March 23rd, 2007 by Rightsideup

The quote attributed to Andrew Jackson, “One man with courage makes a majority,” (see this link for an explanation of why we shouldn’t really attribute it to him) appears to have been both taken a little literally and distorted by his political descendants.

For the last several years (essentially since the 2000 election) Democrats and other liberals have acted as if small groups with strong enough opinions should be treated as if they were in fact majorities. After accusing George W Bush of “stealing” that election, they have since claimed that he was “not listening” on the war in Iraq, that we needed to pull out of the war, etc. even though for a long time these people did not constitute a majority. James Taranto included some comments on a recent story in his Best of the Web column this week (see Vandals for Peace).

Although the 2000 election provides a pretext (the 2004 election surely should have neutralised this, but of course didn’t), Democrats no longer even tie their civil disobedience back to the stolen election. They just act like they’re in the majority, and express disbelief when neither Bush himself nor their elected Democratic leaders in Congress are willing to adopt their extreme positions. They assume this means that they are “not listening” rather than understanding that their political leaders have listened and yet disagree with them. This must be particularly frustrating for them since Democrats now have a literal majority in Congress and yet haven’t pulled troops out yet. On the other hand, it appears the original quote (even if attributed to Jackson’s biographer and not Jackson himself) appears to have been “desperate courage makes one a majority” – so not such a far cry from the Democrats’ current interpretation “desperation makes a majority”.

Will this trend continue, or will things change if a Democrat wins in 2008? Chances are, the left wing of the left wing will continue to be unhappy with virtually any political leadership and will continue to act as if its strong opinions (not courage) make a majority.

March 3rd, 2005 by Rightsideup

It seems that President Bush’s hopes for democracy in the Middle East are already beginning to bear fruit, despite the skepticism of many on both sides of the political divide.

Just a few examples of the spread of democracy and reform in the Middle East in recent months:

All of these since the President’s inaugural and state of the union addresses, in which he emphasised the need to spread democracy and freedom throughout the world. And of course, all of them come on top of the elections in Iraq at the end of January and the Palestinian elections which followed the death of Yasser Arafat. A nice summary of the current state of democracy in the Middle East is available on the BBC website.

It now seems that we may be witnessing a Ronald Reagan-like vindication of a much-ridiculed Republican president’s policies, despite the assertions of the foreign policy intelligentsia. Of course, we know from experience that none of those who ridiculed President Bush’s plans will ever acknowledge that they were wrong.