Book reviews, art, gaming, Objectivism and thoughts on other topics as they occur.

Apr 2, 2011

Dr. Hurd on Trump

I stumbled on this article today (click the post title for the link) and actually felt like blogging about it, yay. Anyway, Dr. Hurd's warning against supporting Trump because he seems like someone who can "get things done" really resonates with me because of a lot of fairly recent reading I've been doing. Not only is the (primary) ability to "get things done" not a positive trait for a presidential candidate, it should sound in the mind of any student of history as a strident warning.

Why? Read about the rise of Fascism in Europe prior to World War 2, particularly about Mussolini. Or read about Castro. Or Woodrow Wilson. Or Herbert Hoover. Or any other would-be tyrant that people have inflicted on themselves over the years. Read what people said about them BEFORE they tried putting their policies into practice. What will you discover in common about all of them?

People praised how "dynamic" they were. How charismatic and aggressive and willful. How good they were at putting aside the silly restraints of tradition or the parliament or the stodgy old institutions of yesteryear to get things done.

The best government is one that restricts itself to certain absolutely vital functions of government and leaves the everything else alone. It is a government that contains restraints, traditions, legislative bodies, and, yes, a fair amount of stodginess for a reason. It is a government that operates by the first principle of the Hippocratic Oath: First, do no harm. It is not supposed to swing constantly into dynamic, aggressive, charismatic action on the whims of a single individual, sweeping all opposition aside, because that opposition has rights.

The ability to get things done should be a secondary or tertiary trait of a politician who wants to do the right things. Yes, it'd be nice if such a man wasn't entirely ineffectual, but even if he is and accomplishes absolutely NOTHING during his tenure, by NOT doing the WRONG things, he's still better than 99.9% of the politicians currently in power.

1 comment:

Nancy said...