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Gus Van Horn blog

Reblogged:Everyone's Playbook? Atlas Shrugged

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But Not in the Way You Might Hope...
Wesley Mouch, Top Co-ordinator of the Bureau of Economic Planning and National Resources, was issuing a great many statements, the content and purpose of which could not be defined, except that the words "emergency powers" and "unbalanced economy" kept appearing in the text every few lines. -- one of many examples of "emergencies" being used to excuse tyranny in Atlas Shrugged

I occasionally see jokes from conservatives that some work of Ayn Rand's -- usually Atlas Shrugged or Return of the Primitive -- was written as a warning, not a how-to manual. Although "warning" does not capture the full purpose or essence of either work, it does remind most educated people of Rand's prowess as a "prophet". So far, so good, and the jokes -- mostly made at the expense of the political left -- can be funny.

Unfortunately, it might be time for conservatives to take a look in the mirror, and then consider the following from economist Scott Sumner, regarding Trump's abuse of the Emergency Powers Law:
Image by Robert L. Knudsen, via Wikipedia, public domain.
Imagine a Democratic president with dictatorial powers. What would a President Sanders or Warren do if there were no restraints on their power?

What if they could launch wars without involving Congress? What if they could set tariff rates? What if they could spend money that Congress had refused to appropriate? What if they could declare global warming to be a national emergency, and order US companies to divest from polluting countries? What if homelessness was declared a national emergency?

You might argue that the GOP would never stand for this. But the GOP has forfeited all credibility, as it is refusing to oppose Trump's claims that he can declare various "national emergencies" and do whatever he wants. [bold added]
This is something that has bothered me since Day One of the Trump Presidency, and I am glad to see this problem at least being discussed. The entire post is worth a read and the warning in the last paragraph should resonate with anyone who truly values liberty.

Neither foreseeable winner of the next presidential election will feel any shame in abusing executive orders. As far as I can tell, it will -- in the short term -- be up to circumstance (such as a President of one party and a Congress composed overwhelmingly of the other) or an unprecedented discovery of principles and backbone by the Republicans to end this short-sighted and dangerous practice.

-- CAV

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