Americans have the notion that liberty equals elections, and therefore feel themselves still living in a free country so long as elections proceed as scheduled. But the growth of government bureaucracy threatens to make elections less consequential, and therefore less a guarantor of freedom, as vast decision-making powers are continually ceded to unelected functionaries and czars who minister fiefdoms of appallingly autonomous power.
In my column for The Baltimore Sun over Thanksgiving weekend, I explore the growth of the bureaucratic state and what it has meant for our republican institutions. From the column:
America was born [a republic], or at least that was the Founding Fathers’ hope for the government they brought into this world. But as the nation grew, it matured into something quite different. Especially over the past century, Americans collectively and repeatedly voted for politicians and supported policies that transmogrified the Old Republic into what could best be described as an imperial bureaucracy. Ever since the New Deal, we have effectively been living in post-republic America.
Read the whole thing here.