The Brew: As 2024 Debate Season Gets Underway, NY Times Wonders Why We Need Voters to Hold an Election

By Al Perrotta Published on August 23, 2023

Happy Wednesday!

Today’s Brew starts with a congratulations! On Monday, Dr. Michael Brown celebrated the 50th Anniversary of his first sermon. He writes about it here.

We move onto a shameless plug. It was disheartening to see how Joe Biden didn’t step and rise to the moment in Maui. See what I mean in “Biden’s Actions in Maui Confirm It’s Time to Invoke the 25th Amendment.”

A Few Random GOP Debate Thoughts

Biden’s inability to “show up” like sports greats do for the big game does help us with tonight’s GOP Debate. First off, it’s a big night, with a lot of pressure on the GOP candidates not named “Trump” to shine. So on one hand, tonight’s an opportunity to see who has game and who is a poser. Who can handle the spotlight and the heat?

But also, we’re talking about the presidency of the United States. Which candidates can we look at and imagine addressing the nation in a moment of crisis, or comforting a ravaged town?

One of Jeb Bush’s dumbest mistakes in 2016 was asking something to the effect, “Can you really picture Donald Trump behind the desk at the Oval Office?” Forgot Trump’s strong presence. The guy had spent the previous half decade starring in a hit TV that featured him sitting behind a big desk. Jeb asked the question and a big chunk of America went, “Well, yeah. Now you, on the other hand …”

Speaking of Trump, he has found another way to spin tonight’s debate his direction from afar. His PAC has just launched a new website called “Battle for the Vice Presidency,” featuring all the GOP candidates set for tonight’s debate.

“Vote for your prediction to win the VP Debate on August 22nd. Then come back after the debate to vote on who really won.”

On Thursday morning, 11 a.m. Eastern we’re planning on having a special Stream post-debate chat. It’ll be live on The Stream.

NY Times: “Elections are Bad for Democracy”

The Gray Lady has turned into Imelda Marcos. The New York Times has published an editorial declaring “Elections are Bad for Democracy.” Oh, they have since changed the headline to “The Worst People Run for Public Office. It’s Time for a Better Way.” But the message is the same. “We can’t trust the unwashed masses.”

The op-ed is from Adam Grant, an organizational psychologist at the Wharton School. “If we want public office to have integrity, we might be better off eliminating elections altogether,” he wrote. Instead of the people deciding who will lead them, Grant wants to hold a randomized lottery among the candidates.

The ancient Greeks invented democracy, and in Athens many government officials were selected through sortition — a random lottery from a pool of candidates. In the United States, we already use a version of a lottery to select jurors. What if we did the same with mayors, governors, legislators, justices and even presidents?

Three words, Professor. “The OJ Jury.”

If you eliminate voting, candidates Grant considers tainted by a “dark triad” of character flaws are less able to rise.

“As lucky as America was to have Lincoln at the helm, it’s more important to limit our exposure to bad character than to roll the dice on the hopes of finding the best.” A randomly chosen person, Grant suggests, would govern more inclusively and not get the big head.

It’s hard to imagine how the U.S. became the most prosperous and powerful nation ever seen on the face of the earth without elites like Grant picking names out of a hat.

Please Support The Stream: Equipping Christians to Think Clearly About the Political, Economic, and Moral Issues of Our Day.

Mere hours after The New York Times piece posted, The Atlantic came out with “Americans Vote Too Much.”

“Giving power to the people is sometimes conflated with giving people more access to government decision making through, say, community meetings or ballot measures,” wrote Demsas. “But if only a small, unrepresentative group of people are willing to be full-time democrats, then that extra ballot measure, election, or public meeting isn’t more democracy; it’s less.”

As The Blaze writes, “In both articles published by liberal outfits, the solution appears to be denying Americans opportunities to choose who governs them and how.”

No wonder. They’ve seen the polling. They’ve seen the people rise at community meetings. They’ve seen what has happened when citizens get involved in their local elections, rather than leave them to the hardliners on the left.

Funny. If John Lennon released “Power to the People” today, the Left would brush him off as a Jason Aldean right-wing hack. (Think I exaggerate? Look at the response to Oliver Anthony.)

I Don’t Mean to Put on the Tin Foil, But …

It is almost exactly four years ago to the day that those who conspired (their word) to “fortify” the 2020 election launched their effort. One of the pillars of their strategy to rig the election against Trump was to start talking a lot about election “misinformation.” Warning how “misinformation” from Trump threatened the upcoming election. (An election he was at that point in great shape to win, incidentally, pre-COVID.) Seemed like background noise at the time. Little did we know. Little did we know.

The Left won’t be able to go to that well again. So, could suddenly selling the idea that American people shouldn’t choose their own leaders — there’s a “better way” — be a component of undermining the 2024 election?

Along The Stream

Tom Gilson offers “Reality Check: Is AI the Rising ‘Superhuman Intelligence’?”

Breakpoint’s John Stonestreet and Jared Eckert offer a wonderful reflection, “Till We Have Faces: Our Digital Veils Keep Us From Being Known and Loved.”

 

Al Perrotta is the Managing Editor of The Stream, chief barista for The Brew and co-author, with John Zmirak, of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Immigration. You can follow him at @StreamingAl at GETTR, Gab, Parler, and now at TRUTH Social.

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