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One Great Big Boring Presidential Race

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Although Republicans, Democrats, and the mainstream press consider the Trump-Biden race to be terribly exciting, for me it’s extremely boring. That’s because both Trump and Biden agree on the big, overriding philosophy of the welfare-warfare state and are simply disagreeing on how to manage it. Big deal.

Consider, for example, the welfare-state way of life under which Americans have lived since the 1930s. Wouldn’t it be great if either Trump or Biden were challenging this way of life at a fundamental level?

He could be showing that Americans lived without a welfare state for more than a century. He could be throwing into question the entire New Deal philosophy of President Franklin Roosevelt that brought about America’s conversion to a welfare state. He could be showing that the welfare state is a variation of socialism, a philosophy that has proven to be inherently defective and economically destructive.

That would be an extremely interesting, exciting, and thought-provoking campaign. It would revolve around critically important issues that every American should be discussing and debating: What is the rightful role of government in a free society? Should government be taking care of people?

Alas, we don’t have that type of presidential campaign because both Trump and Biden believe in the welfare state, especially as reflected by their joint commitment to the crown jewels of the welfare state, Social Security and Medicare.

Trump can carp about food stamps or public housing, as Republicans always do, but that’s different from challenging the welfare-state itself. By expressing his support for continuing Social Security and Medicare and even farm subsidies, Trump has closed himself off from objecting to the welfare-state way of life. Even if he were to do it now, no one would pay attention because he lacks moral standing to do so, especially given his devotion to Social Security and Medicare.

The principle is the same with the national-security state way of life under which Americans have lived since 1947. Both Trump and Biden both believe in and favor the Pentagon, the military industrial complex, the CIA, and the NSA. Neither one would dare call for dismantling these Cold War dinosaurs 

Oh, sure, they both might call for reforming the national-security state, including their plans of assassinations, kidnappings, coups, invasions, interventions, and torture. But the idea of raising people’s vision to a higher level — to the level of a limited-government republic — remains outside the ambit of the Trump-Biden race.

Where do you see any discussion of the concept of liberty in the Trump-Biden race? Where do you see any discussion of what genuine freedom really means? Anyway, how could either Trump or Biden defend the concept of genuine liberty given their joint devotion to such socialist programs as Social Security and Medicare?

There might be some concern expressed by one or both candidates about the $3 trillion budget deficit, the $26.7 trillion in federal debt, and the fall in the value of the dollar. But who is going to pay any attention, given their joint devotion to stimulus packages, Social Security and Medicare and other welfare-state entitlements, and the national-security state way of life, all of which are the principal cause of the out-of-control federal spending and debt?

Thus, the Trump-Biden race has boiled down to such exciting issues as whether or not Trump knew that the coronavirus posed a serious threat or whether Biden is spending too much time in his Covid cave.

Big deal. Another great big boring presidential race, one that boils down to who is going to get to manage the welfare-warfare state and the welfare-warfare power and largess that comes with the job. Meanwhile, the destruction of peace, prosperity, harmony, and morality will continue proceeding apace.

The post One Great Big Boring Presidential Race appeared first on The Future of Freedom Foundation.


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About The Author

Jacob G. Hornberger

The Future of Freedom Foundation was founded in 1989 by FFF president Jacob Hornberger with the aim of establishing an educational foundation that would advance an uncompromising case for libertarianism in the context of both foreign and domestic policy. The mission of The Future of Freedom Foundation is to advance freedom by providing an uncompromising moral and economic case for individual liberty, free markets, private property, and limited government. Visit https://www.fff.org

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