Grover Norquist’s Un-American Political PhilosophyJuly 11, 2012 at 9:30 am | Posted in Enemies of Freedom | 1 Comment
Tags: Norquist, Political Dysfunction
Grover Norquist is chiefly known for what he calls the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.
He bullies candidates and elected legislators to sign the pledge, by pointing out that the tea party will punish at the polls anyone who doesn’t sign.
When a legislator who has signed later encounters a real-world situation which can only be solved by raising taxes, Norquist has a “talk” with him or her, much like a mafia enforcer talking with a waverer. That usually works.
Notice how coercive and inflexible all of this is. It is authoritarian. It is the opposite of support for a free and open society.
Contrast Norquist’s coercive “there is only one right way, my way, and it will never need to be changed” attitude to the attitude that James Madison and others embedded into the Constitution. Madison had carefully studied what had caused earlier democracies to fail, and had engineered into the Constitution correctives for those weaknesses. Chief among them was the diffusion of power, the checks and balances that provide a diversity of inputs, and adaptability. These lead to a self-correcting power, the ability to change course without political upheaval – that is the greatest strength of a free and open society.
Norquist opposes adapting to changing circumstances. He thinks that a meat-ax like rule should be made beforehand, and then should be adhered to, mindlessly. He wants to make us brittle rather than flexible. Norquist is the anti-Madison.
Grover Norquist is an Authoritarian – an enemy of freedom, not its defender.
He is an inadvertent – but real – enemy of the American experiment.
On July 4, Grover Norquist should have held his head in shame.