The Civil War Rages on

Writes Tom Woods:

OK, I admit I’m checking the election results as I answer email on the couch.

So the Republicans will hold on to the Senate and the Democrats will take the House.

I think a lot of people voted Republican today, despite being told by virtually everyone that only a moral reprobate and a mental defective would do so, not because they sat down and studied policy papers, or even because they’re particularly enthusiastic about the candidates.

They voted straight Republican as a middle finger to the progressives who dominate the media, academia, and culture.

They look at the Democrats as the champions of those who shout down speakers and otherwise intimidate people into silence on college campuses, who ignorantly and self-righteously blame white men for every evil under the sun, who have encouraged the transformation of America into battleground of squabbling tribes, and who accuse normal people of “hate” for not jumping on every leftist bandwagon within the first ten seconds. How I Found Freedom in... Harry Browne Best Price: $71.36 Buy New $227.01 (as of 06:40 EDT - Details)

Republicans, so often craven and unprincipled, are unworthy recipients of these people’s votes, but recipients they surely are.

On policy, though, even in the age of Trump, the parties are not as far apart as they first appear, as Jeff Deist noted today:

By any objective measure, the ideological and policy disagreements between the national Democrat and Republican parties are not significant. Both accept the central tenets of domestic and foreign interventionism, both accept the federal government as the chief organizing principle for American society, and both view politics simply as a fight for control of state apparatus.

Similarly, differences between policies actually enacted by Mr. Trump and the existing Congress and those likely to have been enacted by Mrs. Clinton and the same Congress are fairly small. While Mr. Trump alarms the Left with his tone and tenor, his actual views on taxes, spending, debt, trade, guns, immigration (the “Muslim ban” was neither) and war (unfortunately his good campaign rhetoric is largely abandoned) plainly comport with the general thrust of Clinton’s neo-liberalism.

Today’s ugly midterm elections are about style rather than substance, party rather than principle, and power rather than ideas. Americans do not much argue about whether we are governed by DC, and only slightly over how we are governed by DC. But we argue viciously about who governs us from DC.

The sensible and humane way out of this is to decentralize, let people make their own decisions, and call off the low-intensity civil war.

This is the one solution that will not be considered.

(Isn’t that politics in a nutshell, by the way? There’s one sensible approach, and that’s the one you know has zero chance of being implemented.)

We’ve been told since fourth grade that decentralization is for hicks, losers, and “racists,” and that human progress demands that 320 million people be ruled from a single city.

The result is what we have now: a society in which everything from pronouns to chicken sandwiches is political.

There’s never been a better time to read Harry Browne’s book How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World. That’s some good advice, believe me.