Seventeen GOP candidates for president of the United States paraded in front of us in Cleveland on August 6th. The establishment media crowed enthusiastically to the viewers about the import of this gathering to our lives as Americans. Chris Wallace and his fellow questioners milked the affair for all the drama they could squeeze from it.
Unfortunately this two-tiered debate was just one more exercise in the miserable irrelevancy of the media’s handling of “political affairs” in America today. With each passing year the nation drifts deeper into economic ineptitude, a macabre government intervenes further into all the nooks and crannies of our lives, and our culture sinks relentlessly into an abysmal preoccupation with gays, transsexuals, drug addicts, and other sundry oddities of life. Decadence and despotism loom all around us. There are scores of monumental issues that need to be discussed today openly and fervently by our media. But instead we got irrelevancy and default on the real problems that our country and culture face. Why were not the following paramount issues presented to the candidates in depth?
1) States’ rights versus Washington power.
We as a nation were formed under the concept of “federalism,” which means that all legislative power is to emanate first on the local level, then on the state level, and last on the national level. Yet over the past century, this fundamental principle of federalism has been destroyed. Washington dominates our lives like a one-eyed Cyclops, arrogantly and stupidly. The first duty of a president today should be to lead Congress in eliminating federal bureaucracies and returning power to the states and localities. This cannot be mere lip service for political appeal; it must be a vigorous, organized effort by the president to dismantle the stultifying ABC bureaucracies in Washington. The president must go in front of the American people repeatedly on TV like Ronald Reagan did to explain why massive bureaucracies such as education, energy, welfare, transportation, etc. must be turned back to the states and reduced drastically if we are to stave off bankruptcy as a nation, even phased out of existence if the people will it.
2) The Federal Reserve’s role in inflationary booms and busts.
Since 1972 there have been no limits on how much monetary expansion the Federal Reserve can bring about. Consequently the Fed has been expanding the money supply over the past 43 years at annual rates never before seen in the history of mankind. Thus the money supply has been growing far faster than the growth of goods and services, which is what creates inflationary booms and then the inevitable economic busts.
Congressman Ron Paul advocated ending the Fed as the answer to this problem. He is right, of course, but such a termination will take decades to bring about. The people have to be educated first as to correct banking and monetary policy. Thus in the meantime what do we do to stop the Fed from creating the booms and busts?
Fortunately there is a temporary practical solution to bridge the gap between today’s Fed corruption and a future with no Fed. The late Milton Friedman advocated a 4% automatic expansion of the money supply every year. This would remove responsibility for monetary growth from the arbitrary decisions of the FOMC and make it a simple computerized function by law. Money would grow at 4% annually, which would match the average GDP growth in a free economy. This would result in zero percent price inflation, which would bring stability instead of booms and busts. The Friedman plan is not a perfect solution, but it would buy us time until we could educate the people as to why and how we are to terminate the Fed. To avoid a depression, it could be phased into slowly.
3) Magnets drawing the illegal immigrants to America.
There are five primary magnets that draw illegals into our country. They are jobs, education, welfare services, the anchor baby loophole, and the privilege of Spanish as a public language. No wall or fence will ever stop the migration of Mexico into America. Only by removing the five magnets can we stem this invasion. Talk of “securing the border” without removing the magnets is for deceivers and humbugs. No problem can be solved without going to the root causes of the problem. The roots of illegal immigration are the five magnets. To eliminate them we must do the following:
Enact E-verify and enforce the criminal laws on the books regarding the hiring of illegals.
Mandate English as the official language for America in her public schools. Eliminate schooling and welfare benefits to illegals. Begin the process to end the anchor baby loophole of the 14th Amendment.
4) Should marriage be decided in the courts or by the culture?
Gays and lesbians are humans with the same rights as heterosexuals, and they deserve to be treated with the same respect and civility that one conveys to all other human beings. But they do not have the right to mandate their acceptance through the courts. Whatever acceptance in society they are to gain must come voluntarily through reason and persuasion.
Obviously gays and lesbians have a right to equality under the law, but this means only that they have the same right as all other citizens in society to form a “contractual union” and have it upheld by the law. It does not mean they have the right to coerce their fellowman by judicial decree into accepting such a union as a “marriage.” Marriage has, for thousands of years and for very sound reasons, been legally defined as between opposite sexes. Judges do not have the right to change this; only the people do. The determination of what constitutes marriage must be returned to the states and handled by a vote of the people.
5) Our police-the-world foreign policy.
In the Founding Fathers’ eyes the role of foreign policy was not to solve other nation’s problems, nor to dictate their forms of government. It was to defend our country’s security and survival. Our actions and alliances abroad were to be centered only around self-defense.
Is today’s aggressive foreign policy concerned only with self-defense? Or is it a policy driven by the egregious goals of corporate-government-banking combines? Is it America First? Or is it world hegemony dominated? Unfortunately it is the latter due to the neoconservatives rise to power over the past 30 years. It is their Wolfowitz Doctrine that guides Washington today. This doctrine maintains that America has an obligation to establish hegemony over all other nations via force in order to provide for a stable world because we are the only reigning superpower.
The question we must ask is: How can Washington justify the “spreading of democracy” through endless war and killer drones and think it is somehow pursuing justice? No nation has the right to dominate their neighbors because their technological superiority has made them the sole superpower. Such a foreign policy is imperialistic; it will bring America nothing but oppressive debt, international hatred, and quite possibly nuclear confrontation.
A Substantive Debate Needed
The above five issues are of vast importance. The survival of our country and our culture are at stake. Why were not clear cut questions asked of the candidates about federalism and states rights, about the role of the Fed in booms and busts, about immigration magnets, about the courts usurpation of the people’s right to define marriage, about self-defense vs. world hegemony? Because today’s media are not interested in substance and freedom, that’s why. They’re all about dog and pony shows and the further expansion of statism.
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 Social Critic, 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 (at) afr.org