The savage backlash current in the Capital vividly illustrates the folly of trying to liberate society by winning elections.
Suppose that somehow, instead of Trump a Libertarian had been elected on a wave of popular disgust with government; and I don't mean LINOs like Johnson and Weld, but a person of the caliber of the late Harry Browne - whose 1996 platform promised to slash FedGov spending to a mere $100B in 8 years. Trump hasn't proposed cutting it at all, but merely wants to change some policies in ways that upset the shadowy powers that actually run things.
And yet the entire, arrogant, complacent tax-feeders around D.C. are so fearful of losing their power and comfortable salaries that they have united to frustrate his attempts to keep the promises he made to those who elected him. Normally, when a candidate wins the Presidency after having been pre-approved by what some call the "deep state", the losing side congratulates him and withdraws from the scene, and he is given a 100-day "honeymoon" to get his feet under the desk and begin his reign.
But Trump's inaugural speech declared war on those political fat cats, with such phrases as "we are transferring power from Washington DC and giving it back to you, the people" and they heard it, and are giving him no honeymoon at all. I dare say the last month has been without precedent.
Writer Alexander Mercouris says of the ouster of General Flynn that it's a heavy blow and amounts to "first blood" for Trump's many enemies which will cause them to "hunger for more." The blockage of his move to stop Muslim immigration by the courts has set up a fight with the Judicial Branch, and while I think he picked the wrong subject for that fight, it was popular generally and war with that Branch is well worth waging.
Point is, Trump is doing what he was elected to do (wrong though much of it is) and the existing wielders of power are doing all they can to stop him. How much more would they do to a President Browne, who would actually take a machete to the whole lot of them?
In his Why Government Doesn't Work, Harry Browne outlined how he would, if elected, slash federal spending by 97% by 2004. Social Security was to be canceled, with annuity purchases in 1988 and -9. $12 trillion in federal assets were to be sold, to dispose of the accumulated debt (that might no longer be possible; it may have just to be abrogated) and all "other spending", which is actually a small portion of the total, was to be wound down to one-third of its 1998 size. All income tax, corporate tax and SS tax were to become zero after 1999. A good start!
So a "President Browne" upon taking office today would face the united opposition of everyone living in or near the Nation's Capital, vastly more hostile than what Trump is facing today. I think he would have enough support in Congress to avoid impeachment, just as Trump does, because if a Libertarian is elected President it's not credible that a large minority (at least) in Congress would not also be Libertarian. But would he be able to overcome the systematic blocking tactics of the bureaucracy and the judiciary? Those interests have already shown (in 1963) that if a President opposes their wishes, they will shoot him. Why would they not assassinate one who would be a hundred times more radical then JFK?
Then even if the assassins missed, there would remain the heavy problem of how to handle the (49%, say) who do not wish to take responsibility for their own lives but want to stay dependent on, and subservient to, government. Without preparation, they would riot in the streets and cause major havoc, perhaps civil war. The ballot having failed them, they would use bullets to do the job. The two are often rightly said to be equivalent.
Harry proposed a relatively gradual withdrawal of the government teat, but still the shriek would be deafening and the riots, uncontrollable. Reason: dependents have been raised to regard their benefits as "entitlements", while those working in the bureaucracies are loyal to their Departments, as are all employees in a large organization. Opposition would be stiff at every level; it would not just be a matter of starving some feeding bureaucrats in D.C., but of pacifying 50 million or more participants who expressly voted against the changes and see the status quo as a fixture of life.
In short, it could not possibly work. The Libertarian Party rightly bewails its problems in getting heard and elected; those are nothing at all compared to the problems of winning.
Instead, the change has to come bottom-up, not top-down. It must not - it cannot - be imposed from above, it must be demanded from beneath. Government will vanish not when a President announces it will cease to exist at year's end, or whenever, but when it is universally seen to be so destructive that nobody will work for it. When all its employees walk out, there will be no need for an election, nobody will be over-ruled and nobody will riot.
Reasons to leave government employ are offered in TinyURL.com/QuitGov - pass that simple URL around - but that short site will not suffice on its own, to provide the in-depth education needed. For that, TOLFA or an equivalent must be offered to everyone - not just those now in "government service" but to all who might replace them when they quit.
Some pseudo-libertarians will react to the aim in my first line above (to "liberate society") by saying that is not our business. Nonsense. If government is not abolished, it will certainly abolish us. It has grown relentlessly, and it will continue to grow and crush (or kill) humanity unless we stop it. And to stop it, this is the only way yet invented.
There is no alternative.