The Unelected

A review of the book The Unelected, by James Copland.

Some excellent books have been written on the separate—and seemingly unrelated—issues of taming the administrative state, reforming our civil justice system, reducing the discretion of prosecutors who wield enormous power due to the over-criminalization of behavior, and reversing the trend of state and local officials attempting to dictate national policy. In his ambitious new book, The Unelected, Manhattan Institute senior fellow James Copland combines those topics under the general theme of documenting “how an unaccountable elite is governing America”—a phrase that serves as the book’s subtitle. This is a timely subject, deeply rooted in the principles of representative self-government, and one that is vital to the future of the United States as a constitutional republic subject to the rule of law.

“Consent of the Governed” No More

The Founders’ constitutional design, Copland reminds us, “was predicated on accountability to the voting public.” This was essential to ensure the “consent of the governed.” Since the Constitutional Convention was held in 1787, and particularly in the wake of the New Deal, we have significantly departed from this ideal. Government has greatly expanded in size and power, and—more importantly—“governmental accountability to the public has been substantially eroded.” In Copland’s telling, the unelected, unaccountable entities exercising control over the polity consist of four components: rulemakers, enforcers, litigators, and what he calls the “new antifederalists.”

America’s Ruling Class by Mark Pulliam

The book is worth a read. But there are no serious plans for reform.

And there aren’t going to be, until the governments – first municipal and state, and later federal – are all bankrupted during the Great Default.

Much of the municipal and state bankruptcy is already been set in motion, directly due to the lockdowns. I can see another decade pass before the federal budgets starts to be squeezed in earnest, though.

As I said before: Christians interested in politics need to focus locally.

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