With less than 50 days left to go until the election, many people have already decided to completely tune out the news until it is over. Lord knows it is an understandable impulse. In addition to being unqualified for the office, old, crooked, and abrasive, the two candidates are also personally distasteful people, neither of whom seems to have a good idea about how to improve the country. I totally understand the impulse to check out altogether and just kind of hope the country doesn’t fall apart until 2020.
It’s an understandable impulse, but it’s not a good one, and here’s why: neither of these candidates is running on a platform of forcing the government to leave you alone more. In fact, they both have alarmingly expansionist views of the powers of the Federal Government and in particular of the office of the President.
Trump thinks the President has the power to unilaterally rewrite both the First Amendment and the libel laws of all 50 states in one fell swoop. He also thinks that the President has the authority to tell local police departments to stop black people on the street and frisk them for guns without probable cause. He also thinks the President has the authority to unilaterally undo constitutionally-enacted treaties as long as they were entered into by “stupid people.” To say nothing of the fact that he bragged in a live debate that the military would follow unlawful orders coming from him because of his strong, manly leadershipness. I could go on, but you get the point. You get the point. Following in the path of Trump’s vision of government leads you to authoritarianism and police state despotism.
Clinton, on the other hand, literally wrote the book on “it takes a village to raise a child” and by “village” she meant “the will of the village as expressed by the forceful intervention of the village’s elected officials and bureaucrats.” Clinton is on the side of people who want to tell churches they can’t not have transgender bathrooms, make disbelieving in global warming a crime, raise your taxes, and so on. You get the point. Following in the path of Clinton’s vision of government leads you to your life as a bit player in the real life version of 1984.
So I mean, one way or another, the size and scope of the Federal Government is going to advance quite a lot over the next four years. You ought to really do something about that. Even if that something is the equivalent of crossing the streams – a plan that seems hopeless from the beginning and likely to end in total destruction (like voting for Gary Johnson or Evan McMullin or starting a new party altogether), now is not the time to abandon the playing field of politics altogether. If you think doing so will mean you won’t have to think about our corrupt government at all, you are wrong. Sooner or later it will be staring you in the face, like it or not.
You can’t just stick your head in the sand and pretend it will go away because sooner or later someone thinks of Mr. Stay Puft and the fecal matter hits the fan anyway.