Logically, it’s impossible to simultaneously believe in democracy and the notion of “astroturfing.” Democracy assumes free will and belief in the ability of individual citizens to act responsibly on their own behalf. Belief in “astroturfing” is based on the assumption that any organized opposition to one’s own point of view must either consist of evil political puppet masters or mind numbed robots who obey them thoughtlessly like so many Pavlov’s dogs. Belief in “astroturfing” logically excludes the belief that “the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances” is legitimate or even desirable if extended to political opponents.
Similarly, it’s logically impossible to believe that all of one’s political opponents are morally bankrupt demons and simultaneously accept the principle, inherent in democracy, that opposition to one’s own opinion is legitimate. The two points of view are mutually exclusive.
Orwell was right again. Doublethink is real. We do live in a world where two plus two equals five. Our political landscape is crowded with those who actually simultaneously believe that all organized political opposition to their opinions is “astroturfing” on the one hand, and that they genuinely support “democracy” on the other. We also suffer from an overabundance of pious peacocks who strut about on the “moral high ground,” shouting down anathemas on the evil ones who don’t agree with them, and simultaneously honestly believe they are genuine supporters of “democracy.”