More liberal anxiety over the indeterminate quality of democratic elections

From my New York Times e-mail this morning:

President Obama’s support is eroding among elements of his base, and Republicans have not coalesced around a candidate, a New York Times/CBS News poll found.

Oh, my God—it’s five months before the first vote in the first GOP state caucus, and eleven months before the Republican National Convention, and the Republicans have still not coalesced around a candidate!

That bizarre yet deeply revealing piece of liberal reporting is up there with a classic line by Dan Balz of the Washington Post in October 2007. I reproduce the entire entry I wrote about it at the time:

What liberals really think of democracy … they think it’s icky

This is the lead of a Dan Balz article in the Washington Post:

Rudolph W. Giuliani leads the race for the GOP presidential nomination, with Republican voters describing him as the field’s strongest leader and most electable candidate in the 2008 general election, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll. But the Republican contest remains unsettled just three months before the first votes will be cast, and in comparison with fellow New York politician Hillary Rodham Clinton, Giuliani is a far less solid front-runner.

The “contest remains unsettled just three months before the votes will be cast”? Wow, that implies that the normal thing would be for the contest to be over with and settled, three months before anyone has voted, like in the Democratic party, where it’s now considered a foregone conclusion that Hillary will win, or like in the EU, where if the leaders don’t like the results of an election, they cancel it and find another way to achieve the same result. Anything short of a managed, EU-style election leaves a dried-up liberal like Dan Balz feeling unsettled and out of sorts. Liberals want elections to be decided before they even occur, because an election implies the existence of a majority that possesses power—a power outside liberal control. Also, when things are decided by election, that means the majority has control and the minority doesn’t, which is unequal and unfair. The only way to avoid such inequality is to have the unelected elite running everything, in the name of good principles and for the benefit of all. This is all the more necessary when liberal education and the liberal culture have turned the populace into a bunch of debased demi-humans incapable of governing themselves.

The first commenter at had the same reaction to Balz’s lead that I did:

Silly me … I thought it was supposed to be unsettled until the LAST VOTE is COUNTED.

- end of initial entry -

A reader writes:

Here’s a suggested headline to add to your post:

Ridiculously Long Campaign Season Leads to Idiotic Remarks

M. Jose writes:

In your post, I notice you didn’t comment on the irony in Balz’s article:

” … like in the Democratic party, where it’s now considered a foregone conclusion that Hillary will win.”

Strangely enough, not only was the conclusion wrong, but in the end the Democratic Party race was not settled until the very end of the primary season, whereas the GOP race had selected McCain sometime in the middle, making Dan Balz not just anti-democratic, but totally wrong.

LA replies:

I didn’t have to comment on that point. I figured a reader would catch it.

And there’s also this irony. Balz, as a good liberal, clearly wanted Giuliani, the most liberal Republican, to be the nominee, and he was frustrated that despite Giuliani’s front runner status and supposed mighty electoral prowess, the GOP had not coalesced around him as of October 2007. But, as it turned out, once actual primary elections were held, the Mighty Giuliani won a total of one delegate. If Balz had had his way, Giuliani would have been nominated by acclamation in October 2007, without all those dirty primary elections.

Kristor writes:

As I wrote in a December 2009 thread, liberals hate uncertainty. When things are unsettled, that scares them. They’d rather have a nice bureaucratically administered procedure, spelled out in an algorithm in Federal Law, that would select the best President every four years. I mean, that’s what an election is; but an election is a bureaucratically administered procedure for sampling the messy unpredictable opinion of the electorate. Liberals would rather have that anomalous factor ruled out of the operation. They’d want experts to decide, based on specified criteria.

The same thing is at work in the investment business. Retail investors are uncomfortable with the uncertainty of the market. They want to hire an expert who knows better than the unpredictable messy market, to whom they can delegate all the scary decisions. But they don’t trust the investment experts either, when push comes to shove; so the liberal idea of an investment program is Social Security, which takes all the risk out of the equation, and puts the whole thing in the hands of expert bureaucrats.

Finally, we see it also in their reaction to competitive markets. When there are lots and lots of competitors and leadership of a market is contested, and the competitors are fighting tooth and nail for market share, Liberals call that market “unsettled.” That ideal market condition is problematic for them. They feel much better about industries like the tightly regulated utility business, with government-chartered monopolies.

LA to Kristor:

I had forgotten about that December 2009 discussion that you link. Wow! Bam! Shazzam!

And it reminded me, I never put together a collection of VFR’s entries on gnosticism for permanent display in the sidebar. I’ve just done so.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at September 17, 2011 10:17 AM | Send

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