In this representative republic, elected officials are supposed to
govern by the will of the majority of the people. But after they use
that majority to get into office, they’re disregarding the people’s
It’s a twist on de Tocqueville’s famous political observation about America, notes Fred Barnes in the WSJ.
“The Frenchman toured America in the 1830s and published his
conclusions in the classic “Democracy in America.” He noted the
powerful impact of public opinion. “That is what forms the majority,”
he wrote. Congress merely “represents the majority and obeys it
blindly” and so does the president. They are free to brush aside
minority opinion, creating a threat de Tocqueville described as the
“tyranny of the majority.”
“Democrats in Washington do have large majorities in Congress. But
instead of reflecting popular opinion, they are pursuing wide-ranging
initiatives in defiance of the views of the majority of Americans. This
stands de Tocqueville’s concept on its head.
“The most striking example is health-care reform. It is intensely
unpopular but was approved by the House in November and the Senate on
Christmas Eve. Asked in a Rasmussen poll in mid-December if they’d
prefer no bill to ObamaCare, 57% said they would. Only 34% said they’d
rather ObamaCare be enacted.
“Yet Democrats are forging ahead as if the public actually approves
of their health-care reform. Why, when Republicans are preparing to
hammer them on the issue in next year’s elections, would they do that?”
Politics and fear.
But at this point, the politicians ought to at least worry about the
populist activism growing amongst the electorate they’re betraying.
This will be a defining year.