Little Bush says … we are at war on terror, but that is a metaphor, though I doubt if he knows what that means. It’s like having a war on dandruff, it’s endless and pointless.
~ Gore Vidal
The real risk the United States faces as a nation is not terrorism but an utter disregard for unintended consequences, both in the domestic and international realms.
A broken foreign policy that places fear before realism, while addressing speculative guesses instead of looking at facts, has ignited a series of legislative and executive reforms in recent decades. These reforms have boosted defense spending and put the lives of countless US soldiers in grave danger. But those are not the only consequences of the country’s intrusive and heavy-handed interventionism; the immigration crisis we now vilify is also the byproduct of our disregard for unintended consequences.
Government agencies have admitted that, like the War on Drugs, the War on Terror was never meant to end. Yet opinion leaders continue to bet on Washington hawks, instead of listening to those with a realistic approach to US foreign policy.
Tyranny apologists fawn over politicians who promise to govern with fear in mind. To them, the larger the government, the stronger it will stand against its enemies — fabricated or not. But a big government does not arise without weakening its own people.
The true cost of foreign intervention is a hard one to grasp, but the stated dollar figure alone is not the issue. Higher taxation, stepped-up borrowing, and inflation are all economic policies of a nation in constant war, and they impair the freedom of citizens to do as they please with their money. Perpetual war generates perverse incentives, for economic policies that penalize workers and their employers, and the United States has been in constant conflict abroad ever since her lawmakers decided to wage wars on imaginary enemies.
In spite of this writing on the wall, talking heads continue to promote the usual suspects for the executive branch. Have they not realized that what the people want and what the political establishment want are two different things?