February 8, 2021

TIME MAG ARTICLE ON OUR PHILOSOPHER-KINGS: Lots of Right-Buzz about that Time Magazine article that details how the Left manipulated the voting process in 2020. Some here on Instapundit and elsewhere argue the article is proof of a massive conspiracy that stole the election from Trump. Others that it minimized alleged voter suppression, thereby allowing what the Left defines as the true will of the people to emerge.

Here’s my take, for what it’s worth: You can make either of the preceding cases in a way worth considering, but the more important point I come away with is seen in this key explanatory paragraph from the article:

“This is the inside story of the conspiracy to save the 2020 election, based on access to the group’s inner workings, never-before-seen documents and interviews with dozens of those involved from across the political spectrum. It is the story of an unprecedented, creative and determined campaign whose success also reveals how close the nation came to disaster. ‘Every attempt to interfere with the proper outcome of the election was defeated,’ says Ian Bassin, co-founder of Protect Democracy, a nonpartisan rule-of-law advocacy group. ‘But it’s massively important for the country to understand that it didn’t happen accidentally. The system didn’t work magically. Democracy is not self-executing.’” (emphasis added)

Note the two most important phrases: The participants in the “conspiracy to save the 2020 election” presumed to know what was the “proper outcome of the election” and they had to do what they did because “Democracy is not self-executing,” that is, it cannot be trusted to produce the “proper outcome.”

Most readers here have heard the metaphor of “the ship of state.” Less well-known is that the source of that metaphor is Plato’s “Republic,” in which the case for the rule of philosopher-kings is made. To ensure the safety of the ship of state, the “true pilot must of necessity pay attention to the seasons, the heavens, the stars, the winds, and everything proper to the craft if he is really to rule a ship.”

What the Time Magazine article demonstrates is that the participants in the “conspiracy” actually do believe themselves to be philosopher-kings, though that is undoubtedly the last term they would use to describe themselves. But they clearly believe that they rightfully should steer the ship of state because they know better than the rest of us and because they know better, whatever they do to ensure the “proper outcome” is morally justified. They are, in short, the law.

InstaPundit is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.