Outsiders are Nice, But Not Enough to Save America

Ben Carson and Donald Trump are popular among Republicans right now because they are outsiders. Carson is a retired pediatric neurosurgeon, and Trump is a high profile big businessman. Neither have spent a single day in the field of politics.

Is having an outsider the answer to America’s problems?

Not necessarily. Because an insider with the right ideas would be far superior to an outsider with the wrong ideas, vague ideas or no ideas.

The question is: What are the right ideas, and why?

No single president will be able to solve everything wrong with America. But a president is in a unique position to do two things. One, identify the right philosophy and attitude for handling America’s problems. Two, taking the lead and pushing for legislation to put these policies into action.

Two things are basically wrong with America, at least where the federal government is concerned. One, the government does way too much and spends way too much. Entitlement programs are wildly out of control. The numbers always predicted this would be the case, but particularly under the last two administrations, social (nondefense) spending has gone through the roof. Millions of more Americans are dependent on some form of government money, yet the government is way past broke, approaching a $19 trillion debt with no end in sight. The private sector is not growing like it might in a hands off, totally free market economy, and it’s not even growing like it used to grow during economic recoveries of more recent decades.

A president with the right ideas will recognize all this, and propose policies to address them. For example, massive spending cuts should be proposed with the purpose of (1) eliminating the debt and deficit and (2) because of the moral and political right of people to live free from government force. Cutting corporate taxes is a good idea, but taxes should be cut across the board (Reagan style, only much bigger) and be made permanent. Federal agencies should be reduced or eliminated, other than the ones required to catch criminals (thieves, crooks, terrorists), which should always be the central and only priority of the federal government. Medicare and Social Security are the big problem. We have to keep them going for the current generation, but we also have to face facts, put younger and middle-aged people on notice, and open up the marketplace so people may be free and responsible for taking care of their own medical care and retirement. Privatization is the only way to go.

The other thing wrong with America, that a president could address, is rebuilding the military and reasserting America’s right to self-defense. No, this does not mean starting wars of questionable or no value to American security. It does not mean nation building. It means, quite simply, building the strongest and meanest nuclear and otherwise military arsenal possible and being prepared to use it against enemies like ISIS who would not hesitate, not for an Allah moment, to use such force against us (and eventually may). Peace through strength, along with a determination to show the world that America is no longer the spineless paper tiger it has become. And yes, on day one in office, a president should be willing to publicly tear up Obama’s disgraceful “agreement” with America’s biggest state enemy, Iran.

These are the kinds of things I’m looking for in a presidential candidate. They are also the kinds of things many Americans are looking for, but not finding. People who are happy with Obama’s time in office, or perhaps were happy with someone like George W. Bush, may not want these things. But these are the only kinds of ideas which, in my view, will save us, and they are the only kinds of ideas offering a principled course reversal for the country.

If it takes an insider to do this, so be it. If it takes an outsider, all the better. I see the merits of either in a situation like this. But we have to elect a leader with the right ideas and the willingness to carry them out.

Donald Trump and Ben Carson may express a right idea here or there. Trump wants to cut corporate income tax. But he also wants to make the wealthy pay more, to help sustain Social Security and Medicare, and most of the government as we know it. This makes him more of a Democrat, or at least an “establishment” Republican. So much for the value and benefit of being an outsider. Trump fixates on immigration, building a wall and even deporting people who got into America under Obama’s law-breaking executive orders. Here’s a better idea: stop welfare and other government benefits to immigrants. Let them make it on their own in an improving economy allowed to develop once the government gets the hell out of the way. And yes, Trump is right that we must have immigration laws to keep terrorists and other criminals out of the country.

As for Ben Carson, it’s very hard to get a handle on where he stands. He’s against Obama, and he appears to recognize that Islamic fascism is a real threat to America, one we cannot make go away by pretending it does not exist. At some points he has said we should look at privatizing Medicare, and at other points I have read him say we should turn all of health care into a public utility. Being a total Washington outsider cannot save Ben Carson from vague, contradictory or mistaken ideas.

People yearning for an outsider are yearning for a negation. They want someone who is NOT Obama, and not the corrupt, cynical and dishonest Republicans still running the Congress. But wanting someone to NOT be something still does not tell you what you want, nor what you should want. Negations don’t save you.

In many respects, I would love to see the Republicans swept out of power and replaced by something totally different, an actual principled alternative to Obama and Hillary Clinton in the area which matters most to the federal government: protecting rights. The best way the government can protect rights is getting government out of the economy, including social welfare and social insurance, and putting the federal government back in charge of building our strength so nobody will dare mess with us.

Being different for the sake of being different will not save us. Outsiders are great, but only if they have the right ideas and are determined to do the right things.


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