perdue was obviously using hyperbole to highlight what we can all agree is a serious problem: Washington politicians who focus on their own election instead of what’s best for the people they serve.”
Well, that makes it all right, then! I’m sure this guy would have been holding his sides and laughing until his tears splattered the floor if, say, George Bush had made a comment like that. The citizens of our atrophied nation – discovering daily that everything not forbidden has become compulsory, as they listen to the Democrat President sternly insist that America’s biggest problem is an oversized private sector that must be shriveled through confiscatory taxation – are always up for a little “joke” about how politicians could really get things done if they didn’t have to deal with our little ballot-box outbursts.
Anti-democratic daydreams have become fairly widespread on the Left. The New York Times employs a columnist, Thomas Friedman, who openly admires Chinese authoritarianism, and wishes we could emulate their system for a while, to get an unruly and ignorant populace out of the all-knowing government’s way. Another Times columnist, Paul Krugman, recently went on television to express his hope that aliens would attack the Earth, so that a frightened populace would drop its foolish objections to government infrastructure spending.
Last year, Woody Allen gave a newspaper interview in which he expressed his gushing love for the “brilliant” President Obama, adding: “The Republican Party should get out of his way and stop trying to hurt him. It would be good if he could be a dictator for a few years, because he could do a lot of good things quickly.”
It’s not exactly news that elections frustrate the crap out of statists – they’re all about domination and compulsion. The entire point of the global-warming fraud was to create a power structure that could survive elections, because the “crisis” it was created to address explicitly transcends democracy. You ignorant little fossil-fuel-burning peasants can’t be allowed to destroy the Earth with your insatiable greed for cars and light bulbs that work. Leading environmentalist James Lovelock echoed Bev Perdue’s sentiments almost word-for-word in a March 2010 interview with the U.K Guardian:
“I don’t think we’re yet evolved to the point where we’re clever enough to handle a complex a situation as climate change,” said Lovelock in his first in-depth interview since the theft of the UEA emails last November. “The inertia of humans is so huge that you can’t really do anything meaningful.”
One of the main obstructions to meaningful action is “modern democracy”, he added. “Even the best democracies agree that when a major war approaches, democracy must be put on hold for the time being. I have a feeling that climate change may be an issue as severe as a war. It may be necessary to put democracy on hold for a while.”
Here’s a blogger, Andrew Belonsky of Death + Taxes, who doesn’t think Perdue was “joking”:
While Perdue’s suspension comments would require a Constitutional amendment, she does make a good point.
I’ve previously lamented how the perpetual election cycle weakens our democratic system. From a piece published last December:
All the 2012 election hoopla has already eclipsed the next months and years of legislation, assuming that our future political zeitgeist will resemble the one we see today. Chances are, it won’t, and the nay vote cast today will be explained away tomorrow, thus turning meaningful legislation into nothing more than a passing fad.
From that perspective, Perdue makes an excellent point.
But, as Marie Diamond notes, suspending elections would set a “dangerous precedent.”
Even if a temporary halt would help in the short-term, it would also allow future politicos — some benign, others not — to toy with the election cycle for ideological or party gain, a possibility our Founding Fathers foresaw, and hoped to avoid.
If nothing else, though, Perdue’s comments should open voters’ eyes to how elected officials too often vote for the ballot box, remaining focused on winning for themselves, rather than their constituents. Sadly, that likely won’t be the case, and Perdue’s contentions will be portrayed as an assault on democracy, not what they were: an honest criticism of self-serving politicians.
Wow, people might perceive an explicit suggestion to suspend elections as an “assault on democracy!” Who could have anticipated such an irrational response?
Governor Perdue was speaking from a long tradition of authoritarian leftist fantasy. Their entire world-view is based on compulsion, not liberty. Their boundless faith in the superior wisdom of politicians requires them to believe that individuals and business entities are, by definition, less intelligent… and why should the wise submit themselves to the electoral judgment of fools?
The failed ideas of the Left indenture some Americans to fulfill the demands of others… while liberals reap power from the endless friction between those who pull the cart, and those who ride in it. Of course the people pulling the cart, and getting flattened beneath its wheels, raise objections at the ballot box. Of course liberals – right up to top elected officials from the Democrat Party they have thoroughly radicalized – find that enormously irritating. They lack the introspection to understand that if their system can’t run smoothly through the periodic elections we’ve been holding for over two centuries, that system might be fundamentally incompatible with the nation they seek to impose it upon.
Update: Courtesy of the News & Observer, you can click here and listen to Purdue deliver her thoughts about suspending democracy. Does it sound like she’s “joking?” At all?