Home/Daniel Larison/“That Lie To Trump All Lies”

“That Lie To Trump All Lies”

Once upon a time it made sense for loyal Americans to acquiesce in the pious fraud that equated “democracy” with responsible and limited constitutional government. Those days are gone. Among the many evils of democracy is the root idea that since the people are good they deserve to get what they want. But “the people” is no better than people in general. As human beings we suffer from original sin or, if you don’t like the religious tone of the language, from the inherent frailties of a greedy and silly race of slightly evolved simians who will each other’s babies, if they can get away with it, and mistake gibbering for wisdom.

Americans, if they wish to do any good in the world, must learn to give up all the cliches they were taught in civics textbooks and patriotic speeches and look at the reality of the world our rulers have created. Even the briefest look at this made-in-America Hell would scare the most stalwart Republican out of the GOP and the yellowest dog out of the Democratic party. Don’t hold your breath. Self-deception is the rule here, and although the lies neither begin nor end with “democracy,” they all culminate in that lie to trump all lies. When fans get to elect a quarterback—something they really care about—I’ll believe democracy in America is something possible. ~Thomas Fleming

I like the way Dr. Fleming phrased that first line. Even when we used to allow the equation of democracy with our proper constitutional government, it was still a “pious fraud.” There was never a time when that equation was true. Now we can just drop the adjective pious from that and we would have a fine description of modern democracy.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

leave a comment

Latest Articles