Interventionism (or the mixed economy or the welfare state), with bipartisan support, has America in bad shape right now. The government just voted a $1 trillion bailout of Wall Street, money to be handed out per Treasury Secretary Paulson's discretion, making him in effect America's economic dictator. Social Security is heading toward a crisis.
Look for the government to inflate the hell out of the dollar in an attempt to manage this crisis without cutting spending or raising taxes. Inflation is a hidden tax, the politicians' favorite tax. Due to widespread ignorance of economics, Americans don't understand that inflation is created by the government printing more dollars. People feel the pinch of rising prices in their wallets and they blame those greedy capitalists who keep raising prices because they are unpatriotic and just in business for their own good. This popular anger at capitalists is music to the socialists' ears.
We are very much in the position of the Weimar Republic right now. Government intervention is causing crises, yet Democrats such as Barney Frank are saying, "The private sector got us into this mess. The government has to get us out of it." The crises will expand and intensify as the government pours gasoline on the fire. America is setting itself up for that which followed the Weimar Republic: a fascist dictatorship.
Since America is the richest and most powerful nation in the world, it would likely drag the rest of the world into dark times with it. If you think depression would devastate America, a nation in which poor children's number one health problem is obesity, imagine how hard times would hit poor countries. We could be on the edge of worldwide starvation, war and the other horsemen of the apocalypse. Parts of Africa could go medieval.
This is the context as we Americans ponder how we should vote. Here is my explanation of how I will vote.
Recently, John Lewis sent an email to the Obloggers group containing this information:
In July the federal Environmental Protection Agency issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, which details their plan to force Americans to reduce emissions of CO2 and other so-called “greenhouse gases.” This follows on an Executive Order signed by President Bush, which was made possible by a U.S. Supreme Court decisions ruling that CO2 is a “pollutant.” (!)
This plan will strip the American people of their freedom, and place them under the control of a single, all-powerful, federal agency. Industrial permits, furnace regulations, auto emissions testing, building permits, transportation, and food production—all will fall under the boot of the EPA. Environmentalists will use lawsuits to pressure the EPA to tighten an ever-shrinking noose around the neck of every American.
This is the first and only time I have heard about this Executive Order signed by the Republican Bush. The statutory framework now exists for the EPA to dictate to every American how much CO2 he can emit. Such a broad Executive Order gives the EPA the power to control virtually every aspect of our lives, from how much we produce to how much we travel to our heating and air conditioning to our very exhalations of breath. The limits on the EPA's power will be determined by what they think they can get away with before people revolt. Using the time-tested frog-cooking method, they will start modestly and ratchet up the controls a notch at a time.
I submit that if Bush were a Democrat president, we would have heard about this totalitarian Executive Order from right-wing radio talk shows, right-wing bloggers and Fox News. The Republicans would be screaming that leftists want to destroy our freedom -- and they would be right. But Bush is a Republican, so we hear nothing. The Democrats have no reason to publicize this Executive Order because they support it; government control of every aspect of every citizen's life is The Way Things Ought To Be. Republicans have no interest in attacking Bush because it weakens their party. Talkers such as Limbaugh and Hewitt focus like a laser beam on the Democrats and, with occasional exceptions designed to counter criticism like this, they ignore Republican folly.
Gus Van Horn has detailed Bush's Statist Legacy. The first two items alone would be enough to vilify him among Republicans, were Bush a Democrat:
- Sixty-eight per cent. That is how much total federal spending rose under Bush. That is more than double the growth in federal spending over the eight years of Bill Clinton's presidency.
- Bush was aided and abetted by a Congress dominated by Republicans until 2006. Juicy spending bills were passed on everything from farm subsidies to health (up 44 per cent) and education (up 47 per cent). After all, Bush had run as a "compassionate conservative"; he introduced the largest new entitlement since the Great Society programs of the 1960s: a prescription drug benefit for seniors that will add a US$1.2-trillion liability over 10 years.
And don't forget that Bush, a Republican, outlawed the incandescent light bulb, a dictatorial law that is richly symbolic. I like to think that 100 years from now Bush will be remembered as the man who outlawed the light bulb.
The Ayn Rand Institute calls the recent bailout of Wall Street The Road to Fascism:
The government has announced that it plans to use $250 billion to buy ownership stakes in various U.S. financial institutions. According to the New York Times, nine major U.S. banks have already been forced into the program....
According to Yaron Brook, executive director of the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights, “In herding banking executives into a room and making them an offer they couldn’t refuse, the Paulson regime took its latest and most disturbing step yet on the path to state control of the economy.
“If fascism means coercive state control over nominally private property, then there is no more chilling sign of creeping fascism in America than government’s encroachment on the lifeblood of the U.S. economy—its financial institutions. While the government assures us it will be a ‘passive investor,’ merely funneling cash into the banking system rather than dictating how banks function, this is a lie. Not only does the money come with strings attached--such as restrictions on executive compensation, dividend payments, and the types of investments banks can make—but politicians are already promising a web of further controls. As John McCain recently noted, ‘We will not merely inject billions of dollars into companies and walk away hoping for the best. We will require that those companies be reformed and restructured until they are sound assets again, and can be sold at no loss—or perhaps even a profit—to the taxpayers of America.’
Note that Paulson, Bush and McCain are all Republicans. Republicans, not Democrats, are driving this fascist power grab of America's financial institutions.
This is the most important reason we should not vote for a Republican for president: When Republicans expand state intervention in the economy, no one cares. Poor, hapless Democrats! When they try to get away with a fraction of what Republicans can get away with, those same Republicans scream bloody murder. Yes, the Republicans are laughable hypocrites -- but their hypocrisy is the only thing that stops Democrats from erecting a socialist tyranny. That's the way partisan politics works in America.
Republican presidents do more damage than Democrat presidents. Among the last four presidents, the only one that did not expand government spending was the Democrat, Bill Clinton. The Republicans all spent money like drunken sailors in a Texan whore house.
This year the Republican candidate is John McCain. He gives us even more reasons not to vote Republican. Craig Biddle writes,
On the domestic front, McCain promises to “take on” the drug companies, as if those who produce and market the medicines that improve and save human lives must be fought; he promises to ration energy by means of a cap-and-trade scheme, as if the government has a moral or constitutional right to dictate how much energy a company may purchase or use; he promises to “battle” big oil, as if those who produce and deliver the lifeblood of civilization need to be defeated; he promises to “reform” Wall Street, as if those who finance the businesses that produce the goods and services on which our lives depend are thereby degenerate; he seeks to uphold the ban on drilling in ANWR, as if the government has a moral or constitutional right to prevent Americans from reshaping nature to suit their needs; and so on.
And on foreign policy,
McCain promises to “respect the collective will of our democratic allies,” as if America has no moral right to defend her citizens according to her own best judgment; and he promises to finish the “mission” of making Iraq “a functioning democracy” even if it takes “one hundred years,” as if the U.S. government has a moral or constitutional right to sacrifice American soldiers to spread democracy abroad.
Ryan Calhoun at The Dirty Kuffar reminds us that McCain is willing to reinstate the draft.
McCain has stated time and again that the only time he would support a draft would be "if World War III broke out".
As bad as Republicans are these days, McCain is even worse. He is an ideological nationalist and collectivist. He disdains the free market. He sneers at the pursuit of profit. He believes the essence of morality lies in the individual sacrificing for something greater than himself.
Another reason it would be preferable to have a Democrat president is clarity. When Republicans like Bush expand government, we do not get clarity. Instead, Democrats blame the free market rhetoric of the Republicans for the latest crisis. Thus we get talk about Reagan's "trickle down econonmics" as the cause of the meltdown in September. Under a Democrat president, the destructive policies of government intervention become clear.
By the logic of my argument I should be endorsing Obama here because Democrats are not as effective at destroying liberty in America as Republicans. I can't do it. I've never voted for a Democrat in my life, and I'll be damned if the first one I vote for is a far left radical who has allied himself with anti-Americans and then lied about it when his alliances became politically inconvenient.
Obama, a social metaphysician who prides himself on being a "blank screen" on which others can project what they want to see, is not a fringe character in the Democrat Party. He is the party. He represents most of the base. The entire party leadership has been as radicalized as Obama. If the "Reagan Democrats" understood how far left the party is (if they did not depend on the MSM for their news), they would run from the party.
It is possible that Obama, like McCain, is worse than the average politician in his party. There is the possibility that Obama is an ideological radical who -- with full, explicit consciousness -- is hiding his true intentions in order to gain power and then use the presidency to advance socialism in America. I don't think he can get far without a mandate, but I can't entirely dismiss this suspicion. But if this is true, it makes Obama only a more exaggerated version of all Democrat candidates, for every one of them since the landslide defeat of McGovern in 1972 has lied about how far left he is.
But even if we go just by what he has promised, which would add another trillion dollars to the federal budget, that alone makes him unworthy of our vote.
In voting for the lesser of two evils, there is only so much evil a voter should be asked to swallow. I will feel better about myself not voting for either Obama or McCain. Whichever one is elected, things will get worse. There are arguments for and against both men; they come out to a wash. Who knows which candidate would end up marginally worse than the other?
More important than the presidential vote is your Senate and House vote. It is important that we get Republicans in the legislature. They're the only ones that would slow down an Obama presidency. Perhaps they would moderate McCain's worst statist excesses.
I realize there is risk in my thinking. It depends on the Republicans maintaining their role as a vigorous opposition party. Fewer Republicans have the stomach for fighting every year. At some point, the party might conclude, "We're all socialists now." If so, we'll get to dictatorship a little faster than otherwise. Right now their opposition to Democrat presidents is our last hope.
Go to the polls on November 4th. Vote Republican in everything but president. Don't vote for president. Perhaps a large bloc of abstaining voters will send a message that our two major parties need to give us better candidates for whom to vote.
UPDATE: I forgot to mention that on election day I will be sending $100 to the Ayn Rand Institute. With this I will know I am actually doing something to bring about change instead of just casting a meaningless vote.