Wednesday, April 11, 2007

McCain takes a stand

He defies majority rule:

The most revealing exchange came when Mr. Pelley, [Scott Pelley, of 60 minutes]in all apparent seriousness, asked the Senator "at what point do you stop doing what you think is right and you start doing what the majority of the American people want?"

Answered Mr. McCain: "I disagree with what the majority of the American people want. I still believe the majority of the American people, when asked, say if you can show them a path to success . . . then they'll support it." Later Mr. Pelley observed that Mr. McCain was betting his entire campaign on the success of the current "surge" strategy in Baghdad. The Senator replied that he'd "rather lose a campaign than lose a war."

The media seem to have lost sight of what representative democracy means. It means we don't hold a plebiscite on every issue and then obey what the majority want. Rather, we elect representatives who are supposed to use their own judgment. (Stop laughing now. Now, I said!)

The media, on the other hand, seem to believe that majority will, as expressed by polling, is the be-all and end-all of politics, and some of our representatives--Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi spring to mind--agree with them. Reid, in particular, seems to believe that he has been ordered to stop, or at least sabotage, the war in Iraq. He interprets the 2006 election result as a direct order from the public, the kind of order a general gives a private. George W Bush is popularly supposed to take his orders directly from God. Reid takes his orders directly from the American people.

But who knows what the outcome of an election means? It is just as easy as knowing the will of the almighty. Maybe people were fed up with the Republicans. Maybe they merely disliked the Republican who was then representing them. Maybe it was raining on election day. Or their car wouldn't start. Or something. After World War II, the British people voted Winston Churchill out of office. Were they mad about how he handled the war? Did they decide they would rather be governed by a thinner politician? Or what?

Reid and his fellow Democratic hacks and timeservers (and the Republican dimwits who aid and abet them) were elected to do their job--pass legislation--and leave the President to perform his Constitutional duties. Bush will not be president forever. But while he continues in office, he is Commander in Chief.

The reliance on majority rule, as expressed by polls, is touching, if a bit pathetic. Polls cannot be the basis of policy. If the American people believed 70 to 30 percent that the mountains are going to fall into the sea, would that make it true?

The over-riding issue of our nation, I would say the only issue, is the conduct of the War on Terror. If we lose that, it won't much matter what our leaders think about stem cell research. Gay marriage? I believe the term loses something in translation to Arabic.

That is why McCain or Giuliani are acceptable candidates to me. Both would prosecute the war effectively--that is to say, they would continue to fight until they had won. At one point I would have said Hillary Clinton was acceptable on the basis of her views on this topic, but she has been all over the map lately, to the point where she seems, at times, out of her mind.

Hat tip to Rachel.


KurtP said...

McCain lost my vote a long time ago. So long ago that I can't even remember which backstabbing vote did it for me.
Giuliani I'm still out on, but if Fred Thompson comes in, all bets are off. He's not R.R.II, but he's the most Conservative we have so far.
I'd vote for the black dog lying by my feet if she could hold a veto pen.

airforcewife said...

Yet another failure of our school system - we don't actually teach our children about the American system. So now we have a bunch of people old enough to vote and have "informed opinions" who really aren't very informed about how the system is supposed to work, the fact that it is a REPUBLIC rather than a democracy, or what a republic actually freaking IS.

Not to mention that their lack of understanding about economic systems and how to even balance a checkbook or save money colors their "informed decisions", which are really not informed about anything other than what they want to do.

Bah. Perhaps my political science degree has me overly biased on the importance of such knowledge. Paris Hilton has more money than I will ever have and she can't even spell hello.

dick stanley said...

I think it's less an uneducated populace than a news media that loves a fight and loves to instigate one or jump on a bandwagon. They'd as soon pillory the polls as use them to hit McCain over the head. But I agree McCain is old news. He isn't conservative enough for the conservatives nor liberal enough for the liberals.