Former Illinois Republican Congressman Joe Walsh has issued a no-holds-barred call for a right-wing Republican to run against President Trump in the Republican primaries. Walsh’s call appeared in an op-ed entitled “Trump Needs a Primary Challenge” that appeared in yesterday’s New York Times.
Walsh is obviously not satisfied with the current primary challenger to Trump, former Republican Governor and former Libertarian Party vice-presidential candidate Bill Weld, who he refers to as a candidate from “the center.” Walsh wants a candidate from “the right.”
Walsh takes Trump to task on a number of points, including his out-of-control federal spending and debt, his trade war, his “flag-hugging,” his military parades, his siding with Russian President Vladimir Putin over his own intelligence community, his failure to take Russian interference in America’s elections seriously, his embrace of foreign tyrants, and his being a “racial arsonist,” a liar, a bully, and much more.
Walsh’s attack amounts to the standard argument that has characterized Republicans whenever there is a Democratic president. In fact, it’s the same argument that characterizes Democrats whenever there is a Republican president. That argument, which Walsh is now directing to a member of his own party, is: We need a “better person” in the presidency. Or in a larger sense, we need to elect “better people” to public office. It’s a political tripe that we’ve heard from both parties for decades.
America’s woes are not rooted in the failure to elect “better people” to public office. We could elect the best person in the United States, as selected by a joint team of mainstream newspapers editors and pastors across America, as president, and America’s woes would nonetheless continue.
That’s because the problem isn’t Donald Trump any more than it was Barack Obama, George W. Bush, or Bill Clinton. The problem is structural, not personal. The problem is rooted in the welfare-warfare state way of life under which we live. In fact, it’s that dysfunctional political-economic system that is the very thing that enables people who lust for power to get on top in the political process. That point was emphasized many years ago by the Nobel Prize-winning libertarian economist Friedrich Hayek in his essay “Why the Worst Get on Top,” which appeared in his book The Road to Serfdom.
We live under a system based on mandatory charity, which forces Americans to be good and caring. The crown jewel of this system is Social Security. Contrary to what seniors have been taught to believe, no one makes “contributions” into the system. And there are no lock boxes at Fort Knox with each person’s name on them containing their “contributions.”
Under this system of mandatory charity, federal officials forcibly take money from young people and give it to seniors. They say that this makes young people caring and compassionate. Why not simply leave young people free to make that call on their own? Because, Republicans and Democrats say, young people can’t be trusted to make that decision. They might turn their backs on their parents, grandparents, and other elderly people who need help.
We are told that mandatory charity is what freedom is all about. It’s a lie.
We live under a socialist healthcare system, one that began with Medicare and Medicaid and ended up destroying what was the finest healthcare system in history, one that was based on free-market principles. We’re now told that the only way to fix it is by having government take even more control of healthcare. They say that this is what freedom is all about. It’s a lie.
We have drug laws that jail people for ingesting unapproved substances. We’re told that this is emblematic of a free society too. It’s a lie.
We have an educational system that forces parents to subject their children to a state-approved education. It’s a system that is funded through coercion. We’re told that that is freedom too. It’s a lie.
We are subject to trade wars, sanctions, and embargoes that not only target foreign citizens for death but also subject Americans to prison for violating the them. Again, we’re told that such measures show how free we are. It’s a lie.
We live under a socialist immigration system, one based on the concept of central planning. Not only has it produced death and suffering, it has also come with an immigration police state. Again, this only goes to show how free we are, both Democrats and Republicans tell us. It’s a lie.
We live under a national-security state form of governmental structure. North Korea is a national-security state. So is China. And Cuba. And Russia. And Egypt. Republicans and Democrats both maintain that when we live under a national-security state, that shows how free we are. It’s a lie.
We live in a society whose government has killed foreign people on a regular basis for 30 years. We’re told that it’s for “defense” and to protect our rights and freedoms. It’s a lie.
Meanwhile we live in a society in which there are soaring suicide rates, especially among young people, massive alcoholism and drug addiction, and ever-increasing violence, including through irrational and bizarre mass killings of innocent people. By any reasonable definition of the word, American society can truly be described as “dysfunctional.”
The problem we face in America is that all too many people continue to believe that the solution to all his mayhem is to elect “better people” to public office. It’s not. The solution entails doing some deep soul-searching about the founding principles of liberty expressed in the Declaration of Independence, acknowledging the consequences of having rejected those principles, and figuring out how to achieve them. When liberty and a limited-government republic are restored to our land, no one will care who is president because the federal government will no longer have the power to do bad things to people or good things for people.