There are a few more points I want to add onto the topics that were addressed this week.
First, on the Freedom Caucus’s future. As Tim Alberta pointed out in his piece, members of the Freedom Caucus are beginning to discover that their constituents don’t care as much about conservative principles as they thought their constituents did, as is evidenced by their constituents’ overwhelming support for Trump. Rather, these Americans are more anti-establishment and anti-Washington than they are allegiant to any specific set of principles. In Donald Trump, they found their man, with his promises to #DrainTheSwamp and burn it all down.
Unfortunately for them, Trump seems to be abandoning his earlier anti-establishment professions. Reince Priebus is his Chief-of-Staff. Goldman Sachs nominees litter his administration. It’s too early to know exactly how Trump’s administration will run, but I’m not convinced there’s going to be a whole lot of swamp draining, though I hope there will be.
Which brings me to my point: If you truly want to uproot the system, the only way to do that is through an allegiance to small government. It seems Trump has attracted many of these anti-establishment voters because he gave them a “you can have your cake and eat it too” proposition. He promised to strike down establishment policies that make life easier for the rich and well-connected at the expense of everyone else while at the same time promising to institute policies that make life easier for the American manufacturing worker at the expense of everyone else, including consumers just trying to scrape by.
This follows the logic of “the problem isn’t the size of government; the problem is who the government is for.” This is leftist Bernie Sanders logic. In the long run, the anti-establishment guys will not benefit from a change of power that does not at the same time limit the powerful because the old guard can always regain their seat atop the throne. The only way to beat the establishment is to kill off the beast entirely by limiting the size and power of government. Only then can American communities flourish free of government oversight.
Now onto the left’s newfound infatuation with freedom of association. While it may seem good that the left is suddenly stumbling onto conservative principles, it’s not surprising. Ultimately, leftism is an ideology of power. Of course, they’d love to use the government to enforce this power, but they’ll use non-government organizations just the same. They’re fond of using private universities to ban conservative speakers on campus. They’re doubly fond of using the NCAA or the ACC to ban the playing of games in Charlotte over the transgender bathroom dispute. Big corporations like Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube have repeatedly used their power to silence conservative opposition. And all the while, conservatives are forced to say, “Yeah, I mean… You can do that because, well, you know, you’re not the government. But please don’t.”
While freedom of association is a conservative concept, it’s a weapon that leftists are far more willing to use. Conservatives are largely of the live and let live variety, so they don’t often use their free market power to punish ideas or people they don’t agree with unless it, oh I don’t know, violates their religion or something.
I think that’s going to have to change. If the left doesn’t stop using their freedom of association weapon, conservatives are going to have to start using theirs. It’s not going to be pretty, but they’ll have to boycott universities, the NCAA, the ACC, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and everyone else. Call it mutually assured destruction.