Saturday, November 04, 2006

Folkbum's Short History of the Democrat Party

It was nice of Jay to post all this research on the Democrat Party. Saves us the trouble...

Among others, the Ku Klux Klan, the Knights of the White Camellia, and other terrorist organizations attempted to prevent the 15th Amendment from being enforced by violence and intimidation.

Yes, Jay, we remember Senator Robert Byrd's origins as a politician.

...resulted in a climate in which violence could be used to depress black voter turnout and fraud could be used to undo the effect of lawfully cast votes.

And we all thought "vote fraud" was invented by Richard Daley. Turns out he was merely a student of his Party's history.

Once whites regained control of the state legislatures using these tactics, a process known as "Redemption," they used gerrymandering of election districts to further reduce black voting strength and minimize the number of black elected officials.

Not Jesse Unruh, but Dixiecrats. Hmmmm.

Prior to passage of the federal Voting Rights Act in 1965...

...which was passed by REPUBLICANS, by the way...

(One more thing, Jay. Southern Democrat regimes ALSO established "gun-control" laws to prevent blacks from defending themselves, their families, and their property from KKK types. I'm sure you want to know that.)

Now, let's move to Jay's topic, thanking him once again for his history lesson.

Jay wants to confuse the "literacy tests" used and abused by Democrat pols in the South with the necessity of being an informed voter. Those tests had little to do with 'informed' and everything to do with electing Democrat politicians.

One hopes that Jay understands the difference.

Now comes Plato:

Whether it is a matter of art, music or politics, it is only the ‘best men’ who are capable of true judgement. The true judge must not allow himself to be influenced by the gallery nor intimidated by the clamour of the multitude. Nothing must compel him to hand down a verdict that belies his own convictions. It is his duty to teach the multitude and not to learn from them.

The commentator on this passage adds the following:

(It should be noted at this point that one common criticism of Plato is based on a gross textual misreading of The Republic. This criticism claims that Plato’s perfectly just city is undemocratic because it is an aristocracy of the hereditary caste of Philosopher Rulers. But this is fallacious since The Republic clearly asserts that all citizens who satisfy the educational requirements, including women and members of the producer class, will be able to become Rulers, and hence the Philosopher Rulers do not constitute a hereditary caste. Plato’s perfectly just society ‘is not a caste society’.)

Plato's ideal voter, then, is one who votes for the 'common good,' not subject to 'clamor,' and consistent with his 'convictions.' In other words, as Kenitz points out, a disqualification for voting (to Plato) would be 'issue illiteracy,' or in less elegant terms, "stupidity."

As to Aristotle:

The citizen in common parlance is the person who has a share in ruling and being ruled; in the best system of government [namely, a polity, on which see under “Defining Systems of Government”] a citizen is both able and willing to rule and be ruled in accordance with a life lived with excellence as its aim.

The good citizen must have ability and knowledge concerning both ruling free men and also being ruled. A good citizen must possess moderation and prudence ( sophrosyne ) and justice ( dikaiosyne ) with respect to ruling.

A good (albeit not perfect) way to describe our system of governance is 'polity.'

Polity is, to put it simply, a mixture of oligarchy and democracy. The kinds of polities that tend towards democracy are customarily referred to by the name of polity, while those that tend towards oligarchy are called aristocracies.

When the multitude governs according to the common advantage, then this system of government is called by the term also used to designate systems of government in general, namely, polity.

The following arrangements are usually considered consistent with democracy:
Election to all offices from among all the

(There are others mentioned, but this is closest to the polity we use.)


The same person not repeating the same magistracy, or only rarely, except for military offices.

Having the terms of
magistracies be short, wherever possible.

Choosing jurors from all
citizens to adjudicate all matters, or most matters, especially the most important ones.

assembly having authority over all matters or the most important matters, while magistrates have authority over none, or as few as possible.

Providing pay for all service in government, or for all functions that exercise authority.

Making no distinctions according to a
citizen’s birth, poverty, or occupation no public offices held for life.

As to "educational qualification for voting,":

Education appropriate for a democratic system of government is not to be guided by what brings enjoyment to the partisans of democracy but rather by what makes it possible to run a system of government democratically.

More on "informed voters":

Education, debate, and social groups dedicated to inquiry and discussion are enemies of tyranny, since they encourage intelligent thought and trust [among citizens].

"Intelligent thought," eh? S'pose that's what Kenitz was writing about, Jay?

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