It may not be entirely his fault, but Chesterton is touted by his followers as the champion of democracy, the common man, and common sense over and against notions of aristocracy or elitism. He did seem to trust the common man an awful lot. I suppose that the common man, even in our day, can still be trusted to uphold a kind of Oprahfied natural goodness. But when it comes to getting the Permanent Things right, today’s “common man” is not to be trusted at all. And his moral blindness is getting progressively worse by the hour. As evidence I offer Exhibit A from LifeSite News:
“American Gallup Poll results, released this morning, indicate that tolerance of homosexuality within the United States has reached a record high. According to the Poll, since 1977 public support of legalization of ‘homosexual relations between consenting adults’ has risen from 43% to a record-breaking 59%. According to Gallup, the general trend is an increased support for homosexuality. Notably, the observed increase in acceptance of homosexuality has occurred concurrent with a nationwide promotion of homosexuality in the American public elementary school system.”
Chesterton fans are going to have to realize that what we don’t need right now is “more democracy”. Not on any level. What we need today is the courageous exercise of authority. What we need today is a virtuous and well-formed elite that is capable of winning the common man’s respect and admiration.