14 October 2007

What I Hate about Hilary

According to The American Psychoanalyst, the quarterly magazine of the American Psychoanalytic Society (v 41, p32, Fall 2007) Senators Ted Kennedy and Hilary Clinton tried to "ram through the Senate a health information technology (IT) bill that would have eliminated the individual's right to health information privacy and the psychotherapist-patient privelege recognized in Jaffe v. Redmond." They tried to get the bill approved by the Senate without a hearing, a debate, or opportunity for amendments, just before the August recess.

Let's assume that Ted and Hilary actually care about patient privacy and psychotherapist-patient (I prefer the word client) privelege, and that there were some honest mistakes in the bill they had their staffers write. What bothers me is that they tried to push this piece of health care reform through without a thorough process in Congress. This shows that they have disdain for the process of multi-sided debate and amendment. They think they are both better intentioned and better informed than anyone else about what's good for the rest of us. In fact, they seem to think that the rest of us are just plain wrong about what's good for us, and that, for our own sakes, we should just shut up and let them run things for us.

Now I have no doubt that Hilary is one smart cookie. But there are names for her implicit attitude when it comes to governance. I could call it neo-Platonism. Hilary and company are the philosopher-kings that should lead, and the rest of us should unquestioningly follow, because they are right, by golly! But Plato was explicitly anti-democratic, and became so after the citizens of Athens voted to condemn his mentor, Socrates. (Yes, I know, the Athenian democracy was not liberal democracy, with limited powers of government - rather the power of government was unlimited, and resulted in tyranny of the majority over the minority). That's the kindest thing I can say about this attitude.

A more unkind thing is to point out that Lenin had exactly this same attitude, and that it is codified in Marxist theory under the name of "false consciousness." Marxists believe that the masses can be duped into believing things to be in their best interest that actually harm them. Distrusting labor organizers, believing in God, things like that. Only the revolutionaries can break through this false consciousness and re-educate the masses to accept the cadres as their new masters.

OK, Hilary and Ted are no Marxists. But they have this in common with Marxists/Leninists: they are so sure they are right, and know so much better than everyone else (especially their benighted political opponents) that it is necessary to subvert the democratic process in order to get their way. They don't really want to be dictators, but they think and act in ways that are totalitarian.

And that's what I hate about Hilary. She wants her ideas to get put into action in their pristine state, unpolluted by the rest of us getting a chance to work on them. She means well, and she has learned in the school of hard knocks to respect the power of the rest of us, but she does not truly respect us, period. Her contempt for our political participation subverts the foundations of our liberal democratic society and its institutions of self-governance.

What will happen if Hilary becomes president? She and the Democrat-controlled Congress will railroad through a host of measures (all for our own good) that will erode some important foundations of our liberty, we will finally get scared by some of this and vote the Republicans back into control of Congress after 2 years of her administration. To paraphrase Yogi Beara, it will deja vu of the Newt Gingrich era all over again.


VirusHead said...

What I don't like about Hillary is just that she is as tied up with special interests as any Republican. They are different groups, but her funding advantage comes at great cost.

We need to get rid of th need for presidential fundraising if we're ever going to see better candidates.

Scooper said...

Oh, I dunno. The need to raise money forces candidates to go the the people. That sometimes filters out good candidates, but it also bounces out neo-Nazis and other wackos. The "donor-bundling" does worry me though. On the lighter side, here is a must-see video recommended by my cousin:

The most important campaign issue

Anonymous said...

Dubya Bush reminds me of a neo-platonic moron too because he wants us all to shut up and let him send this country to hell.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a big fan of Hillary but she would be 100 times better than any of the republican candidates.
I hope we voters take a serious look at the other Democratic candidates, like Richardson, Edward, Obama, Biden, and Kucinich.