Two Simple but Very Important Things
I have stated I want more power to the wishes of the people, because that is the only possible source of legitimacy that we could all agree on. I know some libertarians and anti-materialists are turned off by such a populist message. The “will of the people” may not in fact be the best thing for the country or mystically ordained, and rampant desire to always please them can lead to totalitarian systems. I admit, the popular will may not be a legitimate source of sovereignty – but there certainly isn’t any other. Even most libertarians these days don’t use some Lockean conception of rights to say property is the source of legitimacy anymore, but mostly consequentialist arguments.
We need to understand that a set of “rights” from 250 years ago is a reflection of the culture at the time and not good in of itself. In fact, there may be no a priori goods that we can understand. It is just my belief that the only thing that might but a good all of itself, is the will of the people.
In fact, the will of the people can obviously be wrong and clearly has no mystical properties. My own belief in democracy is simply that the leaders having to respond directly tot he will of the majority, seems to bring about the safest and least tyrranical government.
More discussions this past weekend with people over the DC representation. It continues to astound me how people can just accept “well it would be politically inconvenient to one side or the other, so they don’t get full representation”. Dear lord, do we think gays vote Democratic so we might just not give them a vote? Would that argument pass? How about disenfranchising Massachussetts? How can any party have a claim on democratic legitimacy if it allows a city of half a million to go without any state government or federal representation?
And it’s not like you can’t find solutions that don’t insanely help one side or another. Fold DC into VA or MD: Democrats lose some electoral votes, gain a Congressman, and the Senators remain unchanged.
It’s not the biggest deal in terms of saving lives or the fiscal future of our nation I know – but it should be the biggest deal in terms of something that is clearly wrong in the this country, and why arbitrary distinctions of different territory in terms of political representation is horribly silly and immoral.
[The idea favorite to Democrat's I've heard isn't making DC a state... but folding DC into VA. One more congressman, and make the Senators and EV of VA into real swing elections.)