By Chris Rossini
Presidential election campaigns are notorious for the sheer volume of lies that they generate. The incentive to lie is built-in to the system. After all, none of the promises that a presidential candidate makes are binding in any way whatsoever. Lies are merely flung in a rapid-fire fashion, with the goal of finding the right combination that happens to garner the most votes. There are no contracts made and voters have zero recourse once the winner takes office and breaks all of his promises.
Those old campaign promises merely collect dust on YouTube, and act as a reminder that Americans have (yet again) been duped by the government.
A lie that has succeeded for the past two presidents that we've suffered under is the foreign policy lie. George W. Bush campaigned as someone who would implement a "humble" foreign policy, and he didn't think it was "the role of the United States to walk into a country and say 'We do it this way, so should you.'". Americans took the bait. And what could they do about the blatant lies after Bush was in office? Nothing.
To add insult to injury, George W. Bush is out campaigning again! He's preaching about "sound judgment and good ideas". You can't make this stuff up!
Let's move on to Obama, who was comically awarded a Nobel Peace Prize. He promised to end Bush's wars. Americans took the bait again! Not only did Obama not end Bush's wars, he actually expanded them and added more wars of his own. Obama has attacked seven Muslim nations, and he still has a year to go!
Presidential elections are really just entertainment, giving the completely false impression that "your vote counts" or "you're making your voice heard" or "you're an important part of the political process"....etc.
It's all nonsense, but it works. Enough people remain devout believers of government's lies. Many don't believe, of course. A majority of Americans don't vote. But enough do to keep the lights on. (There's a key lesson there for libertarians: we don't need a majority for our ideas to prevail).
Staying on the theme of entertainment, a very famous entertainer named Donald Trump seems to be following in Bush's and Obama's footsteps when it comes to foreign policy. For the most part, he's saying the right things when it comes to America's wars. And predictably, the good instincts that people naturally have towards peace are causing them to flock to Trump.
Is Trump just recycling the campaign lies of Bush and Obama? Is he just duping America for a third consecutive time?
Of course there is no way to know ahead of time. But there are some things that are certain. First, "war is the health of the state." It is during wartime that government grabs power most viciously. It's so lucrative and rewarding for those who lust for power that the U.S. government in particular has made war a perpetual policy. Trump doesn't seem to have an aversion to power. He clearly wants it, and is ready to start showering dictates.
Next, presidents are largely just figureheads. They're the face of an entrenched bureaucracy that is always there. A "deep state" exists, and it watches presidents come and go. It, however does not go, and its members parasitically live off the entire American population.
So don't get too excited. Presidential elections are just entertainment.
The ideas of liberty are something to get excited about. For its best days are yet to come.