Syria: Knowledgeable Citizens Defeat D.C. Elites

Democracy and Power 112: Fidelity to Leadership

To be elected, a politician must please his constituents. However, to be a powerful legislative force, a politician must be an obedient member of a party – Democrat or Republican. Since most constituents are busy making a living, raising families and focused on immediate community concerns, loyalty to the party most often prevails

Syria:  Knowledgeable Citizens Defeat D.C. Elites

Clearly, President Obama arrogated to bomb Syria.  However, the American public was strongly opposed.  Seeking political cover, Obama sought the approval of Congress.  Immediately, the power elites, Majority Leader Reid (D), Minority Leader Pelosi (D), Speaker Boehner ( R ),  and other power players  endorsed using military force against Syria.  The deal was made – bomb away. These leaders could force reluctant members of their respective party to “take one for the team” and vote as the party dictates.  

A political insider explains how politics is played in D.C.:

“At the end of the day, a lot of these Democrats are going to be with the president,” a House Democratic aide told Politico. “Because the choice is to vote against [the Syria resolution] and turn the president into a lame duck and destroy his credibility, or swallow it and vote for something that you’re not wild about. When you’re faced with that kind of decision, most of these fence-sitters are going to come aboard.”

However, there was a new political force.  Knowledgeable Americans strongly told their Senators and Representatives “NO” to the Syrian resolution.  This was momentous.  Politics as usual in D.C. was defeated by a knowledgeable and engaged public.  Knowledge and the ease of communicating – the Internet – has changed politics in America.

Ten years ago the Internet, Facebook, Twitter, and blogs were non-existent or rudimentary.  Inventive techies and entrepreneurs rapidly advanced Americans’ ability to communicate with friends and anyone of similar interests. With the explosion of media technology, Americans anywhere and everywhere have become informed and knowledgeable.  In matters political, the more Americans know and understand about the power and process the more we distrust our elected officials. With knowledge and the ease of communication, Americans have spontaneously said “NO” to attacking Syria.  The overwhelming conclusion is our Middle East policies and actions have not been in our national interest – actually a disaster – and must be stopped.  

Peggy Noonan, a Washington insider and thoughtful observer, senses the change

“The Syria debate isn’t, really, a struggle between libertarians and neoconservatives, or left and right, or Democrats and Republicans. That’s not its shape. It looks more like a fight between the country and Washington, between the broad American public and Washington’s central governing assumptions.

In the Syria argument, the moderating influence is the public, who doesn’t seem to have a basic confidence in Washington’s higher wisdom.”

Yes, We the People do not have “basic confidence in Washington’s higher wisdom.”  However it is more.  As We know more and more of the arrogance and corruption of the D.C. elites, We seek smaller, limited  and honest government.

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