We Want a Dictator!

We are informed that former president Trump — if democratically reelected — is a dictator in waiting.

He will swallow the key to the ballot box, we are told. And with it, American liberty.

Down his gullet both democracy and liberty will go.

Are the man’s foes correct? Are they incorrect?

As most Americans, your editor was reared in the democratic religion. Thus dictatorship ranks with communism, fascism or some other alien and seditious doctrine.

Yet the heretical impulse has begun to bubble within him. And the anti-American concept of dictatorship begins to seduce him.

How can an American of the reddest dye entertain such corrosive notions?

That is because the dictatorship we propose is more anti-dictator than dictator.

We propose a dictatorship for liberty.

Requirements of a Dictator

The candidate must meet all the constitutional requirements of a standard president.

He must be a natural-born citizen of the United States (the position is open to women, yet women, as a whole, appear less equipped by nature for the rigors of dictatorship. We grant the possible exception of a woman surnamed Clinton).

He must be 35 years old or higher.

He must have been resident within the United States for 14 years.

To these three fundamental musts we add a fourth:

He must not want the job. That is correct. He must lack all political ambition.

The fire to get ahead must be absent from his belly.

He is the type of fellow who — upon nomination for vice assistant to the assistant deputy of the vice president of his home ownership association — will ask to be excused.

That inferior position itself exceeds his political ambition.

The Selection Process

How will this dictator of ours be selected? He must be selected by a council of his peers. That is, he must be selected — rather ironically — through the democratic process.

We have not arranged the particular details. We are willing to entertain all reasonable suggestions. To proceed…

Our dictator will be selected for his inferior character, for his apathy, for his inclinations to loaf, for his nearly inhuman capacity to snooze 16 hours of the 24.

Once appointed dictator — not nominated but appointed — the man cannot refuse it.

That is, he himself is subjected to a dictatorship of sorts.

Should he attempt to beg off, he is to be packed off to the gallows… where he will hang… until dead.

Or if the spirit of clemency reigns, he is to be jugged for three consecutive terms. Each term will run to 100 years.

Three hundred years in all!

A Practical Necessity

Is the business fair? Is the business just?

Perhaps it is neither. Yet life is neither. And at times principle must yield to practical necessities.

And a dictator for liberty, at least by our liver and lights, is at present a practical necessity.

The democratic process has itself become a menace to American liberty.

And we are heart and soul for American liberty.

Thus we are heart and soul for dictatorship. Do you follow along?

Assume our proposal goes through. Assume our dictator for liberty is selected. Assume further that he takes the dictatorial oath… and enters office.

Inauguration Day is a special day, even for our unwilling dictator.

He therefore rises early in token thereof — at half past noon.

What does he do?

25% Cuts Every Year!

He proceeds immediately to the United States Capitol… where he is to address a joint session of Congress.

He opens an envelope containing prepared remarks. They go like this:

Greetings ladies and gentlemen of Congress [fighting off a yawn]. Unlike you, I don’t want to be here. I’m already missing one of my favorite television shows, so I’ll be brief.

As dictator, I order the following.

You will cut spending 25% each year of my four-year dictatorship. If I am reappointed dictator for a second term, the same mandate applies — a 25% annual cut.

I would order an even greater cut, but I don’t want to shock the system too much. I think 25% is more than reasonable.

Do not think you can weasel out of it. I know how you people define “cut.” To you, a cut is simply a reduction in the rate of growth. If you were going to spend 10% more on something but only spend 8% more, you call it a cut.

No. I mean an actual 25% cut. If you were going to spend $1 million on something, you must reduce it to $750,000. Again, in each year of my dictatorship (howls of outrage rise from the floor).

Let us interrupt, Mr. Dictator, briefly…


The United States government ladled out some $6 trillion in 2023.

Present indications suggest it will ladle out an additional $1.66 trillion in 2024.

Here we omit all distinction between fiscal year and calendar year.

For clarity’s sake we refer to the calendar year.

Assume then, a 2024 budget of $7.66 trillion.

Now assume this dictator of ours assumes office in January 2025… and imposes his 25% annual cuts.

Spending plummets some $1.9 trillion the initial year. Then again in the second year. And the third. And the fourth.

By the close of his dictatorship, four years later, government spending will have absorbed a $7.66 trillion whaling.

How do you like it?

Is the business anti-democratic? It is anti-democratic, we concede it at once. Yet democracy has sunk the nation $34 trillion in debt.

And very soon, $35 trillion in debt. Before long, $40 trillion and then $50 trillion.

Hence the necessity of our anti-democratic dictatorship for liberty.

Hit ’Em Where It Hurts Most

You may proceed, Mr. Dictator…

And if you try to disobey me or go around my back? I’ll fix you. I’ll order every lobbying firm in the land — under highest penalty — to reject your application for employment once you leave Congress. In other words, you can forget your cushy lobbyist job.

You will never work in this town again. I’ll ensure that you cannot get a lobbyist job in Washington that enriches you far beyond your desserts. You will have to find honest, productive employment in the private sector… somewhere… somehow.

Given your “talents,” it is unlikely you will find such an offer. What are your employable skills? They appear limited to the dark arts of politics. If I ever need to change a tire — or even a light bulb — you would be the last people I phone.

Your days of wine and roses are over — at least for four years and hopefully eight.

[“This is an outrage! You won’t get away with this!” comes a cry from the Senate majority leader. It is seconded, thirded, 532nded.]

Watch me. Remember, I’m a dictator! Besides, you’ve got to get up pretty early in the afternoon to get one over on me.

Don’t misunderestimate me. Adieu, ladies and gentlemen. If you’ll excuse me, I have important television to watch. I’ve already missed too much.

Our Dictator Confronts a National Security Crisis

Our freshly installed dictator proceeds to the West Wing of the White House.

In a first official act, he turns on the television. He repairs to the couch. He instructs the butler to fetch him potato chips and a bottle of Coca-Cola.

Hours pass. At which point a phone rings. Reluctantly, the dictator accepts the call.

It is the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

He yells about a pending national security cataclysm. A terrorist outfit in Nauru is denouncing the United States.

Apparently — it cannot be confirmed — they are devotees of Czar Putin and Chairman Xi.

The chairman thunders that these Nauru demoniacs intend to purchase a Facebook advertisement to sway the mayoral race of Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

The 7th Fleet must raise anchor, argues the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The Marines must take ship and the 82nd Airborne must take wing… else the enemies of democracy may prevail.

“But I’m an enemy of democracy, aren’t I?,” the dictator retorts. “Eh, whatever. I’ll let someone else figure it all out.”

Fight Them There Today or Here Tomorrow

“Listen to me, sir. If we do not defeat democracy’s enemies in Nauru today,” explains the chairman, “we will have to confront them in Oshkosh tomorrow.”

Yet our dictator remains upon his couch, lounging, looking at Wheel of Fortune, munching potato chips and guzzling Coca-Cola.

“You need an F, dammit! An F! That’ll solve the damn puzzle. Can’t you see it? I’m sorry, General, did you say something?”

“Sir, this is a very serious matter.”

“OK then, wake me up when — whatever these people are called invade California or something. And even then, I’m open to negotiation. I’m even inclined to hand it to them, California’s so far gone.”

“But sir, this has serious implications for American power and prestige around the world. If we don’t stop these terrorists in Nauru, what does it tell our Pacific allies?

And what does it tell Putin? That he can invade all of Europe? More importantly, what does it tell Raytheon — with whom I plan to seek a consulting position once I depart government? That my services aren’t needed?”

The dictator in chief puts down the telephone and directs his full attention to the television screen… where it remains… for the proceeding four years.

His sole exertion is the fevered working of his veto pen.

These are four years of unprecedented liberty at home. These are four years of unprecedented peace abroad.

After which the American people — initially against dictatorship — chant in unison:

“Four more years! Four more years!”

The Daily Reckoning