Who is President of the United States should have little effect on our lives.
President Biden or President Trump . . .
Whoever Wins Should Not Really Matter
By: George Noga – September 20, 2020
For America’s first 200 years, whoever was elected president was largely irrelevant because he had little power over our lives or that of our neighbors. This is as our founders intended. The Constitution grants government only a few limited and enumerated powers and contains many checks and balances against the concentration and abuse of power. Government’s purpose was to protect our liberty. Who was on the school board, mayor or governor mattered much more than who was president.
Until a few decades ago government stayed mostly inside its constitutional box; whoever held office made little difference in our lives. Presidents exercised limited power and vetoed unconstitutional laws. Congress did not cede power to armies of unelected bureaucrats and the judiciary was largely apolitical. States jealously guarded their rights as part of a federalist republic. The media held government accountable. Ordinary citizens wielded power to convene grand juries and to nullify unpopular laws. Finally, Americans regarded liberty as a priceless jewel and voted accordingly.
How did we get from a Constitution of limited government to one that dictates which rest room we use and how much water is in our toilets? How did we get to a president who declares he will stop the rise of oceans? How did we get to a congress that passes unread 2,000 page laws in the dead of night? How did we get to a hyper-political judiciary that conjures new rights from thin air? How did we get to millions of bureaucrats and 200,000 pages of regulations? How did we get to neutered states, a statist media and a populace that meekly accepts all these horrors?
The answers are both sad and predictable. Per Jefferson, “It is the natural order of things for government to gain and liberty to yield”. Capitalism has made Americans so rich we forgot the source of our liberty and prosperity and it has sown the seeds of its own destruction. Per Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, Americans have transcended basic needs and achieved material prosperity. This allows people the security to indulge in risk-free political witchcraft. Any society with psychologists for its pets is one that has badly lost its perspective. Like Esau, we sold our birthright for a bowl of stew.
Unfortunately, who we elect president in November will profoundly affect our lives. Presidents have transmogrified into kings, wielding enormous unchecked power unthinkable for the first 200 years of our republic. Americans once saved most of their passion for religion; now politics has largely supplanted religion. We view elections as contests between good and evil rather than as ones of policy. Everything in our lives has become politicized, including science, religion, news and education. We have come to regard those with whom we disagree as not merely wrong, but as devils.
American democracy is caught in a hyper-partisan death spiral. Winning at all costs threatens our constitutional foundation and the rule of law. The quest for immediate electoral victory is coming at the cost of long-term stability, such as by eliminating the filibuster, which has stood as a bulwark for moderation for nearly 200 years. The dehumanization of our political adversaries sanctions increasingly extreme behavior.
Our liberty is a priceless jewel of eternal and inestimable value. However, its setting has become badly tarnished. We must dedicate ourselves to restoring its original luster and grandeur to that worthy of the gem of incalculable value it holds. If we succeed, one day in the future who becomes president will again have little effect on our lives.