Friends, last year a politician from Nevada, US America, became the target of intense criticism when he announced that he might vote for a return of slavery.
This case is slightly annoying for me because of the simple fact that he was right.
Or at least partly right.
Anyone who is familiar with this blog knows that I’m just about the most Liberal person you’ll ever find.
So why am I on Wheeler’s side in this one? Well, if you look at his comments in context (something that Wheeler himself desperately begged people to do) you’ll notice a few things.
Firstly, the question that he was asked was basically whether he would vote to return slavery if it is what his constituents wanted, and he said yes. He was making a point that elected officials have a responsibility to do what the people who elected them want. They are public servants. They are the least important people in the country, because they have to put everyone else’s desires ahead of their own.
It should come as no surprise that most US Americans want the idiots who caused the financial crisis to pay for their crimes. But this will never happen because most politicians care more about the wealthy than they do about the people who put them in power.
It’s not Democracy. It’s oligarchy.
Secondly, Wheeler also said that he would only vote for slavery to be brought back if his constituents overwhelmingly wanted it, and they would have to “put a gun to his head”, and even then he’d have to “hold his nose”. What he actually said is pretty fucking far away from the “I loves slavery lol!” narrative that the mainstream media has been spinning.
Stephen Colbert: I love you man, but you’re wrong. And your attack on Wheeler (described above) is strawman in nature.
Naturally, the more thoughtful of you will now be wondering whether I would vote for a return of slavery if I was an elected official and my constituents wanted it brought back?
Of course not.
But I wouldn’t just ignore their desires because as soon as I do that I stop being an agent of democracy and I become just another self-absorbed fat cat.
So what would I do?
Simple: I’d resign in protest.
But I sure as fuck wouldn’t arbitrarily decide that my beliefs and needs are more important than those of the people who put me in office.
Because unlike the people who jumped on Jim Wheeler (many of whom I deeply respect) I believe that in order to function properly public opinion has to be the driving force behind policy.
That’s what democracy means.
And it’s the only way that it can work.
So many people argue that Democracy is the best political system (which it is) but as soon as they have to make the democratic choice they switch to doing whatever they feel like doing.
And that’s not democracy, it’s anarchy.
Unless you have political power, in which case it’s fascism.
[Standard Disclaimer: this post was entirely my own opinion and was not paid for in any way, directly or otherwise, by anyone or anything that stands to gain in any way from the ideas expressed herein.]