Trump supporters have recently been asking people to support Trump in November because of things he says, such as: “This is a battle to save the Heritage, History, and Greatness of our Country!” or “Republicans are the party of LIBERTY, EQUALITY and JUSTICE for ALL. We are the Party of Abraham Lincoln and the party of LAW AND ORDER!”
The supporters then assign a demonic status to Biden, and Democrats in general, as the people who will end a free America and Trump as the only person who can save it. Its a longstanding way to frame your guy as the hero and your enemy as the villain. Standard partisan shenanigans.
I want to point out a few problems with this entire premise of either party or candidate caring about freedom at all.
The sad reality is that America has been declining in measurable freedom for a really long time. With the wide variety of taxes, the limitations on personal choice, private property, movement, labor and even freedom of the press, religion and assembly — the US has been slipping for years in a number of areas. The authoritarian insanity of the Covid response across the country, with tremendous public support BTW, has proven how little people even care about their rights being infringed upon.
Apart from the philosophical indifference of the average American, there are also measurable ways in which we can see rights being inhibited in the US. Here is the Heritage Foundation (a very conservative organization) 2020 world rankings on economic freedom. US is ranked #17.
Here is the last update of the Human Freedom Index, which takes into account personal and economic freedom as measured by multiple free market think tanks. US is ranked #15.
These are not lefty groups making these lists. These are right leaning think tanks who have been concerned about the US decline in freedom for years.
We can also look at the Press Freedom Index where the US ranks #45 and has been consistently dropping through both the Obama and Trump years.
In most major categories, the trend for the US has been less freedom over time. And its important to note that these trends span both Republican and Democrat controlled administrations.
Look at how the domestic surveillance and police state blossomed under W Bush, then Obama and now Trump. Look at the militarization of local police across essentially every municipality, created through federal funding under every R or D administration in DC, and all justified for the rights infringing “War on Drugs” that was championed in the biggest ways by Republicans Nixon and Reagan.
Consider the handling of the virus. It was the W Bush administration (Republicans) who introduced the idea for lockdowns and the quarantining of healthy people. And in many instances Republican Governors, like Dewine in Ohio, have been just as authoritarian as their Democrat colleagues in their reactions to the virus.
The bi-partisan attack on freedom is an endless list of stupidity, and when considered in its totality it becomes crystal clear that America is NOT a bastian of freedom. It hasnt been for years. Definitionally, we can call the current US economic system Fascism and the political structure something close to a Democratic Oligarchy.
In purely economic terms “fascism” has nothing to do with racist/violent policies that people think about when they hear the word. When talking about economic systems, the Library of Economics calls “fascism” socialism with a capitalist veneer. The word derives from fasces, the Roman symbol of collectivism and power. It is government control, sanctioning and directing of certain approved privately owned businesses to prosper, while restricting an actual free market. Fascism is effectively crony corporatism.
As for why I use the term “Oligarchy,” a recent review of policy outcomes found that economic elites and special interest groups have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average Americans have little or no independent influence. In other words, the U.S. is an oligarchy: a system of government where a small number of elites rule. This reality crosses party lines with the individuals and types of special interests varying depending on the party. But unions, healthcare lobby, environmental groups, military contractors, etc, etc all still represent a very tiny group of elites who disproportionately influence public policy and the whole lawmaking and electoral process. The lowly individual residing in an elected official’s district has essentially no role in the process.
In the wake of the George Floyd protests, people are finally acknowledging the corrupting power of public employee unions, in many ways the biggest driving force in American politics. These unions have a uniquely horrible and perverse relationship with taxpayers, because our taxes fund their shenanigans like protecting bad cops or electing socialists to city councils. Public employee unions literally force us to pay for our own destruction.
Looking at the US from the 20,000 feet high, historical view – the simple truth is that Wilson and FDR killed the Republic at the beginning of the last century. LBJ and Nixon ensured the state became all consuming in every part of life in the 60s and 70s. Then W Bush, Obama and Trump led the country into the era of debt, executive supremacy and police state idiocy in the 2000s.
This crony-serving, bi-partisan stupidity at every imaginable level for over 100 years has made America far less free, and both parties share the blame.
For me, the saddest part is that very few people had problems with this freedom killing mess being constructed along the way. They still don’t. Both parties just blindly back their person when in leadership, regardless of their actions. Then they condemn the other party, when the same actions are taken, forgetting they sat silently on their hands when their own party inhibited individual rights at every turn when they had the power.
Freedoms being inhibited in America has been the trend for years and both parties share the blame. When it comes to defending freedom, we shouldn’t give anyone a pass. And when advocating for a Republican good vs Democrat bad paradigm for voting — save it. This hero vs villain trope is childish and pathetic.
I choose to not support either major party. It is NOT wasting my vote to sit out elections or write-in a vote for random free market economists who arent even running, a standard protest tactic of mine. However, it would be wasting my vote to support either candidate in a two-party system that has a long standing history of rights inhibiting behavior.
Both parties are driving the country toward a cliff, and the only difference is the speed of each car. I will not put fuel in either car with my money or my vote. I will not support the lesser of two evils. I will not waste my vote on Trump or Biden. I know most Americans aren’t with me, but the only way to stop the car from actually driving off the cliff is to withold your money and your vote from both of them.