Why I'm Voting for Donald Trump | Opinion

As a citizen, a researcher and a teacher, I teach others one of the most important ideas ever discovered by the human mind: the natural liberty of the individual human being. That idea is why I cannot vote for Joe Biden.

From my studies of history and human nature, I know better than to expect utopia on Earth. Dreams of utopia end in tyranny. I know that when well-dressed, well-spoken demagogues promise free things, perfect safety and a veritable Garden of Eden in exchange for total government control, wide scales of cruelty and human suffering result.

I also know that ordinary human beings do best when they are free and secure in their private property. Where government power is constrained by a wisely designed constitution, and channeled toward the goal of protecting the equal individual rights of citizens, human beings thrive and flourish more than in any other socio-political condition.

Biden is a thorough progressive. He embodies the progressive movement, the goal of which is total government central planning, of everything, by bureaucrats and alleged "experts" free from constitutional limits on government power.

Biden says so himself. When asked about almost any subject, his answer is some version of: "I'll do whatever the experts say." His deference to bureaucratic experts raises serious questions: Why have elected public servants at all? Why not simply replace representative self-government with a regime right out of Huxley's Brave New World?

In a world of progressivism, the American dream of improving one's own life becomes increasingly difficult as individual liberty is eclipsed by progressive power, regulatory control and government supervision.

After decades of progressive subsidies, red tape and restrictions, it's more difficult and expensive than ever to start a business, buy a home or provide for one's own family.

In a world of progressivism, opportunities are for the politically connected only—the son of a crony progressive politician, for example, with no skills or expertise, is paid millions of dollars simply for laundering money for his father.

In a world of progressivism, those who peddle wasteful, counterproductive, unconstitutional government programs get rich while those who need help the most don't get it.

In a world of progressivism, government programs incentivize idleness, dependency and personal irresponsibility, which correlate with increasing rates of child abuse, spousal abuse, fatherlessness, substance abuse, neglect, depression, random mass murders, teenage suicides and other social pathologies.

Let me be clear: progressivism is an existential threat to the American regime of liberty, or what remains of it. A free, self-governing constitutional republic is incompatible with a progressive regime of total central planning.

As Abraham Lincoln recognized long ago, a house divided against itself cannot stand. The United States cannot endure permanently half slave and half free, half planned by progressive experts and half chosen by self-governing citizens.

If one is right, the other must be wrong.

This doesn't mean the house will fall. It means the United States will cease to be divided, eventually becoming all one thing or all the other. The trend, alarmingly, has been toward increasing progressive planning.

A vote for Joe Biden is a vote for the most progressive candidate running for president this election. A vote for Joe Biden is a vote for more progressive disease, less medicinal liberty; more progressive taxes, regulations, subsidies, government control, and the crony corruption progressivism fuels, less individual freedom to keep and use one's own private property however one chooses. A vote for Joe Biden is a vote that will result in more people being hurt by more government programs that incentivize more irresponsible behaviors.

I didn't vote for Donald Trump in 2016. He branded himself as a populist and a showman, willing to say whatever attracted audiences and drove up ratings. I was not persuaded he'd do the things in service of constitutional government that he promised to do.

Bottom line: I did not believe him.

Today, Donald Trump is still a populist, still the showman. He occasionally behaves like a progressive, especially when he thinks it'll resonate well with voters. This concerns me, deeply.

In fact, Trump is at his very worst when he is most progressive. When he tries to manage the economy with stimulus packages, spending of trillions of dollars of other people's money, Trump follows the footsteps of progressives like Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt and Barack Obama.

Trump should resist the temptation of progressivism.

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US President Donald Trump speaks during a Make America Great Again rally at Phoenix Goodyear Airport October 28, 2020, in Goodyear, Arizona. Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty

Trump can also be blustering, bombastic, crude and inappropriate at times. He says things that make me cringe.

Yet these personal flaws are far—very far—from the most important thing today.

The good news is that Trump's business and patriotic instincts often point him away from progressivism, toward some semblance of freedom, constitutional government and an American way of life where the laws offer equal protection for the equal individual rights of every citizen.

Trump believes the United States is fundamentally good, especially the principles upon which it was founded. That quality in a president is more important now than ever, in an age when the most influential voices in academia, the media, Hollywood and business denounce America as intrinsically, systematically immoral and unjust.

Donald Trump has a great capacity for thumos. He is a natural-born fighter. He doesn't back down or make excuses when progressives attack him for doing what he believes is right. And right now, we need more of that spirited feistiness in defense of freedom.

Trump has proven himself willing and able to push back against the spread of progressivism. He's made the public case against the progressive "swamp" and he has cut back progressive regulations more than any president, period.

When vacancies have appeared on the Supreme Court and many lower-level courts, Trump nominates originalists who prefer constitutional self-government over government by bureaucratic fiat and unconstitutional regulations.

Trump encourages members of Congress to cut taxes. In foreign affairs, he understands the difference between friends and enemies, treating our allies with respect and even brokering peace treaties that no one else thought possible.

Perhaps the most important thing, to date, is what Trump has not done.

Under our Constitution, traditional police powers over the health, safety and welfare of the people are reserved to state and local governments, not the federal government.

Had a power-hungry progressive, like Hillary Clinton, been president when COVID first emerged, is there any doubt she would have used the virus as an excuse to expand the size, scope and power of the federal government? What would the body count be today if she had done to the entire country what progressive Governor Andrew Cuomo did to New York?

President Trump, to his great credit, did exactly what the Constitution prescribes: He left matters of personal health to states, counties and municipalities, where the reach of power-hungry politicians and harmful progressive policies is contained.

Arguably, the most important reason to reelect Donald Trump in 2020 is to remind Americans how elections should be decided. Right now, there are two large groups who think they—not us—should decide elections in America: violent, rioting, vandalizing mobs of progressives, and millions of unelected bureaucrats who now form what early progressives called the "permanent government."

Both need to learn a lesson. For the violent mobs: Elections should be decided by ballots, not threatening fellow citizens with bullets. We will not stand for it and you only strengthen our resolve.

Threats of violence if Trump wins are sufficient reason to vote for him.

To boot, unelected progressive bureaucrats—public employees, servants of the people—had the audacity to use the power of our government in an attempt to overturn our election results in 2016 simply because one of their own did not win.

Enough.

It's time progressives learned a lesson that can only be taught by consolidating support against the progressive favorite. The candidate most capable of creating that significant coalition is President Trump.

For these reasons, and more, I will be casting a ballot for Donald Trump on November 3.

Dr. Thomas L. Krannawitter is cofounder and chief content officer at The Vino and Veritas Society and former vice president of the Claremont Institute. He has taught at Claremont McKenna College, Hillsdale College and George Mason University, and he is the author of numerous books.

The views expressed in this article are the writer's own.