Two distinct groups have now formed among the
eight top Republican Party candidates. The first group is the patriots
made up of Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, and Rand Paul. The second group
is the statists made up of Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Carley Fiorina, and
John Kasich. On almost every issue in last night's debate these two groups came
down on either the side of less government and individualism (the patriots), or
more government and collectivism (the statists). There were some deviations, but
for the most part the patriots and statists answered true to their ideology.
The issues were covered in
sophisticated style. The moderators, Neil Cavuto, Maria Bartiromo, and Gerard
Baker, conducted themselves in professional manner. After three circus-like
debates with previous moderators vying for the title of most sensationalistic
question asked, we finally got sanity. Substance was the result of this fourth
But even though the evening was
enjoyable rather than egregious as with CNBC's previous display of hubris, there
were numerous exasperations and errors that mere high school students would have
Let's take immigration for
starters. Right off the bat Trump was asked to explain the features of his stand
regarding illegals. How, declared the moderators, did he propose to get rid of
12 million immigrants in a feasible manner?
Trump launched into his standard
response on the issue by checking off his declarations that 1) a wall would be
built, 2) the illegals would be sent packing, and 3) we as a country would
return to a nation of rules regarding who was allowed to enter America.
All well and good. But Kasich,
Bush, and Fiorina attacked this litany as lunacy, claiming that no humane nation
was going to "deport" 12 million human beings. To think of sending 500,000
Mexicans out of the country every month, said Bush, was inconceivable. The
statist group quickly piled on the Donald and attempted to bash him into
capitulation. This, of course, is impossible to do with someone like Trump. But
unfortunately in his response to his attackers, Trump couldn't get off his
standard declarations. He would not bring up the subject of magnets and why they
must be eliminated if we are ever going to solve the immigration problem. He
handles them in his recently released immigration plan, but he needs to also
articulate them in televised debates.
In other words, instead of talking
about "walls" and "deporting," Trump needs to be talking about enacting E-Verify
so illegals can be screened out in the application process for jobs. He needs to
explain to America about how we have to end welfare services and free schooling
for illegals. He must elaborate on the need for Congress to nullify the anchor
baby loophole regarding the 14th Amendment. These are the four magnets that draw
illegals to America; they must be eliminated, or we are playing a ludicrous game
of make believe.
In addition Trump needs to explain
that a new constitutional Amendment does not have to be passed to end the anchor
baby loophole as Fiorina and her statist cronies maintain. So there is no need
to round up and "deport 500,000 illegals per month" as Bush so preposterously
claims. Simply enact E-Verify, eliminate the other three magnets, and millions
of illegals will gradually "self-deport" over the next ten years peacefully all
on their own. High school students can grasp this, but Bush, Rubio, Fiorina and
On the subject of taxation each
candidate had a basic tax reduction plan (when did a Republican not pay homage
to "tax reduction"?). But none of the candidates put forth consistent
rationality regarding taxes. On this issue patriot Trump joins the statists with
a progressive rate plan. Only Carson, Cruz and Paul grasp the essence of
taxation in America, i.e., that it must be proportional. In other words
it must be comprised of "equal rates" in a country founded on "equal rights."
But Carson and Cruz put forth
impossibly low 10% rate plans with Cruz offering that a family of four that
makes under $36,000 would pay no taxes. This would increase the already
staggering "zero-payers" and sabotage his 10% rate before such a tax plan could
even make it out of committee in Congress because there would be no hope for
revenue neutrality. Carson's 10% plan would encounter the same difficulties, but
he says that his rate can be as high as 15% to avoid massive deficits. So there
is more rationality here. Paul approached sanity with a flat tax of 14.5%. But
both he and Cruz would eliminate all "payroll taxes," which would add billions
to the deficit.
Unfortunately all the GOP
candidates are engaged in making their wishes father to their facts on taxes.
The patriots get the philosophical aspect right (i.e., proportionality), but
fail to get the implementation aspect right (i.e., revenue neutrality). The
statists don't accept proportionality and are vague on the implementation
aspect, which is par for the course with statists. Vagueness is the foundation
stone of their political careers. Never be specific. That way freedom can be
avoided and bigger government can be smuggled into one's offerings under the
guises of necessity and responsibility.
The issue of foreign policy did
not split neatly into the statist and patriot camps. Trump and Paul were very
much patriots here viewing the Iraqi war as an abomination and cautioning any
kind of strong involvement in the Mideast. Carson was not as strong in this
regard, but was skeptical of major intervention. Cruz attempted to carve out a
middle ground in which America maintained a powerful military force but used it
judiciously in the Mideast and around the world. Standard conservative
boilerplate, which unfortunately gets talked about, but never
Patriots Trump and Paul
overwhelmed Bush, Rubio and Fiorina on the issue of Russia. Never in our history
have we refused to deal with the man in the Kremlin, and Fiorina's declaration
that she would not deal with Putin was vehemently ridiculed for the imbecility
that it is. Bush's attempt to declare a "no-fly" zone in the areas of Syria and
Iraq was equally demolished by Trump and Paul. "Are we going to actually shoot
down Russian planes," asked Paul? "Let Putin attack ISIS; I welcome it," said
In face of such apostasy the
statists were outraged, and they responded to Trump and Paul with hysterical
accusations of irresponsibility and naivety. Bush, Rubio, Fiorina and Kasich are
strident neocons. They subscribe to the necessity of American hegemony in the
Mideast and to a great extent throughout the rest of the world. Their espousals
in foreign policy are filled with odes to military glory. The grim realities of
their never-ending wars for world hegemony from a moral and financial standpoint
are simply ignored, which, of course, is the tyrannical ploy of all
dictatorships. Dwell on the alleged glories; ignore the inevitable
What verdict can we derive from
this gathering of Republicans? For starters the GOP is clearly the more rational
party over Hillary's lugubrious gang of grafters. But there are several moral,
philosophical, and economic discrepancies that prevail in the minds of both the
patriot and statist camps of GOP candidates. Far more in the statist camp, but
the patriots have some flaws that must be addressed.
Donald Trump and Ben Carson did
themselves no harm; they will continue to lead. Though both are weak on details
and explaining the finer more technical and factual points on each issue.
Whether this translates into withdrawal of support from the voters remains to be
Unfortunately Carson lacks the
strength of personality to be president. He would be manipulated by the CFR and
his principles sacrificed to the intimidatory presence of powerful operatives
behind the scene. Trump, on the other hand, has the strength of personality to
be president. He would stand up to the CFR, and perhaps stop the rush to the New
World Order despite his lack of articulateness on the finer points of policy.
Advisors can be gathered around him to furnish these.
Ted Cruz is a mixed bag, staunch
patriot and constitutional conservative on all issues but foreign policy. He
walks a tightrope when it comes to trying to balance his patriotism with his
militarism in foreign policy. But he has a grasp of the finer factual aspects of
policy and would be an imposing opponent to Hillary. Could he stand up to the
CFR elites who dominate behind the scene? Very doubtful.
Rand Paul is a lost cause. Despite
his strong constitutional stands and libertarian economics he simply lacks the
big personality to command the stage and be presidential. We live in the media
age, and big personalities are a requisite. The days when a Calvin Coolidge
could gain the White House are long gone.
Marco Rubio again impressed with
his assertive articulations and engaging debate style. But the man lacks
presidential demeanor, and worst of all, he is a gushing New World Order
advocate solidly in the neocon camp.
The other three statists - Jeb
Bush, Carley Fiorina, and John Kasich - come to the process "stillborn." Bush
radiates whimpiness and would be a craven puppet in face of the CFR bullies of
Washington. Fiorina is the classical ice queen of neoconservatism who has
memorized the New World Order play book and will dutifully implement it once in
office. Kasich is a forlorn retread from the eighties. Hysterical and obtuse, he
is, like his comrades, a dutiful puppet.
Stay tuned; it is going to be a
contentious and exciting campaign.
Nelson Hultberg is a freelance writer in Dallas,
Texas and the Director of Americans for a Free Republic www.afr.org. A graduate of
Beloit College in Wisconsin, his articles have appeared in such publications as
The American Conservative,
Insight, Liberty, The Freeman, The Dallas Morning News, and the
San Antonio Express-News, as well as on numerous Internet sites. He is
the author of The Golden Mean:
Libertarian Politics, Conservative Values. Email: NelsonHultberg@afr.org