The last line of my previous post – “Americans deserve better” – has sparked a number of skeptical emails and comments. Let me clarify.
It is a popular saying that people get the government that they deserve. This has rarely been more false than in current times. The fact that most Americans are politically ignorant does not entitle other people to control their lives. The fact that someone does not have fire insurance does not entitle his neighbor to burn down his house. Similarly, the fact that most people are politically negligent does not entitle government to trample their rights. Because individual rights do not come from government, politicians have no right to revoke the rights due merely to people’s negligence. And popular ignorance cannot legitimize political absolutism.
The fact that many half-wits still support Newt Gingrich doesn’t mean that I deserve to have my remaining liberties destroyed if that Georgia demagogue somehow captures power.