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Russia’s Government Didn’t Influence Our Election – Our Government Did

 

I struggle with the proper name for modern “liberals.” They’re certainly not liberal — I am. I believe in personal liberty — I’m a classical liberal. They’re not progressive. They distrust progress, preferring a return to nature, perhaps with some 19th-century technology like windmills and trains. I don’t call them Democrats because the Democratic party is such a steaming pile of special interest groups that generally don’t even like each other, that it is difficult to pin down an underlying ideology of that “organization.”

Mark Levin, I think, has a good descriptor for them: statists. They believe in using the power of the state to improve the lives of “the people,” although obviously not always individual people (omelets are more important than eggs).

I view much of modern politics as a power struggle between two groups: 1) Classical liberals who value individual liberty and a restrained government of laws not of men, and 2) Statists, who believe that an active government can be a good way to buffer the flaws of individuals to better move us toward a Utopian vision of peace and equality. The problem here is that Statists gravitate toward government (understandably), including the administrative state, regulatory agencies, and other “career government” jobs. This leads to a situation touched on by @EJHill’s recent post, “There’s no such thing as checks and balances.” When one political party attempts to increase the size, power, and influence of government, and the other party wishes to decrease the size, power, and influence of government, then the government is unlikely to remain an uninterested bystander when elections come around. Checks and balances between the different branches of government become less relevant when they all have the same goal. It’s no longer a government of, by, and for the people. It’s the government versus the people. This has been tried before; with consistent, predictable results.

If Russia had played a role in our last presidential election, that would have been concerning. First of all, it would mean Putin, one of the most powerful men in the world, is a fool. Why would he want Trump as President when he could have Clinton? Second, that is something close to an act of war (except when Obama does it to Israel). Third, it’s a security concern in other areas.

But this is scarier – our own government is trying to control our elections. The FBI (and other government agencies) attempting to influence our elections is absolutely terrifying. Not unexpected, but terrifying. Republicans don’t just need to run against their opponent – they also have to run against the media, the educational establishment, and popular culture. OK, that makes it tougher. Now, they have to run against the very government they hope to work in someday. Meaning that if they somehow manage to win, they will be working with lots of people who are very open about the fact that they don’t want them there.

I’m not sure this is fixable. Classical liberals tend to avoid government, and thus are unlikely to seek a career in the administrative state or some other role in government. Thus, the government naturally will tend, over time, to become populated nearly exclusively with Statists, who will nearly unanimously favor Democrats. Government is, by definition, the seat of power. Do we really expect these people to decline to use their power to control the path of government? Remember that they view government as a tool to improve the greater good – they have only our best interests in mind. If you were on the side of the angels, and you had the power of government, would you not use it to help more people if possible?

None of this is unexpected, and as far as I can see, none of it is correctable.

So who did what at the FBI? The FISA court? Some other government agency I’ve never heard of? I don’t know, and I doubt we’ll ever find out the details.

But this is terrifying. Someone, please tell me I’m overreacting.

There are 57 comments.

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  1. Member

    Dr. Bastiat: They’re not progressive.

    [speaking of “liberals”].

    This is incorrect. By the definition of “progressive” as a political philosophy introduced by Hegel, they are just that.

    Your error is in applying a different definition of the word, one which has nothing to do with political philosophy. It is an understandable mistake because this semantic confusion is almost universal among Americans. It is how we are taught in school and the media.

    • #1
    • February 5, 2018 at 5:13 pm
    • 1 like
  2. Member

    I wish I could say you’re overreacting. I’d say this is the scariest thing that’s ever happened in our history, but I’m afraid it might only be the scariest thing we found out about. If we don’t see some perp walks, and I mean some very high-up people including Hillary, the rule of law will be lost. The people need to see them go to prison in order for the country to heal and go back in the right direction.

    • #2
    • February 5, 2018 at 5:31 pm
    • 14 likes
  3. Member

    Dr. Bastiat: They’re not progressive. They distrust progress…

    “Progressive” is actually very fitting, not so much tied too literally to the term “progress” in the general sense but more in the Wilsonian sense:

    But as we learn in Constitutional Government [Wilson] and elsewhere, to say that the principle of liberty is the central feature of American government is not to say that the meaning of liberty is static. In a fundamental criticism of the ideas of the American founders, Wilson took great care to contend that liberty cannot be permanently defined. It must instead take its meaning from the historical spirit in which it operates, so as history moves forward, the definition of liberty must move accordingly. Wilson explained that, at the founding we did not discover the ultimate or permanent meaning of liberty. We discovered instead a definition of liberty that fit well with the historical circumstances of the founding – one that our subsequent progress as a nation has superseded. … … – Page 53-54 [Emphasis Added]

    Once the concept was accepted…a century ago…with something as fundamental as “liberty,” everything else can and will fall rather easily. A society the elects the likes of Mr. Obama…twice!… and provides more that six viewers to imbecilic media vehicles like MSNBC offers little resistance to further “progress”…even delivered with an iron fist at times, if that is what it is going to take.

    I will not be the one to tell you that you are overreacting.

    • #3
    • February 5, 2018 at 5:35 pm
    • 8 likes
  4. Member

    My hope Dr B is . The longer the struggle between the spooks/dem/media and Trump/Nunnes/Grassley/ etc, the more people will see the danger of the state. I am hopeful this will create a backlash against gov. This battle must be won decisively by our side though. A truce will not bring the desired result. The boogie men must be de-sheeted and defamed.

    • #4
    • February 5, 2018 at 5:43 pm
    • 14 likes
  5. Member

    No you are not over reacting. We are getting exactly what we deserve however. With the ridiculously low voter turnout what should we expect. Yes here on Ricochet we understand but 75 % of the population doesn’t know there is a problem. Let’s face it we no longer teach civics and higher education is socialist. This latest episode has been so complicated by politics that most people’s eyes glaze over and shut it down. Remember that 35% of the country believes in zombies . Wish I could be more optimistic .

    Changing the subject have you read that Carter Page was a FBI under cover employee in 2013. Check it out at the Conservative Tree House. Com. The FBI then surreptitiously claimed he was a spy for Russia and got a FISA article one on him so as to be able to spy on every one with whom he was in contact.

    • #5
    • February 5, 2018 at 5:48 pm
    • 3 likes
  6. Member

    I hate to say it Good Dr, but you are not over reacting. The administrative state has has loosed itself against we the people. The IRS, the EPA, the FBI, the intelligence services, they have decided that proponents of limited government are their enemies. Recall, the IRS didn’t get caught targeting the Tea Party, they admitted it. They wanted us to know they were doing it, and doing it with impunity. And it will only get worse. Being a proponent of limited government literally makes you an enemy of the State. In 25 years, believing the things we believe today will be classified as a mental illness or a hate crime.

    • #6
    • February 5, 2018 at 6:27 pm
    • 5 likes
  7. Coolidge

    The reason this was less of a problem before was another axis – nationalist/traditionalist vs. internationalist/modernist

    Older bureaucrats had some restraint in the sense of wanting to keep America intact. It’s a devotion to the ideals of the country. Even democratic politicians were wanting to vigorously defend the US, which tempered their statism. It’s part of the reason the military doesn’t just launch a coup every week.

    • #7
    • February 5, 2018 at 6:48 pm
    • 5 likes
  8. Member
    Dr. Bastiat Post author

    Ekosj (View Comment):
    Being a proponent of limited government literally makes you an enemy of the State.

    My fear exactly.

    • #8
    • February 5, 2018 at 6:49 pm
    • 4 likes
  9. Member

    RightAngles (View Comment):
    I wish I could say you’re overreacting. I’d say this is the scariest thing that’s ever happened in our history, but I’m afraid it might only be the scariest thing we found out about. If we don’t see some perp walks, and I mean some very high-up people including Hillary, the rule of law will be lost. The people need to see them go to prison in order for the country to heal and go back in the right direction.

    Evidently, in the age of Obama “retiring early with a full pension” is the new “perp walk”

    • #9
    • February 5, 2018 at 7:02 pm
    • 12 likes
  10. Inactive

    There’s quite a few scenarios where this is all whitewashed. If so then I’m done paying attention to politics for good. No reason in a third world country to discern anything beyond realizing when it’s time to shoot back. May that day never come.

    • #10
    • February 5, 2018 at 7:23 pm
    • 6 likes
  11. Member

    My brother is a retired military officer, he was a spook, minuteman, liaison with heads of the different armed forces for one of our presidents, for weekly briefings. When he retired he obtained a law degree. A couple of years older than me, so I call him Methuselah. After President Trump went to Israel, and then started traveling around the world meeting heads of states, getting some of them cooperative, etc. I watched and listened to President Trump. I asked my brother, “Does our new president think he can actually set this world in order?” My brother responded, “maybe, he does.”

    The news we’ve been getting this past week is the powers in FBI and DoJ, and other departments were terrified that Trump would become president. What were they afraid of? Now we know, and I pray with my whole heart that he can take on this corruption and give us back what the founders tried to leave us. All of us who call ourselves conservatives, and honest patriots, need to help him in every way we can.

    • #11
    • February 5, 2018 at 8:10 pm
    • 15 likes
  12. Thatcher

    I view government a bit different than most. I think it is closer to criminal organizations made up of gangs / crews roughly arranging themselves into larger groupings known as political parties. Basically for the purpose of gathering power and stealing from the citizenry. The old school mafia maybe a close approximation.

    • #12
    • February 5, 2018 at 8:16 pm
    • 2 likes
  13. Thatcher

    Modern liberalism is the smashup of John Dewey, Benito Mussolini and Freddie Mercury.

    Could there be a word for that?

    • #13
    • February 5, 2018 at 8:24 pm
    • 3 likes
  14. Member

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):
    I view government a bit different than most. I think it is closer to criminal organizations made up of gangs / crews roughly arranging themselves into larger groupings known as political parties. Basically for the purpose of gathering power and stealing from the citizenry. The old school mafia maybe a close approximation.

    I think I heard the mob payed out better than the state run lotto.

    • #14
    • February 5, 2018 at 9:17 pm
    • 1 like
  15. Thatcher

    Ralphie (View Comment):

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):
    I view government a bit different than most. I think it is closer to criminal organizations made up of gangs / crews roughly arranging themselves into larger groupings known as political parties. Basically for the purpose of gathering power and stealing from the citizenry. The old school mafia maybe a close approximation.

    I think I heard the mob payed out better than the state run lotto.

    Currently HRC is worth over $45 million. Not a bad racket.

    • #15
    • February 5, 2018 at 9:24 pm
    • 6 likes
  16. Member

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    Ralphie (View Comment):

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):
    I view government a bit different than most. I think it is closer to criminal organizations made up of gangs / crews roughly arranging themselves into larger groupings known as political parties. Basically for the purpose of gathering power and stealing from the citizenry. The old school mafia maybe a close approximation.

    I think I heard the mob payed out better than the state run lotto.

    Currently HRC is worth over $45 million. Not a bad racket.

    Poor Hillary, trying to scrape by. I thought she had more stated worth, not that I think she is worth more.

    • #16
    • February 5, 2018 at 10:18 pm
    • 1 like
  17. Member

    Ralphie (View Comment):

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    Ralphie (View Comment):

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):
    I view government a bit different than most. I think it is closer to criminal organizations made up of gangs / crews roughly arranging themselves into larger groupings known as political parties. Basically for the purpose of gathering power and stealing from the citizenry. The old school mafia maybe a close approximation.

    I think I heard the mob payed out better than the state run lotto.

    Currently HRC is worth over $45 million. Not a bad racket.

    Poor Hillary, trying to scrape by. I thought she had more stated worth, not that I think she is worth more.

    At least it is clean money, well laundered by the Clinton foundation.

    • #17
    • February 5, 2018 at 10:38 pm
    • 1 like
  18. Member

    Can’t. Wouldn’t be honest.
    You ask is it fixable? Only if you think the Chile solution evidenced “fixability”

    • #18
    • February 6, 2018 at 4:20 am
    • Like
  19. Member

    RightAngles (View Comment):
    f we don’t see some perp walks, and I mean some very high-up people including Hillary, the rule of law will be lost.

    If that’s the test–consider it lost

    • #19
    • February 6, 2018 at 4:21 am
    • 3 likes
  20. Member

    philo (View Comment):
    as history moves forward, the definition of liberty must move accordingly. Wilson explained

    I didn’t need it, but thanks for reminding me why I loathe Wilson

    • #20
    • February 6, 2018 at 4:24 am
    • 1 like
  21. Thatcher

    Derek Simmons (View Comment):

    RightAngles (View Comment):
    f we don’t see some perp walks, and I mean some very high-up people including Hillary, the rule of law will be lost.

    If that’s the test–consider it lost

    Yeah, that is never going to happen. Not even close. Not even with her crimes so obvious that a large part of the electorate calling for her to be brought to justice. An still the elite wonder why our faith in them is diminishing.

    • #21
    • February 6, 2018 at 4:31 am
    • 3 likes
  22. Coolidge

    Someone please tell me I’m over-reacting.

    Nope, you are just catching up to what Angelo Codevilla was telling us at least as early as 2010. Good news is that the Country Party has taken its first step, with the election of Trump, towards reclaiming what is rightfully ours. The push back from the Ruling Class was anticipated. They will use all available force at their disposal. Violent left wing (paramilitary?) groups like Black Lives Matter will be a fact of life for the foreseeable future as long as country class continues to reclaim our Constitution. The Republican Party will either transform itself or become irrelevant. I think it will not abandon its roll and benefits gained by be part of the Ruling Class and will disappear if the Country Party succeeds in obtaining its righteous goal.

    Finally, the goal of the Country Party has yet to be stated because most of the country class have not yet realized that our first president is The Donald; and therefore, our party platform has not yet been written and/ or is formed in jello.

    • #22
    • February 6, 2018 at 6:00 am
    • 6 likes
  23. Inactive

    Dr. Bastiat: They distrust progress, preferring a return to nature, perhaps with some 19th century technology like windmills and trains

    I don’t know about this.

    I’m a bit of luddite. Why? I find that one of the biggest benefits of technology is also going to serve as our biggest weakness. Technology shrinks the world, but no matter how much you shrink it, people are still people.

    It is far easier to find things in common among small groups of people and for them to find an accord in governance and culture than for the entire world to find such. I think that as technology has expanded and made it easier for us to communicate across great distances, it has also served to alienate us from those around us. As our idea of the world shrinks, our idea of governance grows ever larger.

    The US Federal Government governs (with increasingly expanded power) the largest amount of territory and the most diverse people in the world. And rather than move towards limiting that power, we keep giving it more. It is far easier for us to keep tabs on our Washington cohorts than it used to be, causing us to neglect the school boards, commissioners, and mayors in our own neighborhoods.

    So no, I don’t think Democrats are anti-technology. In fact, I think they are much more interested in creating a one-world government through technology than anything else. Open borders, citizens of the world, world peace, etc. etc. etc. That is only possible through increased technology.

    • #23
    • February 6, 2018 at 6:34 am
    • Like
  24. Member

    Dr. Bastiat: They’re not progressive. They distrust progress, preferring a return to nature, perhaps with some 19th century technology like windmills and trains.

    The Return of the Primitive.

    • #24
    • February 6, 2018 at 6:51 am
    • 4 likes
  25. Member

    Stina (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat: They distrust progress, preferring a return to nature, perhaps with some 19th century technology like windmills and trains

    I don’t know about this.

    There is a movement within Progressivism called the De-Growth movement. If you push the anti-capitalist, overpopulation, climate change, environmentalist stuff to its end point, de-growth is where you end up. It represents a line of reasoning that goes back to Thoreau through EF Shumacher’s Small is Beautiful. It is the new, new thing.

    • #25
    • February 6, 2018 at 6:55 am
    • 5 likes
  26. Member

    Quake Voter (View Comment):
    Modern liberalism is the smashup of John Dewey, . . .

    Uh huh . . .

    . . . Benito Mussolini . . .

    Yeah . . .

    . . . and Freddie Mercury.

    Image result for What am I reading

    • #26
    • February 6, 2018 at 6:56 am
    • 2 likes
  27. Member
    Dr. Bastiat Post author

    DrewInWisconsin (View Comment):

    Quake Voter (View Comment):
    Modern liberalism is the smashup of John Dewey, . . .

    Uh huh . . .

    . . . Benito Mussolini . . .

    Yeah . . .

    . . . and Freddie Mercury.

    Image result for What am I reading

    I think he’s saying they get their management philosophy from Dewey, their ideology from Mussolini, and their ethics & culture from Freddy Mercury.

    • #27
    • February 6, 2018 at 7:05 am
    • 1 like
  28. Member

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin (View Comment):

    Quake Voter (View Comment):
    Modern liberalism is the smashup of John Dewey, . . .

    Uh huh . . .

    . . . Benito Mussolini . . .

    Yeah . . .

    . . . and Freddie Mercury.

    Image result for What am I reading

    I think he’s saying they get their management philosophy from Dewey, their ideology from Mussolini, and their ethics & culture from Freddy Mercury.

    Heh. I got it. I just had to react properly for the viewers at home.

    • #28
    • February 6, 2018 at 7:08 am
    • 3 likes
  29. Member

    Ekosj (View Comment):

    Stina (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat: They distrust progress, preferring a return to nature, perhaps with some 19th century technology like windmills and trains

    I don’t know about this.

    There is a movement within Progressivism called the De-Growth movement. If you push the anti-capitalist, overpopulation, climate change, environmentalist stuff to its end point, de-growth is where you end up. It represents a line of reasoning that goes back to Thoreau through EF Shumacher’s Small is Beautiful. It is the new, new thing.

    Naturally it’s not for Hillary or Barrack or Nancy or Leonardo …. but you should really consider a zero carbon footprint, sustainable lifestyle in a tiny house.

    • #29
    • February 6, 2018 at 7:12 am
    • 4 likes
  30. Member

    Love some of the metaphors in the OP. This inspires a new bumper sticker for 2018:

    “Republicans value the egg

    “Democrats only value the omelet

    “Don’t let Democrats command your ‘yolk’ “

    • #30
    • February 6, 2018 at 8:21 am
    • 7 likes
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