It is with this example in mind that we might take a look at the explosive growth or populism of the most perverse sort in the politics of our nation. Recent symptoms include the Texas governor who won handily in his primary, suggesting that if Obama succeeds in passing health care and other “socialist” programs the Lone Star State might secede from the union, an option that some historians believe is written into the Texas statehood legislation. Combined with the resurgence of the various anti-tax militias and a general disgust with the federal government as presently performed, particularly on Capitol Hill, such public sentiment can easily lead to unintended consequences, up to and including military coups and civil wars.
A recent poll on congressional performance showed just over one half of the citizenry would vote against every incumbent as punishment for failing to get the job done, whatever the job is. A further four of 10 wanted most of the government administrators fired. One assumes that such a massacre of bureaucrats would force most social responsibilities (welfare, schools, environment, etc.) back on the states, where local influences would dictate policy more easily that the current corrupt system in Washington.
Now some folks believe that the effective overthrow of the government would lead to anarchy and mob rule, but the last time that was tried it failed under assault of fascism in a time before the people were ready for self-rule in Spain. The result was civil war, with foreign intervention by communist internationalists, Russian-sponsored Marxists and a half-dozen organized syndicates of anarchists who controlled much of the country’s agricultural and industrial sites. It all worked fairly well, with farmers and workers forming their own management and marketing systems, running the trains and trolleys in Barcelona without any central government. Unfortunately one colonel Franco came home from Morocco with troops and the backing of the ultra right, ending the experiment in mob rule, or direct democracy as others described it. For further details read Orwell’s “Homage to Catalonia.”
In this country it is unlikely that the “tea party” patriotic protestors can create anything serious in the way of bringing down the government, but they could create a new class of politician in Washington. One that is marked by ignorance and ideology, untrained in the arts of politics and unable to define the issues of importance well enough to legislate responsibility. Think Sarah Palin and Michelle Backman, Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh. Think a congress with several hundred oafs making law.
Then think again, before you drive out all the snakes.
“Travus T. Hipp” is a 40-year veteran radio commentator with six stations in California carrying his daily version of the news and opinions. “The Poor Hippy’s Paul Harvey,” Travus is a member of the Nevada Broadcasters Hall of Fame, but unemployable in the Silver State due to his eclectic political views.