Immediately after January 1, the American people will be filled with hope, anticipation, and excitement over the upcoming presidential race. Led by the mainstream media, they’re about to embark on a 10-month journey of fervent political discussion and debate over which presidential candidate should be “running our country.” They will pour millions of dollars of their hard-earned money into the race.
I really hate to rain on this parade, but reality is important. None of this will matter. No matter which person is elected president, Americans will continue to suffer a never-ending cycle of crises and chaos.
That’s because the fundamental problem is a structural one, not a person one. The welfare-warfare state is an inherently defective governmental structure. When you have something that is inherently defective, it means that it is incapable of working regardless of who is operating it. Since the welfare-warfare state apparatus that was grafted onto America’s federal governmental system in the 1930s and 1940s is inherently defective, no one who is elected president will be able to make it succeed.
Consider the drug war. It’s been going on for decades, producing nothing but death, destruction, official corruption, overcrowded prisons, drug gangs, drug cartels, drug-gang warfare, political assassinations, and countless ruined lives. Yet, people inevitably get their hopes up that a new president is going to be the one who finally, once and for all, wins the war on drugs.
It ain’t gonna happen. That’s because the drug war is an inherently defective program. Government has no more business punishing people for possessing, distributing, or ingesting drugs than it does punishing people for doing the same with booze, tobacco, or fatty foods. It’s just none of the government’s business. And when the government makes such things its business, the results are always, without fail, bad.
It’s no different with foreign policy and the war on terrorism. The various GOP and Democratic candidates are determined to be the president who finally uses the Pentagon and the CIA to bring peace to the world through bombs, missiles, troops, invasions, occupations, partnerships with dictators, foreign aid, assassinations, torture, and regime-change operations.
It ain’t gonna happen. They just don’t get it. It’s all that foreign interventionism that generates the anger and hatred that so many foreigners have for the federal government and our country. More interventionism to deal with the anger and hatred from previous interventionism is like pouring fuel on a fire. All that it’s going to do is make things worse.
So, no matter which GOP or Democratic candidate is elected president, Americans will have their hopes and dreams of making the world safe for democracy though empire and intervention dashed. Instead, they will continue to live their lives the way they have for the past umpteen years — in desperate fear that the terrorists are coming to get them, drag them from their homes, and force them to study the Koran and learn Sharia law.
Meanwhile, the surveillance schemes, assassination programs, and other infringements on liberty and privacy will continue and expand, which will be welcomed by fearful Americans who want the government to do whatever is necessary to keep them safe.
Consider the welfare state, especially Social Security and Medicare, but also the thousands of other welfare programs, such as food stamps, corporate bailouts, federal deposit insurance, education grants, and farm subsidies. They will continue to make Americans dependent wards of the state, ever fearful that somebody (like us libertarians) is going to come and terminate their dole.
Meanwhile, they just block out of their minds that the welfare state is a primary cause of the economic malaise in which America is mired. That’s because the federal government has got to confiscate wealth before it can distribute welfare largess. And the more wealth it confiscates, the less savings in society, which means lower or no economic growth or, even worse, economic recession or depression.
Both the welfare state and the warfare state are the dual engine that drives the out-of-control federal spending and debt that is threatening to bring the nation down, just like what happened in Greece, Puerto Rico, and even some American cities. But the presidential candidate just keep on trucking, promising to raise federal spending and lower taxes, as if they were magicians performing magic acts.
Forget about reforming the welfare-warfare state. Forget about trying to find a presidential candidate that is finally going to make it work. It’s a waste of your time and money.
There is but one solution to an inherently defective governmental apparatus — dismantle it. Repeal drug laws and release and pardon every single drug-war prisoner. Repeal every single welfare-state program, especially Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Bring all the troops home and discharge them. Dismantle the Pentagon, the standing army, the military-industrial complex, the CIA, and the NSA. Abolish the income tax, the IRS, and the Federal Reserve.
That’s the only thing that will work. That’s the only thing that will finally bring peace, prosperity, harmony, and freedom to the American people. And then it won’t really matter who is elected president.
Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.
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