Sunday Sermon: Governing As a Minority

Garry Wills, in an essay from the NY Review of Books, “Bush’s Fringe Government”, writes the following about the reign of Little Lord Pontchartrain:

How do you govern an apostate nation? When the entire culture is corrupted, the country can only be morally governed in spite of itself. A collection of aggrieved minorities must seize the levers of power in every way possible. One must govern not from a broad consensual center but from activist fringes of morality. That has, in fact, been Karl Rove’s strategy. He cultivates the extreme groups that are out of step with the broad consensus of the nation, since they supply the hard workers in primaries and general elections….
Most American administrations try (or pretend) to govern by compromise, to speak for “all the people.” The Bush presidency has not even put on a show of doing this…. On issue after issue, the administration is out of touch with the majority of the American people.

In order to govern over a majority that disagrees with them, the administration has to lie and dissemble in order to convince the public that the administration is actually doing the public’s business.
This is the Bush administration’s original sin.

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1 Response to Sunday Sermon: Governing As a Minority

  1. QrazyQat says:

    I’ve made this point before, but again: the methods of the modern GOP are the same as the methods of pseudoscience (whether creationism or “alternative” history or whatever — the tactics are virtually always the same). This is partly because so many of them are creationists and therefore rely on pseudoscience regularly, but mostly because they must disguise their actions, and the effects of their actions, because if they don’t it is obvious that those actions are devastating to the vast majority of the electorate.
    This is one of the reasons we need decent science education in schools (and why it is opposed by rightwing elites). The kind of inquiry that is the most vital part of science is just what’s required for a democracy to continue (Carl Sagan made this a major point of Demon Haunted World). It gives you the tools to dig in and evaluate claims — in Sagan’s words, a BS detector kit.

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