Thoughts on the “Lesser of Two Evils”

A reader sent me the following. I don’t know who wrote it; but it’s thought-provoking:

“Pick the lesser of two evils” – is what is urged on us today.

But that is what German voters said to themselves in the election of 1932…which left the Nazis as the biggest party in the Reichstag.

On the one hand were the socialists and the Bolsheviks. On the other was that bulwark against chaos: Mr. Hitler.

He was the “lesser of two evils,” they said. And maybe he was. But who, in 1945, would admit to having voted for him?

Ms. Clinton? Mr. Trump? How do you ever know which is the lesser evil? And why would you want to approve any evil… no matter how much lesser it is?

Why would you want to get involved at all? “Doing Our Part.” But wait… that’s the way myths work, isn’t it?

We ALL have to believe. We all have to be complicit… whether it means throwing a virgin in the volcano… or handing out rations in a gulag.

We are all implicated… we are the “trustees” of the Deep State’s prison system… ready to “do our duty” to preserve the status quo.

The excerpt is from a piece entitled, “Democracy is a Fraud.” It’s true. Democracy is a fraud — if you see voting as the essential feature of a free society. Voting is not what makes us free. We can vote for a Hitler, and many would. What makes us free is a Constitution and Bill of Rights dedicated to making rights the rule of law.

If Trump and Clinton are two evils — the modern version of the Marxist versus the Fascist — then we have to hold the American people responsible. For the fact that they chose evil? Maybe, but more importantly: For the fact that they will not choose any better alternative.

Imagine if someone ran in support of the Constitution — the real Constitution. This would mean dismantling much of the federal government as we know it. It would mean shutting down entire Cabinet departments/agencies, including but not limited to the Department of Education, the EPA, the FCC, the FEC, the DEA and much else. The reason would not primarily be to save money, although the federal government is massively bankrupt. The reason would be to get government off the backs of the people, and instead of trying to control people’s behaviors and choices as consumers or parents, leaving them responsible to set the course of their own lives.

Would this message of liberty sell? Not in a million years. The majority, even most Republicans now, want candidates who promise more government. Some of my readers will be quick to point out that Ted Cruz provided the limited government alternative. Or Rand Paul. Maybe so. But Rand Paul was wiped out, and Ted Cruz did not get very far. (I blame his adherence to religious fundamentalism for this, although Cruz showed many admirable traits and had many excellent ideas.) The failure of these candidates supports my point that better options are potentially out there, but the majority of voters will not select them. We have to hold the voters — the people — accountable, at some point, for this fact. We cannot all be total victims of ourselves.

Would Barry Goldwater, a fierce advocate of individual rights and limited government, combined with a strong defense, do any better today than his landslide wipeout of 1964? Not a chance. Would Ronald Reagan even win the Republican nomination today? It’s doubtful. Reagan stood for free trade, or at least freer trade than what we have. This includes trade among nations. Donald Trump wants to make it illegal or difficult for companies to do business where they wish, on the premises of nationalism and protectionism. Trump speaks as if government control — so long as he’s in charge — will make the economy somehow work. Wrong. Government can only help by getting the hell out of the way, enforcing private contracts and private property rights, and standing up to American enemies (such as Nazis, Communists, ISIS). Reagan knew that much, however much he compromised. Trump would probably beat Reagan today in the primaries, just as Trump beat Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and all the others.

Democracy is a fraud in that it allows us to pretend that we’re victims when we’re really not. In a nation with essentially free speech along with free elections, you cannot claim the excuse that you’re a victim of a dictatorship. Even Germany in 1932 had more of an excuse than America. America has a breathtaking heritage of freedom, liberty and the Constitution/Bill of Rights. We have something to squander, and the vast majority of us are squandering it — not just in 2016, but in all the years leading up to this awful point.

If Trump, Clinton or anyone else — gradually or within a 72-hour period — turns America into a literal dictatorship, where guns are confiscated and speech becomes controlled or regulated,  it won’t be due to the fact that better ideas weren’t out there. America has less excuse than anyone. We have a Constitution which strictly limits the role of government, saying the federal government may not do anything other than what the Constitution permits and requires. There’s nothing about Social Security, Medicare, the EPA, the FCC, the FEC, the EPA and all the rest in the Constitution. The unfortunate and mistaken clause, about protecting the “general welfare,” was not intended by America’s founders as an excuse to run every last detail of everyone’s lives. It was not an excuse to disregard the separation of powers required by the Constitution, ignored daily by Obama, and promising to be ignored by both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, licking their chops to get their hands on even more unlimited executive power. Yet here we are.

I recognize and respect that many voting for Trump want a limited government alternative. But if Trump’s comments on eminent domain (he loves it), higher taxes for the rich (he wants them), a higher minimum wage (he wants it), imposing tariffs on the American consumer (he wants them), extensive use of executive orders like Obama (he’ll use them) are any indication, we will not see limited government in a Trump administration.

We complain about the choice, but we’d never vote for a real alternative. Not in 2016, and not for many years before that, either. We will all pay the price for this evasion and ignorance, until we start demanding something better. To get something better, we’ll have to let go of government services, handouts and regulations as we know them. The vast majority will not consider this, not now.

In America, freedom of speech (including your right to read this very post) and the right to bear arms will be the last freedoms to go. They are next in line, because there’s not a whole lot left that government does not totally or largely control/subsidize/regulate. Electing a president (Trump or Clinton) who promises to use executive power over and above the Constitution does not bode well for these remaining, crucial freedoms.

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