This is an absolutely disastrous post. So shockingly stupid and un-American.
Pat Sajak? Yes, the ‘Wheel of Fortune’ airhead, Pat Sajak, he’s a Conservative. I’ve come across previous posts of his, like these scrapes of dung. It’s typical of him to chastise liberals as being arrogant, of baselessly accusing his people of being ‘dumb,’ and then go on to write about the ‘Voting Rights Act of 1964.’ Meaning either the Civil Rights Act, or 1965. Or oops.
Well he’s back, and you’re barely going to believe who’s sufficiently impressed of his intellect to host him: The National Review. Good lord, I’ve put my fingers in my ears for William F. Buckley spinning like a screaming, white-hot drill bit:
Public Employees and Elections: A Conflict of Interest?
October 13, 2010 1:03 P.M. | By Pat Sajak
None of my family and friends is allowed to appear on Wheel of Fortune. Same goes for my kids’ teachers or the guys who rotate my tires . . In nearly all private and public endeavors, there are occasions in which it’s only fair and correct that a person or group be barred from participating because that party could directly and unevenly benefit from decisions made and policies adopted. So should state workers be able to vote in state elections on matters that would benefit them directly?
Great. Googly. Moogly.
. . if, for example, a ballot initiative appears that might cap the benefits of a certain group of state workers, should those workers be able to vote on the matter? Plainly, their interests as direct recipients of the benefits are far greater than the interests of others whose taxes support such benefits.
Stripping people of their voting rights. Blocking Americans from voting. So a state construction worker can’t vote on an initiative to build a bridge, a highway or a school.
Wow — this ‘conflict of interest’ idea is what the National Review wants to kick around? Alright, comrades.
The value and the selling point of democracy is that you, finally, get to say what you want. And when enough people feel the same way, the state must meet your demands. You are supposed to be conflicted — you know what benefits you best, and so you vote accordingly.
This trumped any previous political system where, say, kings and queens decided what was best for you. They really only did what benefited them because they were selfish and conflicted. Or where the landed gentry, the rich, decided what was best for you but did what was best for them because they were selfish and conflicted.
Instead, democratic voting gave you the opportunity to be as selfishly involved in your own well-being as only the aristocrats and the rich had been before. It ain’t a system trafficking in blind equity, as a justice system should be, with judges recusing themselves to avoid making bad decisions. It’s a system trafficking in your wants and needs. And congratulations!
To see how patently anti-democratic Sajak’s gambit is, let’s extend his no-conflict idea. One of the great Conservative initiative victories of all time — maybe the greatest — was California’s Proposition 13 in 1978. It amended the state constitution to roll back and cap property taxes and to demand a 2/3 majority in the legislature to pass any new taxes. Prop. 13 won big: it dropped property taxes around the state, and it touched off a nationwide ‘taxpayer revolt’ that helped sweep Ronald Reagan into office.
But given Sajak’s worries over conflicts of interest, property owners should have been barred from voting on it. After all, they were just hungry to score a few hundred or thousand bucks out of the deal, which they did. Because they were selfishness dressed as politics, the great American tax rebellion and the drafting Reagan revolution should never have happened. Okay.
It gets even more ridiculous when you consider voting in your defense, which is in your self-interest in the extreme. The “You Mormons Will Build Us a Football Stadium” initiative of 2012? Mormons can’t vote on it. “Everybody Burn Your Money (Except Me)”, the curious proposition written by a foul-mouthed blogger? Only I get to vote on that one. I have my absentee ballot right here . . and . . look, you lost. But the burning’s all for the best, I think. We can both admit you wouldn’t have done it otherwise because you’re selfish, right?
This National Review thing is the most ragingly un-American stuff I’ve read in a month. Pat Sajak is one of our democracy’s most famous detractors.