Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The State Has Too Much Power

The State Has Too Much Power

The state has too much power.

I know this is an oft stated platitude spewed out by both the Left and the Right whenever it suits their ends, but it’s true.

And this election proves it.

The Illegitimate Power of the State

The Constitution’s authors did not intend that the president matter enough to warrant sobbing when the other guy wins.

From its very inception the state has had too much power. The moment that agents of the state are allowed to do things that, if we attempted, would put us in a prison cell, it has too much power. When the state has power to confiscate and threaten to accomplish its ends—i.e. to tax, set tariffs, and prevent other governments from attempting to form within its territory—it has gone too far. Indeed, all the most basic characteristics that define the modern nation state extend well beyond anything that could be called legitimate power.

And though most people aren’t ready to hear all of that, it must surely resonate at some level—even for hardcore progressive statists—that the scope of government power has become far too expansive. The fear and sadness felt by so many after Mr. Trump’s election is ridiculous both to the extent that it is warranted, and to the extent that it is not.

To the extent that this fear and sadness can be justified, it is outrageous that we let government power grow to such vastness. To the extent that it is merely progressive whining, it is pathetic that these people put so much stock in political outcomes.

I’m not a huge fan of the US Constitution, but it’s safe to say the intention of its authors was not to have the president matter enough to warrant sobbing when the other guy wins. The job of the president was primarily to say “yes” or “no” to legislation originated and passed in Congress, and to lead the military in times of war. That’s it.

Needless to say, we have come a long way since then.