Ayn Rand Warned Us About the Dangers of a President Like Trump

When we are all lawbreakers, vindictive asses in the executive power seat are all the more dangerous.


Tyler Cowen, George Mason University economist and chief of the Mercatus Center, warns us at his blog Marginal Revolution that:

if you own a large company, it is virtually impossible to be in accordance with all of the regulations all of the time.  If there were a President who wished to pursue vendettas, the regulatory state would be the most direct and simplest way for him or her to do so.  The usual presumption of "innocent until proven guilty" does not hold in many regulatory matters, nor are there always the usual protections of due process….

Philip Hamburger's book Is Administrative Law Unlawful? occasioned some critical reviews [and] by no means do I agree with everything he said. But these days, the notion that the regulatory state could prove dangerous to individual liberties, and not just to economic growth, needs to be taken more seriously, and he has written the "go to" book on that topic. 

Cowen goes on to point out the special dangers Donald Trump running the executive branch might pose in such a world.

Lots of libertarians, and normal humans as well, learned the overarching basics of that lesson many years ago from Ayn Rand in her novel Atlas Shrugged. (Yes, the same Rand who most anti-Trump crusaders consider a terribly dangerous and ignorant menace.)

In the context of her terrifying tale of a nation and an economy brought to practical and moral ruin by an overpowerful government driven by a veneer of phony altruism, her character Dr. Floyd Ferris tells metal magnate Henry Rearden:

The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws….just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted—and you create a nation of law-breakers…"

And a nation of law-breakers' freedom depends entirely on when or whether the government decides to crack down. No decent person wants a system like that at all. But one might think someone with Trump's demonstrated sense of raw id would be especially alarming. It's an important argument against Trump, and alas we'll have plenty of need to bring it up over and over again as this election year crawls toward its terrifying climax.

NEXT: Ben Carson Admits His Presidential Campaign Has No "Path Forward"

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  1. Hello!

    1. Thanks for saving my spot.

      Hopefully we’ll get Mrs Clinton instead because she’ll stay bought. Amirite?!

      1. Yeah, but bought by whom, exactly?

        1. Check the receipt?
          Seriously, that’s a good question. The Clinton’s have demonstrated they don’t care too much about who/what country pays them. Would Trump? Probably not.

          1. Her husband was bought by the ChiComms and the chubby intern club. I can see her going for both of those too…

        2. what difference, at this point, does it make?

      2. Yep. Because Rand never tried to warn us about politicians like Obama or Clinton.

  2. Hello!

  3. And First!

    1. No, because you made no comment relevant to the subject.

      1. Exactly.

        Your comment is bad and you should feel bad.

        1. *whispers* I actually feel bad for him.
          *glares over teacup*

          1. Teacup? I thought you were a coffee man!

            1. I drinks lots of things; but I am literally drinking coffee while I type this.

              1. Ok. Phew. It was an existential crisis for a second there.

                I’m fixing to get myself a cup of Keurig coffee, which I still insist is inferior to most other forms of coffee.

                1. I’m drinking hospital coffee so you just got… Trumped!

                  1. Oh…nooooo. I’m so sorry!

                    This keurig is… golden french toast flavored. Because I love it when everything tastes like eggs.

                    1. If you want instant coffee that doesn’t taste like it came out of a hobo’s ass, try Starbucks Via. It’s surprisingly decent for instant coffee.

        2. Go to the penalty box for two minutes. And feel shame.

          1. Sign him up for a weekend with the pain monster.

            1. It’s your right if you don’t want to pay your taxes!

        3. Well It may have been and now I may. But cut me some slack for fucks sake. I do actually live 20 miles past BFE and within a stones throw from the middle of no where, a place where 24/7 high speed internet like all you sophisticated big city commentariat hipster types are accustomed to is not a “Thing”. There was this one time last year when I thought I was first, but after the squirrels finished fucking about and let me post I was actually like 7th or 8th and felt like an asshole. Hell I even tried posting a response earlier, at a more reasonable non-Dead Thread Fucking time and the squirrels wouldn’t let me. And just for the sake of argument how can it be said my comment is either bad or not relevant to the topic at hand. Which was something about Ayn Rand warning us about flaky douchebags and the advent and rise of the turd sandwich military industrial complex over 60 years ago. To which I say, (with apologies to Rufus), HELLO!! Which IMO is a relevant but perhaps somewhat dry and laconic comment.

        1. Also, regarding rules in the Virtual Somalia that is H&R. 1) Can I get a refresher/cheat sheet or something?. I mean I have been a part time resident since before the “Albino Gamboler” days and the drinking game thing for one I am still somewhat confused over. And 2) Rules in AnCapSomalia? Joke? Unintentional Oxymoron? Turing Test?

  4. Cowen goes on to point out the special dangers Donald Trump running the executive branch might pose in such a world.

    Yes, yes, Trump is uniquely dangerous in this regard, because Bush and Obama were paragons of virtue. I think this kind of pants-shitting is actually motivation for the people who support Trump.

    1. I must admit, if Trump wins, the tears from the media class are going to be oh so delicious.

      1. The wailing and gnashing of teeth would almost be worth it.

        1. We will, all of us, be adding our own to the mix.

          1. I did say “almost”.

          2. But yummy Progressive tears. How can you be sad when you have those?

            If it comes down to Trump and Hillary then I want Trump to win if for no other reason then Progressives have the yummiest tears.

            1. But yummy Progressive tears. How can you be sad when you have those?

              If it comes down to Trump and Hillary then I want Trump to win if for no other reason then Progressives have the yummiest tears.

              No, the comments section is totally not full of closet Republicans.

              1. Wanting to see progressive tears does not make someone a Republican.

                1. “progressive” is probably the opposite of “libertarian” (thinking you can and should use the force of govt to make things “better” vs realizing all government is premised on violence and so should be used sparingly), so makes sense there’s a lot of people who dislike them here

              2. No, the comments section is totally not full of closet Republicans.

                Out house Republicans? Smaller than a decent closet and it smells bad.

    2. But one might think someone with Trump’s demonstrated sense of raw id would be especially alarming.

      Absolutely the same thing can be said of Clinton, but Trump’s explicit admissions about this makes it a valuable opportunity to get people to understand this problem.

      1. ^ This

        Hillary would be sneaky and play the game the way it’s meant to be played.

        The Donald would be so arbitrarily vindictive that regular-people might start seeing the dangers of over-regulation. Might.

        *stares dreamily into the yonder*

    3. I wonder if the Romans were shitting their togas over their shaky republic before the Civil War and Sulla exposed how far gone the whole thing was?

      1. Would it not just fall on the ground?

      2. Mobs rampaging through the city, followed by Grachii brothers’ assassinations? That was pretty toga-shitting time for the political class. Then there was pants-shitting over the Germanic tribes coming over and conquering Cisalpine Gaul, which resulted in Marius getting several consulships in a row in order to prepare the army to trash them (and to his credit, he did). And these are big, important events I know of – who the hell knows about all the tunic-shitting of some obscure struggle between two Optimates factions that seemed so important at the time, and no one except few academicians knows about.
        Well, them and David Drake – he often uses obscure historical events from Greek and Roman histories as jumpoff points for his plots.

        1. David Drake does a pretty good job of getting people interested in history. That…and Hammer’s Slammers was cool.

      3. Which Civil War?

        The one between Marius and Sulla? (Continued by Carbo and Gaius Marius Junior.)

        The one between Caesar and Pompeii?

        The one between Octavian and Marc Antony?

        The Italian war?

        In all cases, the answer is yes. And each side was as guilty of violating the mos maiorum as the other, while accusing the other of undermining the republic.

        1. I suppose it is a good thing that Trump and Hillary and not military commanders.

          1. Octavian wasn’t, but he had Marcus Agrippa backing him.

    4. I hear ya, WTF.

      I just can’t convince myself that Donald Trump poses more “special dangers” than Hillary Clinton: Someone with a proven disregard for the law, a demonstrated indifference to any interest other than her own, a history as a terrible administrator, and a distinct lack of accomplishments.

      1. I have it on good authority that this is the “most important election of our lifetimes!”

      2. Trump will spend 4 or 8 years making all sorts of deal that he can parlay into big bucks when he leaves office.

        Clinton has already done this once.

        1. I am not sure how that is a good thing Kinnath.

        2. Trump has enough money. But what he doesn’t have is a legacy of citizenship. I expect lots of memorable but ineffective actions from him. Hillary will go for the cash and first uterus to do X, Y, or Z.

      3. Someone with a proven disregard for the law, a demonstrated indifference to any interest other than her own, a history as a terrible administrator, and a distinct lack of accomplishments.

        That’s a fairly accurate description of Trump, if you don’t consider serial bankruptcy an accomplishment.

        1. Depends on why bankruptcy. Did he use bankruptcy laws to his advantage?

        2. I keep hearing about Trump bankruptcies, but I don’t really know what to make of it.

          I would expect that his business is structured as a swarm of separate business entities, one (or more) for each major project. If so, then the bankruptcies might be for individual projects that failed, rather than his entire business. And, in the real estate development world, his batting average might be pretty good. I really don’t know.

          I will say that I have met a number of high-flying real estate developers, and they all had the manners and morals of a snake. Expecting a real estate developer to be a straight-up guy is like expecting a Chicago politician to be ethical. So nothing would surprise me.

          1. Well we wer will to try that Chicago politician thing, so why not?

            1. we were willing

              Dang phone.

    5. It lets them know they are finally being noticed.

  5. She wasn’t the only one…

    “The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.”
    -Thomas Jefferson

    A depressing article on why it’s (our republic) over.…..-over.html

    1. de Tocqueville called it 200 years ago. Everybody else is just riding his coattails.

    2. Ironic coming from a slavemaster.

      1. Very wiity

  6. When we are all lawbreakers, vindictive asses in the executive power seat are all the more dangerous.

    Well, thank God we haven’t had to worry about that before!

  7. Any Rand was a semi-retarded crank.

    1. Is that Ayn’s brother or sister?

      1. Any Rand, it’s your choice.

        1. Then I choose Rand McNally. Fuck them and their misleading Mercator projections!

          1. Not to mention racist. Those projections make Europe look so much larger then it is, and Africa so much smaller.

            And sadly there have been SJWs that have argued this.

            1. sadly there have been SJWs that have argued this.

              Holy. Fucking. Shit… Please tell me you’re joking.

              1. He is not.


                1. Retards will always find something to go full retard over.

                  If they were ever introduced to the theory of Alfred Korczybski they would probably run screaming.

                  1. The Mercator Projection was intended to foster or reinforce imperialism or white supremacy.


                    I guess “size matters”.

                    1. I always thought it was more about girthiness…

                    2. Indeed – bow to your Greenlander overlords.

      2. Apparently she sucks so bad that Apple products refuse to output her name.

    1. Some “letter” explaining the Trump phenomenon

      1. And some racoons, I assume, are good mammals.

        1. Sure the racoons that came into the basement legally are alright. What the basement needs is a wall I think.

        2. No, they are not. Fuck racoons. They make sounds like a baby getting raped, they fuck up your garden, and carry more infectious diseases for dogs than Paris Hilton. Trash pandas are cute, thougj, I will give them that.

  8. In other words Trump would be just like all the Presidents we have had for a while. Punish his enemies and help his friends. It IS politics after all.

    1. I think the somewhat unique problem here is the brazenness that will likely be on display. Sure, the Clintons weren’t exactly subtle, but I don’t see any amount of shame to apply restraint of any kind to Mr. Trump. Not that his followers would level any rebuke in his direction over, well, anything.

      1. Yes but at least he won’t have the entire media supporting him like Obama and Hillary.

        1. Another good reason.

        2. Nor will he have a supine party unwilling to impeach for any reason.

          More the opposite, Trump will have to figure out how to placate the beltway buddies within both parties (aka the Permanent Ruling Fusion Party), lest they unite to undo him.

      2. But that would be the Beauty of Trump. Making it obvious to the meanest intelligence.

        I’m voting for entertainment value. I have no hope for the restoration of the Republic. Not since 2008.

        Medical cannabis is still illegal. It exists at the sufferance of government. If they can’t fix that on humanitarian grounds nothing is fixable. In fact it is a perfect test. Are you (Mr. Politician) a humanitarian?

        1. You left out Mexicans and butt-sex.

  9. Madison predicted such in Federalist #10: “democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.”

    1. Trump would represent a move away from two party rule and a return to what both the federalists and anti-federalists had in mind when constructing the Constitution – factionalism.

      1. Well, the Night of the Long Knives did away with factionalism too. It just was after a huge warfare/welfare state had been forged, hungry for resources. The founders wanted to do replace factionalism with Virtue, not use the State to liquidate opponents.

        1. No.

          The Federalists knew that they were creating a central authority with enough power to be tyrannical. Their counter to the anti-Federalists was the whole idea of separation of powers. With the three branches sharing much overlap in their scope of authority, and the methods of filling offices within those bodies intended to diversify membership and create a system where factionalism would be present, but act to count and balance out.

          Neither of these groups were utopians, both sides knew you could never eliminate the tendencies of people to seek to maximize their power, and so you could never truly eliminate faction.

          For example, one of their stated objectives was the need for the new government to represent the interests of commerce, as opposed to only the landed. The anti-Federalists were much more wedded to classical notions of a republic – largely based on the landed gentry and only the landed gentry.

          1. As to virtue, the anti-Federalist were most big on that, which is why they wanted a weak central government, and most power retained at the local level. They also thought virtue was expressly religious, expressly Christian, and expressly Protestant. Notions (except perhaps the Protestant absolutism) they took directly from Montesquieu. And, again as another example, this is where the Federalists specifically included provisions prohibiting religious exclusions to office. Not because they were trying to eliminate those people or those interests, but because they recognized the need for balance among them in order to prevent tyranny via a single dominant religion.

            Elements of these arguments can be found (IIRC) in the middle essays (high 30’s into the low 50’s) of the Federalist Papers.

            1. What neither side foresaw was the rise of an entrenched bipartisan ruling class.

              My belief is, if the anti-Federalist had been able – at the time – to credibly predict what has actually come to develop in this regard, both sides of the debate would have clearly recognized what a tremendous threat to liberty such an entrenched and self interested accumulation of power would be.

              And it would have marked the end of any hopes for ratification.

    2. Man, the founding fathers were a bunch a negative nellies.

  10. What, Ayn Rand knew that Hitler would be reincarnated!?OMG, time to shit pants!

  11. I was watching an old debate between Bill Buckley and the Hitch from 1990, and Hitch said that “you (meaning America) now have an Imperial presidency, don’t you?”

    Man, how times have changed.

    1. Perhaps my favorite thing (of many things) I like about Hitch is how early and clearly he saw the rotten core of Bill Clinton.

  12. Hey, question for the group, has there been any soul-searching on the left about executive overreach as Trump lurches towards the nomination? Or is it all just a horse race to get Hillary over the line first?

    1. None that I have seen. “Executive overreach is FINE if the government does what I want. ” Is the general (usual) sentiment.

      Team all the way.

  13. So did the intern get the ‘Ayn Rand Warned Us About the Dangers Of a President Like Sanders’ article or was it consider just a given?

    1. Indeed –

      “It’s an important argument against Trump”

      It’s an important argument against *all* of these assholes.

      1. Yeah, but not all of these assholes are threatening to fuck with the paychecks of Beltway lifers.

        Honestly, each article Reason runs brings me one tiny step closer to being a Trumpeter, not because I will ever like him or his policies, but if he scares the Welfare/Warfare party enough to provoke this much pants-shitting hysteria, he must represent an existential threat to their regime.

        1. I am with you. I have no idea what Trump would actually do. I am however absolutely certain that if he were anything like his critics are claiming, they would be his biggest supporters. So whatever he is, they are lying about it.

        2. if he scares Welfare/Warfare party enough to provoke this much pants-shitting hysteria, he must represent an existential threat to their regime.

          Exactly this.

          I don’t believe the hype. I don’t even *want* to believe the hype. I find the notion of believing the hype to be revolting. But, for some reason, every time the man walks up to a podium, half the people in the room shit their pants in adoration and the other half do it in fear. And as revolting as pants-shitting may be no amount of denial makes it go away.


  14. How is Trump any different than the man we have as president and the woman who wants to be president Obama has used his position to hurt others and Hillary has already declared she will as well. so instead of false flag warnings about Trump you should maybe you should ask for every voter to wary of all presidential candidates who seek the job to hold power over others isn’t that what they all do not just Trump. Your statist partisan ship are showing a little to much. I say statist because you are attacking the only man who may actually be able to stop the person who will definately be a danger to whats left of teh American way.

    1. ^^^ This.^^^

      And I said it myself. Earlier.

    2. I say statist because you are attacking the only man who may actually be able to stop the person who will definately be a danger to whats left of teh American way.

      That’s…not a very good explanation of why you’re saying “statist.”

      You do realize Trump wants to be the head of state, right?

  15. Doesn’t Trump sound like the heavy-handed sort of naming Rand would use for a character? Either than, or the cheeky sort of naming Stephenson would use.

    I don’t know whether the evidence that our reality is a story makes me relieved that we may be due a deux ex machina to help the good guys win, terrified that we are a cautionary tale, or at least hopeful that there is a less fucked up reality outside of this one.

    1. Stephenson would name him Vil N. Antogonist

  16. Doesn’t the same go for Clinton?

    1. Seems that this is the theme of the thread.

      I miss the pot though. Messicans and butt seks not so much.

    2. “If there were a President who wished to pursue vendettas…”

      Cowen says this with a straight face after seven years of Obama?

      Fuck him sideways with a woodchipper.

    3. Much more so since unlike Trump she would command the loyalty of her own party in Congress.

      1. You don’t think that Trump wouldn’t also elect his pals/cronies?

        1. Wrong thread. My bad.

        2. No I don’t. Trump is his own personal movement. I can’t see where the Republicans in Congress would feel any personal loyalty to him or worry about going after him if they had a popular case.

          He would command some loyalty for sure. But nothing like Rubio or Hillary would.

          1. I can’t see where the Republicans in Congress would feel any personal loyalty to him or worry about going after him if they had a popular case.

            Considering it’s the primaries and there’s talk of reforming a third party in juxtaposition to him… yeah. Even before he was the cemented front runner, the rift in the GOP was acknowledged and considered to be, not just a weakness, but a universally bad thing (both in and out of the party). Now that he is looking likely the two factions that were considered to be opposites within the party are rather vocally opposing him.

            It’s funny that HRC and Bernie represent perfect springboards (not to mention real-life caricatures of Randian socialists) for the DNC to divest themselves of riffraff but the notion isn’t even whispered. Instead, it’s a debate about who represents the truer nature of the party and strongly suggests that the DNC divesting itself of riffraff wouldn’t leave anything.

  17. The problem is not the President. Cowen and the rest of the libertarian right shitting their pants over Trump being President seem to think the solution to the problem is electing a virtuous President who won’t abuse his powers. To that I say “Are these clowns in the 8th grade”?

    The constitution has worked so well because it was drafted on the assumption that you can never trust anyone not to abuse their power. It solved this issue by setting the three branches at cross purposes and thus preventing any one branch or person from becoming too powerful. We don’t have an executive power problem, we have a separation of powers problem. Thus our problem is not with the President but with Congress and how each party refuses to hold its own Presidents accountable for anything.

    When you understand the problem, you quickly realize electing a guy like Trump, who is loathed by all of Washington and commands at best patchy loyalty from his own party is at least a short term solution. I have no idea what Trump really would try and do. I do, however, have a lot more faith in Congress uniting and standing up to Trump than I do it uniting and standing up to a President Hillary or Rubio, both of whom would command unquestioning loyalty from their own parties.

    1. “each party refuses to hold its own Presidents accountable for anything”

      ^^^THIS. Since Nixon.

      1. That was the last time it happened.

  18. Though Rand’s writings were clumsy and her heroes hackneyed, it is remarkable how many of her villains have analogues today.

    I can think of many people to identify as Wesley Mouch – Lawrence Summers, Paul Krugmann, Naomi Klein

    Cuffy Meigs = Melissa Click

    James Taggart = Donald Trump

    Balph Eubank = Michael Moore

    1. Real people are sometimes less complex and interesting than well written fiction. Rand was a poor fiction writer but that fact doesn’t mean her books were unrealistic.

      1. I disagree, We the Living and Anthem by any standard are great works of literature.

        1. I think she was a great essay writer. I have never read Anthem. We are the Living is good. I wouldn’t call it great but there is no accounting for taste. It certainly was a lot better than Atlas Shrugged or the Fountainhead.

          1. She was a great essay writer, no question.

            I would certainly call We the Living a great book. Rand certainly made significant contributions to literature, I think she will be read long after some other big names are just footnotes.

            1. Her lit will never be my taste. I would rank her essays on the post war left as some of the best written. I think the three best essayists of the 20th Century were Rand, Orwell and CS Lewis (who in my opinion was the best of them all).

              1. See there really is no accounting for taste, Lewis is highly overrated (in my opinion).

                Agree about Orwell though, would put Animal Farm as one the most important books of the 20th century.

                Rand’s later works are in a style that’s considered out of date, but fashions come and go and great works will prevail.

                1. Lewis is highly overrated (in my opinion).

                  His novels are but not his essays. I would take Life in the Atomic Age over about anything.

    2. Rand’s villains were based on personal experience. Her heroes, on wishful thinking.

    3. Bertram Scudder = Paul Krugman

    4. Robert Stadler = Michael Mann

  19. More Trump doom? As much as I have come to loath the guy there is no danger he presents more so than any of the other shitbags running. Why the particular hate for Trump?

    1. Especially among Libertarians. Trump is not a Libertarian and it is understandable that reason wouldn’t like him. Of course none of the other GOP candidates are either and reason isn’t panicking over them.

    2. Godwin be damned, people didn’t think a whole lot of Hitler, hence why he got his shot. “How much worse was he going to be than a Von Papen?” was the reasoning. He’d be out in a few months, which would provide the other schemers time to navigate and got themselves into position. Of course they didn’t count on the full implementation of the Gau-system, kicking out the “rotted slats” and taking over completely.

      The fortunate thing is Trump doesn’t have a Gau-system (unlike Obama with his network) but, while I think it’s unlikely, there’s a possibility if its near equal jelling around Trump if he is elected (e.g. Christie) to make an equivalent. Trump is going to have to do something, because the traditional bureaucracy is going to be completely against him (see comment below).

      So, sure, unlikely, but in destabilized times, unforeseen things happen. And we ARE in destabilized times. And, after all, Trump is the face of that destabilization from the populist perspective. But the establishment (Dem and Repub) bobbed around the Tea Party, they’ll weave around Trump, it’s what comes after Trump that scares me the most. Again, see below. After X number of years of Trump with a run away bureaucracy, the rank and file are going to be out for blood. Either the legislative branch refocuses, or we’re going to have very uncivil times.

    3. Well, let’s see: none of the others have called for building a wall between us and our neighbors, or called for a program of deportations based on religion, or called for greatly expanding the use of torture, or explicitly stated he would commit war crimes. That good enough for you?

      1. The Republican Congress funded the building of the wall back in 06. Somehow, the dark night of fascism didn’t fall on America.

        Jimmy Carter banned the entry of Shia Muslims into the country during the Iranian hostage crisis. All this time I thought Carter was a progressive Christian doo gooder. I had no idea he was Nazi.

        And maybe you missed it, but FDR fire bombed all of Japan and Truman dropped two nukes.

        Do you actually find any of your points compelling JD?

        1. Remember the time Bill Clinton initiated military action without Congressional approval?

          Remember how that didn’t justify/diffuse Bush’s illegal wars despite HRC’s approval?

          How about the time when Obama did the same?

          Or remember when he said we’d stop torturing people and close gitmo?

          Or when HRC’s State Department got actual American’s actually killed on foreign soil and then lied about it?

          Trump playing the role of a lying politician to a “T” and promising, on the stump, to breaking the law was worse than all of it.

      2. Those are legitimate reasons JD for principled people. I don’t get the feeling that the majority of Trump haters fit that description.

    4. Why the particular hate for Trump?

      I’m convinced it comes down to style. He doesn’t present like a well-trained apparatchik, and that really pisses the other apparatchiks off.

      1. Exactly. He’s icky and uncool. The cosmo faction of libertarians flip the fuck out if someone icky is involved. Think of all the articles over Kim Davis. The amount of energy wasted over the woman was ridiculous.

  20. All we’re going to learn is how much the bureaucracy actually works around the elected, whether it’s in the executive or legislative branches. The Legislative is already shown to be a paper tiger when it comes to the abuses of the executives and career bureaucrats. We’ll just see what the next step is when the bureaucracy cuts the bonds with the executive. I have no doubts there’s enough slush money laying around in accounts for the bureaucracy to do a lot of damage while it’s not accountable to anybody. Perhaps the bureaucracy will annoy enough people directly, and be shown so clearly to work for its own ends, that enough people will wake up and finally have the legislative branch stuff the executive back into his role and slash the bureaucracy’s size.

    That is about the ONLY positive the MIGHT come out of a Trump presidency. I give it about a 1% likelihood of happening. We’ll have an out of control bureaucracy, a (limited) tyrant who will persecute special enemies, and yet further diminished legislative branch.

    1. That is a great point. It amazes me how allegedly smart people like Cowen seem to have no idea how the government actually works. Anyone tho thinks Trump is going to turn the bureaucracy into his own personal tool for oppression doesn’t know much about the bureaucracy.

    2. While the President has many more shiny toys than do State Governors, isn’t the likely template for a Trump Administration, the Administrations of Schwarzenegger and Ventura? I.e., elected as reformers, tried to accomplish a few easy goals, got shut down by the Leg and by the state employees’ unions, and ended up as pigeon/seagull bosses? Fly in with a lot of noise, beg for attention and food, shit all over everything, and fly off?

      In fact, while Trump is a workaholic, and evidently a teetotaler, isn’t it more likely that he’s going to get frustrated with trying to change things—especially after he gets his party’s head stove in during the 2018 midterms—and just check out for a good chunk of his presidency?

      I’m just not seeing the latent Huey Long-ism with Trump that evidently is scaring many Republican and Libertarian commentators.

  21. For what the Ayn Rand Institute thinks of Trump see
    Fear and Loathing of Donald Trump

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