Vance refers to four people. Jefferson was a learned theoretician who had great ideas but was willing to compromise some of them when given the opportunity to exercise them. Butler was experienced in warfare, a major aspect of the modern state. Paul and Rothbard, both theoreticians. All students of history, although Jefferson and Butler seemed to have made much of the history of their periods.
The problem with the command empire we have grown since the Constitution was ratified is it promotes centralized power. While having a government by laws rather than a government by men was a foundation principle, in practice Hamilton subverted it, as did his contemporary and subsequent followers. Increasing centralization has marched through its history, taking power away from individuals and the states, the Constitution's prohibitions of that notwithstanding.
Jefferson knew many things he did as President were unconstitutional. He violated his experience and philosophical preferences. Butler caught on to the warfare-state aspects of everything happening from the beginning of his own military career in 1898. Centralization of power through the welfare-warfare state is easily dated much earlier than that.
Experience shows empires crumble, typically of their own overweight and overreach, trying too hard to do too much. Vance's proposal may be too pie-in-the-sky for some readers, but what exactly else can anyone propose? Empirically, any idealistic replacement people can think of is doomed to be undermined by all the oversights, mistakes, and frailties that people act with daily. But what instead? Prefer the preservation of individual rights that do not trample on others' rights. Vance's proposal is a start.