The McAfee/Weiss campaign released a new video today, one I’ve been eagerly waiting for since John McAfee said yesterday that they’d be doing so:
When Ludwig Von Mises was asked at a dinner party what he would do if he was completely in charge of the United States and could pass any legislation he wanted, what would he do, without hesitation Mises answered, “I would abdicate.”
It’s the most curious of things that, for the most part, the very last people who would abuse power are never the ones who seek it, a point made well in M16’s latest “campaign” video. It’s much as I’ve mentioned in the past about police officers–not every police officer is a power-hungry psychopath, but if you have a power-hungry psychopath, they will become a cop. Neither is every politician/world leader a power-hungry lunatic who wants control, but if you have a power-hungry lunatic who wants control, they’re likely to become a politician.
This is why it’s always so difficult to elect a President McAfee, a President Perry, or a President Mises. They don’t really want to be the President of the United States. They want to leave you the hell alone so that you can do your thing–whatever “your thing” is.
I spent a lot of time in 2012 wondering what, exactly, Ron Paul would do if he had won the presidency. What would a “true libertarian” do with the Oval Office?
Nothing, for the most part.
They’d veto almost everything that Congress attempted to do–rightfully so. They wouldn’t get anything done, because they’re not supposed to get anything done. I wondered, though–would Ron Paul abuse Executive Orders to promote libertarian policy? Ron Paul is a Federalist through and through–a lot of libertarianish people are–and they firmly believe in the Constitution. I, however, don’t. I would be totally okay with President Paul using Executive Orders to abolish the Fed, the IRS, the NSA, the CIA, Homeland Security, FEMA, the TSA, and a few hundred others.
I would, however, want the last Executive Order by President Libertarian to be a full and absolute revocation of executive authority.
It’s tricky, you know? Isn’t this essentially allowing the presidency to become a dictatorship in the name of libertarianism?
Yes. It is. I can’t hide from that. It is a wish that the President would bypass the Constitution, checks & balances, and all of that other stuff to “illegally” enact libertarian policy, and then, once that was done, dial back the powers of the presidency to their Constitutional levels. Bypassing Congress, though… That’s pretty close to tyranny, and I wouldn’t be okay with the Libertarian Party storming Washington, D.C. with a military, setting up a dictatorship, and using it to impose a new libertarian government.
The difference, of course, is that the channels are already there for the abuse of Executive Orders; it has been a practice for several decades.
Realistically, though, what I want is for Mises to become President and enact the legislation that he does think is best. However, what he thinks is best is not enacting legislation, so it’s a contradiction in terms. Tyrannizing for the sake of liberty, to put it bluntly. There can be no delusions about it; that’s what it is.
Whether we like it or not, the POTUS has extraordinary power. A lot of people like to say that the Executive Branch can’t really do all of the things that candidates promise on the campaign trail, but that has long been false. Those people who still talk of checks and balances are clinging to lessons from high school civics classes that no longer have any bearing on reality. The President legislates, for all intents and purposes.
What is Gary Johnson’s plan? To go in there and veto everything? That’s great and all, but it just wouldn’t achieve anything except piss off the masses of people who are already irritated at Congress because Congress isn’t getting anything done. Suddenly we’d have an antagonistic Libertarian President who purposely vetoes everything and keeps Congress from getting anything done? The approval rating of such a president, realistically, would be lower than Congress’s record low of 23%.
The American People don’t seem to care what is getting done; they just want Congress to be getting it done. We Libertarians view gridlock as a beautiful thing, as something the American Founders intentionally built into the system, precisely to keep the government from fucking us over. The American People don’t think that way, though–many, many people have called for Congress to be abolished. If you send a Libertarian President in who does nothing but stands in Congress’s way, you will achieve nothing but pissing off the entire country, and you’ll never get a Libertarian elected again.
As far as plans go, that’s a terrible one.
The reality of the situation is that the only way to keep Approval Ratings out of the toilet is for the President to do stuff. If the President purposely prevents stuff from getting done, approval ratings plummet and the chances of ever electing another libertarian go to zero. So we need a Libertarian to go in, willing to use the power of the office to promote a libertarian agenda. There’s no way around it. I don’t like it, and I would so much rather nominate a Libertarian Congress to do it, and that will ultimately be the route we take, I think. However, if we do get a Libertarian President, the absolute last thing that President needs to do… is nothing.
Instead, we need a candidate who would be willing to use the power of the office as it is to enact libertarian ideology and then, only once the leviathan state was pulled back to reasonable levels, would the president need to enter “libertarian mode” and veto everything to prevent the leviathan state from going. Let’s not be confused about this. Unless we do take majorities in the House and Senate, there is no other way to dial back the power of the state. While taking Congress is ideal, and the way we will end up going, we’re speaking hypothetically right now–what would a Libertarian President need to do with a Congress that was Republicrat?
There are only two people in the world–that I know of–who I would trust with this level of power: John McAfee and Darryl Perry. Judd Weiss, by extension, since McAfee vouches for him, but I wouldn’t elect Weiss of my own accord.
Of course, neither of them has made any indication that they would go into the Presidential office and decimate the state by using Executive Orders to disband hundreds of three-letter agencies. It’s largely implied, but it has never been explicitly stated. That’s the question we have to ask ourselves: these people want to abolish the Fed, IRS, NSA, etc…
They’re presidents, not legislators.
Only through Executive Orders can the President achieve such things. Libertarian Presidential nominee Gary Johnson, how would he downsize the IRS? Without an Executive Order, he couldn’t. He could repeatedly veto Congress’s budget, but they could just override the veto–as they would, once the purse strings are threatened.
No one seems to be talking about it, but this is a reality that has to be addressed. For the libertarian, the Oval Office is mostly inconsequential: it’s the last roadblock to keep legislation from fucking over the American People. So… Other than to stop legislation, what is the point of having a libertarian president? Stopping legislation is great, but it does nothing to undo past legislation, like the Federal Reserve Act and the Income Tax. By this reasoning, nothing improves, but nothing gets worse, either. Meanwhile, the American People, sick of nothing getting done, reject libertarianism and vow to never again elect a Libertarian.
It would be an unmitigated disaster.
The only hope we have is to get a President who is willing to use the power that is there to undo past damage. Unconstitutional though it is, Executive Orders must be used by the Libertarian President to forcefully repeal the Income Tax, the IRS, the Fed, the CIA, FEMA, and all these others. “Preventing things from getting worse” isn’t enough, not when the state already breathes down our necks virtually every moment of every day, and not when footsoldiers of the state are out in American states with tanks and armored vehicles arresting protestors who didn’t want to let corporations use land that the state stole on their behalf. No, “preventing things from getting worse by vetoing everything” isn’t enough by a long shot. Worse yet, doing this would do nothing more than piss off the population. You think Congress’s approval rating is bad? Why do you think it’s so low? People are clear about why they disapprove of the job Congress is doing: because nothing is getting done.
I trust McAfee with the job, and I trust Darryl Perry with the job.
I trust that they would use the power of the office to destroy the nanny state, to at minimum pull it back to its Constitutional levels, and then to destroy the power structure that they used to unwind the state. Because that’s what is necessary. “Doing nothing” isn’t enough, not when we already have a nanny government. That would have been fine before FDR and the rise of fascism. Now, though? Now there is much to be undone. A Libertarian President has to both keep shit from getting worse and undo past shit that was bad. Vetoes accomplish the former; only Executive Orders can do the latter.
I would trust Ron Paul with the job, as well, come to think of it. Ron Paul, however, would decline to use Executive Orders to that end, even if it was to abolish the hundreds of state agencies that have destroyed liberty.
That’s what it comes down to, though. The President has tremendous amounts of power. Who do you trust to wield that power? I don’t trust Gary Johnson, and I damned sure don’t trust Bill Weld. Somehow, I manage to trust Trump and Hillary even less than I trust Weld–and that’s saying something, because I wouldn’t piss on a fire to put out Bill Weld.
The latest M16 video is absolutely right. I don’t trust many people with that kind of power.
I’d rather that power not even be collected to a single individual, or to a single body of people. So the question, really, is who do we trust to diffuse that power? Because that’s necessary to the process. That power is there. It’s collected already. Someone has to diffuse it.
For that, I trust no one but McAfee or Perry.