One of the wisest political warnings- “Imagine the power you are willing to bestow on an elected office in the hands of your worst nightmare.”

Charles Cooke’s article is an excellent answer to the recent book Relic by William Howell and Terry Moe. The authors conclude that the Constitution is a terrible design that inhibits efficient and necessary action to solve America’s problems. They call for a more powerful president. Their recipe is no different than the progressives of a century ago except that they acknowledge that the professional administrative state is not as free from political factionism as the earlier progressives imagined.

It is more than a bit ironic that Donald Trump may do more to return us to our constitutional roots that we would think and it may be a twisted rationale to support him.

from Charles Cooke at National Review, Is Trump’s Rise Giving Progressives Second Thoughts?

I make this inquiry because, for a long while now, I have been of the view that the only thing that is likely to join conservatives and progressives in condemnation of government excess is the prospect that that excess will benefit the Right. Along with their peculiar belief that History takes “sides” and that improvement is inexorable and foreordained, most progressives hold as an article of faith that, because it is now a “consolidated democracy,” the United States is immune from the sort of tyranny of which conservatives like to warn. As such, progressives tend not to buy the argument that a government that can give you everything you want is also a government that can take it all away. For the past four or five years, conservatives have offered precisely this argument, our central contention being that it is a bad idea to invest too much power in one place because one never knows who might enjoy that power next. And, for the past four or five years, these warnings have fallen on deaf, derisive, overconfident ears.

That’s a serious, not a rhetorical, question. I would genuinely love to know how many “liberals” have begun to suspect that there are some pretty meaningful downsides to the consolidation of state authority. I’d like to know how many of my ideological opponents saying with a smirk that “it couldn’t happen here” have begun to wonder if it could. I’d like to know how many fervent critics of the Second Amendment have caught themselves wondering whether the right to keep and bear arms isn’t a welcome safety valve after all. Furthermore, I’d like to know if the everything-is-better-in-Europe brigade is still yearning for a parliamentary system that would allow the elected leader to push through his agenda pretty much unchecked; if “gridlock” is still seen as a devastating flaw in the system; if the Senate is still such an irritant; and if the considerable power that the states retain is still resented as before. Certainly, there are many on the left who are mistrustful of government and many on the right who are happy to indulge its metastasis. But as a rule, progressives favor harsher intrusion into our civil society than do their political opposites. Are they still as sure that this is shrewd?

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