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Trump, DeSantis, or Massie?

When the pressure’s on to defy the Constitution, Massie alone clearly has the values and character to say “No.”

James Anthony
January 7, 2022

What matters when selecting a presidential candidate is his future performance as president.

Constitutionalist presidents [1] succeed not by directing the bureaucracy but by limiting governments [2].

They must value limiting governments. They must understand their constitutional powers to limit governments. They need the emotional intelligence to use these powers. They don’t need to explain these actions clearly, but in practice they always do.

Not long ago, voters cared most about repealing Obamacare. Going forward, voters more-likely will care most about ending all tyranny—tyranny that lately has been ratcheted up [3] by Progressives not letting the COVID crisis go to waste.

The past performance of possible Republican candidates indicates that they would have very-different future performance.

Donald Trump

Former President Donald Trump delegated substantial executive power to bureaucrats.

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Tony Fauci advocated lockdowns, sanitizing, distancing, masks, and vaccines [4].

He was supported in all of this by the bureaucrats of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [5]. The bureaucrats of CDC also tried to grab control over landlords [6], airlines [7], and cruise ships [8].

The bureaucrats of the Food and Drug Administration used dubious grounds to block fast home tests [9]. They argued loudly against early outpatient use of generic antivirals [10]. They waived basic vaccine testing [11], and sheltered crony drug manufacturers from liability [12]. They pushed retailers to not sell the blood-clot-reducing [13] supplement NAC [14].

Also, President Trump greatly empowered the decisionmakers in the many coercive state, county, and city governments, and in the many coercive businesses and nonprofits.

He signed bills for massive spending [15]. He executed this spending without conditioning it on any organizations limiting their coercions. He didn’t recommend to Congress’s consideration any measures [16] requiring organizations to limit their coercions.

Ron DeSantis

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis first generally recommended distancing, disinfection, and masks. He limited health care for other conditions.

He prohibited visits to long-term residential facilities and began focusing on directly protecting the elderly and others who were at elevated risk due to serious health conditions [17].

A half year in, he turned around regarding the initial recommendations for the people who aren’t at elevated risk, and instead backed off of all those restrictions [18]. He even started using state-government power to stop local governments from restricting these people.

By now he has pioneered in distributing monoclonal antibody treatments [19], even working around a Biden change in policy that curtailed the supply to Florida [20]. He has sued successfully against the CDC bureaucrats’ power-grab that attempted to impose controls on cruise ships [21]. He is withholding funding from local school districts and docking their bureaucrats’ salaries for requiring children to wear masks [22].

Thomas Massie

Representative Thomas Massie took action on the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act stimulus bill by doing all a congressman could do to force a roll-call vote [23].

He has since co-sponsored the Fire Fauci Act [24], and called for everyone at the top of the CDC to be fired [25].

He explained in tweets in advance about the coronavirus stimulus bill that he swore an oath to uphold the Constitution, he takes that oath seriously, and the Constitution requires that a quorum of members be present to conduct business in the House [26].

He elaborated further in an interview afterwards.

A first bill had been a response to the virus. A second bill had been a response to the virus’s effects on the economy. The coronavirus stimulus bill was a response to the government responses’ effects on the economy.

The coronavirus stimulus bill added debt of $6 trillion, We have around 100 million families. So each family received at most $3,000 and in exchange was obligated to pay off an added debt of $60,000.

What this bill actually bought was protection for governors. Governors who blocked or helped block people from working were protected from the full wrath of voters over the losses these governors caused [27].

Using a President’s Powers to Limit Governments

A president, a governor, and a representative have different powers. Voters have to make their best inferences about what people’s past actions in various offices telegraph about people’s likely future actions as president.

A constitutionalist president doesn’t succeed by directing the bureaucracy. He succeeds by using his powers to veto [28], to not execute statutes and opinions he considers unconstitutional [29], to recommend repeals [1], to not command troops into harms’ way in undeclared wars [30], and to support constitutionalist candidates for other offices.

Limiting governments requires having good principles, and then comes down to also having good boundaries [31].

When the pressure’s on to defy the Constitution, when establishment advisors all are emphatic that government needs to do something—for my money [32] it’s easy to know which of these men I could confidently trust to have the values and character to say “No.”

Donald Trump’s past actions advancing big, crony government [33] make him the proven worst choice.

Ron DeSantis’s past actions using his constitutional powers to limit other governments (and businesses [34]) have been fantastic. But on cutting back his own government, his past inaction makes him at-best unproven.

Thomas Massie’s past actions using his constitutional powers to limit his colleagues make him the best-proven choice.


  1. Anthony, James. “The First 1,461 Days of a Constitutionalist President.” rConstitution.us, 8 Jan. 2021, rconstitution.us/the-first-1461-days-of-a-constitutionalist-president/. Accessed 7 Jan. 2022.
  2. Hummel, Jeffrey Rogers. “Martin Van Buren: The Greatest American President.” The Independent Review, vol. 4, no. 2, Fall 1999, pp. 255-81.
  3. Higgs, Robert. Crisis and Leviathan: Critical Episodes in the Growth of American Government. 25th anniversary ed., The Independent Institute, 2012.
  4. Colton, Emma. “Here Are Fauci’s Biggest Flip-Flops and Backtracks Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic.” Washington Examiner, 1 Dec. 2020, www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/here-are-faucis-biggest-flip-flops-and-backtracks-amid-the-coronavirus-pandemic. Accessed 7 Jan. 2022.
  5. Schuchat, Anne. “Summary of Guidance Review.” CDC, 10 Mar. 2021, www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/communication/Guidance-Review.pdf. Accessed 7 Jan. 2022.
  6. McCarthy, Maggie, and Libby Perl. “Federal Eviction Moratoriums in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Congressional Research Service, 30 Mar. 2021, crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/IN/IN11516. Accessed 7 Jan. 2022.
  7. “Updated Guidance for Airlines and Airline Crew: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).” CDC, 25 May 2021, www.cdc.gov/quarantine/air/managing-sick-travelers/ncov-airlines.html. Accessed 7 Jan. 2022.
  8. “CDC COVID-19 Orders for Cruise Ships.” CDC, 25 Oct. 2021, www.cdc.gov/quarantine/cruise/covid19-cruiseships.html. Accessed 7 Jan. 2022.
  9. Anthony, James. “Government Agencies Are Holding Back ‘Fast Tests’ that Could Be Saving Lives.” FEE.org, 19 Sep. 2020, fee.org/articles/government-agencies-are-holding-back-fast-tests-that-could-be-saving-lives/. Accessed 7 Jan. 2022.
  10. Henderson, David R., and Charles L. Hooper. “The FDA’s War against the Truth on Ivermectin.” AIER Daily Economy, 18 Oct. 2021, www.aier.org/article/the-fdas-war-against-the-truth-on-ivermectin/. Accessed 7 Jan. 2022.
  11. McGovern, Celeste. “Vaccine Pioneer Says Rules ‘Don’t Apply’ to Unacountable, ‘Corrupt’ Fauci, FDA.” LifeSiteNews, 13 Oct. 2021, www.lifesitenews.com/news/744314/. Accessed 7 Jan. 2022.
  12. Horowitz, Daniel. “Ep 940 | The FDA’s Sneaky, Unethical, and Dangerous ‘Approval’ of Vaccine.” Conservative Review with Daniel Horowitz, 24 Aug. 2021, podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/conservative-review-with-daniel-horowitz/id1065050908?i=1000533001868. Accessed 7 Jan. 2022.
  13. Seheult, Roger. “Coronavirus Update 114: COVID 19 Death Rate Drops; NAC (N acetylcysteine) Data.” YouTube, uploaded by MedCram, 23 Oct. 2020, www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQO1PB8-xtg. Accessed 7 Jan. 2022.
  14. Tips, Scott C. “NAC—The Latest Health-Success Story to Become an FDA Target.” Whole Foods Magazine, 29 July 2021, wholefoodsmagazine.com/columns/legal-tips/nac-the-latest-health-success-story-to-become-an-fda-target/. Accessed 7 Jan. 2022.
  15. “The Federal Response to COVID-19.” USAspending.gov, 30 Nov. 2021, www.usaspending.gov/disaster/covid-19?publicLaw=all. Accessed 7 Jan. 2022.
  16. Kesavan, Vasan. “Recommendations Clause.” The Heritage Guide to the Constitution, edited by Matthew Spalding and David F. Forte, 2nd ed., Regnery Publishing and The Heritage Foundation, 2014, www.heritage.org/constitution/#!/articles/2/essays/95/recommendations-clause. Accessed 7 Jan. 2022.
  17. Lowry, Rich. “Where Does Ron DeSantis Go to Get His Apology?” National Review, 20 May 2020, www.nationalreview.com/2020/05/coronavirus-crisis-ron-desantis-florida-covid-19-strategy/. Accessed 7 Jan. 2022.
  18. Tucker, Jeffrey A. “Emancipation from Lockdown in Florida.” AIER Daily Economy, 27 Sep. 2020, www.aier.org/article/emancipation-from-lockdown-in-florida/. Accessed 7 Jan. 2022.
  19. Horowitz, Daniel. “Now That Vaccinated People Need the Monoclonal Treatments, Biden Admin and Media Attack the Treatment.” Blaze Media, 20 Sep. 2021, www.theblaze.com/op-ed/horowitz-now-that-vaccinated-people-need-the-monoclonal-treatments-biden-admin-and-media-attack-the-treatment. Accessed 7 Jan. 2022.
  20. Prestigiacomo, Amanda. “DeSantis Secures Antibody Doses on His Own, Skirting Biden’s Reduction of Lifesaving Treatment.” The Daily Wire, 23 Sep. 2021, www.dailywire.com/news/breaking-desantis-secures-antibody-doses-on-his-own-skirting-bidens-blockade-of-lifesaving-treatment. Accessed 7 Jan. 2022.
  21. Miller, Andrew Mark. “DeSantis Handed Victory as US Appeals Court Rules against CDC Cruise Ship Restrictions.” Fox Business, 23 July 2021, www.foxbusiness.com/politics/florida-asks-supreme-court-to-lift-cdc-restrictions-on-cruise-ships. Accessed 7 Jan. 2022.
  22. Associated Press. “Florida to Dock Salaries, Withhold Funding from 8 School Districts for Requiring Masks.” NBC News, 8 Oct. 2021, www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/florida-dock-salaries-withhold-funding-8-school-districts-requiring-masks-n1281106. Accessed 7 Jan. 2022.
  23. Wax, Gavin. “Trump Was Wrong to Call for Conservative Rep. Massie to Be Thrown out of GOP.” The Western Journal, 30 Mar. 2020, www.westernjournal.com/op-ed-trump-wrong-call-conservative-rep-massie-thrown-gop/. Accessed 7 Jan. 2022.
  24. “All Information (Except Text) for H.R.2316 – Fire Fauci Act.” Congress.gov, www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/2316/all-info?r=2&s=1. Accessed 7 Jan. 2022.
  25. Fordham, Evie. “Massie: CDC’s Entire Leadership Must Be Fired over Coronavirus ‘Lies.’” Fox News, 8 June 2021, www.foxnews.com/politics/cdc-coronavirus-thomas-massie-fauci. Accessed 7 Jan. 2022.
  26. @RepThomasMassie. “(1/11) I swore an oath to uphold the constitution, and I take that oath seriously. In a few moments I will request a vote on the CARES Act which means members of Congress will vote on it by pushing ‘yes’ or ‘no’ or ‘present.’” Twitter, 27 Mar. 2020, 10:48 a.m., twitter.com/RepThomasMassie/status/1243565641858191361?s=20.
  27. Horowitz, Daniel. “Ep 615 | Rep. Thomas Massie: Last Man Standing.” Conservative Review with Daniel Horowitz, 3 Apr. 2020, podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/conservative-review-with-daniel-horowitz/id1065050908?i=1000533001868. Accessed 7 Jan. 2022.
  28. USA Constitution, art. I, sec. 7, cl. 2.
  29. USA Constitution, art. II, sec. 1, cl. 8.
  30. Anthony, James. “Limiting War through Good Boundaries: Secrecy, Independence, Basing, ROE Cards, Declarations, Enemy Governments, Productivity.” rConstitution.us, 24 Sep. 2021, rconstitution.us/limiting-war-through-good-boundaries-secrecy-independence-basing-roe-cards-declarations-enemy-governments-productivity/. Accessed 7 Jan. 2022.
  31. Anthony, James. “Summoning the Courage to Be Disliked.” American Greatness, 20 Aug. 2021, amgreatness.com/2021/08/20/summoning-the-courage-to-be-disliked/. Accessed 7 Jan. 2022.
  32. Anthony, James. “Holding Unabridged Elections.” rConstitution.us, 13 Nov. 2020, rconstitution.us/holding-unabridged-elections/. Accessed 7 Jan. 2022.
  33. Anthony, James. “Socialism Kills Freedom.” rConstitution.us, 26 Mar. 2021, rconstitution.us/socialism-kills-freedom/. Accessed 7Jan. 2022.
  34. Brufke, Juliegrace. “DeSantis Signs Bill to Allow Individuals to Sue Big Tech over Censorship.” New York Post, 24 May 2021, nypost.com/2021/05/24/desantis-signs-bill-to-allow-individuals-to-sue-over-censorship/. Accessed 7 Jan. 2022.

James Anthony is the author of The Constitution Needs a Good Party: Good Government Comes from Good Boundaries and rConstitution Papers: Offsetting Powers Secure Our Rights. He has written articles in rConstitution.us, American Greatness, Foundation for Economic Education, American Thinker, and The Federalist. Mr. Anthony is an experienced chemical engineer with a master’s in mechanical engineering.


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