At their peril

Paul Jacobs writes on Townhall: Popular government is failing. Citizens are losing control. We see it in politicians all across the country suing the voters — successfully and unsuccessfully — to overturn term-limit laws. We see it in politicians who promise to bring government under control when seeking office, only to join the big government party once safely ensconced in office with all the advantages of incumbency. We see it in reforms supposed to help stop corruption of public officials or the appearance of corruption which only regulate and silence criticism of those same public officials. In all these cases, what we are witnessing is a constant erosion of democracy’s most important feature: the peaceful removal of office-holders.

This is a matter where both Left and Right should be able to see eye to eye. Incumbent protection is in no one’s interest – not even the incumbents, eventually. People denied the right to effect peaceful change will eventually turn to other, less peaceful measures. Even if unsuccessful, those efforts don’t tend to be pleasant for anyone.

Furthermore, if democracy is the point, then why not work towards universal democracy? The technology is there. If the Constitution is just a relic, then so is the Congress. Let everything become a referendum. If we are not going to limit government, then let’s at least give people precisely the government they want. You want democracy? I’ll give you democracy!