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With all the talk about America’s vanishing consensus, there remains one major issue which both sides of the aisle are in full agreement: the urgent need to yoke one’s political agenda to the awesome power of the federal government.
Want to know if you can keep your doctor? What about your lightbulb? Your same-sex spouse? Your weed? Better consult with Washington.
Speaking of marijuana, greater centralization is something from which the political class never seems to age-out. From the brutal top-down logic of Obamacare to the chronic and mind-boggling incompetencies of the FBI, it’s clear that no needle will ever break the Leviathan’s back. Even simple reforms — like making taxes so simple that even employees at the IRS could do them — seem forever out of reach.
The consolidation of power in Washington has been breathtaking. It wasn’t that long ago that Americans visited our nation’s capital for reasons other than rent-seeking. But why would one visit Washington today when it is hellbent on visiting you? Even Washington-speak, long detested by ordinary Americans, is now creeping into our everyday language. Just the other day my young daughter told me how, when confronted with chopping down his father’s cherry tree, George Washington replied, “I cannot lack candor.”
If anything positive comes from the Trump presidency it’s that it has revealed DC to be a city of James Comeys. The recent mudslinging with Trump nicely illustrates why Americans loathe the federal government. Indeed, the more personal insults Trump and Comey exchange with one another, the more Americans seem inclined to believe them both. Don’t get me wrong — it’s great entertainment. I, for one, can’t wait until the Inspector General’s report comes out next month and the tantalizing possibility that it will cause deep state lifers Comey and McCabe to enter the Thunderdome. If that happens, let’s just say popcorn will not suffice…
Meanwhile, the reputation of institutions like the media continue to go down in flames by promulgating fake news and fake narratives with abandon. Did Mexico’s president really vow to build a ladder and make America pay for it? Has a court really compelled a florist to bake a cake for a photographer’s wedding? Did a California initiative overturning state forgery laws really receive 9 trillion signatures?
Then there’s our friends in Congress. Does anyone doubt that after hearing testimony from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, both houses will move to break up MySpace? This isn’t to say that Zuckerberg’s testimony won’t result in meaningful regulation: of Congress by Facebook. The only thing one can say with confidence is that will not become a nonprofit will continue to “bring the world a little closer” by selling user data to the highest bidder. In other words, when Mark Zuckerberg asks you your favorite pizza topping, he really is asking for a friend…
If the Trump era has anything to its credit, it’s this: it has revealed Washington, DC for what it is: a travesty of a mockery of a sham of a mockery of a travesty of two mockeries of a sham.