Democracy vs “Our Democracy”
When the Democrats talk about “their” political system, believe them.
It’s not the most outrageous piece of rhetoric used by Democrats regarding the January 6 committee. That would be “The Big Lie,” Hitler’s blood libel against the Jews in Mein Kampf which the Democrats now casually use to describe anyone who questions the integrity of the 2020 election. But references to “our democracy”—used to denounce whatever the GOP happens to be doing at any given moment—are certainly pervasive, and reveal a lot about the political moment.
This rhetoric had been evident for a while, but I became particularly sensitized to it when Hillary Clinton posted an interview on Twitter with the Financial Times (conducted by that great democratic herald Edward Luce, son of the former Lord Chamberlain to the Queen of England), in which she declared that “We are standing on the precipice of losing our Democracy.” The word “Our” seemed to be doing a lot of work in Hillary’s formulation. Luce himself more recently tweeted that in a lifetime of global reportage on violent extremism “I have never come across a political force, more nihilistic, dangerous and contemptible than today’s Republicans. Nothing close,” to which that great herald of democracy, former CIA Director Michael Hayden tweeted agreement.
And indeed, Clinton spoke more than she knew, because “OUR DEMOCRACY” (hereafter styled in all caps, for emphasis)— when used by Democrats means the opposite of democracy itself—instead referring to the oligarchical political system run by them and their enablers in the GOP establishment. When Democrats say “OUR DEMOCRACY,” the “our” literally refers to something they believe they own.
That’s why Hayden himself, in a recent op-ed co-written with fellow deep state generals and intelligence officials, wrote that “We harbor an unprecedented concern for our country and OUR DEMOCRACY.
And a quick scan of the most popular uses of the term “OUR DEMOCRACY” on Twitter over the last few weeks confirmed my suspicions. While there are a couple of popular instances of right-wing people using this phrase, “OUR DEMOCRACY” has become, in the current parlance, a slogan used to fight against actual democracy, and instead maintain leftist power and control.
So when Andrew Yang, until recently a Democrat, launched his Forward political party, the “OUR DEMOCRACY” crowd (whom one might think would be in favor of more democratic choice) was out in force objecting to it.
Former senior Biden White House official Andy Slavitt informs us that “People like Andrew Yang’s premise that both sides are equally wrong is wrong. The future of our planet, OUR DEMOCRACY, equality, and fairness most be won, never conceded.” Offering voters another choice isn’t bad for democracy, but it’s very bad for OUR DEMOCRACY.
Not all third-party candidates are bad for the OUR DEMOCRACY, of course.
Former deep state operative Evan McMullin, whose presidential candidacy helped Democrats and who is currently running as the de facto Democrat senate nominee in Utah, is very good for “OUR DEMOCRACY,” which he tells us his GOP opponent, Senator Mike Lee “tried to topple” through his post-election legal advice to Trump.
The democratic process itself is unpopular with the OUR DEMOCRACY crowd. Wisconsin Democrat Senate nominee Mandela Barnes informs us that “the filibuster has been weaponized by the GOP – and they’re destroying OUR DEMOCRACY.”
OUR DEMOCRACY even improves through censorship. The Democrat-aligned activist group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington says, “Truth Social enables Trump and his supporters to continue their attempts to undermine OUR DEMOCRACY. Apple needs to remove it from its App Store.” Because nothing says love for Democracy like eliminating the ability of our political opponents to speak.
Unsurprisingly, the most important target of the OUR DEMOCRACY throng is Donald Trump, and their primary goal is making sure Americans can’t make the mistake of democratically electing him in the future.
MSNBC Legal Analyst Jill Wine-Banks says that Trump’s “penalty must include barring him from future office. Without accountability, he—or other wannabe dictator— will repeat the conduct threatening OUR DEMOCRACY.”
Not to be outdone, Nancy Pelosi and the House Democrats launched their latest fundraising campaign with a #DefendOurDemocracy hashtag.
But winning the prize is David Rothkopf, former senior Clinton Administration official and managing director of the deep establishment consulting firm Kissinger Associates, who wrote that “until Trump it had never been essential to the survival of OUR DEMOCACY and the rule of law in our country for a president to be indicted & convicted.”
Rothkopf’s new book is entitled American Resistance: The Inside Story of how the Deep State Saved the Nation.
Points for honesty, I guess.
Not content to punish Trump (Wine-Banks advocates house arrest), Adam Schiff, the congressman arguably most responsible for pushing the Russiagate conspiracy theory, believes that democracy is best served when we put leading opposition figures in prison: “Steve Bannon thought his proximity to the former president made him above the law. He was wrong. For OUR DEMOCRACY to function, the law must apply to everyone,” he said, celebrating a show trial in which Bannon was forbidden from offering a meaningful defense.
Liz Cheney’s family is almost synonymous with democracy and openness—they are the ones who brought democracy to Iraq and Afghanistan. Thus we must take her seriously when she informs us that January 6 was “a fundamental assault on OUR DEMOCRACY.”
Her mini-me, Adam Kinzinger, like Cheney, also a globalist advocate of perpetual wars, informs us that President Trump “was willing to sacrifice OUR DEMOCRACY to achieve his goal [of keeping power]”
No wonder the January 6 committee (of which Cheney and Kinzinger are the sole Republican representatives, appointed by Nancy Pelosi herself) itself piped in to say “On January 6th 2021, OUR DEMOCRACY was inches from catastrophe.” Because Americans were ,of course, totally going to have their election results determined by the guy wearing Viking horns.
Not to be outdone was Steve Schmidt, the former GOP political consultant who founded the pedophile-linked Lincoln Project. “Today the Republican Party has become a danger to OUR DEMOCRACY and our values”
The OUR DEMOCRACY oligarchy all sings from the same hymnal—desperate to avoid real democratic challenge, they shamelessly parrot the word democracy to undermine democracy.
Why can’t the Democrats stop bleating about OUR DEMOCRACY and just say what they really believe. Perhaps they see themselves as Leo Strauss’ philosophers, forced to hide their low opinions of actual democracy since their views are “suspect to, and hated by the majority of men.”
Perhaps indeed we are losing OUR DEMOCRACY.
Given the folks who seem worried about it, I can only hope so.
The American Mind presents a range of perspectives. Views are writers’ own and do not necessarily represent those of The Claremont Institute.