Yes, But What’s “Their” Job Description?

“Day By Day,” the conservative comic with oversexualized female characters, provides one of the more inane reactions to Terry Jones, the pastor who, for a brief time, threatened to burn a pile of Korans on September 11th. Maybe Jones shouldn’t burn the Koran, but where do these “politicians” get off telling him what to do? Last time I checked, they work for us!

Haha, sure. This is an accurate statement of very basic democratic theory. But more precisely, the relationship between the citizen, and his elected representative, isn’t just one of employment. It’s one of delegation. Citizens delegate the responsibility and duty to, with input from the “cleint,” honestly and aggressively represent the peoples’ best interests. This relationship implies a knowledge gap. It’s implausible that any and every citizen will acquire subject matter expertise in international relations, science, defense policy, etc., but the representative acquires that knowledge and uses it to vindicate the citizens’ policy preferences. Like identified cleaning products, they work hard so we don’t have to.

Consequentially, in a functioning republic, sometimes the representative’s expertise, and responsibility to his client, will suggest a conclusion contrary to the client’s policy preference. When that happens, it’s not always an indication that “elitism” is at work. Sometimes — but, I stress, not always — the politicians just might know better. Specialization works, and makes a democratic republic inherently superior to a true democracy.

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12 comments

  1. Yes, delegation – the offloading of part of one’s duties to a subordinate. That well describes how American politicians are supposed to operate and be treated.

    They are given specific tasks to perform and I don’t remember any Americans giving the Obama Regime the task of “leaning on” any members of we, the People.

    Their actions in this matter violated the spirit, if not quite the letter, of the Constitution and I’m sure that Americans will punish them and their followers for that.

  2. That comic is really bad. Elected officials are ‘hired’ for their expertise, as you put it in the post. It’s like me hiring an IT guy because I don’t know coding. He might work for me but I also expect him to guide me through technological issues because he knows more about them than I do.

    I don’t think anyone ‘leaned’ on Jones. I think he wanted the PR and never planned to burn the books. Mission accomplished with the media as his dupes.

  3. President Obama spoke out against him; Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke out against him; Attorney GeneralEric Holder spoke out against him; and federal agents “visited” him. How is that not “leaning on him?”

    1. Whether or not Jones was “leaned on,” if he was, it was deserved. Right, Jonolan?

    2. I thought Obama, et.al. exercised their free speech rights to say Jones was acting stupidly.

      Or shorter – grow a set and quit whining.

    3. ACG,

      No, it wasn’t deserved.

      Chris,

      There’s a big difference between members of the government protesting something and the People doing so. The former almost always ends up operating under at least the appearance of the Color of Authority. That is skirting the knife’s edge of violating the Constitution.

      1. “Color of authority” is when a government employee says “stop or I’ll use the force of the government to stop you.”

        This was not the case. You are whining. If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.

  4. This whole incident has been a national embarrassment but if there is a silver lining it seems that Mr. Jones’ stunt has knocked the wind out of the anti-mosque movement’s sales. Americans will apparently tolerate harassing a small community of Muslims trying to build a new prayer space in New York but when book burners jump into the fray they still apparently have the sense to take a step back and remember what tolerance actually means.

  5. Mike, at the point where we’re agreeing on this many things there must be something wrong :)

    1. Dude – it’s easy to agree with level-headed non-partisan reason.

      1. Get a room you two!

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