Front Page Titles (by Subject) Imperial Presidency - Literature of Liberty, January/March 1978, vol. 1, No. 1
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Imperial Presidency - Leonard P. Liggio, Literature of Liberty, January/March 1978, vol. 1, No. 1 
Literature of Liberty: A Review of Contemporary Liberal Thought was published first by the Cato Institute (1978-1979) and later by the Institute for Humane Studies (1980-1982) under the editorial direction of Leonard P. Liggio.
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“The Ideology of the Executive State: Legacy of Liberal Internationalism.” Watershed of Empire. Edited by Leonard P. Liggio and James J. Martin. Colorado Springs: Ralph Myles, 1976: 1–18.
Since 1941 Americans have abandoned their isolationism and trusted an imperial presidency to conduct U.S. foreign relations. Liberal governments stressing “strong executives” used this as a mandate for foreign interventionism and domestic antidemocratic practices. They soon found themselves at war with the basic instincts of the American public for peace. The liberals' passion for political centralization and their search for a totally organized world to achieve stability and peace brewed a disastrous foreign policy. Abroad the result has been a “perpetual war for perpetual peace”; at home, a governmental system of executive royalism.
It is not accidental that American liberal promises of reform are followed by the reality of war (World Wars I, II, and Vietnam). Within the ideology of American liberalism there exist the seeds of the war-making state.
By its global, missionary foreign policy, liberalism drains American resources and thereby neglects domestic needs. Liberalism thus fails to deliver its promises and provokes dissent. What survived the liberals' aborted crusades was the powerful engine of the central state. In the frustrated attempts to push through reform measures involving “equality” and “democracy,” liberalism turned to antidemocratic centralization and government by “expert” elites to secure unity.
All this drift to the Leviathan state encouraged a bipartisan imperial presidency which followed an aggressive foreign policy. How better to use a strong central government and instill national unity in a fickle people who might otherwise resent the failed domestic programs of reform?
The executive state grew deeply suspicious of mass, popular politics. Professional elites alone, rather than the people, were deemed expert to shape delicate foreign policy decisions. Public debate on key issues was forbidden. In fact, the American public has consistently shunned war or policies leading to war. Unifying the apparently inconsistent U.S. popular enthusiasm for neutrality and isolationism (during the 20s and 30s), and the internationalism following World War II, was the belief that, in context, both policies seemed the best ways to avoid war. Liberal theorists could not tolerate any public unwillingness to “pay any price” for the risky business of global interventionism by a centralized imperial presidency.