For most of my life I’ve done my best to avoid political alignments and discussions. As late as my junior year of college, I still didn’t know what “left” and “right” meant or what the difference between Democrats and Republicans were. In truth, I’m still not sure I know. However, now that I live in the great city of Philadelphia, the city where parades and parties flooded the streets the night Obama was elected, politics is something I just can’t get away from.
This morning, while I was having my coffee and cake (the cake was a lovely surprise from my roommate’s girlfriend), I absently picked up The Week. I like The Week because it tries to cover both sides of the coverage, and sometimes throws in a third perspective for fun. Last week, it covered Romney’s blip about “The 47%”:
There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what. ….And so my job is not to worry about those people—I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.
This isn’t the traditional quoting of what Romney said. That’s because the traditional focus is on the mistake that he made regarding the difference between taxes and income taxes and how he thinks that half the country (specifically the poorest half) will never take responsibility for themselves. But Romney was not speaking to a public audience, he was speaking to a private closed group where media was not supposed to be allowed, and if we know anything about politics, we know it is the art of being two-faced. I do not fault Romney for these words, though I think his platform is communistic crap.
Romney was talking about election strategy. He was trying to explain to his close group of advisors, or friends, or whoever wasn’t the general public, that there were portions of the population that he simply could not reach with his platform of economic reform and tax cuts. He’s damn right about that. And you know what? This is why:
In the “Obama economy,” the poor have become more dependent than ever before on government handouts such as food stamps, unemployment benefits and Medicaid. People who depend on goverment tend to vote Democratic, which is why Democrats “are keen to keep them that way.” (The Week, Sep 21, 2012)
My allegiance has never been with the majority because, frankly, I think the majority of people are idiots. So it has been since I was old enough to understand the issues in the news that I have been distrustful of democracy. But here, we see plainly how detrimental our government is to our lives: the poor, the minorities, the manipulables will always end up the casualties of democratic government.
Suppose, for a moment, that we gave the entire election over to the poor. Suppose we let them choose between a government that would provide them with sustenance while at the same time preventing them from ever breaking free of their dependence or a government that would throw them to the jackals to live or die by their own will and according to their own destiny. I don’t think that either one has any care for who these people are or the true quality of their lives. Both Obama and Romney treat these people as nothing more than pawns in a game of career where the only winners are the politicians themselves.
I’m sad when I think that this is what my country has become. I’m sad, and I’m frightened. Democracy is proving itself to be not enough.