The Consent of the Governed

A year and more into Obama’s reign, and the public no longer believes that this government has derived its powers  from the consent of the governed.

John Hinderaker at Powerline:

Government derives its just powers from the consent of the governed; that is a foundational principle of our republic. To a stunning degree, however, Americans don’t believe that their own government meets that standard. Scott Rasmussen finds that only 23 percent of voters believe that “the federal government today has the consent of the governed.” A remarkable 62 percent of voters say that our government does not enjoy that consent.

Only 23%? That is remarkable.

The only more remarkable thing is the enlightened patience of the American people. There is no violence at all; there are no mobs destroying government buildings or smashing windows. No angry protest marches, if truth be told.  Only a few almost-loving-in-tone gatherings of patriots who shake their fists at the sky and repeat the words of the Declaration of Independence, and quote the words of the founders.  And then they voice their determination to change things very peacefully, at the polls.

The immediate cause is the fact that the Obama administration and its Congressional allies have embarked on an ambitious, left-wing program that seeks to transform America into a country quite different from what most Americans want. Elections have consequences, as the Democrats never tire of telling us. The problem is that the Democrats, most notably Barack Obama, did not run on the divisive, far-left program they are now trying to implement. Obama postured himself as a rather centrist, post-racial figure. His style as President has been the opposite.

So it is no wonder that most Americans believe they have gotten a government that they didn’t vote for.

The amazing thing is that we have just been subjected to a government that lied to get into power. A deceptoin of this  magnitude has never occurred before in American politics. Democrats saw the election not as an exercise in honestly presenting their program before the people and getting their support; instead they saw it as an  exercise in misleading people into giving them power so they could do things no voter was prepared for. They ran well to the center in the general election; they governed as deeply radical leftists. They know full well how unpopular their entire program is. Yet they insist on imposing their Health Care, Global Warming, and large government agendas. Democrats keep saying that the people voted for government run health care, for example. But the only thing Obama said during his major speeches is that he would make health care “affordable for all Americans”.

In Democracies, factions do not seek power in order to impose their will on an unwilling majority. They do so in order to put the will of the majority into effect. To do otherwise smacks of totalitarianism.

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