Heather Cox Richardson puts her finger on what's happening in Florida without mentioning it once. A state that has been governed solely by one party for more than a generation has now largely empowered one man to rule over it.

There's a powerful appetite for this sort of thing among a large minority of any population. Democracy is messy and difficult. Faithless actors, chiefly motivated by greed, work tirelessly to corrupt the system. People lose faith.

Institutions must be strong to guard against this; but to be strong requires accountability to the electorate.

When parties themselves, whether Republican or Democrat, work to corrupt the system, by gerrymandering, making voting more difficult, undermining faith in the electoral process, accountability to the electorate is eliminated. Institutions weaken or fail.

The faithless, those hungry for power, the greedy achieve control.

For the privileged, it's often irrelevant. The new bosses make sure the privileged are content, at least insofar as their status is concerned.

It's when things go wrong, or reckless decisions are taken with widespread consequences, that the hollowness, incompetence and cruelty of an authoritarian government is exposed, even to the privileged.

There's ultimately a price to be paid for surrendering your responsibility for self-government to a "strong man."

Sooner or later, the bill comes due.

I would write, "and all must pay," but that's not true. There is a class of people that are seldom, perhaps never, truly held accountable, who never pay for their faithlessness, their greed. That would be the rich. Many of their sycophantic toadies, their apparatchiks and fixers, their "lobbyists" and "consultants" are often held accountable.

But the people who wrote the checks seldom are.

Originally posted at Notes From the Underground 06:28 Saturday, 11 February 2023