Hornberger's Blog

Hornberger's Blog is a daily libertarian blog written by Jacob G. Hornberger, founder and president of FFF.
Here's the RSS feed or subscribe to our FFF Email Update to receive Hornberger’s Blog daily.

Trump’s Dictatorial Tendencies Are Normal in a Welfare-Warfare State

by

President Trump has lashed out in anger against a federal judge in Seattle for putting a temporary quietus on Trump’s recent immigration dictates. Trump labeled Judge James Robart  a “so-called judge,” notwithstanding the fact that this “so-called judge” has been a federal judge for 13 years, having been nominated by President George W. Bush, confirmed by Congress, and duly sworn into office. Referring to the temporary restraining order that Robart issued that temporarily blocked enforcement of Trump’s immigration edicts, the president went on a tweet attack, calling the order “ridiculous” and predicting that it would be “overturned.”

Trump’s rantings reflect perfectly the mind of a dictator. The dictator knows best what is needed to put the country back on the right track. He can’t be bothered with legislative action. That takes too long and, anyway, Congress might not agree with his vision of what needs to be done. The same goes for federal judges. They just don’t understand that the president can’t be bothered with constitutional constraints, especially in times of crisis. After all, “national security” is at stake. Something has to be done now. Trump is the man on the white horse, ready to save us by doing whatever he thinks is best.

As I wrote in my January 26 article “The Wall of a Dictator,” Trump’s dictatorial mindset is also reflected perfectly in his immigration decrees and edicts. What he could have done was submit a bill to Congress calling for a comprehensive immigration plan, one that allocated different immigration quotas to each country and justifying the need for the new numbers. That’s not to say, of course, that such a plan wouldn’t have ended up in same chaos we have seen in immigration central planning for the past several decades. Of course it would have because that is what central planning always does, but at least Trump would have been following procedures that are inherent to a democratic system.

That’s not how a person with a dictatorial mindset operates, however. Trump knows what needs to be done to resolve the immigration crisis. Like other rulers who have dictatorial tendencies, he can’t be bothered with Congress, be interfered with by the judiciary, or countenance criticism by the media or others. He needs a free hand to solve the problems.

Of course, this isn’t the first time that America has experienced a president with extreme dictatorial tendencies. Don’t forget the icon of both liberals and conservatives, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who insisted on serving as president for four terms. When the Supreme Court began declaring some of his New Deal programs unconstitutional in the 1930s, FDR became as hopping mad as Trump is at that federal judge in Seattle. In fact, at some point Roosevelt got so angry that he proposed a court-packing scheme to Congress that would enable him to pack the Court with cronies who would support his socialist and fascist economic schemes.

Like Trump, FDR knew what needed to be done to solve America’s problems. That’s the mindset of the dictator. He alone knows what needs what is the best route to follow. Those who criticize or interfere with the implementation of his program are considered misguided fools and idiots who need to be circumvented, silenced, or put down.

Americans are only getting a taste of what is still to come. If there is anything we know about the welfare-warfare state way of life, it is that it is riddled with perpetual chaos and crisis. That’s the perfect breeding ground of people with dictatorial mindsets. Dictatorships thrive in environments of chaos and crisis. That’s why Trump is in his heyday. Chaos and crisis are everywhere, including in those areas where Trump is himself producing the chaos and crisis.

Immigration. Social Security. Healthcare. Federal spending. Federal debt. Iraq. Afghanistan. Syria. Yemen. Libya. Drug war. War on terrorism. ISIS. Al-Qaeda. Chaos and crises everywhere! That’s because chaos and crisis are inherent to a welfare-warfare state.

There is but one solution to all this chaos and crisis: libertarianism, which necessarily entails a dismantling, not a reform, of the welfare-warfare state way of life and a restoration of a governmental system based on individual liberty, free markets, private property, and limited government.

But that’s not what most Americans have chosen, so far. They have chosen to stick with the welfare-warfare state, hoping against hope that someone — anyone — will come along and finally make it work, even if it means a further loss of their liberty at the hands of government officials. But it’s not going to work, not even with Donald Trump in charge. Americans are going to find that the chaos and crises only get bigger, especially as Trump displays more dictatorial tendencies in the months ahead in his the attempt to make the welfare-warfare state way of life finally succeed.

This post was written by:

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.