Tyranny of Americanism

Benevolent Populist Tyrant

The rhetoric of populism never seems to get old no matter how obvious the lessons of tyranny. Peisistratos was to seize power {illegal by definition} with the consent of the poorer folks of Athens. He did give them a slice of the pie but at what expense? Though he reads as a “good” dictator one must ask, “What was the overall economic cost to everyone?”

The reason I mention him is because of the latest economic rhetoric of our president-elect.

Elected by the Populists
With the Hand of God?

Mr. Trump was a better choice than the criminal-like practices of his opponent who relied on ignorance as a defense; just barely. His “bullying” of businesses to stay in America is nothing more than government control of economics that has been tried before – and failed. It was the government control of economics that turned a depression into the Great Depression in America long after other countries had recovered. But Americans appear to have little appetite for history, preferring to feast on self-aggrandizement instead.

History has given us a clear example of how this will proceed if we but remove our blinders and think. There was a party that agitated for legitimacy in a country that believed it had been unfairly treated. The people suffered economically because of poor implementation of free market policies which were foreign to previous governments of this country; coupled with crushing  debts. A man promised to “make them great again”! And he did! He became so revered that even decades later he was still referred to with awe and reverence in many circles. He became leader of a national socialist workers political party. Look at the title and you can see its goals. This party promoted nationalism based on government control of economic mechanisms to provide work for its population. It even had a motto, “work shall make you free”! Does any of this sound familiar to rhetoric we are hearing in America today? Of course, the man was Mr. Hitler and his policies did make Germany great again; for a while.

But, “We are Americans and would never do anything like he did”, you might say. As a teen living in post-war Germany I worked for some of “those” people and they never thought they were doing anything wrong either. They were working for a better Germany and defending her from those who were attacking Germans, like a “war on terror for Germans”. Dr. Overy, in his book (The Dictators: Hitler’s Germany, Stalin’s Russia), discusses how the populations of both Nazi Germany and Stalinist USSR truly loved and worshiped their leaders. These men were terrors to those who opposed them, or those they feared, but generally people did not feel the weight of  state oppression. In other words, these men ruled with the consent of the people!

The state of mind of Americans

Mr. Trump is “ruling” by fiat even before taking office {read: bullying those whom he sees as the opposition}. This is of great concern for many reasons but the slogan that got him elected, “Make America Great Again,” has an eerily familiar ring to it, as do his practices. Rather than promote free enterprise that would encourage innovative American businesses to develop to provide quality goods and services to the world, he would force American businesses to compete unfairly against world businesses. By using the weight of coercive state power to force businesses to follow “his dictates” he is harming America. Workers will not find the employment dreams of pay and light work nor of even productive work. They will produce lower quality, higher priced products that cannot compete outside of America. Notice, He speaks of America first {nationalistic} via government control {socialistic} for American workers as his own platform. Can we say, “Nazi” for that was their name and if our country employs the same rhetoric for the same ends does not the same name apply?

In the book, “The Myth of the Robber Barons”, Mr. Folsom dispels the disinformation taught in American education. The entrepreneurs who captured their markets did not do so to “gouge” the marketplace; they enhanced it! Mr. Rockefeller drove the price of oil from 58 cent/gallon to 8 cents/gallon. He captured the market because of efficiency that he passed on to consumers. This is just one example. Monopolists cannot exist without the coercive force of the government. There will always be entrepreneurs who will enter the market to improve the product, design new products and bring the products to the consumer cost effectively. Theodore Roosevelt attacked “monopolists” who would not heel to government control setting the tone for future presidents. Remember, Mr. Trump has always been for government control, he just found a way to do it as a Republican since he could not accomplish it as a Democrat.

Everyone Who Disagrees
Will be Appropriately Bullied

Mr. Trump gained the approval of many Americans because of his bullying tactics. If anyone spoke against him, he immediately launched into ad hominem attacks via Twitter and Facebook. He did not discuss issues. He seldom had a reasoned defense. Instead, he relied on the people who identified with him to feel that an attack on him was an attack on them. Mr. Hitler {Dr Overy, et al.} believed that “he was Germany” and that the German people were him. He acted for them and they lived through him. An attack on them was an attack on him and vice versa. Ever listen to any of his speeches? Mr. Hitler basically threw out phrases and diatribe that captured the hearts of his people, just like Mr. Trump’s approach!

In the book of Exodus {Bible}, God promised to lead His people Canaan; however, He did not “force” them to go. They entered into a covenant with Him (Ex 24:3-11) first. But, even before that He told them of going to Canaan and having to drive out the inhabitants themselves. He would provide help but the combat was theirs (Ex 23:22-33). God was not providing a benevolent dictatorship contingent on the obedience of His people. He had chosen them to be examples to all peoples in the world. They were to demonstrate how to have a relationship with God and what that would look like in practice. The people would willingly practice God’s holiness and gain character of will in contrast to those whose foundation is in anything else which only generates fear. Well, the Hebrews failed, as we all do, because they, we, would rather walk in the pride of the flesh, living in fear, than in the Spirit; that is what sin does, that is what we do.

Grand Conspiracy at Work
Behind the Scenes

The similarities I have painted should not be ignored, but they are being ignored and by Christians who should know better. The world lives in fear because they do not have salvation (1Jo 4:18-19). Instead, they have believed the lie of Satan who is always working behind the scenes to the determent of mankind (2Th 2:9-12). The world will only follow those who talk the same myths, the same fears, the same lies; but we should not be captured by these false claims (2Ti 4:3-5). Now you will say that we are not like those evil, wicked people of Nazi Germany; we are not racists. People, when you speak of “America first” you are being racist! You are promoting government coercion to safe guard the “American ideal” which means you must be against that which is not American; that is racist! If America competed in a free enterprise system then everyone would be allowed to compete honestly and the best, most efficient businesses would find consumers. To force businesses to remain in a high labor market {America} means depriving developing economies from attracting businesses for no other reason than our own self-aggrandizement.  In my field of anesthesia, you are only as good as your last case; the same holds true for every other business. If America wants to be great {however that is defined} then America must compete in a free enterprise system without government coercion. Otherwise, we become nothing more than another tyrannical footnote in the pages of history.

Author: LeeS

Retired naval nurse, Dad, Husband, Christian who seeks to share the Bible with those who want more than the superficial milk given out in the majority of today's churches. God has taught me through hard experiences as well as through book learning (Master's of Ministry, Doctor of Ministry).