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  • Writer's pictureOren Levin-Waldman

Income Inequality Continues to Rise Amidst Greater Globalization.

Income Inequality Continues to Rise Amidst Greater Globalization: The Governing Elite Cares for Neither Democracy nor the Middle Class.

President Donald J. Trump
President Donald J. Trump - Shutterstock

Since the election of Donald Trump we have been hearing a lot about “our democracy” and “threats to it.” For those on the left, his election is nothing less than a threat to our democracy because his opponent won the popular vote. Although he won the electoral college which is in the U.S. constitution, the left simply responds that it needs to be abolished, and done so in the name of greater democracy.

It has also been alleged that out democracy was threatened by Russian interference in our election, which Trump must have colluded in. Because the Russians assisted WikiLeaks in the release of information harmful to Clinton’s campaign, voters were influenced to vote against her. Therefore, this constitutes interference with our democracy. And because Trump was the beneficiary of this interference, he must have planned this interference with the Russians. Hence the so-called collusion.

It is supremely ironic, then, that those who cry about interference in our democracy really have no use for the democratic masses. The elites in this country have demonstrated that they really don’t believe in democracy, especially when it interferes with their interests, which at the moment involves their hold on power. If they really believed in democracy, they would then accept the legitimacy of the people’s collective voice.

If the people voted for and subsequently elected Trump, then respect for democracy means accepting the results. And for the person who lost the election it means accepting responsibility for her failure to convince enough people to vote for her. Instead, she continues to blame the Russians and so too do most in the Democratic party that detest him so much.

Of course, they aren’t going to come out and say we shouldn’t accept the results because the masses who voted for him are obviously too stupid and therefore should be stripped of their franchise. After all, it is easier and more politically correct to blame others. But in making this claim they are absolving the masses of any responsibility for their decisions because well they were too stupid to realize that they were manipulated and duped.

And yet, if this is true, why not allow institutions like courts and Special Counsels to “find” crimes, issue indictments, and effectively undo the election. When no crimes are found, then soldier on with the investigations and refer the matter to Congress for impeachment. After all, if no collusion and the president wanted to fire the Special Counsel, then there must be obstruction.

Impeachment, especially if successful and it results in the removal of the president from office, is without a doubt anti-democratic. Impeachment has nothing to do with laws and whether the target of impeachment broke the law. It is a political measure intended to undo an election because the elite pushing for it either doesn’t accept the result of a democratic process or doesn’t trust that the masses will do the “right” thing and turn this person out at the ballot box.

Let’s be clear: the Russians aren’t the greatest threat to democracy; rather the greatest threat comes from those who seek to “resist” all of the policies proposed by the President they detest and his party. The greatest threat arises when a group who so much believe that they are right and better than everybody else seeks to defy the will of the people even though that defiance will be in the name of the people.

Some of the elites claim that Trump is a threat to democracy because he behaves like a fascist strongman. Democracy requires that individuals be responsible for their actions, but when people are prepared to submit to a strongman, it often means that they have lost faith in democratic institutions and processes. Could it be that people have lost faith because the elites have nothing but distaste for the masses and only ignore them out of their sincere belief that they know better than the people what is good for them?

Let’s say it is true that some of his base viewed Trump as a strongman who would get things done because as a business person used to doing things in the private sector, he could simply order people around. And yet, he didn’t come to power through a coup, but through an election, i.e. our democratic process.

Of course the electoral college is anti-democratic in that it was intended to place a check on democracy. But in a winner-take-all system for securing electors from each state, candidates must still win a majority of votes in enough states in order to secure the 270 electoral votes necessary to win the presidency.

The irony of the 2016 election is that the coastal elites who claim that Trump is illegitimate and therefore a threat to democracy, are more that willing to ignore the will of those in flyover territory because they are after all “deplorables.” Isn’t it inherently undemocratic that the decisions made by these voters in an election should be undone because they aren’t willing to do as commanded by the elites?

We have long assumed that when the masses turn to a strongman, because they no longer want to assume responsibility, they really want a strongman from the right. But does the strongman always have to be on the right? Can we also be looking at elites on the left to be our strongmen as well? Those on the left who manipulate the public or who seek to govern through undemocratic means are really seeking to be strongmen themselves.

Granted they are different kinds of strongmen. The left seeks to control the masses through big government and largess. They seek to absolve them of personal responsibility by making them dependent on the government. They don’t need the strongman of the right’s street thugs. They simply partner with the elites in the media to manipulate the public so that they will only turn to them.

It is only when the public isn’t following the mandated script and actually voting their choices — effectively rejecting them — that they cry foul and charge that our democracy is being threatened and that our democratic institutions and processes have been violated. Only one who really does not believe the public capable of democracy, or worse believes it to be inconvenient, would make a mockery of democracy in the way they do.

Who suffers the most? The middle class of course. By focusing on these side issues, the elites divert attention from their pursuit of policies that benefit members of their class. And in their attempt to manipulate the public to support them, they throw programs at the poor — the classic Downsian purchase of their quiescence with programs that will boost their effective money utility. Those who fall through the cracks are the shrinking middle class, precisely those who voted for Trump because they felt left behind by a global economy, which, of course, was championed by the very elites who all but ignored them or simply wrote them off as deplorables.

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