As he frames America’s development from the beginnings to the modern corporate phase, he posits an anti-statist tradition that is “constitutional-republican in outlook,” and that is in clear opposition to the statism and would-be socialism of so-called modern socialist leaders in Europe or left-wing Democrats in the United States. The socialism they espouse, like the policies Barack Obama favors today, are what Sklar terms authoritarian and statist, and they lead to “political despotism” in which the leaders of the state go over the heads of the people to implement policies that representatives in Congress will not pass.
Barack Obama failed to pass cap and trade in Congress. As Kimberley A. Strassel explains in Friday’s Wall Street Journal:
Congress, including Democrats, wouldn’t pass his cap-and-trade legislation. His Environmental Protection Agency is now instituting it via a broad reading of the Clean Air Act. Congress, again including members of his own party, wouldn’t pass his “card-check” legislation eliminating secret ballots in union elections. So he stacked the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) with appointees who pushed through a “quickie” election law to accomplish much the same.
The kind of measures that Strassel cites go against the grain of the American tradition, which, as Sklar writes, is based on sovereignty of the people, limited government, anti-statism, and the acceptance of regulatory measures which leave the government out of any command role in developing the economy.
As for the Democratic Party, the American equivalent of the very statist and authoritarian European reactionary parties that call themselves socialist, Walter Russell Mead writes on Friday:
These are the people who reject ex-President Bill Clinton’s argument that Democrats had to adjust to economic and political realities by reforming and trimming the Great Society government in order to preserve the health of the New Deal state within.