The big reveal at the end of The Wizard of Oz is that there is no Wizard of Oz. Behind the curtain, there is only a man, and a humbug of a man at that.
It seems to me that President Trump, whether intentionally or not, is revealing a very Libertarian truth: that the government, particularly the federal government, doesn’t matter as much as some would have us believe.
The first evidence I can present to you is that, despite the federal government recently being shut down for three days, just about everything in America and the world bumbled along as charmingly and imperfectly as it always does. To be fair, the federal government being “shut down” is far less serious than it sounds. Only non-essential government functions are suspended, an admission of lack of necessity I wish more people would catch on to. Either way, everything was fine. The markets didn’t even react.
Another example is the Paris Climate Accord. As Syria and Nicaragua have officially joined the agreement, the United States is now the lone nation in the world to be absent after President Trump’s reneging of US participation. And have the doomsday predictions of Climate Alarmists come to fruition? Not even close.
In fact, the United States of America is the world leader in carbon emissions reductions. Thanks to the magic of the free market, the dawn of hydraulic fracturing has shifted the US energy sector away from coal and towards cleaner and more efficient natural gas production and usage.
What’s more is that a new, landmark study suggests that the Armageddon narrative surrounding Climate Change is verifiably incorrect. While Global Warming is certainly occurring and has the potential to cause harm, there is no scientific evidence that the end of the world is upon us (I have made it clear that this is my position on Global Warming many, many times).
But there’s more. Just as Toto exposed the man behind the curtain, Trump has revealed the man behind the net… net neutrality, that is.
It was really only a few weeks ago that FCC head Ajit Pai was worrying about protestors ringing his and his family’s necks for undoing Obama-era internet regulations. We were told that this was the end of the internet as we know it, and, well, a whole lot more bologna than that. But has anything changed? Or is everything bumbling along as it always does?
Did the Dakota Access Pipeline kill you? Are the tax cuts bringing the global economy to its knees? Are Title IX reforms allowing rape to flourish on college campuses?
Donald Trump may have Libertarians and other limited-government proponents like me excited about the aforementioned deregulations, but the president is no laissez-faire hero. The worst of what the president has done is just that: what he has done, not what he has undone.
Putting in place sanctions on Russia, North Korea, and reauthorizing sanctions on Cuba make the world a poorer and more dangerous place. His immigration restrictions are both inhumane and futile, and will wind up being a cost without a benefit. His support for increased military funding is completely unnecessary and will only lead to long-term financial woes. And his recent decision to place tariffs on imported washing machines and solar panels excuses US manufacturers for making inferior products and will force American consumers to foot the bill.
The bottom line is that non-Libertarians, especially those on the progressive side of the political spectrum, need to start taking a more measured and skeptical approach to government, particularly the US federal government.
How much of this $4 trillion behemoth do we really need?
I do not hate President Trump the way many left-wingers, Conservatives, and my fellow Libertarians do. This is probably because I feel that he is no worse or probably even a bit of a step up from the Wicked Witches of Texas and Hawaii who came before him. But even on his best days, I can see as clear as day that Trump is not leading us down the yellow brick road that will take us home.
To those of you most enraged by our president’s behavior and ethics, please reconsider using Trump as the center of your political paradigm. He’s nothing more than a symptom of the real disease: big government.
(And, no, I’m not sorry about all these hacky Wizard of Oz references.)