After a week in which I
watched President Obama’s final State of the Union address and
Republican and Democrat presidential debates, I am ready to declare
myself: still candidateless.
I’m not one of those
voters who must have the perfect candidate; I’m practical enough to
know if that was my requirement, I’d have to run myself. So I’m just
looking for the candidate who is most like me, albeit with an
I wouldn’t run third
party, so I could run as either a Democrat or Republican. I’d start
by assuming that the primary voters aren’t what we’ve seen in other
years, that angry or anxious citizens may be looking at this
election from outside their usual boxes.
First thing, I’d announce
that I won’t be pandering to the “religious right” or the socialist
left. The only Biblical quote you’ll hear from me is one of the
Beatitudes, “Blessed are they who hunger and thirst after Justice,
for they shall have their fill.” I’m not into blessing the poor in
spirit, the meek, or the peacemakers at the moment, if ever. It’s
time to get firm with those who create Injustice.
Along with the Second
Amendment (“from my cold, dead hands”), I have a clear understanding
of the First Amendment. You won’t hear me advocating a religious
position on abortion or gay marriage; if asked about these issues,
I’ll refuse to discuss them in the context of a political campaign.
If asked about litmus tests for the U.S. Supreme Court justices I’d
get to appoint, I’ll say there’s just one: “hungering and thirsting
after Justice and the American Way, as envisioned by our Founding
(OK, toss in reversal of
the court’s Kelo
decision: Donald Trump lost my vote with his support for that
kind of eminent domain.)
There will be the usual
challenge to the Founding Fathers on the slavery issue. I am
prepared with my answer: Slavery was abolished 250 years ago, the
Civil Rights Act is half a century old. It’s time to honor MLK’s
suggestion that we judge everyone by the “content of their character
and not the color of their skin,” which is where we were heading
before the election of a black president we weren’t allowed to
criticize without being called racist. During my presidency, I won’t
discuss anyone as part of a racial group, just as an American; I
won’t even notice race or color. All American lives are going to
matter, or my attorney general will be on the case.
With the support of a
majority, I hope, of Congress, the welfare state will be phased out,
leaving just a “safety net,” as the debt ceiling will not be raised
again to add to the national debt. I won’t be blackmailed into
increasing social spending in order to increase military spending:
as a former Navy wife, I saw plenty of waste in military budgets,
Like Rand Paul, I’ll be
noting that we can’t justify getting involved in foreign wars, even
when one is a good idea, until we can afford it. In the past, the
United States would borrow to carry on a necessary war, then pay
down the debt from that war as soon as possible when it was over.
This sensible practice ended when we moved immediately from the
expenditures of the Vietnam War to the new costs of the Great
Society. I’ll be working with the National Taxpayers Union for a
federal balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.
welfare spending is more difficult now than it would have been a few
decades ago because there aren’t as many jobs as there used to be
for beginning workers. I’d hope to get Trump to negotiate some deals
that would bring back manufacturing jobs, and give us better trade
agreements than the one that is presently on the president’s agenda.
On the other hand, I’d ask
Congress for adjustments to unemployment benefits and to take a
close look at disability benefits, so that jobs would be filled in
this country without resorting to illegal immigrants. Employers will
just have to offer pay and benefits that would get crops picked and
social services provided, starting to address income inequality by
using the marketplace.
Yes, we consumers might
have to pay a little more; that’s the price of a society that works.
“Buy American If Available” would be a slogan of the Anderson
In the interest of
creating jobs, we would need rational tax policy: I’d ask Carly
Fiorina to join my Cabinet, to work with the various plans, from the
present candidates’ to the
to try to get somewhat closer to the three-page tax code she’s
mentioned. Dr. Ben Carson, also in the Cabinet, would be in charge
of repealing and replacing ObamaCare – certainly not with Bernie
Sanders’ single-payer system.
Senators Ted Cruz and Rand
Paul would still be in the Senate, so I would have fiscal allies
there along with Paul Ryan in the House. Admiring as I do Sen. Cruz’
principled position on ethanol subsidies, I too would support
phasing them out.
The Republican governors
would oversee “laboratories of democracy” that share their ideas
with other governors, as Mitt Romney intended with his RomneyCare
and Massachusetts’ education reform. I’d ask him to help stop Common
Core and return education issues to the states, and work with Trump
on that “self-deportation” thing with illegal immigrants as the
welfare state ends.
I’d ask Jeb Bush to help
create a sensible legal immigration policy, like the one we used to
have when most of our own family immigrants came here. However, I
would discourage immigrants or refugees from countries with
governments hostile to America and its constitutional freedoms until
a way is found to adequately vet them.
We can discuss foreign
policy after we get our domestic act together and are admired
internationally again. Maybe next week.
Barbara Anderson of
Marblehead is a weekly columnist for the Salem News and
Eagle-Tribune Publishing Company.