Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Consent of the Governed

So I read through Vox Day’s recent blog entry entitled “There is no ‘marital rape’” where he describes how that once a couple is married, consent is given for sex.  While I do not wish to discuss that particular topic myself, mostly because Vox did a great job already and there is plenty of comments on the topic to sort through, I do want to address another kind of consent: the consent of the governed.

This is the principle by which the rulers of a people only rule by the consent of the subjects.  Were the subjects to be unhappy with their rulers, then obviously the rulers would be in peril.  Force could be employed, although that force was subject to a certain degree of loyalty and trust from others.  In other words it would require the consent of those who served a ruler as well.

This is a pretty basic concept to grasp.  In a Republic, such as ours, where we elect representatives to govern us, the consent of the governed is much more fundamental.  After all, when the people vote in their representatives to take care of matters of law, then they operate at the direct consent of those they govern.

Right now we have many of our representatives looking in to changing the health care plans of the vast majority of Americans.  Unfortunately, many of us are perfectly satisfied with our own health care plans, we just seem to care too much about the well-being of others.  And so many of us look to the government to do so.  However, many elected representatives are throwing out the baby with the bath water, so to speak, and this leaves many of their voters discontent.

The town hall meetings are evidence of that.  The fits and the hysteria seen there is largely evident that many of us do not want the bill to become law.  We all want nothing to do with it and we recognize that in the current economic contraction, there is no reason to be adding more and more expensive and unsustainable government programs into the mix.  Now is the time for government itself to contract as well, not expand (Keynes be damned I say).

In any case, while I agree with the sentiments of those people, I see their actions as utterly futile.  When they voted back in November for an overwhelming Democrat majority and Democrat President, they gave their consent for the Democrat party to implement everything they wanted to do.  While many people may claim they were duped and believed the likes of Obama during his campaign about how he did not support a single payer system, this is no excuse.  They could have easily done some simple research (like a simple search on and found that Obama has stated numerous times he wants us all on a single payer system.

Their actions are futile because the Democrats have the consent of the governed.  When you cast a vote for a leader, that leader is ultimately given consent to shape how things will be handled by the government.  They have our consent to do whatever they desire to do so, the United States Constitution notwithstanding.  We gave them our blessing to pursue their agenda, no matter how radical it may have been, and so while it may raise a ruckus and cause various members of Congress to cower in fear, they can still easily pass the legislation and then campaign on maintaining.

While I hate the very possibility of Congress passing said legislation, I think this is our crap sandwich we all have to take a bite out of.  I am sorry, but the next time you do not want a government to meddle in your life, you need to vote for someone who not only claims he or she will not, but has a consistent history of not meddling in the affairs of others unless they were engaging in legitimate business activities.  I did not vote for John McCain or Barack Obama precisely because I knew that both of them wanted to meddle in my own personal affairs.  I knew it was a futile choice, as the consent of the governed involved all the governed who are interested in voting, but I wanted to say that my conscious was clear and my beliefs are intact.

I knew that no matter who won, the American people would lose.  But the American people have lost because of their own actions, not because of one particular man.  You want to change things?  Good.  Vote out your bum of a representative next time.