Many people are painfully aware that there’s a fundamental problem in the United States today, but they’ve come to a misleading conclusion about the cause — one that’s leading them to trust the wrong people for a solution.
It’s becoming clear that Ayn Rand’s nightmarish vision of a future in which looters gain power over producers is coming true. I’m not an Objectivist and I disagree with Rand about a number of things, but I’m totally on the same page with her economically — and her metaphors about a world falling apart are ringing more and more true.
But many people seem to be so trapped in the current mainstream party paradigm that they’re fooled into believing that the current president is the problem. Since they see their choices as a matter of either Democrat or Republican, they see salvation in electing a Republican as president.
This frustrates me now, but it’s going to frustrate them even more if it happens — because a Republican president won’t fix the fundamental problems, either.
On economic issues, Democrats tend to be even worse than Republicans, but even the Republican candidates who stand a chance of winning are almost as bad. The issue isn’t the rhetoric. (Republicans are very good at free market rhetoric. I’ve certainly written enough of it for Republican candidates.) This issue is that the entire system is based on the premise that the state owns you. The Democrats and Republicans are merely arguing over exactly how much of your money the state can steal without totally destroying the cow they’re milking.
When the federal government was controlled by a Republican president and a Republican Congress, the size of government still skyrocketed. If Republicans were truly serious about changing things — living up to the rhetoric they’re so good at mouthing — government spending would have gone down during that period. Why didn’t they cut government?
Sadly, Democrats and Republicans simply represent two different faces of the two-headed Incumbent Party. They compete for power over the apparatus of the state, but they’re fundamentally the same. They’re Tweedledum and Tweedledee.
Yes, Barack Obama is a huge problem as president. The Democrats in Congress are enemies of the productive class. But the Republicans aren’t substantially better. Even if you still believe in the legitimacy of the coercive state — which I don’t — government needs more than a haircut and trimmed nails. It needs to be hacked in half (or more). Even if you believe it has the right to tell you what to do — which I don’t — it needs to be slashed back to what it was intended to be a couple of hundred years ago.
This isn’t going to happen. Politicians like power. They’re not going to give it up. They want your money. They want to tell you what to do — whether they’re wearing blue costumes or red costumes on election day.
Trusting a new Republican president to fix the problems is like trusting Tweedledee after Tweedledum has messed everything up. They’re ultimately just alike, despite the differences in some of their words.