Trump's Supporters Don't Yet Get It

15 November 2016

By Jacob G. Hornberger

Trump's supporters are on the right track, but they still just don't get it. They know that something is wrong with America. They are characterized by a deep sense of dis-ease about where our country is and where it is going.

On a personal level, many of them are barely making ends meet. They have little or no savings. They live paycheck to paycheck. Some of them are unemployed. They see American businesses closing down and moving abroad. Some of them resent the fact that the one percent and the politically elite are doing just fine.

Their cause for concern is actually a good thing and provides hope for us libertarians. I'd be concerned if everyone was happy and content with what is going on in the country, as many of Hillary Clinton's supporters are.

Just look at our country:

A president whose army and CIA wield the omnipotent, non-reviewable power to assassinate anyone they want, round up people, put them in concentration camps, and torture them. Does that sound like America to you? It sounds like the Soviet Union to me.
Out of control federal spending and debt to fund the massive, ever-growing welfare state and warfare state. U.S. officials continue to spend much more than they bring in with taxes, adding to the mountain of debt that continues to soar in amount. Meanwhile, the establishment economists tell us that all this spending and debt are good that they create jobs and prosperity. The average man on the street including those ''deplorables'' who voted for Trump recognize this tripe for the nonsense it is.
The drug war continues to wreck people's lives, as it has done for decades. At least a growing number of states are striking back by legalizing marijuana. Meanwhile, the feds continue enforcing one of the most failed, immoral, destructive, and deadly programs in history.
More and more people continue to become dependent on the federal largess of the welfare state and the warfare state. Once on the dole, no one wants to let go of it. And hardly anyone questions the morality of coerced charity. Meanwhile, people are fighting to get their share of the largess while, at the same time, protecting their own pocketbooks from being plundered and looted. Clinton and her ilk condemn Donald Trump for doing the same.
The military-industrial complex continues to gin up crises and wars in order to justify its existence and its ever-growing budgets. Meanwhile, the establishment press continues to blame the crises and chaos on the Russians and the Chinese, who are increasingly encircled by the U.S. military and the CIA.
Massive secret surveillance schemes on the part of the NSA that would fit perfectly within any totalitarian regime. People who expose these KGB-like schemes are called unpatriotic traitors.
Companies are run out of business with ever-increasing federal regulations. To escape the ever-burdensome regulations and taxes, many of them are fleeing to other countries. They're labeled unpatriotic traitors.
Economic booms and busts, bubbles and bursting bubbles, thanks to the Federal Reserve's expansionary and contracting policies that come with the monetary central planning and legal-tender laws that destroyed America's gold-coin system that was established by the Constitution.
Sanctions, embargoes, trade restrictions, and managed trade, all of which not only bring economic misery to people of foreign countries, they also destroy the economic freedom of the American people.
Scapegoats are popular, with illegal immigrants being the most popular. Muslims come in second.
Continued death and destruction at the hands of the U.S. national-security establishment in the Middle East and Afghanistan, producing a massive refugee crisis, which critics blame on ''open borders.'' And many people, including many of Clinton's supporters, want more death and destruction. They feel that the U.S. government just hasn't killed enough people yet despite 25 continuous years of killing. They now want the army to bomb ISIS because ISIS is supposedly coming to get us, just like the North Vietnamese were supposedly coming to get us during the Cold War.
Yes, Trump supporters are right to sense that not all is right with America.

But what they still don't get is their conviction that Trump is going to fix it all. They're convinced that he's going to make Amtrak run on time. He's their man on the white horse. He's going to be the person who finally makes the welfare-warfare state work. He's going to run government like a business. He's going to make America great again.

Forgive me for raining on the Trump parade, but it just ain't gonna happen. That's because America's problems are rooted in a bad system, not in the people running the system. No one, including Donald Trump, will ever make the welfare-warfare state way of life work. That's because it is an inherently defective paradigm. No one is capable of making it succeed.

There is only one way thing that can put America on the right road the road to freedom, peace, prosperity, and harmony with the people of the world. That one thing is this: a dismantling, not a reform, of the entire welfare-warfare state apparatus and the restoration of a genuine limited-government republic and a genuine free-market economic system.

The Trump supporters are clearly not there yet. But the fact that they recognize that there is a problem is cause for hope and optimism.

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 and from Full Context. 


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