Every Republican and Democratic candidate in the 2016 presidential race is unfit for the White House.
All are clueless about the liberty-centered philosophy of government celebrated in the Declaration of Independence and enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. They all narcissistically covet some type of presidential legacy like an awesome but pointless pharaonic pyramid. They all desperately need education in the philosophy of life that made the United States unique in the annals of history before even contemplating the presidency.
This nation was founded on the principle that liberty is justified for its own sake, and that government encroachments are inherently suspect. As President Abraham Lincoln taught at Gettysburg, “our fathers brought forth upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”
Liberty should bow to government coercion only to promote urgent community interests which are agreed upon by concurrent majorities representing a variety of discrete political factions. Liberty is the default position if such a consensus cannot be assembled to support a compelling need.
The purpose of government is not to build an empire. It is not to send a man to the moon or to explore Mars. It is not to achieve a certain level of gross national product, energy self-sufficiency, inflation, unemployment, or income equality. In the eyes of the Declaration and Constitution, the benchmark of government success is the extent to which its citizens enjoy a fair chance to develop their faculties and pursue their ambitions free from domestic predation or foreign aggression, i.e., to be captains of their fates, masters of their souls.
Government is tyrannical when it seeks to cram what majorities ordain is virtuous or enlightened down the throats of the unwilling.
The thrill and nobility of life is to claim legitimate credit or accept legitimate blame for your triumphs and your stumbles, your joys and your sorrows, your wisdom and your foolishness. What makes us human –not bovine– is to struggle against adversity, to achieve mastery over our unreflective passions, and to surmount daunting challenges, not to push water effortlessly downhill.
This is not to deny that the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune that men are heir to are commonly unfair. The rain falls on the just and the unjust alike. It is thus altogether fitting for the government to care unsparingly for the physically or mentally disabled. They do not enjoy a fair chance to succeed in life without external assistance. A liberty-centered universe is not a cruel euphemism for eugenics or Social Darwinism.
The Constitution intentionally places roadblocks against simple majority rule to protect liberty from encroachments fueled by trifles light as air. Congress is bicameral. Members of the House are elected by the people from various geographic districts at two-year intervals. House members are allocated among the 50 States based on population. Senators are elected at six-year intervals and represent entire states, which confers proportionately greater power to less populous states than in the House. Only one-third of the Senate is replaced every two years as a safeguard against a monolithic Congress swept in on a gust of national delirium or passion.
The president is elected by a majority of Electoral College votes, which are allocated among the states based on the number of representatives and senators they send to Congress.
Legislation may be vetoed by the president, whose veto can be overridden only by two-thirds majorities in the House and Senate. Treaties negotiated by the president require ratification by two-thirds of the Senate. Amendments to the Constitution must be approved by two-thirds of the House and Senate and three-fourths of state legislatures.
An independent federal judiciary with life tenure and protection against reduced compensation polices Congress and the Executive Branch to prevent and to nullify violations of constitutional limits.
These formidable checks against government action were intended to cure the disease of excessive law-making at the expense of liberty.
The United States deserves applause for promoting a liberty-centered universe through laws that have emancipated women, racial, ethnic, or religious minorities, and LBGTI members from the shackles of discrimination divorced from individual merit. Persons within these groups were denied a fair chance to succeed based on individual skill, foresight, industry, ambition, intellect, and character. Many still are.
On the other hand, a liberty-centered universe in the United States has been crushed by a staggering number of laws and regulations to promote light and transient causes, the military-industrial-intelligence complex, and perpetual wars not in self-defense. Constitutional checks have been abandoned in favor of one-branch executive tyranny.
But reform, like a woman, should be courted, not taken by storm. We should not upset reasonable expectations born of the existing government-centered system no matter how offensive to liberty-centered principles. We need to transition from the former to the latter though grandfather clauses, sunset provisions, or otherwise as we journey back to our liberty-centered heritage.
It would be our finest hour.