The Top 20 candidates speak up
By Dr. Larry Fedewa (July 3, 2019)
Of all the news this past week, the most intriguing may be the two “debates” featuring the Top 20 Democratic candidates for president. It’s interesting to take a look at these politicians as a group.
The Top 20 candidates for the Democrat nomination for president showed their coalescence around a list of positions which favor a gargantuan increase in the power of the federal government. Generally, they advocate government takeover of health care, education, personal finances, seashore housing (in the name of climate control), and energy, in addition to increased government regulation of big business. No matter what the problem, they propose that the federal government has the obligation to solve it. Even to “fixing” the economies of Central American countries, although it is hard to understand what they mean by that short of US invasion as in Panama – which no one seems to advocate.
This list of their political positions arises from their ability to see victims wherever they look. “75% of Americans live from paycheck to paycheck.” “The majority of Americans don’t make a living wage.” “22 million Americans have no access to health care.” “America is a racist society, which is also biased against women, gay people, immigrants, all minorities (except maybe Asians), poor people, and homeless people – to name a few.”
Justice for this country of victims can be found in the pristine wisdom of the federal government. All we have to do is authorize that government to raise taxes – for some that means up to 70% + of income for federal taxes – on top of state and local taxes, for a total of 80-90% of income. Then the blessed feds will design and enforce programs to bring justice to all the victims in America – plus everyone else in the world who succeeds in coming across our borders. We won’t be crowded; after all the federal government already owns more than a third of US landmass so they can just open the parks, deserts and mountains to development.
The world view of this crowd comes across as “other-worldly”. It reminds me of the midnight discussions we had in college about how to change the world. We were too young to understand how to translate our idealistic prescriptions into reality. We didn’t know what we didn’t know about how the world really works. So we engaged in flights of fantasy about how to things should look. We hadn’t yet learned that certain questions have to be answered before any plan is adopted: “How does the present system work?” “What is wrong and why?” “Compared to what?” What are the obstacles?” and always, “What is the cost, how will we pay for it, and can we afford it?”
Our excuse was that we were young and inexperienced. The “Top 20” have no such excuse. They are presenting themselves as candidates for the most powerful position in the world. They should not expect us to accept their claims based on dreams. “How?” is just as important as “What?” and “Why?” For example, a great deal of attention was given to the immigration issues. Nearly all the Top 20 shed token tears for the people invading our borders. BUT THEY HAVE STEADFASTLY REFUSED TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT! IN FACT, AS A PARTY THEY HAVE INSISTED THAT THERE IS NO EMERGENCY, AND THEY HAVE BLOCKED ANY ATTEMPT TO GET RESOURCES TO ALLEVIATE THE SITUATION – until last week (just in time for the debates).
It takes a certain kind of arrogance to do this kind of thing. It has become the habit of the Left to take for granted their moral superiority to the “deplorable” Republicans. That arrogance has fed the visceral and illogical hatred for Donald J. Trump. There are many examples of this moral opacity. Not least is the angry indignation with which they accuse the President for setting himself “above the law” when in fact their last president ruled “with my pen and my telephone” and attempted to place a refugee from charges of treason in the White House , and then manufactured a coup d’ etat in the deep state to defeat the legally elected president of the United States – all this lawlessness was perpetrated by their own party, not the opposition.
It is fashionable in conservative circles to assert that the Left is rife with people who realize that their ideas are not practical – for example, spending an additional $50 Trillion (estimated cost of their current pet projects) on top of a $22 Trillion national debt is simply impossible. After all, there are some very bright people over there. Why make such promises? The opposition’s answer is that this is a cynical strategy to gain power. If it works, then it is easy to blame the Republicans for the inevitable failure of these policies – the victorious Dems then go from hero to martyr.
I am not of this persuasion. Yes, I can believe in the power-hungry explanation for some of the Dems, especially among politicians. But I think that many are true believers in the Democrat dogmas. Much of their belief is based on the very biased news and commentary they get from the press. My view is that it is a good thing to listen to your adversaries. They may have some good ideas. I never expect that I can change a true believer’s mind. I would like to be accorded the same courtesy, although my views are often met with scorn and insult. Nevertheless, I cling to my opinion that the opponents are indeed worth hearing.
A case in point is the “income inequality” mentioned so often in the debates. The Left has been complaining about this for some time , so I decided to look into it. What I found was a truly dangerous situation. The facts are indisputable, based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which shows a transfer of 80% of America’s wealth from the majority of Americans to 1% of the population over the past 48 years. The critical event was the elimination of the gold standard for American currency by Richard Nixon in 1971.
I have written extensively about this issue (see www.DrLarryOnline.com). Briefly stated: 68% of our GDP is consumer dependent. If the middle class does not have enough money to keep up with the retail economy, the country will eventually go into decline. The wealth of the nation must be spread more equitably to include the working class. How to do that? Socialism is the path to disaster, so we must find a capitalist solution. Fortunately, there a fast-growing movement based on a radical updating of capitalism. It is called “Conscious Capitalism” and it already has a committed following of 116 companies, employing 3 million workers. (See www.ConsciousCapitalism.org) It encompasses a vision of employee roles and compensation, mostly based on shared responsibility and profits. The organization itself is studiously non-partisan.
The Top 20 Democrat candidates for the presidential nomination are not very impressive as a group. Their reliance on a huge expansion of government and their lack of any practical solutions to the problems they focus on, along with their angry, victim-oriented presentations represent a major barrier to electability. However, it is very early in the election cycle. A strong leader from within or outside the current group may yet emerge. For now, one question to be determined is: Do a majority of American voters consider themselves victims looking to Big Government to punish their “enemies”? Or, do they prefer that the government get out of their way while they seek a better world for themselves and their families through hard work and cheerful optimism? The next sixteen months will be interesting.
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