Political Power and Legitimacy

I was reading some stuff over at Ace’s place, and while he was riffing on what an idiot Howard Kurtz is, I caught this little snippet from a Democratic strategist:

For Jano Cabrera, a Democratic strategist, the subject strikes a nerve. “My wife and I were having this very conversation,” he says. “When we were trying to seize power, we had justified anger, and now we talk about uninformed voters.” Obama inherited unprecedented challenges, Cabrera says, but in politics “you can’t go back and say it’s the other guy’s fault.”

When we were trying to seize power…”

This was the line that struck me.

Not “earn votes.” “Not persuade the electorate.” Not “lead our constituents.”

Seize. Power.

I think that is a fundamental difference between conservatives and progressives. At its most fundamental level, the philosophical difference between progressivism and conservativism is centered on the role of the state. Progressives have an expansionist view of the role of the state, and see it as a valuable tool for improving the lot of the people. Conservatives have a minimalist view of the role of the state, and, based on the experiences of every other civilization, realize that using the state to attempt to improve the lot of all citizens is doomed to failure.

If progressivism is so legitimate, why must they seize power? If it works so well, power would be granted to them.


2 thoughts on “Political Power and Legitimacy”

  1. Statist, Stalinist types are ALWAYS about power and control–and they work at it 24/7/365. Remember, people who believe themselves to be our intellectual and moral “bettors” and who feel that they alone possess what Thomas Sowell has so aptly labeled “The Vision of the Anointed” will not rest until they force-march the rest of us to virtue–at bayonet-point if need be. And once possessed of “The Word”–of absolute truth–all opposition must be regarded as sadly misguided/uninformed or simply evil and therefore viewed as an illegitimate, even immoral, opposition. For who could–indeed would want to–oppose rationality and virtue? As such any and all means are excused–considered as entirely appropriate-to combat such evil people who are seen by the left thru their leftist ideological lenses to have no appreciation for truth and rationality–and are therefore fair-game for any and all tactics.

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