Tags: Democrats | Are | Unrepublican

Democrats Are Unrepublican

Thursday, 21 November 2002 12:00 AM

Republicanism, according to the political philosophy of the Adamses, is the system of liberty under law. To secure liberty requires first that the people be free to choose who shall govern them, so that they can throw off any would-be tyrant. Liberty is the end. Democracy is the means.

Because liberty is the higher principle, our Constitution places limits on what democracy may choose. Limited enumerated government powers and the establishment of individual rights are attempts to prevent democracy from destroying liberty. Now today, by some odd historical coincidence, the names of our political parties have come to coincide with the priorities that they embrace.

The Republican Party for the most part embraces the priority of liberty over democracy that his nation was founded on, while the Democrats treat democracy as the only principle and consistently use it to overthrow the priority of liberty. This difference was exemplified in California's recent race for governor.

Victorious incumbent Democrat Gray Davis declared his Republican challenger Bill Simon to be "out of touch and out of sync with most voters in this state," because he is "pro-life, pro-gun, pro-voucher and pro-deregulation." This is a pretty good short list of Democrat vs. Republican issues nationwide. Consider where liberty stands on each of them.

The dramatic crime-reducing effect of protecting gun rights is by now one of the best-documented facts in social science. Not knowing who is armed, the criminals are deterred from attacking anyone. Thus the anti-gun position is revealed to be what one might call a pure illiberalism.

To believe in liberty is to be willing to pay a price for it. In contrast, anti-gunners like Gov. Davis are willing to pay a high price in order to get rid of gun rights, gladly forgoing the very substantial crime-reducing benefits of this liberty. It is the liberty itself that they despise. Most Democrats don't care if enforcing gun rights would make us safer, they still don't think people should be allowed to keep and bear arms.

Another pure illiberalism is opposition to school choice. It is parents, through their tax dollars, who pay for our government monopoly on education. Why shouldn't they be allowed to spend their education dollars on the education they think best? We know from every other walk of life that choice, and the competition it creates, leads to improvement in the goods and services provided. Economic liberty works better than socialism.

Davis and the Democrats (and an unfortunate number of Republicans) prefer to forego the improvements in education that parental choice would bring rather than allow parents choice over their own children's education. Instead of being willing to pay a price for liberty, the Democrats are again willing to pay a high price to get rid of liberty, the photo negative of our nation's founding republican principle.

Davis' third issue, deregulation, is just as straightforward. California's Democrat legislature made the bizarre mistake of deregulating the wholesale price of electricity without deregulating the consumer price. When there was a temporary shortage of supply the winter before last, estimates were that the consumer price of electricity would have had to about double to bring demand down into line with supply. But Davis (as chief regulator) refused to let the consumer price rise. Thus demand remained un-moderated, causing the wholesale price of electricity to rise by factors ranging from 10 to 100.

In the name of protecting consumers, Davis forced consumers (in their role as taxpayers) to pay between 5 and 50 times more for electricity than if markets (economic liberty) had been allowed to work. The governor's antipathy to liberty has saddled California with multibillion-dollar budget deficits as far as the eye can see.

The only issue that is at all ambiguous is abortion, which has some liberty concerns on both sides, but given that a majority of Republicans are pro-choice (just don't say pro-abortion) abortion is not about to become illegal, even if it does lose its suspect constitutional protection. The issues that are actually in play are things like partial-birth abortion.

As long as adoption is an option, a woman has no liberty interests in partial-birth abortion, which is simply infanticide, annihilating the life and liberty of the infant. Taxpayer funding for abortion is another sub-issue where the pro-liberty side is Republican. What could be more anti-choice than forcing people who believe that abortion is murder to participate in it?

The Republican position on abortion may not be unambiguously pro-liberty, but in several aspects the Democrat position is unambiguously anti-liberty, and that is as ambiguous as the difference between the parties gets. On pretty much every issue, Republicans defend the republican priority of liberty on which this nation was founded. On every issue, the Democrats reject the priority of liberty and try to use democracy to overthrow it.

Of course a lot of Democrats would cease to be Democrats if they were alert to the illiberalism of their party. They actually think their positions are somehow liberal, and Democrat-controlled newspapers and television are not about to clue anyone in to the contrary. The party line is that the only reason anyone votes Republican is out of bigotry or greed. Alternative media are raising awareness that the real issue is liberty, but they didn't raise it in time for California.

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Republicanism, according to the political philosophy of the Adamses, is the system of liberty under law. To secure liberty requires first that the people be free to choose who shall govern them, so that they can throw off any would-be tyrant. Liberty is the end. Democracy...
Thursday, 21 November 2002 12:00 AM
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