Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Response to John Moser

John Moser’s comment below needs to be taken seriously, of course. Actually more could be added. For example, I am against the recall (and referendum and initiative) as a matter of principle. These are additions to constitutional structures (or, representative democracy) stemming from the Progressive movements, as we know. (Heck, I’m even against the direct election of Senators, never mind the progressive income tax). Senator Kennedy said about a week ago, "This is too much democracy!" I agree. But, here we are, so in 1978 I voted for Proposition 13 in California.
And if I lived in California now I would vote for recalling Davis and for Arnold (not McClintock only because I don’t think he can win.) Will the recall be now used over and over again? Probably not, in my opinion. The recall has been attempted before for more ordinary partisan reasons (against then governor Reagan, as I recollect) and it never got enough signatures. If we go into such a "mobocratic" mode, time and again, we should oppose it, and try to change the system back to a more constitutional mode. That, of course, would take some doing because we would have to make the case that the people have too much power; a hard argument to make to the people. (And also that the political elites, via the constitutional structure, can be trusted; tough sell.) It goes without saying that the twist in all this is that these progressive modes (Referendum, initiative, recall) have been used against the liberal-progressive elites because they have strayed too far from the views and sentiments of the people. They stopped listening to the people (they have lost the trust of the citizens) and the citizens got a bit angry. So the liberal-progressive bunch are now against it because a kind of accountability is being forced on them that they don’t like. Well, on the one hand, let them suffer, on the other hand, it would be good to revert to the old and good and constitutional ways.

Discussions - 1 Comment

"And if I lived in California now I would vote for recalling Davis and for Arnold (not McClintock only because I don’t think he can win.)"

Pragmatists are the reason there is such things as "recall (and referendum and initiative)" in California. Don’t vote for the best man, vote only for the man, no matter his short-comings, who can win. Perhaps you have defined for yourself the reason behind the demise of the Republic and "representative democracy". Politics of the "least common denominator". The "road to hell" is paved with votes for only those that can win and not for the best man. Perhaps you could kindly explain your rationale about how electing the inferior candidate will somehow improve the situation in California?

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