14 April 2005

Nuclear Option A Good Thing

The sooner Congress decides to outlaw the sabotage practice known as “filibustering” the better. Personally I think that the Founding Fathers were having a bad day when they forgot to prohibit it. The filibuster is a deeply undemocratic tool that has never been used for anything but obstructing the will of the majority of the people. Now, don’t get me wrong, minorities should not be robbed of their rights. But there is no justification for claiming special rights for minorities. The Declaration of Independence talks about “all men [being] created equal”, not about some minorities being so special as to warrant extra rights, because otherwise it would be unfair.

Yet that is the position of the Democrats. They have been denouncing the so-called “nuclear option” as more evidence of the fact that Republicans are just power hungry and want to lord it over the poor little Democrats. I could not disagree more. Democracy is Greek for “rule by the people.” The majority of people voted for Republicans so that they have the mandate to make decisions. The Democrats’ misuse of Congressional debating procedures is unconstitutional and unethical and should be prohibited.

But wait. That does not solve everything. I am not a Republican and while I happen to side with the Republican proposal on this topic, I do not support the Republican party. I am quite wary about the hypocrisy that is manifesting itself among Republicans (and Democrats). Scrapping the filibuster would tip the balance to the Republicans. It would be foolish to deny that. It would be in line with the election results but does have certain risks.

So, what is the problem? The problem is the two-party system. Since everything in US politics is binary, the result in Congress is that one of two parties will always be in charge. If there were ever a third party with enough clout to keep either party from 50% influence, the filibuster would become unnecessary to prevent the dictatorship of the majority. That would mean pretty large changes in the US election system. Right now all other parties apart from the Republicans and Democrats are completely meaningless. That is something I worry about, since I support neither party. So, let’s start retiring some of those Republicans and Democrats and replace them with third-party candidates. Let’s build up a true conservative party that is not in the pocket of big businesses and special interests but finds its true basis in Scripture and the Constitution.

(That, by the way, is not an endorsement of the Constitution Party, with whom I also have certain quarrels.)

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