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IPFS News Link • Political Theory

Who Should Run the Country?

• https://www.fff.org, by Jacob G. Hornberger

The editorial is about Trump's early return to the White House after his hospital stay for treatment for Covid-19. That's not the issue I wish to address. I wish to focus on this line that the Times uses to criticize Trump:

President Trump returned to the White House Monday …and was raring to go back to the critical work of running the country. 

That's it. Right there in one small phrase the Times sums up everything that is wrong with the country.

The assumption, of course, is that the president — and to a larger extent the government — should be "running the country."

That is the assumption that has guided the United States for more than 100 years, since at least the time of the presidential regime of Franklin Roosevelt. It's a mindset that undergirds the philosophies of conservatism, progressivism, and the two major political parties. It is a mindset held by many mainstream Americans.

Most everyone just naturally assumes that the president should be managing the economy, that the Federal Reserve should be managing the money supply, that the immigration service should be managing the number and credentials of immigrants, that the Department of Education and local school boards should be managing education, that the Pentagon and the CIA should be managing the world, and, of course, that the Centers for Disease Control and the FDA should be managing healthcare, including the coronavirus crisis. Why, if the Constitution didn't forbid it, conservatives and liberals would be having government run the churches.


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