Speaker Pelosi is reported as saying that the folks who got into the Capitol building the other day want to destroy “democracy” and substitute “whiteness.” On the face of it this is a lie, since the protestors were not advocating anything particularly white but asking for redress for an election stolen by people mostly white.
Democracy is a troublesome term always. A reasonable definition would be a regime in which citizens are equally free and decisions are made peacefully by majority rule. But Pelosi’s “democracy” is a bit strange. There is democracy only when her viewpoint is the only one allowed. The 74 million who voted for Trump for President are not members of her democracy, but enemies who must be eliminated or re-educated and have no equal right to talk to their rulers. In fact, her “democracy” is an ideological fantasy that does not exist in the real world and can only be attempted by coercion (which is already being publicly promoted). Sounds like the Chinese Communist Party, without the Chinese constructive pragmatism.
Being white is real, but “Whiteness” too is an ideological concept. Is whiteness an enemy of democracy? Can you think of any nonwhite country other than Japan that qualifies as genuinely democratic? There are many things that Trump supporters might be accused of, but she resorts to “whiteness” as their greatest sin because of the moral charge connected with any hint of mistreatment of nonwhite people. And if we cannot help being white, shouldn’t she show us a little sympathy rather than extreme malice?
Republican leader McConnell tops Pelosi in dishonesty and stupidity, impossible as that seems. He said he is forwarding Trump’s impeachment because he wants to save the GOP by purging Trump and Make American Great Again. (Presumably, if he is actually convicted of “high crimes,” Trump will not be able to run next time.) Mitch wants to get back to the old comfortable self-serving party rule and pre-Trump business as usual. But what GOP is he saving? Does he think that the 74 million people who voted for Trump will rush back into the arms of Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney? He shows not only contempt for the 74 million but also a cluelessness that qualifies as stupid. Reminds me of a snake swallowing his tail.
There was a time when exercisers of high government power were expected to have done something worthwhile or at least have long experience in office. Even if not perfectly honest they had some knowledge of large human affairs and competence in handling them.
Madame Pelosi has never in a long life done anything notable, much less distinguished. Her knowledge of history is adolescent. McConnell has never shown any accomplishment or wisdom in anything beyond political party tactics. Their world is limited to the corridors of power. They are courtiers, not by any stretch of the imagination leaders. Not a single congressperson had the courage or initiative to leave their cocoon and listen to a mostly peaceful if angry group of citizens. They are too elite and virtuous to be held to account for their actions.
Then there is Kamala Harris, without any achievement or worthwhile distinction or even experience, soon to exercise the immense power of the Yankee Empire, heavy with potential for destruction within and without. Can you imagine her, or even Biden, going up against the wily and patriotic leaders of China, or Russia, or even Iran?
But, not to worry, we still have the best government money can buy.
Clyde Wilson is a distinguished Professor Emeritus of History at the University of South Carolina He is the author or editor of over thirty books and published over 600 articles, essays and reviews