There Are Grounds for Optimism

April 20, 2021 Updated: April 22, 2021

Commentary

While the state of the country is alarming, there are grounds for optimism. I believe that Trump supporters, most other Republicans, and traditional liberal Democrats can unite in a cohesive worldview to improve the appeal of the Republican Party to the point where it’s the majority party of the country. Yes, I said traditional liberal Democrats—please see below.

We know that Donald Trump had an extremely impressive record as president; three examples are, peace in the Middle East, a realistic attitude toward China, and a startling partnership with the pharmaceutical industry, leading to a vaccine in a fraction of the normal time frame.

Nevertheless, his accomplishments were hard-won, often accomplished despite weak congressional support and extensive lawsuits. But now, given the leftward lurch of the Democratic Party, including its hostility to civil liberties and debates about public issues, the changes Trump made now make this majority status possible by attracting disaffected Democrats.

But these successes must be adequately promoted. I submit that his ideas can be summarized in four general themes, and I will include selected subtopics. It will probably surprise readers that civil liberties and science are two of the four themes; the other two, representing more traditional Republican strengths, are foreign policy and economics, but these also contain new ideas. What’s needed is a series of succinct presentations to convince the public, that, despite the nonsense names we’re called, we now have a movement based on common sense, logic, and our experience with human behavior over many centuries.

At the end, I will discuss the issues of candidates and name changes.

A Rational Foreign Policy

The damage that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has done, because of COVID-19, to world health and the global economy is almost impossible to quantify. Because it prohibited travel from the city of Wuhan to other parts of China, but not the rest of the world, and because it cornered the market on personal protective equipment (PPE) in late 2020, the CCP can’t claim ignorance. Yet it has paid no price.

This is in combination with the massive theft of intellectual property. Accordingly, the United States should phase out most dependence on their economy and scientific training for students from China. Asian foreign students should come from other nations. Most important is the elimination of our frightening, almost complete dependence on the CCP for drugs.

The recent first meeting with China was a shameful and humiliating defeat for the United States, with the CCP lecturing Americans on human rights, despite extensive concentration camps and other ghastly human rights abuses.

Europe should contribute its fair share of defense expenses. The fact that Europe is appeasing Iran, and that Germany would make itself dependent on Russia through the almost-completed Russia to Germany pipeline means the United States shouldn’t shoulder the burden of protecting Europe if Europeans don’t care.

There’s breathtaking progress for peace in the Middle East. True to form, the Biden administration appears willing to do anything to undo all Trump reforms, including returning the focus to Iran rather than the moderate Arab states that have made peace with Israel.

We should stay out of other countries’ wars.

We should continue to strengthen our defense capabilities, which were neglected under Obama/Biden.

We need secure borders; admitting and disbursing people who have entered illegally and who have not been tested for the COVID-19 virus represents a reckless contempt for Americans.

And finally, no substantive international agreements should be implemented unless passed as a treaty by two-thirds of the Senate, as required by the Constitution.

Protecting Civil Liberties

Our civil liberties are increasingly threatened by the speech suppression carried out by corporations, especially Big Tech. There’s a long tradition of fighting monopolies in U.S. history, and the idea that these companies are not hostile to conservatives is laughable.

We need legal protection against viewpoint discrimination, which may even be coming to the military. In particular, the “cancel culture” means that people are increasingly subject to employment actions, including firings, as well as violence because of their world views. We’re also seeing corporations beginning to cancel vital financial services to conservatives.

Congressional “omnibus bills,” where most government spending is concentrated in a single bill, erodes the concept of democratic voting, forcing large amounts of wasted spending to be passed, for fear of a government shutdown. It may well bankrupt us. A law should be passed to prohibit this practice and require bills to be passed for each cabinet department.

All aid to colleges that restrict free speech or expel students without due process should be terminated.

In general, voting should be easier but more subject to validation. Currently, we have a voting season, not an election day, which means voters are not working off the same events. Interestingly, former President Jimmy Carter, a Democrat with a scientific background, noted that mail-in ballots could have validation problems. Election day should be a two- (or three-) day period, designed to reduce crowding; voters would be assigned to the appropriate day based on their last name.

Since opinion polls can potentially influence as well as reflect public opinion, pollsters should be required to publish their methodology and long-term prediction record. Because some elections may hinge on a few dozen votes, all records should be kept unaltered for at least a year after voting.

Authentic Science

I believe in vaccinations and have been fully vaccinated. Nevertheless, there’s good reason to question the reliability of the COVID-19 computer models and statistical analyses that have transformed our lives: the net value of the lockdowns, the failure to focus on the elderly, the constantly shifting recommendations, the reliability of the tests and death counts, and the constant emphasis on cases, regardless of mildness, rather than hospitalizations.

Society needs to know if politics played any role in the lockdowns and their inconsistent enforcement, the official hostility to interim drug treatments advocated by board certified physicians, and the hostility directed toward statisticians who questioned some of the interpretations of the data.

General science is also deteriorating. President Dwight D. Eisenhower is famous for his speech about the “military-industrial complex.” Less known is that in the same speech he warned about scientific research being overwhelmingly funded, directly or indirectly, by the federal government. Amazingly, more than half of all scientific studies can’t be replicated, even though replication and correct predictions are two of the key ingredients of good science.

Given that the universities and Big Tech are increasingly imposing uniformity in science, we need new institutions to ensure the highest quality in our experiments, statistical analyses, and computer models.

Economics

We need reduced regulation and better trade deals from all countries. “Free trade” now means “free raid.”

International employment visas have become a way to avoid paying American technical people market wages, leaving many of them unemployed.

We need more school choice. Schools should teach students how to think, not what to think. We should set up a public online library where students can actually learn math, reading, and American history.

The amount of the damage to the economy from lockdowns can be significantly blamed on the fact that public employees pay no economic price. Those who refuse reasonable requests to return to work should be docked their pay. Before any future lockdowns, there should be legislation in place that establishes a substantial reduction in pay for most public employees who are not first responders.

Because of President Trump, the Republican Party is becoming a working-class party. This is not surprising, because working people must be solidly grounded in reality. Meanwhile, the Democratic Party has increasingly abandoned ordinary Americans in favor of the wealthy and influential who largely produce unworkable ideas in academia and business.

Trump didn’t see minorities as political opportunities for demagoguery. Instead, he became the key advocate for enterprise zones, more funding for black colleges, and reduced sentences for reformed prisoners. He recognized that poor people in cities support and need the police.

The Way Forward

As noted, the leftist lurch of the Democrats and Trump’s reforming of the Republican Party mean that we should try to recruit traditional sensible liberals, since they must be increasingly appalled by the modern Democratic Party: the crushing of civil liberties, the abuse of the “justice” system, and the increasing politicization of knowledge.

We need new social media and political websites to develop these ideas. Perhaps the manager should be Donald Trump himself—after all, if, instead, he ran for president in 2024 and won, he would be a lame duck immediately, while this effort could last for decades.

We should work within the Republican Party, identifying the people with this worldview as “CentRights” (for “Center Right”), “PopCons” (for populist conservatives), or “Rationals.” We can accept a range of views from Republicans provided they will defend our rights.

Arthur Wiegenfeld is an independent investor in New York. He has training in economics, finance, physics, and computer simulation.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.