It looks like Joe Biden won the election. I’m sure the legal wrangling will stretch on for a while, but I’m pretty certain that when the dust settles, Biden will end up moving into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
So, what next?
I know a lot of people are upset. I’ve seen the wailing and gnashing of teeth on social media. I’ve seen dire predictions of the U.S. turning into a socialist hell-scape. But let me be blunt – we took off down that path before long before last Tuesday.
Ten years ago, I published my first book Our Last Hope: Rediscovering the Lost Path to Liberty. At the time, I warned the focusing on D.C. politics wasn’t going to change much. Here’s what I wrote.
Every four years, political parties, candidates, lobbyists, PACs and everyday citizens spend billions of dollars to choose a president. For more than a year, candidates debate and jockey for position. By the time the general election rolls around, Americans have already endured a seemingly endless primary season. And when it’s all said and done, what really changes?
Take the 2008 election pitting John McCain against Barak Obama. Obama won the election promising “hope and change.” He painted a McCain victory as an endorsement of “the failed policies of George W. Bush.” But really, what actually changed?
With Bush, we had rampant spending, increasing debt and a rapidly growing federal government. President Obama kept right on spending, increased the debt even faster and expanded the scope and power of the federal government. Under Bush, we had war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Under Obama, we had war in Iraq and Afghanistan, with Libya, Syria and Yemen thrown in for good measure. Bush signed the Patriot Act into law, including many provisions violating basic due process rights protected by the Constitution. Obama reauthorized it, and signed the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act with indefinite detention provisions included. Under Bush, we got the TSA, running its gloved hands over our bodies and through our stuff. Under Obama, the TSA got scanners, and started groping our “stuff.” Obama gave us “Obamacare.” Bush gave us a prescription drug benefit. Both presidents oversaw a growing, bloated federal government engaging in unconstitutional acts. Republican or Democrat, it doesn’t seem to matter. A Republican administration brought you the Patriot Act, undeclared war, the expansion of entitlements, the Real ID Act, TARP and a continuation of the federal “war on drugs.” Thanks to the Democrats, Americans enjoy overreaching EPA mandates, expanding entitlements, automaker bailouts, undeclared war, government-run health care, a continuation of the federal “war on drugs” and FDA raids on Amish farmers.
On and on it goes.
After four years of witnessing Obama continuing and expanding Bush policies, Republican candidates marched from sea to shining sea promising they would usher in a new era of “limited government” if the voting public would just give them a chance.
Forgive my skepticism.
We got another four years of Obama but then Trump came to save us.
But after four years of Trump and Republicans completely controlling Congress for two of those years, what has really changed? We added $7 trillion in additional debt. The wars are still going on. Trump reauthorized the Patriot Act. Obamacare wasn’t repealed or replaced. We got an increase in the enforcement of federal gun control and new gun control to boot. The war on drugs rages on. The police-state has grown. Real ID has been almost fully implemented. Federal asset forfeiture ramped up. The federal government is bigger, more powerful and deeper in debt than it was four years ago.
In Our Last Hope, I wrote:
It seems to me the two parties vying for supremacy in Washington D.C. really represent two sides of the very same coin. They may differ in degree, but not in substance. They may apply power along different avenues, but both parties love to wield the big government stick. And Republicans and Democrats alike show little or no regard for constitutional constraint when it comes to implementing their preferred policy.
And my advice back in 2012:
First, we must stop assuming Washington D.C. will solve all of America’s problems.
Ladies and gentlemen, Washington D.C. IS the problem.
That was true when Obama was in the White House. It’s true with Trump in the White House. And it will be true with Biden in the White House.
So, what do we do? Exactly what I said to do in 2012 — Nullify!
Nullification provides a powerful tool that can shift authority back to the states and the people where it belongs. If state lawmakers and executives begin standing up to overreaching federal power, saying, “No!” when the folks in D.C. pass acts outside of their authority, only then will we see the federal government begin to respect the intended limits on its power. You can’t expect an animal to stay in the proper field without a fence.
That’s it. That’s what’s next. It should have been what we were doing all along.
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