The Executive Order to help revitalize the American Economy that President Trump signed earlier this week was in the finest American tradition. Rather than usurping authority to command the American economy as so many of his predecessors have done, this President put American values first. He moved to slash red tape—to reduce bureaucratic hurdles rather than to create new ones.
That’s the sort of approach that harkens back to America’s founding ideals. From inception, America trusted its citizens to behave responsibly, and freed them to pursue their own interests. Yes, that does require a belief in some sort of “invisible hand” guiding the combination of decisions and actions to a positive outcome helpful to society as a whole. And yes, we do seem have moved away from such approaches over the past few decades.
But it’s never too late to restore American ideals. A month ago, Chris Demuth’s column in the Wall Street Journal credited President Trump’s approach to the pandemic for rewriting the book on emergencies in a very American way. President Trump, Demuth wrote:
has given pride of place to federalism and private enterprise—lauding the patriotism and proficiency of our fantastic governors and mayors, our incredible business leaders and genius companies, our heroic doctors and nurses and orderlies, and our tremendous truckers. By shouting out many of them by name and documenting their deeds on a daily basis, he has vivified the American way in action (once reluctantly aroused). When asked why he has not issued orders for nationwide home and business lockdowns, he has emphasized that the intensity of the epidemic varies widely and is best met by calibrated state and local judgments—and added pointedly that such steps would conflict with the Constitution.Read more at the Wall Street Journal
Those are precisely the ideals that we here at ACEK value. We look forward to the day that an educated, knowledgeable America once again boasts two political parties eager to take such an approach. It’s time to restore American values, American approaches, and American ideals even in the face of emergency—perhaps particularly in the face of an emergency.