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America Needs A Limited-Government Populist For President‏

Investor's Business Daily
September 2, 2015
By Ernest S. Christian

The American people are being badly hurt by too much big government forced on them by President Obama and the Democrats in Congress. The remedy is to elect a new president of the limited-government populist variety.

A weakened America needs a compassionate, strong-minded leader who speaks and acts to empower people, not government; who returns to the people the freedoms and prosperity taken from them by Washington, and who restarts America's engine of upward mobility based on merit and civic decency.

The new president can rescue and restore America's economy, its Constitution, its competence, its integrity, its self-respect, its standing in the world and, ultimately, its soul.

Like Margaret Thatcher, the new president can defeat those who attack from within and, like Winston Churchill, fight with tenacity and skill to defend the nation's borders. Like Ronald Reagan, the new president can also put a confident smile back on America's face and muscle in its arm.

By definition, a 21st century populist president will in heart and mind see things not from government's perspective but from the people's. From their perspective, Washington's ubiquitous "mistakes" that destroy jobs and incomes are not just bad economics; they are moral crimes for which the people's new president should have zero tolerance.

Political correctness must be replaced with free speech and thought, falsehood with truth, failure with success and weakness with strength.

No Obama Clone, Please

The mess Obama has made with the economy and with health care must also be fixed with firmness and skill. And so must the foreign policy mess that the Obama-Clinton-Kerry axis has made in Iran and elsewhere.

But the much-needed disciplining of Washington and the essential reforms in domestic and foreign policy will not occur unless the voters elect a president who is the polar opposite of the present one.

What a tragic irony it would be if voters who are angry about the problems caused by big government were to be duped into electing an Obama clone who — while appearing different and promising success — seized power, expanded government and took the same destructive ultra vires actions that Obama did in causing the problems in the first place.

In 1932, voters elected Franklin Roosevelt mistakenly thinking he would cure the Great Depression. Having no good idea about how to do so and being surrounded by socialists, he arrogated to himself new powers and took extraordinary actions that probably prolonged the Depression and certainly damaged the Constitution and the courts in ways that still afflict us.

In contrast, instead of being a usurper, a limited-government president will be respectful of the Constitution, the rule of law, the rights of the people, and the principles of fair play and decency manifest in the American Creed described by Samuel Huntington as secular Christianity.

Further — instead of being short of good solutions — a limited-government populist will know the way to cure what presently ails America is to make the federal government smaller, not bigger, and Washington bureaucrats less powerful while making people, families, private enterprise and the economy stronger.

Obama and the postmodern leftists who now dominate the Democratic Party have a wrong idea about the proper role of government. They've expanded its size and used its power as a weapon in an effort to "transform" America.

They've damaged the economy, killed the jobs that would have enabled millions to escape the welfare trap, restricted free speech and religious liberty, interfered with the doctor-patient relationship, put bureaucrats in charge of medical care while raising its price, increased the cost of education while reducing its quality and weakened our military while strengthening Iran's.

And unless these depredations are reversed, they will rob America's young people of their birthright.

Can Change Quickly

If Hillary Clinton or some other Obama-affiliated Democrat is elected Nov. 8, 2016, and President Obama effectively gets a third term, the downward spiral of America will almost certainly continue — propelled by high taxation, deficit spending, job scarcity, low productivity, low workforce participation, increasing welfare rolls, racial and ethnic strife, illegal immigration, constitutional violations and cronyism.

If a 21st-century, stand-up-for-America Republican populist is elected, the needed transition from a big government to a big economy can begin immediately and move forward in an efficient and sensible way.

If the new president has the support of a grass-roots, upward-mobility coalition of voters from all backgrounds, and if the Congress cooperates, the people can again be in charge of their own lives and the economy can soon return to a high-growth path of plentiful jobs and rising incomes.

The naysayers and relentless mongers of racial and ethnic enmity on the left are likely to be shocked by how quickly economic growth, civic decency and common sense can cure poverty, stagnation and strife.

The choice between two very different futures depends on the wisdom and moral integrity of the American people.

Will young Americans rise up and vote to reclaim the future the Democrats are taking away from them?

Will the strong backbone of America, the people of all races and origins who work hard, raise families and fight to defend our homeland go to the polls en masse to call a halt to Washington's destructiveness?

Will people condemned by Democrats to life on welfare do as Ben Carson suggests: vote for jobs and dignity and against dependency?

Elections are the foundation of freedom; they must be treated with prayerful reverence — especially the one in 2016. It will change America.

Christian is a lawyer in Washington, D.C., who was a Treasury Department official in the Ford administration.


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