The Democrats Ethics
November 14, 2000
I feel as if Im waiting for the verdict in the first O.J.
Simpson trial or Bill Clintons impeachment? I guess its
because the honest people have had their say, and now its up to the
Alan Dershowitz, who had the singular
honor of defending both Simpson and Clinton, has popped up in Florida
an ominous sign. Just as ominously, Jesse Jackson is there
It isnt reassuring that Bill
Daley is Al Gores campaign manager. Daley is the son of
Chicagos legendary mayor Richard Daley, best known for stealing
the 1960 election for John Kennedy in Illinois. The younger Daley is
complaining, with a straight face, that Gore was robbed in Florida because
the butterfly ballots were badly designed. Similar ballots are still used in
Chicago, Republicans seem capable of figuring out how to mark them, and,
as Kennedy used to say, Life is unfair. Ill say
its unfair! Some Democrats are complaining of poor lighting in the
Florida voting booths; presumably the lights were turned up for Republican
But never mind. Gore was robbed. The
Democrats, the Party of the Victims, have been victimized again. But the
more they squeal, the more suspicious we should be.
Democrats have a long tradition of winning on the principle that, as G.K.
Chesterton once put it, nobody should be deprived of the vote by accident
of death. This isnt just true in big cities; it was true in Lyndon
Johnsons Texas, where Johnson once won a race closer than
Floridas when several hundred deceased citizens showed up on
election day. Not only did all these dead folks sign the registration rolls
with identical penmanship; they signed their names in alphabetical order!
(Many years later, a dying Democrat operative confessed that he had
written all the signatures himself.)
More recently, the Democrats have
been adding illegal immigrants to their rosters, costing former
Congressman Robert Dornan of California his seat in the House of
Representatives two years ago. They werent interested in checking
out Dornans charges of vote fraud.
Despite Bill Clintons promise
to run the most ethical administration in our history of course it
depends on how you define ethical the Democrats
havent become conspicuously scrupulous during the last eight
years. Their energetic defense of a lying, perjurious, and otherwise
perfidious president one of our greatest, according to Gore
speaks for itself.
Clinton, naturally, still thinks of
himself as a victim. He wonders why the Republicans havent
apologized for impeaching him. Remember, he spread the story that Monica
Lewinsky was a stalker an unsuccessful one at that,
who had failed to overcome his virtue and if she hadnt kept
that telltale dress, hed still be sticking to his story.
Political leaders who have the
audacity to commit crimes always find plenty of willing accomplices. The
cruelest tyrants could never perpetrate their atrocities without large
support groups of men who dont mind executing grisly orders, as
long as they are covered by official authorization. Crime thrives wherever
there is no individual responsibility, or where intrinsically criminal acts
are made legal.
The welfare state is institutionalized
crime organized plunder, as the French economist
Frédéric Bastiat called it. It systematizes and authorizes
what is intrinsically wrong: forcing some people to support others. The
Democrats favor the indefinite expansion of the welfare state, perpetually
increasing the ratio of force to freedom in society.
No wonder their ethics are so flexible.
They offer the promise of more government benefits which means
more taxes on productive people as a reason to vote for them. They
invite their pet victims to victimize others. And they keep
adding new victims to their roster. Any number can play. The real victim,
of course, is the taxpayer.
Its a short step from buying
votes to stealing elections; morally, the two acts amount to the same
thing. As Bastiat wrote, the moral test of any law is whether it enables
the state to commit what would be a crime for a private citizen. If you
have no right to rob your neighbor, you have no right to ask the state to tax
him for your benefit.
So why shouldnt the
Democrats steal this election? Theyve stolen everything else.
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