The Ruling Political Class, Schlitz Beer and Glenn Reynold of Instapundit

by the Left Coast Rebel

A great, sweeping piece from Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit today in the Washington Examiner. Reynolds relates the Declaration of Indpendence to the fact that the ruling class elite simply do not govern by the will of the governed:

“Deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” This is boilerplate American history, and something that Americans — and, in particular, America’s political class — have long taken for granted.

But now things are looking a bit dicey. According to a recent Rasmussen Poll , only 21 percent of American voters believe that the federal government enjoys the consent of the governed. On the other hand, Rasmussen notes, a full 63 percent of the “political class” believe that the government enjoys the consent of the governed.

The ruling class vision of government and the public’s belief of a traditional, Constitutionally restrained government as envisioned by the Founders and explicitly stated in the Declaration of Indpendence is an irreconcilable dichotomy. Of this I have been aware for quite some time as well. Again, Reynolds:

But forget the views of America — where, it seems likely, more people believe in alien abductions than in the legitimacy of our rulers — and look just at the more cheerful view of the political class.

Even among the rulers, only 63 percent — triple the fraction of the general populace but still less than two-thirds of the political class — regard the federal government as legitimate by the standards of America’s founding document. The remainder, presumably, are comfortable being tyrants.

These numbers should raise deep worries about the future of our republic. A nation whose government does not rest on the consent of the governed is a nation whose government holds sway only by inertia, or by force.

And of that beer, of that Schlitz (an interesting analogy):

In fact, when I think of the federal government’s brand now, I think of Schlitz beer. Schlitz was once a top national brew. But, in search of short-term gains, it began gradually reducing its quality in tiny increments to save money, substituting cheaper malt, fewer hops and “accelerated” brewing for its traditional approach.

Each incremental decline was imperceptible to consumers, but after a few years, people suddenly noticed that the beer was no good anymore. Sales collapsed, and a “Taste My Schlitz” campaign designed to lure beer drinkers back failed when the “improved” brew turned out not to be any better. A brand image that had been accumulated over decades was lost in a few years, and it has never recovered.

The federal government, alas, finds itself in much the same position. The political class sold its legitimacy off in drips and drabs. As “smart politics” has come over the past decades to mean not persuasion but the practice of legerdemain, the use of political deals, cover from a friendly press apparat and taking advantage of voters’ rational ignorance, the governing classes have managed to achieve things that would surely have failed had the people known what was going on.

Again, back to the founding:

Well, the Declaration of Independence allows for the prospect of altering or abolishing the government we have in order to get a government that’s closer to what we want. That needn’t involve anything as violent as the American Revolution or the Civil War, but the need for change — real, structural change as opposed to campaign-slogan “change” — is becoming more obvious.

I like the closing excerpt that I have here for you. Glenn Reynolds points to the need for true ‘structural’ change to remain faithful to the Declaration. I agree. When I think of the structural change necessary, I envision a dismantling of much of the leviathan-machine put in place by the ruling class while Americas were simply too busy, too distracted or too trusting to notice. Perhaps that can be the only thing to save this nation from the precipice of bankruptcy of economics and government. My question to you — where are the leaders that we can support to do this from the ground up?

Via BlogProg: A republic, Ma’am, can we keep it?

Via Memeorandum


sam said…

American government was once like the great American beer Schlitz but now it’s just a beer for the coloreds and the shiftless so we should order up something new, preferably something paler with a white fluffy head.

d.eris said…

"where are the leaders that we can support to do this from the ground up?"

Obviously, they are not members in good standing of the ruling political class, and so they are neither Republicans nor Democrats. The Democratic-Republican political class is both unwilling and unable to deliver such structural reforms because such structural reforms would spell the long-overdue death of the dictatorship of the two-party state. These leaders are third party and independent activists and candidates for office. They can be found in every state, challenging both Democrats and Republicans at all levels of government. Just because Republicans and Democrats and the duopolized media ignore them does not mean they do not exist.

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