Regardless Who Wins In November, Freedom And Liberty Both Lose

Mar 14, 2016

Let us be clear. We are living, right now, in a time of emotional fear, hysterical anger, illogical demands, and dangerous temptations. In other words, liberty and prosperity are at risk. A decent and tolerant society is threatened. Common principles of humanity are being undermined.

All of this is concentrated and has been brought to a head in the rhetorical clamor and campaign conflagrations of a presidential election year. To try to understand what is going on, a mountain of words have been spoken by serious think tank scholars, by Sunday morning talk show pundits, or by evening television news 15-second "in-depth" interpreters, as well as miles of written commentaries that have been offered in hardcopy or on the online media and blog sites.

Pandering and Plundering Politicians, Left and Right

On the Democrat Party side, how can a corrupt, manipulative, lying, life-long power-lusting insider like Hillary Clinton be taken seriously and to be, seemingly, riding high to her party's presidential candidate? How can a self-proclaimed "democratic" socialist, who has praised and apologized for communist dictatorships in Latin America and who chose to honeymoon with his bride in the former Soviet Union, arouse the mass enthusiasm of millions who see him as the deliverer of a transformative "political revolution" in America?

On the Republican Party side, how can a bombastic, rude and crude user of government privilege and favoritism for his business interests, like Donald Trump, who speaks most of the time in empty phrases and wrong-headed illogic on numerous economic and social issues, victoriously steamroll through state primaries and garner the support of millions merely because, many of those multitudes say, "he says it like it is"?

How can we explain the fate of the field of other Republican candidates, heralded in the summer of 2015 as the finest group of minds offered by the GOP for the office of the presidency in several decades? As the autumn began, one of them after another, first in the debates and the public opinion polls, and then in the primaries, failed to inspire or distinguish themselves. Each fell victim to voter indifference and then to Donald Trump's meat grinder. Until, now, hardly any remain standing.

And what of the voters? Facing an uncertain employment future, experiencing seeming stagnant or low wage improvements, disoriented by a changing cultural environment; angered by political promises unfulfilled by those elected to high political office, as well as burdensome taxation and heavy-handed regulation; frustrated by crony "insiders" close to politicians and bureaucrats who "rig the game" for the benefit of special interests while leaving the costs and lost opportunities on the shoulders of ordinary citizens Sam and Sally, who have none of the "pull" to influence things their way, now insist: "We've had enough and we're not going to take it any more."

Bernie and Hillary Expresses to Bankruptcy cartoon

Broken Constitutions and Noses to Get What You Want

This is the sentiment and insistence of a sizable number of voters. And if it takes a socialist with utopian dreams dancing in his head, or a boorish billionaire who says he knows how to fix a broken system because he's been playing it for decades for all its worth, then so be it. Put the "strongman" in charge to shake things up and give the ordinary guy an even break.

If it takes bending the Constitution or tearing down the wealth and position of some, well, those insiders and fat cats, those "establishment" types, have been rigging the rules for as long as can be remembered. So its time someone stuck it to them with some of the same political power, just in "the people's" direction for a change.

And if some people have to be "roughed up," if their words need to be shouted down or shut up, again, we've had enough of what they have had to say. Of course, who the "we" are and who the "they" are all depends upon who the "you" is.

Are you referring to the radical college professor who calls for some "muscle" to drive away a news reporter covering a campus demonstration against freedom of speech? Or a presidential candidate who gets cheers from his followers when he suggests that a physical altercation against protesters at their meeting is a lot more fun than listening to a boring campaign speech?

What we are witnessing are the latest episodes in the continuing bankruptcy of the modern American political system. These millions of voters all along the political spectrum wrap their frustrations and demands in rhetoric of either restoring or establishing "real" and "true" American values.

Read the full story at epictimes.com.

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Richard Ebeling

Dr. Richard Ebeling is currently the BB&T Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Free Enterprise Leadership at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina. He is the author of several best-selling books on politics, finance and government, and received the “Franz Cuhel Award for Excellence in Free Market Education”, as well as the “Liberty in Theory: Lifetime Award” for contributions advancing the case for classical Liberalism.

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