American Elephants

Progressives: Their Unsurprising Characteristics. by The Elephant's Child

The first sentiment animating 19th–century Progressivism was admiration of parliamentary democracy, a system sometimes described as dictatorship punctuated by elections.  It has remained appealing ever since to intellectuals and activists for whom “the practice of American democracy meant the institutionalization of the liberal-progressive agenda,” in Pearson’s words.  Many liberals were enraged that Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell could marshal his 41 Republican colleagues to exploit the filibuster and other procedural arcana to thwart 59 Democratic senators as well as President Obama and the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives. These complaints that the Senate’s rules frustrate democracy led to complaints that its existence does so: a legislative chamber where Wyoming’s 564,000 residents enjoy equal representation with California’s 37 million was condemned as “resolutely, aggressively, anti-democratic,” one which “ought to be abolished.”

From an essay titled “Enough Already” by William Voegeli in the Claremont Review of Books, Winter 2011/2012. Worth your time.

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