State Rep. Lewis Moore, an Arcadia Republican, has publicly weighed in on the overall concept of democracy and finds that, well, it really “means socialism.”
Actually, I’m still trying to figure out what Moore is exactly trying to say in a short philosophical missive he apparently released to some media outlets in recent days. In particular, I wonder about this part of a post titled “Lewis Moore: Our Republic Is Not A Democracy” that appeared on The McCarville Report blog:
The fight is a constant one. When you hear “democracy,” you should think majority-rules versus the rule-of-law. It’s like an Old West posse of 15 riders catching up with a horse thief. A 14-1 decision finds the thief hanging from the nearest tree – majority rules. This in contrast with a 14-1 decision where the Sheriff is holding out for justice and wants the thief hauled back to town, enforcing the rule-of-law.
In short, democracy means socialism, which leads to debt and chaos, and will ultimately usher in an oligarchy (dictator). Never trade liberty for security.
Okay, read that a few times. So is Moore, pictured right, trying to say that democracy means no rule of law, which leads to socialism and that the Sheriff is right to enforce the rule of law? Seriously, what’s the logic here? The rule of law is a vital component of democracy. People vote for laws and elect politicians who vote for laws. There is no clear or set oppositional dichotomy or binary between “majority rules” and “rule of law” when it comes to democracy. They are inextricably linked. They are sometimes in opposition, such as when a court strikes down a law voted for by a majority of a legislature, but not always. It’s a dynamic; it’s fluid.
But the leap from democracy to socialism right after the phrase “in short” is the real head scratcher. Moore certainly hasn’t proven to me through his “Old West” scenario that “democracy means socialism” whether it’s “in short” or in any other manner. Are the posse members voting to hang the horse thief actually socialists? It doesn’t follow. How will that then exactly lead to “debt” and “chaos” and then an oligarchy? Shouldn’t there be more evidence for this huge claim?
I’m unsure if Moore is writing in some type of right-wing code I can’t decipher, but I just don’t follow it. I understand the arguments that the United States is a constitutional republic. Some people even suggest that means our country isn’t also a democracy, even though it’s obviously steeped in democratic principles. Is Moore trying to argue along these lines? He ends the segment this way: “Never trade liberty for security.” How does that relate back to the posse and the Sheriff? Which one represents liberty? Which one represents security? It’s highly problematic on a logical level.
Moore’s entire reference to horse thievery and the Sheriff then eventually seems irrelevant to his overall arguments about states’ rights. And guess what? Moore is in favor of them, and he thinks Oklahoma’s two U.S. senators should each have an office at the state Capitol, arguing “Their loyalty is to the state, first and foremost!” (That’s Moore’s exclamation point, not mine.)
It might help to know that Moore has served as chairperson of the House States’ Right Committee, which deals with supposed federal government intrusion into state affairs. He also once admitted to taking down a portrait of President Barack Obama hanging at the Capitol because he didn’t like the president’s health care initiative.
It might seem like an exercise in futility to parse through some conservative Oklahoma politician’s philosophical statement about democracy, but I worry about how these types of non sequiturs and faulty premises become embedded in our political discourse here in Oklahoma and especially among students. A statement such as “democracy means socialism” coming from a political leader deserves some discussion and a lot more evidence and qualification than Moore provides.
CapitolBeatOK also ran an abbreviated version of Moore’s statement that didn’t include the horse thief story or “democracy means socialism.” That’s interesting, in itself. The site is operated by Patrick McGuigan, who once served as editorial page editor for The Oklahoman, one of the most conservative newspapers in the country.
Gov. Mary Fallin’s decision to prohibit state facilities from processing military benefits for National Guard personnel in legal, same-sex marriages has been widely criticized and even mocked on a national level.
Now, Fallin has expressed at least some empathy for a local group of pastors, who are protesting the play, The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told. The play, which is scheduled to start running Dec. 5 at CitySpace Theater in Oklahoma City, has been described by one writer as “a gleefully queer play based on the Bible.” It is a comedy that satirizes biblical stories.
The protesting pastors have signed a letter arguing the play might violate state and federal obscenity laws, a dubious, overreaching claim. They also say the play is “overtly offensive,” but that is a highly subjective claim. Obviously, many people found the comedy to be extremely entertaining during its off-Broadway run in New York or it wouldn’t be still performed around the country. The pastors also ask rather dramatically in their letter, “ . . . why is it necessary to profane Jesus Christ?” That’s just empty war-on-Christmas rhetoric. Satire and humor can always carry meaningful artistic and moral value. The play might be viewed as redemptive in this regard.
A spokesperson for Fallin said no state funds are being used to stage the play, adding Fallin “would not support using state funds for an event that would be intentionally offensive to Oklahoma’s faith based community.” Again, it’s a sweeping generalization to imply the play is “intentionally offensive.” I’m sure there are people in the so-called faith-based community here that would actually enjoy the play.
Keep in mind that Fallin is up for re-election in 2014. She seems to be still banking on anti-gay political stances for votes. That may still be effective in conservative Oklahoma, but that’s changing, and someday it won’t be the case. Fallin remains on the wrong side of history.
And, as is always the case in situations like this, the pastors’ letter and Fallin’s public stance are only giving the play more publicity.
Arrrrr! That’s yer five r arr, me mateys, meaning it’s none other that yer favorite pirate turkey, meself Planksy, comin’ t’ Oklahoma, spreadin’ me special thanks and planks this holiday season. Ahoy, buccaneers, imagine me ship, fowl-filled, and sail-trimmed, the Jolly Roger flying high, as it sails the Sooner state, a little quaky these days me might add, but nothin’ me and me crew can’t handle so farrr.
Aye, don’t be land lubbers and listen up: This bird arrrrrives to dole me thanks and planks. If yer done good, then yer get yer thanks, a cup or eighteen from Planksy’s special rum barrel and hornpipe dancin’ aboard ship until the wee hours of the wee mornin’ this Thanksgiving. If yer done bad, and if yer a scallywag, bilge rat or lubber, well, my, my, my, yer get yer PLANKS, and a little dip with the toothy fishes swimming circles once yer do yer walkin’. Shiver me gobbler, it’s show time. Arr!
Thanks. Ahoy, lads and lasses, me first thanks go out to all yer teachers in the state, a crew of hardy buccaneers, teaching the wee ones spellin’ (me speshality) and readin’ and rithmetickin’, and all while the politicos stick their noses in yer business. Teachers here arrr underpaid and overworked, indeed, but they don’t do it for the treasure, me lads and lasses. It’s a callin’. Arrr. I tip me beak t’ yer, and I ruffle me feathers t’ yer. Come onboard for yer merry times. I’ll scoop yer rum myself.
Planks. Arr! Alas, me mateys, my first planks go to schools Superintendent Janet Barresi. She’s got her A through F scheme to rank schools, but it stinks like a dead bilge rat. It’s all about the FFFFFFFF! Is she or is she not a land lubber? Can a pirate turkey squawk? Squawk! Squawk! Arr! Arr! Barresi wants to fail schools using a system made of smelly ship barnacles, and she’s doing it with ramming speed and no one can do nothin’ about it because Janet and her crew arrr goin’ to have their way. Her point is to spread yer misery in the name of the conservative agenda, but there’s a little election lurkin’, me mateys, just a little tiny wee one.
Thanks. Ahoy, thanks galore to all me state workers, goin’ without raises all these years, doin’ their best in these tryin’ times. I unfurl me Jolly Roger in yer honor. Yer arr the glue that holds that state ship together if I do say so meself and I do. Arrr! Watch out what those politicos want to do with yer pensions. Come on board. Let’s get loaded to the gunwales. Dance a pirate’s jig with yer favorite bird. It will be like Fiddler’s Green.
Planks. Earthquakes?!!! What kind of scurvy shakin’ is going on, mateys? What’s next? The plague? In this bird’s mind, all yer tremblors, big and small, get me planks, or worse, the keelhaul. Earthquakes are NOT for the birds. How’s me ship to sail smoothly when everything is shakin’ and quakin’. Methinks those frackers got something to do with it, lads and lasses, and then add in yer climate change for yer good measure, and feathers go flying and gobblers go a shivering and there’s no place to come about in this place.
Thanks. He’s the bird with the word, with a gobbler adored and acclaimed by all. He’s the feathery swashbuckler with the handsome beak, a famous fowl with the hospitality aboard ship. Me final thanks go to meself, Planksy, for rising above the flock. Here’s wishin’ yer lads and lasses a happy Planksgiving. Enjoy that tofurkey. Arrrrr!