Cass Sunstein: The Poster Boy for ‘Inside Every Liberal is a Totalitarian Screaming to Get Out’

Editor’s note: To learn more about Frontpage’s $1,000 Essay and Video Contest: Inside Every Liberal is a Totalitarian Screaming to Get Out, click here.

In The Republic, Plato argued that philosophers must be made kings for the ideal city-state to be born. In the pages of The New Republic, Cass Sunstein argues for the benevolent paternalism of the nanny state and its philosopher-kings. It’s an old Sunstein theme and the one that brought him to the attention of politicians who dearly love to imagine themselves in the roles of those philosopher-kings. One of those politicians, Barack Obama, even made Sunstein his Regulatory Czar.

Sunstein debuted as the philosopher-king of the technocrats with his book Nudge. Now having left his D.C. Czardom, Sunstein is back with yet another book. Simpler: The Future of Government is an even more naked Nudge. The premise once again is that government should manipulate people into doing what is best for them.

Simpler is even more shameless than Nudge because it ignores every lesson of progressive overreach in the last hundred years and blatantly celebrates the power of government to control everyone’s lives.  Nudge urged technocratic manipulation while Simpler has Cass Sunstein patting himself on the back for his government tenure as a philosopher-czar.

Cass Sunstein once again lavishes us with tales of how a change here or there can force or nudge people into making the right decision. And in his New Republic article, “Why Paternalism is Your Friend”, he does his cheerful best to suggest that everyone should learn to love the power of the nanny state.  The theme that Sunstein continually returns to is that all people make mistakes so why shouldn’t the people on top help them make better decisions.

It’s a persuasive argument if you happen to be an elitist, but unlike Plato, Cass Sunstein fails to make the case for his brand of philosopher-kings or philosopher-czars. What makes a Cass Sunstein qualified to perch on the edge of his ivory tower Olympus and make the decisions that ordinary mortal men are unqualified to make for themselves?

“Do people’s choices always promote their welfare?” Sunstein inquires. The answer is naturally in the negative. “We can be tempted by emotional appeals. Sometimes we do not take steps that would make our lives go a lot better.”

And that’s all well and good, but why is Cass Sunstein immune to these forces of human nature? What power imbues him with the godlike knowledge to sit in a lavish office nudging people all day without being tempted by emotional appeals?

Does graduating Harvard qualify one for the position of philosopher-czar? What about teaching at the University of Chicago? Sunstein spends a great deal of time describing how people in the ideal city-state of a technocratic utopia can be ruled, but he hardly spends any time at all on the rulers. Instead he distinguishes between the paternalism of the ends and means, with the former deciding what people’s goals should be and the latter acting as non-consensual life coaches helping people achieve what they already want whether they want it or not.

But who decides what people want and who is to say that the decider knows the best way to help them? Sunstein takes the superior wisdom of the paternalists for granted. He assumes that his New Republic readers will agree that there is a superior elite capable of making superior decisions. Sunstein only addresses the philosophical objections to allowing that elite to make the right choices on behalf of all mankind.

William F. Buckley famous said, “I would rather be governed by the first two thousand people in the Boston telephone directory than by the two thousand people on the faculty of Harvard University.”

Sunstein proves him right by assuming the existence of a superior technocratic elite capable of using behavioral economics to compel people to make the right decisions and skips straight to the question of whether they should use their amazing powers to make us into healthier people driving cars with better gas mileage or whether they should let us go our own way to learn from our mistakes while they look down on us and do whatever the gods of the Harvard squash team do in their spare time.

While Sunstein ponders free will, it never occurs to him that perhaps the dream team of Sunstein and Obama is not as smart as it thinks it is and the paternalists are not an elite, they are arrogant buffoons whose power is second only to their incompetence.

Bloomberg, the man whose cold stony profile gazes down at us from Sunstein’s article, was elected to be an education mayor and is now reduced to running gun control ads in Illinois and fighting the soda wars while the education system that was the centerpiece of his administration is a failure and a fraud.

While Bloomberg plotted strategy for dealing with Global Warming, he had no plan for dealing with a major snowstorm. Neither did he have one for dealing with a hurricane last year. Like so many men who would be gods, Bloomberg is guilty of hubris and like most elitists; he isn’t as smart as he thinks he is.

Neither is Cass Sunstein. The philosopher-czar’s latest book is a 26 dollar work of self-congratulation that the reader is expected to pay for. This nicely sums up his career. But what does Sunstein have to congratulate himself on?

A book like Simpler would be obnoxious enough even if it had come from the veteran of a successful administration, but the only thing that Obama Inc. has succeeded at is getting reelected.

Obamacare was a disaster. So was anything else that Sunstein touched. The Regulatory Czar boasts of transparency, but even mainstream media outlets and liberal magazines have blasted the lack of that same quality in the corridors of Obama Inc. Sunstein speaks of simplifying government, but he departs a government that is more expensive and more confusing.

In the introduction to Simpler, titled “The Cockpit of the Regulatory Store”, Sunstein claims that it is a book about making things simpler. But that’s exactly what it isn’t. Like most technocrats, Sunstein is incapable of simplicity. He boasts of a “simplification” program for the “issuance” of orders in plain language without realizing that he’s using clunky bureaucratese.

The paternalists like Bloomberg and Sunstein promise us that their nudges can force us to make better decisions, but they’re the ones who can’t make better decisions.  Soft paternalism tries to bring back the old discredited ideas of progressive power in a sleeker technocratic guise, but the reason those ideas were discredited isn’t only because they were totalitarian, but because they didn’t work.

Sunstein, like Bloomberg and like his old boss in D.C., is a failure trying to dress up his failure in buzzwords. The philosopher-czar who once tried to manipulate the lives of hundreds of millions is reduced to trying to manipulate a handful of readers into believing that his failure was a brilliant success.

That is not only Cass Sunstein’s epitaph; these are the stone letters graven on the tombstone of the left.

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  • AdinaK

    In general, those who consider themselves "philosophers" are generally ill suited for anything else, but to "philosophize". To wit, real jobs are not on their resumes.
    Sunstein is hubbie of Samantha Powers, THAT chippie who is responsible for R2P, you know, the "intellectual" cover for the illegal weapons running war in Libya!
    In any case, if it was up to Sunstein few would survive other than his "privileged" class and this is not hyperbole. He is part of Obama Inc's totalitarian, revolutionary circle of "thinkers", as they nudge the Republic into darkness –

    The above is emblematic of the so called "liberal" left and where they are really headed.

    Adina Kutnicki, Israel

  • Toni_Pereira

    Another fashionable misanthrope! Orwell got it right, some ideas are so stupid that only an intellectual could believe them.

  • pookieamos

    Men want to be free , not controlled as if they were sheep or cattle . That is most men aspire to be free. Half of this country is the victim to the ideology of the left.How and what will "wake " those too blind to see ? The arrogance of the people is sickening , it's time to remind these Elitist who's the real boss !

  • PocketOyster

    seems this Daniel guy just does articles supporting corporate government. I don't think he has the readers in his interest at all, just whoever he wrote this article for.

    • Toni_Pereira

      Setting aside the question of the rights and wrongs of corporate government, can you imagine a bigger corporation than a nanny state?

    • Questions

      Nowhere in this article is there an attempt to summarize the main points of the book, let alone quote from it. Did Greenfield read it? I won't draw any conclusion one way or the other.

    • Parenthetical Phrase

      "Corporate government?" Pray tell, what is that? Something to do with corporations? I don't recall his mentioning any. I got the impression "this Daniel guy" is opposed to bureaucrats regulating our lives (that would include yours, Pocket). Bureaucracies are great for stifling creativity, and creating needless hardship for everyone but themselves since THEY never have to follow "standard procedures". A perfect example would be the Soviet Union. The members of the Polit Bureau rode around in limousines, ate caviar and summered at villas while the average citizen lived hand to mouth because of constant shortages, and inefficiency, and always afraid of displeasing those who thought they knew better. The result? Black marketeering, crime, corruption and a culture based on malevolence, envy and lots and lots of lies. Dissidents were routinely sent off to mental hospitals so that they could be "re-educated". If you had a brain PocketOyster, you would be opposed to such a system. But you don't, so you're not.

      • Fritz

        Ironically enough the Soviet commissars and ruling elite were probably less interested in micromanaging the day to existence of the average citizen then the 21st century technocrats like Sunstein. True, they did tell people where to live and where they had to work, but they didn't care whether they smoked, drank, what kind of food they ate, or what colour they painted their house.

        • raybbr

          Comparing Sunstein's formula for progressive/socialist success to what happened in the Soviet Union is a bit off. The Soviets achieved control through violent action. Sunstein's formula, although it has the same goal of government totalitarianism, attempts to do it through regulation and laws.

          I do believe however, that this administration is not averse to one day deciding they've waited long enough for "nudges" to have their affect and simply break out the dogs.

  • kafirman

    So how does Sunstein prove Buckley right?

    • Toni_Pereira

      Because,paradoxically, the first 2000 God-fearing, tootheless and ignorant people on the Boston Telephone Directory lives in the world of the tangible while most of the card carrying rationalists of Harvard live in the land of dreams. In the case of the likes of Cass Sunstein they are creatures who suffer delusions of honesty along with some severe totalitarian ravings(why do you think harvard wanted Tony Blair?). They are not evil, they just can't help themselves.

      • theccur

        Perhaps THEY aren't evil, but their IDEAS are!


      By proving that those who fancy themselves fit to rule are in fact the ones most unfit to be entrusted with public office.

  • Cassandra

    Great article Daniel. As always

  • vladtepes2

    Sunstein is a little dictator with utopian ideas and delusions of grandeur.
    What if his totalitarian government nudges people to make BAD decisions?
    Maybe he should just leave well enough alone.
    Maybe the US should go back to being a Meritocracy, instead of an Egalitocracy, an Egalitarian dictatorship.

  • Gylippus

    Besides, it is the unfettered economic activity of us plebs (and the ingenuity and spontaneous discovery that flows from it) that creates the net prosperity to fund Sunstein's delusional mega-projects. If it were just up to government, we'd still be toiling at building pyramids in the desert. Of course people like Sunstein don't really care about human well-being. Their driving purpose is to lord it over as many of us as completely as possible. It's a way of sheltering from their own sense of worthlessness and fear.

    • EarlyBird

      He really is an elitist.

  • Looking4Sanity

    I was wondering when this little worm's name would pop up again. Sunstein is arguably the most dangerous man in America today, and no one has been covering him for years, it seems. How is it that we managed to force Van Jones away from the levers of power and left this guy intact? He is no less a Commie than Van Jones when push comes to shove.

    • EarlyBird

      Says the guy who believes murdering 20 five year old children is morally superior to attempting gun control. You wretched ape.

      • Looking4Sanity

        Alinsky Rule: "A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag"

        I admire your persistence in attempting to sell this lie, even in the face of overwhelming evidence that it's already failed. What you lack in moral character, you more than make up for in stupidity and bull-headedness.

      • 4_Constitution

        Your side kills 3,000 babies a day.

        I'd hate to be you when you stand before God.

  • clarespark

    It is important to understand how "liberals" got that way. After the Industrial Revolution created the new industrial working class, all the entrenched elites sought policies to control them, even to honor them. Social democrats in America (the progressives) thought they needed paternal guidance, identifying communism with "Jewish" Marxists/Leninists. This paternalism was described at the end of my latest blog…. "Pretend you are a Nazi." Especially in the last few sentences. So when David Horowitz is attacked, it is because he was at one time a Jewish communist who switched to conservatism, making him double trouble.

    • Fritz

      You know, I'm getting really sick of people posting comments on here to plug their own blog sites. If you bloggers want us to read one of your articles why don't you submit one or more to Frontpage Magazine and let them publish it instead of spamming the comment boards with outside links, like the media matters drones do?

      • EarlyBird

        Me too!

  • LibertarianToo

    I wonder if the Left remembers that George W. Bush also has a Harvard degree.
    I wonder why Obama had his academic records sealed.
    I wonder if funneling money to, say, Solyndra is an example of the superior decision-making powers of the anointed.

    • Zipperhead

      So much to wonder, so little time.

  • theccur

    EVERY liberal, progressive, communist BELIEVES they SHOULD manage your live for you because you are too INCOMPETENT to do it for yourself. Nanny Bloomberg is a minor example. INDIVIDUAL freedom is anathema to these people BECAUSE it limits their POWER. Government is seen as the master and people are it's slaves. THAT is the nirvana of ALL who follow the creed of the liberal, progressive, communists.

    • Questions

      And clerical authorities don't have their own version of a nanny state? It's a version several thousand years old, hiding in plain sight.

      • LibertarianToo

        Not hiding at all. And not claiming to be democrats -unlike Democrats.

      • raybbr

        Clerical authorities don't govern public life. They don't make laws. Sheesh! what a puerile attempt at a straw man.

    • EarlyBird

      "EVERY liberal, progressive, communist BELIEVES they SHOULD manage your live for you because you are too INCOMPETENT to do it for yourself. Nanny Bloomberg is a minor example. INDIVIDUAL freedom is anathema to these people BECAUSE it limits their POWER."

      Says the guy who would outlaw homosexuality, deny gay marriage, supports anti-drug and prositution laws, would outlaw environmentalists, etc.

      • theccur

        YOU don't KNOW me! As a Libertarian, I believe people should be allowed to follow their OWN path to Hell as long as the don't harm others. No, don't support them or oppose them, mostly I marvel at them.

    • raybbr

      Even you can't see the progressives for what they are: "manage your live for you because you are too INCOMPETENT to do it for yourself." This statement gives them too much cover. They simply want to rule. It has nothing to do with their perceived competence of your abilities. They simply want to be able to tell you, and me, what we can and cannot do. They are totalitarians. They want you feal to them. They want you to come to them and beg for sustenance because it gives them, with their limited humanness, a reason to justify how they think.

  • pagegl

    I am beginning to believe that anyone who thinks he or she knows what is best for me is delusional. Just because one thinks something is best for oneself does not mean that it is best for another. Then there is the issue lack of knowledge of my life, how can anyone who has not experienced what I have even begin to think that they have any notion of what is good for me. Perhaps my decisions are not necessarily what is best for me all the time. So eff'ing what, I'm human. It almost seems that Sunstein and others like him want to prevent me from learning what is best for me. If he is making decisions for me I won't have the experience of making a decision that isn't good for me and learning from that.

    I have a news flash for Sunstein, Bloomberg, Obama, and all others of that ilk… I am not an ant or a bee. I am very capable of thinking for myself. I've got a feeling I am probably better at it than they are.

  • Moishe Pupick

    M., 094/15/13

    Cass Sunstein is simply another snotass ivory-tower egghead who thinks that he knows what is best for ordinary U.S. citizens who didn't graduate from Harvard. I graduated from a local junior college, but even I can discern that Sunsteen is a shmuck. No wonder that he and his cerebral pals want ordinary U.S. citizens not to own guns and ammo.

    • KarshiKhanabad

      "Ordinary citizens don't NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED to own an AR-15!!"

      • reader

        And who are you to decide? Are you extra-ordinary?

        • EarlyBird

          Reader, you really ARE stupid, aren't you? Karshi was quoting, and obviously mocking, the individual (Biden) who made that statement about AR-15s.

          Or maybe you're just such a frothing at the mouth rage-a-holic you need to pick a fight anywhere you can?

      • Kevin Stroup

        And you know this how? Based upon what facts?

    • EarlyBird

      Moishe, you could be right about Sunstein, but I'd love you to lay out just one of his policy prescriptions that fit your statment.

      (Quick! Google fast!)

  • Federale

    Liberalism equals Stalinism. The only difference is that liberals aren't shooting their opponents, yet…or are if you ask David Koresh or Randy Weaver.

    • EarlyBird

      So if believe the sales tax should be 4%, and the other guy thinks the sales tax should be 5%, he's a liberal, and therefore a Stalinist.

      And you wonder why conservatism is losing ground? Because nitwits like you actually have a say in the GOP.

      • Federale

        Stupid is as stupid does. No one mentioned sales tax rates. We were discussing the totalitarian impulse of the radical left. Like Obama's friends in the Weather Underground and the Muslim Brotherhood.

  • gee

    As I recall it was the President that said Israel didn't know what was in their own interest. But he did.

    • EarlyBird

      Gee, surely this comment will prove I'm some type of snarling pro-Islamist, anti-Semite, but Obama was expressing a standard comment of most every president in recent memory: that continuing to build settlements on disputed territory doesn't help Israel's long-term position. W. Bush even managed to convince Sharon to get the IDF to drag settlers out of their homes, but some how he's not some evil, anti-Israel maniac like Obama.

  • isahiah62

    and one water carrier for this commie utopian dream doubled down on the stupid today and added a cherry on top Melissa Harris-Perry on MSLSD:
    “This isn’t about me wanting to take your kids, and this isn’t even about whether children are property. This is about whether we as a society, expressing our collective will through our public institutions, including our government, have a right to impinge on individual freedoms in order to advance a common good. And that is exactly the fight that we have been having for a couple hundred years.”

    Yes dear MHP YOU are who we have been having a COLD War with since the NYT tried to sell us on Lenin/Stalin

  • pyeatte

    Cass Sunstein is a malignant control freak that would have loved to have lived in a real world Orwell's 1984. Watch the movie "The Lives of Others" about the East German Stasi – that is the world he wants for the American people – one that really happened.

  • magicsinglez

    "I would rather be governed by the first two thousand people in the Boston telephone directory than by the two thousand people on the faculty of Harvard University.”

    I'd used a similar quote decades later having never heard Buckley say this. "I'd rather see a drunken wino at the controls (of censorship) than the academics". At least I don't recall hearing Buckley say that before. .

  • tanstaafl

    I'll make my own mistakes, thank you very much.

  • Fritz

    The problem with Sunstein and his elitist technocrats is that in the real world there is no such thing as an all knowing and all seeing elite. What I mean by this is that it is impossible for any bureaucrat to compile enough information on every form of human interaction and for every situation to decide what is best. Even if they could compile such information wisdom comes either from experience or divine intervention, contrary to what Ivy League graduates may think they do not have much or any of either. We are dealing with people that would not know how to change a flat tire on their car or unblock a toilet let alone anything else. The Soviet Union had 75 years worth of planning and control, even through brute force, it failed there outright and the Chinese, who attempted the same, have all but abandoned it.
    I'm still baffled as to how someone like Micheal Bloomberg became a billionaire, the only conclusions I can draw is either he was a lot smarter in his youth, had a remarkable stroke of dumb luck, or he is an idiot savant like Rainman. Someone who had exceptional abilities in one area but was barely functional at anything else.

  • guest

    I know that I will get flamed as a pinko commie for posting here, but I hope that at least someone will engage in an actual discussion with me. I understand the point of view of this article's author, but my question would be; what about our current paternalistic laws, such as the prohibition of drugs and prostitution? Now I know that many of you here will say that drugs and prostitution are different from soft drinks and fuel efficient cars, but remember the author's critique of Sunstein. What gives you the right to determine whether consuming drugs or frequenting a prostitution is an action that someone else should engage in? It seems that the only way that Greenfield can make this argument is if he holds a libertarian stance and would eliminate prohibitions on all goods(drugs included) and services(prostitution included). I know that this blog takes a harsh stand against libertarianism in the foreign policy realm, and I imagine that it would take a similar stance in the social policy realm, as well. At the end of the day, my guess is that both the author of this piece, and it's readers, would feel that Sunstein is an authoritarian for wanting to "nudge" people to embrace actions that he finds appropriate (say, buying organic) while feeling at the same time that there is nothing wrong with banning pot smoking or creating government incentives for couples to get married. If Sunstein’s paternalism is wrong then your paternalism is wrong, as well.

    • EarlyBird

      You're exactly correct. Don't confuse this with "libertarian" in any way, shape or form. It's not. On social and economic policy it is totally unreconstructed, reactionary paleo-con. On foreign policy it is unapologetic neo-con. It's the worst of all parts of conservatism.

    • Fritz

      You may have a point about the prohibition of drugs but in terms of prostitution I don't agree at all. Prostitution is someone selling their body for sex, it dehumanizes the prostitute to just another vendor selling a commodity. Unlike drug use it cannot be a solitary act, you have the prostitute and you have the John or customer. Even in places where it is legal it exposes the prostitute to diseases and potential violence, sure the prostitutes are screened for disease but the Johns are not. Most prostitutes are usually lower class individuals driven into the practice by financial desperation or are forced into it by organized crime, this does not go away simply because it's legal. I'm surprised with the soft touch the left gives towards prostitution since they are always going on about exploitation of this group or another, if being reduced to selling one's body to another for sex is not exploitation I don't know what is.
      As for Sunstein and other social engineering technocrats, they believe that there is something wrong with normal everyday behavior, that in their interpretation people are not living their lives in the correct manner and need to be "nudged". Nudged is a poll tested weasel word for coercion or force.

  • Hmm.

    Can't we ship Cass Sunstein to Africa to go out into the brush and collect firewood for poor women villagers so they don't have to put their lives at risk? Or he could put together some solar cookers. He could do some good in the world that way.

  • Jim_C

    "Obamacare was a disaster."

    I keep seeing things like this on this site. "Was?" We ain't barely seen no Obamacare, yet!

    I suspect it is going to be something of a disaster, though it might morph into something slightly less disastrous after a few election cycles.

    Most importantly, though, whether it was Obama, Romney, Gingrich or Mickey Mouse in office, our health care system has been the Titanic for years and years: an enormous vessel of out of control costs, lawyers, and marketing reps heading straight for the iceberg that was our ability to pay.

  • Jim_C

    "Obamacare was a disaster."

    I keep seeing things like this on this site. "Was?" We ain't barely seen no Obamacare, yet!

    I suspect it is going to be something of a disaster, though it might morph into something slightly less disastrous after a few election cycles.

    Most importantly, though, whether it was Obama, Romney, Gingrich or Mickey Mouse in office, our health care system has been the Titanic for years and years: an enormous luxury vessel of out of control costs, lawyers, and marketing reps heading straight for the iceberg that was our ability to pay.

  • EarlyBird

    What a terrible piece of criticism. Danny Greenfield may be 100% correct in his characterization of Sunstein's ideas, but he provides zero evidence for them, merely "take my word for it" assertions. Of course, Danny knows his audience, and writes down to them. Don't expect them to actually READ the book, or lay out Sunstein's specific policy goals, just generalize and let the rabble know that this is just another lefty-as-oppressor to dismiss.

    Oh, and there is zero appreciation of how the popular attempts of government to get people to make better choices: tax-deferred 401K investing; tax breaks on home mortgages; tax credits for dependent children; taxes on booze and cigarettes – and those are just the ones that immediately come to mind.

    Wherever government exists and has the right to regulate commerce, it will have the power to manipulate human choices.

  • EarlyBird

    From the founding, it was just "understood" that it was the job of the elite – the educated, successful, monied – to govern. Andrew Jackson was really the first "regular guy" president, and this itself scandalized a lot of Founding Fathers who were old men by that time.

    Governance really does take expertise and special knowledge, aka "eggheads." This was an accepted idea especially after WWII when technocrats believed they could and should attempt to solve every human problem with the same comprehensiveness and energy with which we fought the Axis. The disastrous Great Society was born of that.

    We've probably gone too far, though, to believe that anyone we'd "like to drink a beer with," or Sarah Palin, could run the country. They can't. Life is complicated.

  • Ghostwriter

    What is forgotten here is the reason we have drug laws AT ALL is to try to keep them out of the hands of kids. Would the people who want drugs legalized so badly want THEIR kids using drugs? If they were sane people,the answer is no,they don't. There is a difference between trying to keep marijuana,heroin,cocaine,and crack out of the hands of kids and trying to ban sodas from kids. To be honest,I'd rather have kids drinking soda rather than them smoking marijuana or shooting up heroin.
    Sadly,idiots like EarlyBird can't seem to tell the difference between the two. He'd rather have some totalitarian nightmare rather than a Democratic Republic.

  • onepornqueen

    'Been eating too many worms.

    • Looking4Sanity

      You and your colorful euphemisms! ;o)

    • Looking4Sanity

      You and your colorful euphemisms! ;)

  • UraFecalLiberal

    Remember the Prime Directive in Star Trek? "In the universe of Star Trek, the Prime Directive, Starfleet's General Order number 1, is the most prominent guiding principle of the United Federation of Planets. The Prime Directive dictates that there can be no interference with the internal development of alien civilizations."

    Well, if I am an alien, then so is Cass Sunstein. So leave me alone, get out of my life, and get a real job and show us what you can do and what you are made of. In the real world, people rise to the top after demonstrating real world skill and success. What did this schmo ever do that resulted in a useful product or service?

    Somebody bitch slap this clown.

  • Sharpshooter

    Someone should introduce him to Mr. Hillerich and Mr. Bradsby.

  • cassisanass

    We are the ones we’ve been waiting for> We will be ready to rule from day one.



  • longplay

    Perhaps by “simpler” he means a single branch of government with one member – one who happens to be a friend of his who can line his pockets with money from the prols.