Liberty won't be achieved by expanding this big, failed government program

Refugee crises, US-armed terrorists and funding state sponsors of terrorism. These are just some of the ramifications of President Obama’s schizophrenic foreign policy that caused the American people to turn to Donald Trump in a moment of stupendous blowback.

No, not everything about Trump pleased conservatives. But many viewed him as the Batman to Obama’s Joker; replacing a foreign policy marked by chaos and anarchy with the drive and firepower needed to decisively defeat America's enemies.

Part of making America great again was about empowering the military that Obama weakened. Surely this was the best way to put a stop to the international mayhem, right?

Well, not so fast...

It's important to remember Obama’s foreign policy woes were a result of too much intervention, not too little. If you think Detroit is suffering from excessive government meddling, then it’s no surprise what’s left the Middle East in such shambles.

By the end of Obama’s second term, US special operators were in 70 percent of the world’s nations, a 130 percent jump since the days of George W. Bush, with over half of 2016’s deployment heading to the Middle East. Obama also expanded the drone program ten-fold. He used his executive might to engage in undeclared wars in Libya, Syria, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen and dropped over 100,000 bombs across seven countries, with over 26,000 in 2016 alone.

Trump's strong-willed, tough-minded rhetoric on foreign policy and vow to reverse the backward eight years that preceded him made for an acceptable trade-off after the embarrassment of Obama.

Unfortunately, Trump has merely doubled down on the big-government mistakes of his predecessors. Americans should eye their executive’s job performance as any boss would examine an employee. With that in mind, let’s review Trump’s first year of foreign policy.

During his first year in office, Trump dropped almost 33,000 bombs on Iraq and Syria and 2,400 on Afghanistan. He almost tripled the number of strikes in Yemen to over 100. He greatly expanded each major overseas conflict America is engaged in. He also increased the government contracts needed to supply these bombs and the federal bureaucracy needed to drop them.

Trump called it a strategy to “bomb the sh*t” out of ISIS. Defense Secretary Mattis called it “annihilation tactics.” Voters looking to drain the swamp called it a satisfying delivery on one of Trump’s most important campaign promises. Weapons manufacturers probably called it a stimulus package.

Now, Trump calls on Congress to eliminate a seven-year old spending cap in order to increase military spending by $700 billion. Even though the military already takes up over half of federal discretionary spending and outranks the next seven largest military budgets in the world combined, Trump believes the department still lacks sufficient taxpayer funds.

Just like the war on poverty led to more poverty instead of less, the war on terror has led to more terror, not less. The same knowledge and incentive problems that plague the progressive regulatory apparatus also plague the military.

If life, liberty and property are the benchmarks by which to judge government action, US foreign policy is starting to look like one big, failed government program. Let's look at these point by point.

Is our foreign policy protecting life? While Trump promised to bomb “the sh*t out of” ISIS --- a murderous organization if there ever was one --- he has also bombed the sh*t out of innocent bystanders, providing ISIS more ideological fuel in the form of American resentment and grieving family members. According to Airwars, a group that tracks airstrikes, Trump is breaking records for killing civilians with his fast and loose approach.

If civilian casualties are unavoidable, shouldn’t we be sure Pentagon bureaucrats are working diligently to minimize them? Just like the post office and the public school system, however, military failures are rewarded with more funding and naive optimism, instead of less.

How about protecting liberty? The Iraqis or Syrians certainly don’t have the resources to show up and destroy our political and economic liberty. The US government is a bigger threat to the average person’s Constitutional rights than impoverished people on the other side of the globe. These campaigns haven’t protected the liberty of those abroad either. They have destabilized already-shaky political institutions and empowered extremists.

What about property? Certainly no Yemeni thieves are going to show up in America and rob the taxpayers to the tune of $700 billion if we stopped helping the Saudis. After all, the military has no resources of its own, only those it receives from the private sector. Not to mention the property destroyed abroad, like schools and apartments.

There’s a more accurate description for massive expansion of war abroad: socialism.

It looks like “bomb[ing] the sh*t out of” them has become a mainstay of US foreign policy. But there’s a more accurate description for massive expansion of war abroad: socialism.

What are America’s 700-plus military bases abroad, endless domestic weapons manufacturing, and engagement in reckless (usually undeclared) wars if not state socialism writ large? The constant insistence on using our bloated military to “just do something” is an enormous drain on taxpayers and promotes a sense of entitlement for arms makers and Pentagon busybodies. How many future Platos or Teslas instead become nameless cogs employed --- or worse, murdered --- by the military?

This state-sponsored squandering of human and social capital, here and abroad, must end.

There is no more fatal a conceit than America's attempt to centrally plan the entire Middle East geopolitical landscape. Ultimately, neither the Obama nor Trump foreign policies serve to protect life, liberty or property. The longer Americans worry about the creeping socialism of the welfare state but not the warfare state, the true nature and danger of socialism will be obscured.

Socialism isn’t always wearing a Che t-shirt and calling for a dictatorship of the proletariat. Sometimes it’s in a suit swearing to us that Saddam has weapons of mass destruction (or that Kim Jong-un is on the verge of using his).

There is no government activity more destructive to rule of law, property rights and free trade than military adventurism. There is no more powerful and devastating a socialist apparatus than the US military and there is nothing more destructive to liberty here and around the globe.

To provide a real alternative to the neoconservative establishment, Trump must, like Batman, find the wisdom to realize how similar he is to his enemies and adopt a less aggressive posture.

We should be trimming our bloated military, not enlarging another federal department.

MORE FROM YOUNG VOICES

Cory Massimino is the Senior Academic Programs Chair at Students For Liberty, the Mutual Exchange Coordinator at the Center for a Stateless Society and a Young Voices Advocate. Follow him on Twitter @corymassimino.

Terry Trobiani owns Gianelli's Drive Thru in Prairie Grove, Illinois, where he put up a row of American flags for the Fourth of July. But the city claimed he was displaying two of them improperly and issued him a $100 ticket for each flag.

Terry joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Tuesday to explain what he believes really happened. He told Glenn that, according to city ordinance, the American flag is considered "ornamental" and should therefore have been permitted on a federal holiday. But the city has now classified the flag as a "sign."

"Apparently, the village of Prairie Grove has classified the American flag as a sign and they've taken away the symbol of the American flag," Terry said. "So, as a sign, it falls under their temporary sign ordinance, which prohibits any flying, or any positioning of signs on your property — and now this includes the American flag. [...] The only way I could fly the American flag on my property is if I put it on a permanent 20 to 30-foot flagpole, which they have to permit."

Terry went on to explain how the city is now demanding an apology for his actions, and all after more than a year of small-business crushing COVID restrictions and government mandates.

"COVID was tough," Terry stated. "You know, we're in the restaurant business. COVID was tough on us. We succeeded. We made it through. We cut a lot of things, but we never cut an employee. We paid all our employees. I didn't take a paycheck for a year just to keep our employees on, because it was that important to me to keep things going. And, you know, you fight for a year, and you beat a pandemic, and then you have this little municipality with five trustees and a president, who just have no respect for small businesses. And right now, what I see is they have no respect for the republic and the United States ... I think it's terrible. The direction that government, at all levels, have taken us to this point, it's despicable."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:


Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

The Biden administration is now doing everything it can to censor what it has decided is COVID-19 "misinformation." But Glenn Beck isn't confident that the silencing of voices will stop there.

Yeonmi Park grew up in North Korea, where there is no freedom of speech, and she joined Glenn to warn that America must not let this freedom go.

"Whenever authoritarianism rises, the first thing they go after is freedom of speech," she said.

Watch the video clip below from "The Glenn Beck Podcast" or find the full episode with Yeonmi Park here:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution, and live the American dream.

Most self-proclaimed Marxists know very little about Marxism. Some of them have all the buzzwords memorized. They talk about the exploits of labor. They talk about the slavery of capitalist society and the alienation caused by capital. They talk about the evils of power and domination.

But they don't actually believe what they say. Or else they wouldn't be such violent hypocrites. And we're not being dramatic when we say "violent."

For them, Marxism is a political tool that they use to degrade and annoy their political enemies.

They don't actually care about the working class.

Another important thing to remember about Marxists is that they talk about how they want to defend the working class, but they don't actually understand the working class. They definitely don't realize that the working class is composed mostly of so many of the people they hate. Because, here's the thing, they don't actually care about the working class. Or the middle class. They wouldn't have the slightest clue how to actually work, not the way we do. For them, work involves ranting about how work and labor are evil.

Ironically, if their communist utopia actually arrived, they would be the first ones against the wall. Because they have nothing to offer except dissent. They have no practical use and no real connection to reality.

Again ironically, they are the ultimate proof of the success of capitalism. The fact that they can freely call for its demise, in tweets that they send from their capitalistic iPhones, is proof that capitalism affords them tremendous luxuries.

Their specialty is complaining. They are fanatics of a religion that is endlessly cynical.

They sneer at Christianity for promising Heaven in exchange for good deeds on earth — which is a terrible description of Christianity, but it's what they actually believe — and at the same time they criticize Christianity for promising a utopia, they give their unconditional devotion to a religion that promises a utopia.

They are fanatics of a religion that is endlessly cynical.

They think capitalism has turned us into machines. Which is a bad interpretation of Marx's concept of the General Intellect, the idea that humans are the ones who create machines, so humans, not God, are the creators.

They think that the only way to achieve the perfect society is by radically changing and even destroying the current society. It's what they mean when they say things about the "status quo" and "hegemony" and the "established order." They believe that the system is broken and the way to fix it is to destroy, destroy, destroy.

Critical race theory actually takes it a step farther. It tells us that the racist system can never be changed. That racism is the original sin that white people can never overcome. Of course, critical race theorists suggest "alternative institutions," but these "alternative institutions" are basically the same as the ones we have now, only less effective and actually racist.

Marx's violent revolution never happened. Or at least it never succeeded. Marx's followers have had to take a different approach. And now, we are living through the Revolution of Constant Whining.

This post is part of a series on critical race theory. Read the full series here.

Americans are losing faith in our justice system and the idea that legal consequences are applied equally — even to powerful elites in office.

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) joined Glenn Beck on the radio program to detail what he believes will come next with the Durham investigation, which hopefully will provide answers to the Obama FBI's alleged attempts to sabotage former President Donald Trump and his campaign years ago.

Rep. Nunes and Glenn assert that we know Trump did NOT collude with Russia, and that several members of the FBI possibly committed huge abuses of power. So, when will we see justice?

Watch the video clip below:


Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.