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Getting the Government We Deserve

Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard. H. L. Mencken

In a democracy, even one as degraded and rapidly decaying as the American system, I think we must agree that the people must bear some responsibility for the government they get. In a fundamental sense, it is the government we deserve.

If you vote solely based on a desire to keep your taxes low, you deserve a government that picks your pocket to further enrich bored billionaires who burn the windfall for rocket fuel.

If you believe the malicious lie that Black people and undocumented immigrants are casting multiple ballots, you deserve to have the franchise taken away from you.

If you slavishly follow a blatant con artist of a leader because you enjoy watching him say and do hateful things to people you don’t like, you deserve to have him come back and burn down the tattered remnants of your life.

If you hate gay people so much you believe the horrifying calumny that they are all secret child rapists, you deserve a government that interferes with your sex life.

If you hold the kinds of psychotic opinions about conspiracies and devils everywhere that get people in functioning societies placed on heavy psychiatric meds under close supervision, you deserve government by madmen.

If you worship foreign dictators when they claim to be upholding a tyrannical version of Christianity, you deserve an all-American tyranny that forces everybody to go to the same church, not yours.

The rest of us may not want any of these things. But until we learn to fight back against them, we will sort of deserve them, too.

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