Sunday, November 22, 2020

What Role Does The Establishment Play In "Protecting" Citizens From Themselves?

mises |   America’s political environment has become so polarized and hostile that you have many elected officials in positions of influence who openly despise large swaths of the American population. For example, Arizona’s secretary of state—the woman in charge of election integrity in the state—described Trump’s base as “neo-Nazis” in 2017. Given her public statements, why would any Trump supporters have any faith in a governing body she influences to count votes? Meanwhile, the secretary of state in Michigan was a former employee of the Southern Poverty Law Center, a left-wing hate group.

It would, of course, be wrong to suggest that the elites of the American left are alone in their hatred of their political enemies. While the Left has tended to be more violent in recent years, there are many Republican voters who consider the political left immoral, un-American, and a threat to their families. The difference is that, outside of a few levers of federal power held by the Republican Party, the American right does not have nearly the same institutional support that the Left does currently.

It appears that 2020 may be the year that finally proves that the façade of democracy is not enough to maintain a unified political body. The election process does not inevitably lead to compromise and tolerance, but rather ends in those in power and those who are politically vanquished. When the losers of elections do not view their loss as a genuine reflection of democratic will, but rather an illegitimate coup, it is difficult to maintain governance over a population. Joe Biden appointing John Kasich–type Republicans will do little to soothe and reassure those who view a Biden presidency as little different than an occupational force.

This is why Ludwig von Mises viewed political decentralization and secession as a necessary component of liberal democracy. The proper objective of the democratic process was the peaceful transfer of power reflecting changes in the political will—political self-determination—rather than some form of civil worship of the will of the majority. When political differences become irreconcilable, true political decentralization allows for the breaking of political unions.

Will that end up being the ultimate result of the position of Trump's legal team? Who knows. Trump and a few lawyers will certainly not be enough to overturn the official results or to successfully spur a Trump secession movement. What will be interesting is how the institution of the Republican Party will respond to the escalating rhetoric of the president.

Under President Obama, the Republican Party remained civil and submissive while its Tea Party base discussed ideas like nullification and a convention of states. The sterility of the traditional GOP is likely a major reason why Donald Trump was able to take over the party. How much of the modern GOP will continue to follow the forty-fifth president, and how many will end up being perfectly content with being partners with Joe Biden?

What we can be sure of is that it will be much harder for Biden to win over many of the 70+ million Americans who voted for Donald Trump earlier this month.