Once again, the Donks are split between their romantics, the progressives, and their Establishment, the pragmatists (farewell Nancy, welcome Hakeem). The GOP's Republican Regulars are locking horns with the MAGAs, impaling my Kevin.
We voters flip the national electoral coin every two years. Somehow it keeps landing on its edge.
Improbable! Yet We, The People, keep nailing that improbable landing.
We voters keep electing federal officials while withholding a mandate for either the Republicans or the Democrats. Seems wrong.
A Washington Post humor columnist called me "the second most conservative man in the world" (for my gold standard advocacy). It seems to me tautological that the right is right.
And yet the fickle electorate keeps withholding political dominance from us Gen. Turgidsons and Maj. Kongs, while also refusing to give absolute power to the power-mad Left.
In 2020 the voters gave the Donks the presidency, and a bare majority in the House and the Senate. The hard left's agenda was partially confounded by two noble maverick Democrats in the Senate.
Now the voters renew the Donks' bare majority in the Senate while giving the slenderest majority to the House Pachyderms. Gridlock, again.
This political Mexican standoff might be a sign of terminal decline. Could be the descent into tyranny that our founders feared would result from letting republicanism decay into democracy.
And yet, let's have a quick thought experiment. What if We, The People are signaling our desire for, as the Great Seal of the United States proclaims, a Novus Ordo Seclorum, a New Order of the Ages? (No, not a Great Reset, Klaus!)
What if We, The People – are pushing our truculent politicians to transition the world from an epic era to ... an intimate one?
We have lived through a long epic era. In the lifetime of my grandfathers, Julius and Jacob, the decentralized political order of city-states became consolidated.
In the 19th century the many provinces of the Italian peninsula united into Italy and the 39 German-speaking fiefdoms united into Germany. America, around the same time, moved from a decentralized confederation of united States to a centralized federal (my libertarian friends might call it "feral") United states, a radical shift ratified by the Supreme Court's Juilliard v. Greenman.
This is a big deal. As I observed at CNBC about a decade ago, "The federal government spent $15 billion from 1789-1900. Not $15 billion a year. $15 billion cumulatively. ... The federal government spends more every two days than it did altogether for more than America's first century.
Although these sums are not adjusted for inflation (or demographics) they give a correct impression of the magnitude of the change from what our Founders set forth and our early statesmen delivered. (See: OMB's Spreadsheet Table 1.1.)
Forward into the 20th century past. During the lifetime of my dear late father, Max, born in 1910, we have seen the world transition from an imperial world order.
In 1910, most of the world's people lived under an emperor. In less than a generation my father witnessed the collapse of the four greatest world empires – Austro-Hungarian, Ottoman, Chinese, and Russian – and the terminal decline of the British on whom the sun finally set.
The grandiosity of tyranny — Naziism, Fascism, and Communism — replaced the grandeur of empire. Then came Team America, to win the Second World, and then Cold War, heroically planting liberal republicanism throughout western, then eastern Europe, Japan and, subsequently, Central and South America.
The republican tide pushed the People's Republic of China and the Russian Federation from totalitarianism to authoritarianism.
Then, at the turn of the 21st century, America defaulted in its heroic crusade. The tide of liberal republicanism began to ebb. Whether America's fumble is recoverable, or not, remains to be seen.
Hello 2024 presidential contenders in search of a great campaign issue! I, a small government conservative, contend that it is time to take decisive steps to put into practice President William Jefferson Clinton's declaration that "The era of big government is over."
I modestly propose that we return America to greatness by restoring it to its status as an intimate confederation of States, akin to that of the Swiss Confederation. The president of Switzerland takes public transportation to work. Let America's president fly coach!
Let America lead in putting an end to the epic era of massive nation-states, thereby truly ending Big Government. Let's emulate Switzerland and become an intimate, and largely demilitarized, confederation.
Then let's use our voice at the "United" Nations to urge Germany, Italy, and — why not? —Poland, Spain and France to follow suit, imparting momentum for decentralized (and demilitarized) Russian and Chinese federations. A Golden Age follows.
Make America Great Again? Novus Ordo Seclorum, Batman! Let our presidential aspirants compete to transform the Order of the Age from epic to intimate.
Ralph Benko, co-author of "The Capitalist Manifesto" and chairman and co-founder of "The Capitalist League," is the founder of The Prosperity Caucus and is an original Kemp-era member of the Supply-Side revolution that propelled the Dow from 814 to its current heights and world GDP from $11T to $94T. Read Ralph Benko's reports — More Here.
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