Trump is not dismantling “Government,” he’s trimming (not nearly enough in my view) a bloated, heavy-handed, highly corrupt Federal bureaucracy. Which I guess is sort of the progressive definition of “Government.”
The progressives will sneer in return, “Why don’t you move to Somalia if you hate Government.” This is the quintessential progressive argument; an emotive, hyberbolic reductio ad absurdum. As if there is no middle ground between complete dystopian anarchy and a dystopian, Terry-Gilliam’s-Brazil-like. Brobdingnagian Leviathan bureaucracy that not only does things like:
- A Veterans Administration that gives its chief bureaucrats huge bonuses while veterans die on waiting lists
- An ironically named Environmental “Protection” Agency that dumps millions of gallons of toxic waste into a pristine river then exempts itself from consequences
- A Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms that supplies semi-automatic weapons to Mexican drug cartels (while simultaneously lobbying to outlaw ownership of those same weapons to law-abiding American citizens.)
- A Federal Aviation Administration that resists all efforts to modernize a thirty-year-old air traffic control system because of opposition from wealthy corporate jet owners.
- A Department of Education and a Food and Drug Administration that… for some reason… have their own de facto SWAT Teams and can legally kill you for committing student loan fraud or selling raw milk to willing buyers. Other civilian Federal Agencies with their own heavily armed, tactically-trained enforcement squads include the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Office of Personnel Management (make sure to get your TPS reports in on time, or we’ll kill you) and the Railroad Retirement Board.
Not to mention, in the hands of a corrupt administration these agencies become weaponized against critics and opponents. Journalists who ask the wrong sorts of questions can be put in jail. An administration can make sure supportive political groups are funded from public coffers while denying funding to opponents.
And meanwhile, throw themselves lavish, taxpayer funded parties in Las Vegas.
But the progressives insists… it’s either that, or warlords shooting at each other from rooftops while our cities all become Mogadishu. (Some of them are already there.) The idea… the concept… of having a Government that does no more than those things for which there is no private alternative is not a thing they can imagine.
But getting back to Trump, if he is to any degree “dismantling Government as we know it,” more power to him. He’s only doing what “conservative” Republicans have been promising to do for the past thirty years. Every time a Republican Congress has struck a “budget deal” it’s always been, “Yeah, we’re spending more money in the short term… but ten years from now, we pinky swear there will be severe cuts.”
Trump is at least moving a little bit in the direction of downsizing Government to an affordable, responsible level. While I wish he would do more, faster… any reduction in the Federal Leviathan would have been unimaginable under a Jeb Bush or John Kasich presidency. (But they would have had very polite twitter feeds.)