The Presidential Campaign 2016
The Presidential Campaign 2016
I had hoped that 2016 would be the year when the voting public would be so tired of Washington DC shenanigans that something big might happen. I thought that maybe Liberty would come to the forefront and the country might be guided by Libertarian principles. Nay, it is pretty much business as usual with Donald Trump thrown into the mix.
I (and others) have defined liberty as the freedom to do what you want provided that doesn’t conflict with the liberty of others. That is the foundation of most religions and morals. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. We talk a lot about liberty but to what extent do we practice it? One might say that liberty is fundamental to our Constitution. That is correct but our government has evolved away from liberty and in fact violates our liberty at every turn. A great number of our laws do NOT resolve conflicts of liberty but instead create conflicts. How you might ask?
PART III: The Race
The Presidential Race Of 2016
So where does this leave us (or me) in selecting a candidate for President in 2016? Trump has thrown a monkey wrench into the big affair. He has recognized the frustrations of the American people, even if he hasn’t bothered with the root causes of these frustrations. Voters think Trump will do something to change things even though neither they nor he seem to know what. Promising change didn’t work out so well in 2008. We saw the change that resulted from the 2008 election and we find a country that has gone left toward communism, not back to its original formulas for success.
Could Trump shake things up enough to actually make progress back to our founding principles? I’m not sure and he isn’t saying. I think it is possible and given the alternatives, it might be worth taking a chance on Trump. But there are other messages and signals from Trump that indicate that he is not a big believer in liberty. His stances on universal health care surely don’t indicate any love of liberty for the average person. Trump himself is a doer and that is what he understands. But does he understand that America became great because millions of people each pursued their own idea of success, not one guy’s success? I think he might shake things up enough to get rid of the stupid communist ideas that come from the tyranny of the majority but I’m not sure he understands that the multitudes of people striving for their own success will make America great again. I don’t think Trump wants to be a dictator to further his own ambitions. I think he does really want America to be great again but I am far from sure that he knows how to do that other than with a strong command structure.
The other two Republican candidates are not sure-fire winners either. John Kasich would be a reasonable candidate except he is a believer in the existing image of government. He just wants to do it better and he could be the right candidate to do that. But we won’t move back to liberty with John Kasich. He is good at government as it has evolved but it won’t be the government of our founders. The two Democratic candidates are more of an evolution toward communism, democratic socialism if you like: The worst of both worlds. The tyranny of the majority has to turn into a huge central government that meddles in everyone’s daily lives. That would not be the vision of our founders and it would not be a road to making America great again.
That leaves us with Ted Cruz though we started with some other candidates who potentially do understand the principles of liberty. Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, and Ben Carson seem to understand the need for freedom and liberty. But they couldn’t get their message across. Now we are left with Cruz who seems to truly understand the principles and how the Constitution supports those principles. But Cruz has a reputation of being hard to get along with. I’ve heard it said that nobody in Washington likes Cruz. And that might be true. His favorability ratings are not all that great so his persona doesn’t seem to click with the average voter.
With regard to Washington, DC, if Cruz won’t play the normal political games of give and take, it would be reasonable that other Congress people wouldn’t like him. He stands on principle; and compromise of that principle is not in his repertoire. That might affect his relationship with voters as well. All that they hear in the election process is how things will be wonderful through some magic of the candidate. Cruz won’t tell you things that are outside his belief system. And some of that requires tough decisions.
But can Cruz win? Can he beat Hillary? I’m one that believes that Cruz would destroy Hillary in a debate. But with his un-favorability numbers, that might not be enough. The Democratic Party is strong and many of its members could care less about all of Hillary’s lies over the years. The nation is at a tipping point and another 4 or 8 years of moves away from founding principles may well be the end of America. That has been forecast of democracy for centuries and it seems to be our destiny without a major change. Is that possible with either Trump or Cruz or both?
Who knows? I keep hoping that some miracle will happen in the primaries that lead us to a road forward toward those founding principles. Would a ticket of Trump and Cruz be the answer?
Perhaps, Trump would shake up the elite in the Republican Party enough to change things, though political contributions are a powerful force that would likely survive any one politician. I’m not very optimistic that 2016 will be a major change in the liberty scene. The one positive aspect was that there were at least 4 Republican candidates who espoused the principle of liberty. That’s a big improvement over Barry Goldwater and Ron Paul over the last decades.
Other Approaches to Installing Liberty
The established party system in the United States is not likely to change, for sure not overnight. Politics will bumble along toward the forecast demise of democracy. Debt will continue to pile up because the politicians can’t keep from printing money to aid in their next election. And liberty will be lost at each step. Is there any hope for a liberty-based government, here or anywhere?
Nations do go through crises where they too have ignored the principles of liberty and good economics. Their democracy has run the course toward its demise. If somehow liberty can be seen as the solution to avoiding that in the future, if democracy can be seen as the evil tyranny of the majority, then perhaps as a nation’s political and economic system falls apart, a new constitution can be written that is based solely on liberty. The success of just one such nation could be the pattern for the world just as America was after the Revolution. I often think that if Iraq had been set up as a liberty-based government, rather than a democracy with winners and losers, perhaps it might have succeeded.
In summary, I’m not hopeful that the current election will lead us to a better America. Republicans and Democrats alike have too much to lose to discard their love of winning elections and thereby will continue to spend money to get the vote of special interests. The Democrats are just more adept at this process than Republicans and they truly believe in socialism, as exemplified by the tyranny of the majority in democracy. The government will keep getting bigger until everything grinds to a halt. Will democracy be blamed? Probably not unless Libertarians keep beating the drum that the problem is big government.
We must keep pounding the table that liberty is the essential element of government and with a little luck, maybe a new experiment will show its advantages.
- MAY’S SUGGESTED READING
Several new articles today. My suggested readings are found here.