William McGurn, over at the Wall Street Journal, recently pondered why Democratic Presidential hopeful Amy Klobuchar has declared that won’t release her list of potential Supreme Court judges unless and until after she wins the Presidency. While it was standard procedure for candidates of both parties to offer generic pap rather than specific names, Trump upset that apple cart by releasing an actual list of candidates and promising to select from it if made President. This served him well, obviously, and it should have set a precedent for future elections.

McGurn’s conclusion is that releasing such a list would not work for her, because it would invite criticism, from either the progressive-transformers if she went “moderate,” or from the “we think the far-Left is batshit” Democrats if she included names that the progressives favor.

I’d take it a step further. It’s indicative of an attitude towards political office that’s contrary to the inherent presumption of public service. The way too many candidates present themselves nowadays tells us their desire is to impose their will on the populace, rather than serving it by fostering freedom and responding to the people’s desires within the constraints of the Constitution. It’s why Warren says “I have a plan” but doesn’t go into details unless pressed. It’s why “Democratic Socialism” is vague and hand-wavey, and at its (hidden) core about giving more power to politicians. It’s why candidates talk about more government, more regulation, more taxation, more prohibitions, and more taking from Peter to give to Paul.

Common is the politician who seeks high office to wield power, to “do good,” to impose his or her will (a will we presume they believe is good and noble) on the populace.

Rare is the politician who seeks high office to cede power, to shrink government, or to undo what was done by predecessors.

Listen to them talk. Take note of the ones whose tone is “I’ll get government out of your way, and leave you alone, so you can pursue your happiness” vs the ones whose tone is “I’ll do things for you and on your behalf.”

A quote from C.S. Lewis, often shared on these pages, cuts to the hear of the matter:

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

Most of those who wish to rule us here in America present themselves as “sincere” and with the people’s good foremost in their hearts. Yet, when it comes to their political opponents and to those not in their favor, they speak of imposing their will, of punishing, of restricting, and of taking from them the fruit of their labors.

The biggest peddlers of the politics of envy are those who purport to be the highest-minded, and they are the most covetous of unlimited power. They are the sorts of people that the Constitution was written to restrain, and they are the last people we should trust to run the nation.

Peter Venetoklis

About Peter Venetoklis

I am twice-retired, a former rocket engineer and a former small business owner. At the very least, it makes for interesting party conversation. I'm also a life-long libertarian, I engage in an expanse of entertainments, and I squabble for sport.

Nowadays, I spend a good bit of my time arguing politics and editing this website.


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