[Jeff Deist’s comments at the 2016 Mises Supporters Summit in Asheville, North Carolina, September 16.] Before we hear from Judge Napolitano, I’d like to speak briefly tonight about where we are as a society, and what role the Mises Institute plays, or ought to play, in that society.
Most of the country is caught up in the presidential election, following the latest news about Hillary’s health or Trump’s pronouncements.
But there’s an opportunity here.
Because no matter who wins, millions of people – maybe 40 percent of the country – are going to view the winner as illegitimate and irredeemable.
Millions of Americans think Hillary should be in jail rather than the White House. And millions more view Trump as nothing more than a reactionary leader of the deplorables.
In fact a recent Gallup poll cites that fully one-third of Americans won’t trust the election results anyway – which is to say they don’t trust government to hold an honest election.
So forget any nonsense about ‘the most important election of our lifetime’ in the conventional sense.
Trump vs. Hillary represents something much bigger: what we might call the end of politics, or at least the limits of politics. Americans, and Europeans too, are witnessing the end of the myth of democratic consensus. Democratic voting, so called, doesn’t yield some noble compromise between Left and Right, but only an entrenched political class and its system of patronage.
We know this already – but now millions of ordinary people are waking up to see that our problems – with government debt, with wars, with currencies, with entitlements, with taxes and regulations, with intractable social issues – cannot be solved politically. It’s not necessarily an ideological awakening, but simply a recognition of reality.
This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on Sept 20, 2016.