Rasmussen released a poll the other day that I find disturbing. In it, only 21% believe the federal government today has the consent of the governed. 61% say the federal government does not have that consent.
Think about that. Barely a fifth of Americans think our national government has our consent. A full three-fifths think it does not. I am certainly not naïve concerning the anger at the Obama regime and at the Demorat Congress, anger that I most certainly share. But this poll floored me.
Now, I’ll be honest. Part of me thinks, “Yea! Those Demorats are going to get it!” But I know this situation is profoundly unhealthy and volatile. Civil wars, rebellions, and revolutions have been fought over less.
At the risk of repeating myself, one reason adhering to the Constitution is so important is there must be agreed upon political avenues for grievances. And those avenues must be respected. When those avenues are closed off or when democratic decisions taken through those avenues are voided – as both have been done by federal courts – or when the feds take upon themselves powers outside those avenues – as all three branches of the federal government have done time and time again – then people, seeing that their democratic rights are subverted, will take their grievances outside those political avenues. In short when constitutional democracy is subverted, at least some people will address their grievances through non-democratic means. And some of those means will be violent. We’ve seen this on a small scale after Ruby Ridge, Waco, and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
Political disagreement is one thing. But today’s consensus that government is acting outside the consent of the governed is quite another. A government that lacks the consent of almost 4/5s of the people is a government that invites violent opposition.
(Just to be clear, I do not yet think violence is appropriate or acceptable. I think consent of the governed can and must be restored through peaceful democratic means.)
My hope is that the next two elections are such a repudiation of big government statism that we return much closer to constitutional democratic governance. The people must feel they can address their grievances through constitutional democratic means. Otherwise, some of those who feel government lacks their consent will go beyond civil means in their opposition. Frankly, I doubt we can avoid an increase in violence in any case.
Yes, I find this poll that disturbing.