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Saturday, May 18, 2024

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It's Saturday ! Have some comic relief ! Enjoy ! (catfight video):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jvn3mOC56xU

Would that AOC were more like this cat: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wx5Of3X-VJw

Pah.

The 19th Amendment: the gift that keeps on taking.

Tell us what your daughter thinks of your views.

If she knew I felt that way, she would be aghast. As would my wife. So I bite my tongue.

My dad (1917-1992 ) remarked that the first thing the ladies of the USA did with their votes, when a good number of men were out of the country because of WW1, was to enact prohibition; and that, of course, let to the rise of organized crime. Oh well.

I'll add, though, that my daughter, who lives abroad, hasn't voted since 2008. (Not that that's relevant to the argument.)

I realize that my position is heretical, even in these circles. But I am no longer convinced that universal suffrage produces good government, regardless of the complexities of natural-rights theory (we can have a conversation about democracy and natural rights if you like), and I would prefer not to live under a system that produces the kind of results we see all around us today.

I admit that this is a large and anfractuous topic, but at some level we must balance theory against practice, or things will collapse. As they are doing. A glance at male-vs-female election maps for recent votes will show what a different world we might live in without universal suffrage.

(I'll also add that my diagnosis is not confined merely to female suffrage.)

I should jump in one more time to agree with you, Bill (as you wrote in one of the posts you link above), that whether or not I think universal suffrage is conducive to good government (I feel very strongly at this point that it isn't, for what are by now plainly obvious reasons), it isn't going away.

There is zero chance, at a time when we have demolished even the pretense of election integrity and are moving toward giving even illegal aliens not only the vote, but also the privilege of holding public office, that we are ever going to narrow the franchise in any sensible way. Every trend in modern American politics is toward raw democracy, the rawer the better -- and in addition to non-citizens, the dead, and people who don't even exist, I shouldn't be surprised if before long the franchise is extended to include infants, livestock and house-plants.

So we needn't bother arguing whether women oughtn't to have the vote; I know that despite the practical goal of seeking better government, it's a difficult position to defend against natural-rights arguments, the fuzziness of categories, and questions of how a more limited franchise would be determined, and by whom.

The question is moot. This means that all I'm doing here is grumbling, for which I should apologize.

Malcolm,

So-called universal suffrage (as guaranteed by the 19th amendment) is not going to be reversed. It is becoming ever more universal as you fully appreciate: reduction in voting age as proposed by Pelosi, voting by children via proxies, the right to vote extended to noncitizens, (though not to the unborn).

We agree, then, that the question of overturning 19 A is moot (merely academic). But surely the slide down the slippery slope to the evils you mention in your 2nd para can be slowed down and perhaps stopped.

So that question is not moot.

Hysterics for Hamas

https://www.city-journal.org/article/hysterics-for-hamas

Adam believed Eve. But Eve took the first bite. Nota Bene.

Thanks for posting this link, Bill. The dramatis personae of this article are whom I would prefer not to be ruled by. (I say this with sedulous attention to the closure of my HTML tags.)

Abstract principles of government built on philosophical axioms are all well and good, and have an enduring appeal (especially to what Winston Churchill called a "certain brainy type"), but they often don't work in practice because of their necessary simplifications. The form, as always, must be suited to the matter.

The 20th century was a mountain of skulls because of this.

Malcolm,

You didn't tell me whether you agree with my 4:31: "But surely the slide down the slippery slope to the evils you mention in your 2nd para can be slowed down and perhaps stopped.

So that question is not moot."

Have you been watching Mark Levin's Sat and Sun night shows? They're outstanding.

Bill,

Sorry not to have answered you there.

I am not at all optimistic that the slippery slope can be avoided. It seems that there is a "solution" to the game of democracy, a consistent winning strategy (described persuasively by Bertrand de Jouvenel) in which the high (the oligarchy that exists unavoidably in any form of government) buys off the low to expropriate the middle. The power of the resulting coalition is unstoppable.

The key to this is a constantly expanding franchise that is easily persuaded to vote for redistributed largesse. (Do we not see this happening before our eyes?)

This appears to be a permanent, exploitable vulnerability in the nature of democracy itself. The Founders were well aware of it, which is why they did whatever they could to limit the franchise. (And once you get the pathologically altruistic cat-ladies and spinster aunts of the middle-class itself to join the cause, it's "game over".)

I haven't seen many of Levin's weekend TV shows, but I know that his television interviews are more thoughtful and toned-down than his radio program -- which I often find, despite his sharp analysis, to be hard to listen to because of his shouting and name-calling. I'll tune in again.

I should point out also that multiculturalism and diversity, which foster a zero-sum, tribalistic attitude to politics at the expense of commonality, public trust, and civic cohesion, make the implementation of this indefeasible strategy a piece of cake. (Just in case anyone was wondering why our border is wide open.)

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