The Administrative State and Its Discontents


Amid Trump’s execrable executive-order follies and the scandalous placement of a political operative (and a scoundrel at that) at the center of the national security apparatus, it’s worth pointing out that a certain kind of conservative argued in favor of Trump (or at least that Trump was not an unacceptable option) precisely on grounds that he would disrupt the inevitable growth of the administrative state. Holman Jenkins, formerly my favorite columnist, bet particularly long on this point.

Of course, the fact that Trumpian chaos will make the problem worse rather than better was clear from the outset. This is what happens when prudence – rightly ordering means so they match our ends – is no longer considered a cardinal moral virtue. People feel free to do any damn thing to achieve their goals, as long as they have the right goals.

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