This is a testing time. Arguably, the strength of a democracy is toleration for mediocrity and mendacity. That is, if we can tolerate dim bulbs and dark forces, but find our way home, we are okay. By that measure, the New York barmaid turned Democrat gadfly – AOC – is putting our Republic to the test.
This week, she tweeted to those who work for a living, rise early, set late, have families, believe in the future, honor the past, and love America. She wants us to understand “democracy.”
Spurred by Justice Ruth Ginsburg’s passing, the self-assured, blurt-and-run congresswoman – who considers herself an “economist” since she took a course – told us where things are at.
In a flurry of bungled words, she lit up the news. “Our democracy is at a faint heartbeat; it was broken before Trump. But so long as we can save lives, I believe we have an obligation to do so as we build a new world,” adding “after we work to command victory in November, I need folks to realize that there’s no going back to brunch.” Hmmm. Too much coffee?
From this tangled mass of socialist mush, where does go? What would our Founders think? How do you correct someone who is dead wrong and cock sure? The first instinct is move on.
But more is owed. Persuasion involves engaging those who do not see, were never taught, have forgotten, or are blinded by appeals to emotion, distraction, disaffection, resentment, or another dark force. We owe it to our past to re-anchor lost souls in reason, history, and self-awareness.
Of course, it takes courage to engage those passionately committed to ignorance, content to be arrogant, disinterested in truth. So focus on “democracy.” America is a representative democracy, a Republic. People elect representatives to reflect their will and exercise judgment.
Our Founders believed educated, liberty-loving representatives, held accountable by elections, would guide the republic through times good and bad. Direct democracy was rejected – since it was unbounded by law, allowing a majority to overrun minorities and individuals.
Moreover, our republic was designed to be self-correcting, not just through educated representatives, but a three-by-three block – three cross-checking federal branches, three layers. As most know – although one wonders about AOC – the legislative branch checks executive and judicial power by oversight, spending limits (increasingly ironic), confirmations, and impeachment (recently misused).
At risk of boring readers – but for AOC-devotees – the executive checks the legislative by veto and executive prerogatives, chiefly in national security, foreign affairs, and administration. The judiciary applies law to cases, checks executive and congressional overreach, protects minorities and individuals.
Now, if you were AOC, you would officially be a constitutional lawyer! Since she did not take that course, however, what follows is a disentangling of her troubled tweets.
First, our Republic, is strong. Why? It is built around laws, protects against government overreach and mobocracy of the sort Democrats – gone socialist – promote. In a second tweet, AOC suggests Americans “radicalize” themselves. Apparently, she is modeling that process.
Limits on government and the citizens are clear. A runaway mob, even a majority mob, cannot legitimately upend our laws. We do not allow majorities or mobs to trample individual rights – under ordinary circumstances. Recent mob attacks – justified by Democrats – are constitutionally unacceptable. They upend law, are anti-American.
Our Republic will be strong – not “faint” of heart – so long as our rights are held inviolate, unsuppressed by government, majority, or mobs. That means we stay strong in proportion to how freely we can speak, exercise faith, assemble, defend ourselves, avoid unreasonable searches or seizures, receive due process, and respect the 9th and 10th amendments, which remind us power flows up from the People.
To be clear, if the Republic is at risk, the risk comes from socialist mobs and mayhem, tolerated by Democrats – not from defending constitutional rights or a restrained judiciary.
The threat to our Republic is the audacity of AOC, Biden, Harris, Sanders, Pelosi, Schumer, and their ilk, who want to aggregate power and usurp individual liberties. The chief threat to our Republic comes from excusing violence, choosing emotion over reason, trampling core rights.
“Broken before Trump?” Trump has nothing to do with the advance of socialism, communism, mobs, Democrat mayors allowing cities destroyed. He has nothing to do with ideologues pushing violence as peace, fascism as anti-fascism, violence as healing, church burning as good.
If our Republic suffers fissures, they can be traced to progressive ideology, encouraging government dependence over self-reliance, state authority over individual responsibility, public corruption, endless spending, class warfare, and dictating social norms like old Soviets.
If AOC wants to heal wounds, un-break America, and “save lives,” study American history, relearn toleration for differing ideas – from which truth emerges. She might revisit humility, the capacity for self-correction. That is what our Founders did. They discovered government does not have the truth. Limited government protects truths distilled by individuals.
“Build a new world?” As a mentor once instructed me, look before you leap, appreciate what you have, be grateful for the sacrifice, and “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” We do not need a new world, just greater appreciation for what we have.
Finally, AOC says Democrats will “command” November, and watch out. “I need folks to realize that there’s no going back to brunch.” My dear congresswoman, this may come as a shock, but most of us are up early, put in an honest day’s work, live on wages or retirement. We do not sleep late, lecture our neighbors, or roll into “brunch” midday. That is not real America – that is AOC-privileged America, and you can have it.
In short, America is at risk – but not from phantom fascists or hard-working pursuers of the American Dream. America is at risk from socialists like AOC, out of touch with constitutional process, up in arms about a Supreme Court justice, tweeting the world’s end, advocating people “burn down” the Supreme Court – which, incidentally, is marble.
Yes, AOC – and other anti-American socialists – “brunch” is over. The Supreme Court will have a new justice and migrate away from judicial activism. America will – after November – get stronger. The test will be whether we, as a People, can tolerate such mediocrity and mendacity – and keep moving. We have overcome worse, but these are testing times.