David Corbin and Matt Parks have a good piece today over at First Things about President Obama's recent remarks that "facts and science arguments" aren't winning out and "we’re hardwired not to always think clearly when we’re scared."
The problem with politics, in other words—and especially elections—is that it involves under-evolved people whose fears disrupt the march of progress. Too bad we can’t all be like the President, who himself seems to have avoided the “hardwired” reaction to reject “facts and science and argument” when afraid—or perhaps has managed to avoid fear altogether.
Why not, then, protect everyone’s federal subsidies, tax breaks, and special privileges from the messy “vicissitudes” of political life? Why should any good program be repealed or have its adoption delayed by those who reject “facts and science and argument”? Irrationality cannot reasonably stand in the way of such obviously good things as national health care, green jobs programs, and public employees union protections. If the President and Ms. Mathes are right, the American people have no justifiable claim to participate in politics, much less shape its direction.
Except there's that pesky Declaration of Independence (that Obama can never seem to quote properly):
But there is one problem. The governing class view of the American electorate stands directly opposed to the first principle of our government: “that all men are created equal.” As political equals, American citizens together choose their representatives and hold them accountable for the measures they enact. New men bring new measures—perhaps even changes to the budget of NPR. This is the essence of self-government.