Progressives are shrieking to the heavens over the Supreme Court. Financial markets are rallying or crashing on the words of one or two Federal Reserve officials. Every election cycle is a war for our souls. Fueled by social media and broadcast network manipulation, the political arena is weighing on our mental health. From the food you eat to the sports you watch, politics dominate every crevice of society. The Washington circus has imbibed our senses and little gray cells, manufacturing daily productions of the Theater of the Absurd. But this would not have happened if voters did not enable politicians to expand the size and scope of government. If it were small, as intended by the Framers, Americans would not have their veins bursting out of their necks anytime somebody loses or perishes.
Big Government Illness
Whether Republicans or Democrats have ruled it, the U.S. government has gotten bigger in one way or another. What is worse is that institutions that were meant ostensibly to be independent of the inane partisan bickering in the White House and the halls of Capitol Hill have become politicized. When something becomes another tool in the arsenal of the two-party system, it gets weaponized and transforms into a nuclear bomb. And that is why the left and the right perpetually clamor for power.
A perfect example of this is the Supreme Court, an esoteric entity that, one could argue, is divorced from reality. A handful of preeminent minds decide the fate of the nation’s 350 million people. Any time a Justice passes away or retires, the pearl-clutching commences, hysteria engulfs the country, and hypocrisy abounds. The Court is another tactic of controlling the population while pretending to be an omnipotent institution that can resolve all of America’s legal matters with a 5-4 vote. Perhaps nobody would have eviscerated a man’s reputation, and maybe the next appointee’s faith and family would not become a potential target of criticism if states were allowed to nullify and disregard the Supreme Court’s rulings.
The mainstream media has parroted a myth that the Federal Reserve is an independent organization that does not bow to the whims of any administration. The central bank’s cozy relationship with Republican and Democratic White Houses for the last century has been well-documented, though. It is the financial markets’ reliance on the Eccles Building that shows how integral the Fed has become to prevent the world’s largest economy from falling off a cliff. Investors frequently behave like pink hat-wearing activists, buying and selling stocks based on what the Fed does or does not do. But would the booms and busts of the business cycle be as pronounced if markets were not so dependent on the Fed?
Every four years, the fight for the presidency is akin to a Wrestlemania event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment. It has become a spectacle that attracts eyeballs from all over the world. It is entertaining to watch, but it also presents a troubling reality: The public views the president as an apotheosis who has – or should have – the answer to every problem. The reason Republicans and Democrats spend a $1 billion bid on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is that the executive branch now operates on the precedent of a “pen and a phone.” Put simply, the presidency has seized too much power over the years – and it has not been by accident. Since the First World War, it has been a bipartisan, systematic, and gradual progression of turning the White House into a kingdom and the president into an emperor.
Does it have to be this way? It would be impossible to roll back the powers that politicians have captured over the decades. Taxes, regulations, legislative and executive powers, and the federal budget – the men and women working in Washington salivate over these elements of politics. As a result, everyone participates in this back-and-forth game, devolving into creatures who foam at the mouth and accuse everyone of malice for performing the hellacious act of holding a different opinion.
What’s the Solution?
Does anyone have a response to the present political chaos? Some might propose splitting the country up. It makes sense if both sides cannot even agree on the most basic facts. Others would present a case of continuing the status quo and wait until the next electoral cycle. Perhaps sitting idly by and feasting on a bag of popcorn would suffice. Is there an easy answer to what ails the nation? Maybe.
Amid the hysteria and madness, everyone may have lost sight of America’s 244-year-old objective: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. What if the public could agree that the government should leave everyone alone and avoid violating the non-aggression principle (NAP)? The bloody crusades for Supreme Court picks or a vacant U.S. Senate seat would not need to be a life or death situation for half the country.
Nikolai Gogol wrote in The Nose: “This world is full of the most outrageous nonsense. Sometimes things happen which you would hardly think possible.” In today’s upside-down world, the top headlines in newspapers and the chyrons on cable news hardly seem real. Reality is difficult to distinguish from The Babylon Bee. In September alone, a former pimp was hired as a “street czar” in Seattle, a defund the police activist thespian called the cops on a teenager who was hunting squirrels, and leftists booed President Trump for paying his respects to Ruth Bader Ginsburg. It is getting crazy out there, and with this insanity being enabled by the supposed adults in the room, it is only going to get worse. H.L. Mencken was right: “Democracy is the art and science of running the circus from the monkey cage.”
Read more from Andrew Moran.
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