Friday, March 4, 2016

Cutting off Your Nose to Spite Your Face

Voters are angry, justifiably so. They gave control of both house and senate to the Republicans on the promise that those elected would do things like stop executive amnesty, funding of Planned Parenthood, stop Obamacare, etc. The Republicans then turned around and acted like Obama sycophants. Their campaign promises were as trustworthy as a Hillary Clinton claim. They betrayed the voters who now want revenge.

Unfortunately, that anger is not a good guide for voters. In their desire to strike back, many of those voters are harming the very causes they support. Let's face it, Donald Trump is unlikely to do any of the things voters supported in 2014. Even his main issue, the promise to build a wall along the border, is in serious doubt. Allegedly, in an off-the-record interview with the New York Times, he said he doesn't really believe what he is saying about stopping illegal entry. The fact that he refuses to have the tape of that interview released leads me to believe that the claim is true, he has no intention of building a wall or otherwise restricting illegal entry to this country.

If we make the mistake of electing Trump, I doubt we will see much of anything different than if we elect Hillary Clinton. Reacting in anger can cause us to jump from the proverbial frying pan into the fire.

Related to the issue of illegal aliens are the job losses and underemployment many families face. That is partly, but not totally, due to illegal aliens taking jobs otherwise available to citizens. Again, reacting in unthinking anger is national suicide. That is reminiscent of the way Hitler took power in Germany. As I wrote in my book, Freedom or Serfdom?:

How could Hitler get enough voter support to become chancellor? The answer is that the Germans were desperate, and desperate people may grasp at any straw. The Treaty of Versailles imposed onerous reparations on the country. That and other problems devastated the economy. Formerly prosperous families found themselves with little or nothing. As Hayek puts it, “It should never be forgotten that the one decisive factor in the rise of totalitarianism on the Continent, which is yet absent in England and America, is the existence of a large recently dispossessed middle class.”[1]

As I write this, the American middle class is under siege. Should much of that middle class fall on hard times, that could open the way for a demagogue to take power .”

When I wrote that, I had no idea that Trump, who I consider to be very much a demagogue, would seriously contend for the presidency. I did suspect that another demagogue, Hillary Clinton, would be the democratic candidate but it had not occurred to me that voters in November might face the choice between two such demagogic candidates. I do not want to claim the mantle of prophet, but I'm afraid we might face exactly that. I may vomit in the election booth.

Let us hope that voters will wake up and not let their anger do the voting, rational thinking is much better.

[1]      Hayek, op cit, p215

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