Who Will Be Our Modern Day Jefferson?
By Nelson Hultberg
Anybody with a lick of sense realizes there's no difference anymore between the Democrats and Republicans. Both preach big dictatorial government to the people, and they do so relentlessly. Thus many Americans now realize that we need to open up the process and offer a small government vision as a third choice.
The question is how do we bring about such a goal. Many hurdles to a third-party exist, and many objections among conservatives to even begin such an attempt exist. What follows will provide some answers to those objections and outline a dramatic plan that will not only defeat Obama's socialist agenda in 2012, but also save America in the coming decades from Republican socialism.
Restoring the Republic
It is assumed that Ron Paul will run again for the Republican nomination in 2012. But could this maverick freedom advocate actually take the GOP nomination away from one of the establishment luminaries such as Romney, Gingrich, Huckabee, or Palin? Common sense tells us, no. But that doesn't mean he shouldn't try, for in the effort to do so the message of freedom at least gets a hearing.
But once Paul sees that he is going to be denied the nomination (along about February or March of 2012), he then needs to set his sights higher than just being a hard-money spokesman running Don Quixote-style campaigns to purge the Fed from the country. As important as this goal is, it's going to require many decades to achieve anything substantive regarding such abolishment. Are Americans ready to adopt a totally free-market banking system, which is what would be required if we eliminated the Fed? Certainly not this decade or next. Maybe in 50 years.
There is a bigger, better crusade for Ron Paul to lead, however. It could be implemented NOW, rather than in 50 years. And it wouldn't diminish his effort to expose the Fed and eventually phase it out.
Ron Paul needs to think "Independent Crusade" in the manner of Ross Perot in 1992, which would get him into the National TV Presidential Debates. The importance of this is that it puts Congressman Paul in front of 70 million voters on the major networks. Getting into the Republican nomination debates in primary season (as he did in 2008) only puts him in front of 10 million voters on the cable stations. Running as a Republican nominee is small potatoes. The big prize is the fall Presidential Debates. But only an Independent run can bring this about because Paul is not going to get into those debates as the GOP nominee.
There's also another reason why the "Presidential Debates" are so important. In the Republican nomination debates, the moderators can ostracize a candidate by asking him only a few superficial questions and then ignoring him in favor of statist favorites such as Romney or Gingrich. This is what they did to Paul in 2008. But in the fall Presidential Debates there has to be equal time given to all candidates. Thus the moderator cannot ignore the freedom candidate in favor of the establishment favorites.
For Ron Paul to create a successful Independent run, he will need to find a promising conservative (let's call him "Jefferson Thomas") to team with as his VP candidate and do what Ross Perot and James Stockdale did in 1992. It goes without saying that Jefferson Thomas must be a man with gravitas and big league political experience, which unfortunately Stockdale was not. Perot managed to get on the ballot in almost all the states in less than six months at a cost of about $25-$30 million. A ticket of Ron Paul and Jefferson Thomas could do the same thing. Paul has already demonstrated that he has that kind of money-raising capability.
Thus our goal must now be to find Jefferson Thomas, or to have him find us. He will have to possess a genuine respect for the Founders' vision. And he will have to be a strong social conservative, but one who wishes to promote traditional values in society through the churches and schools rather than legislative mandates.
By employing less radical language for some of Ron Paul's 2008 positions, a formidable ticket could be formed. In today's atmosphere of severe recession, ruinous foreign wars, Washington socialism run amok, and Tea Party revolts, such a ticket could garner the necessary 15% in the polls to gain entrance into the National TV Presidential Debates and give the freedom movement a podium in front of 70 million American voters.
A Ron Paul / Jefferson Thomas Independent run would electrify the country. It would sweep into the TV Presidential Debates in the same fashion that Ross Perot did in 1992. Today's crisis times would guarantee it. And what's most important is that this time, the Paul / Thomas ticket would be talking true free-enterprise and foreign policy sanity. Not to take anything away from Perot; he was a great American hero and a wonderful tribute to the country. But he did not advocate "limited government." He basically accepted the monstrous welfare-statism of the two major parties. Ron Paul and Jefferson Thomas would not do this; thus their message would be truly salvational. Imagine them running on the following four Pillars of Reform:
Pillar # 1: A 10% equal-rate income tax across the board as replacement for our progressive tax rate structure, which would restore equal rights under the law to the system. With elimination of all special privileges, exemptions, and breaks, the tax base would be large enough for a simple 10% rate to be revenue neutral. But most importantly such a tax would stifle the "infinite demand" for government services that results from exempting 50% of the nations voters as our present progressive system does. When voters pay zero taxes for their services, their demand for those services is infinite. This is a cardinal law of economics, and it is the primary source of the relentless government growth that is bankrupting our nation today.
A 10% equal-rate tax will stifle this relentless growth . Voters will no longer want all the pork and privileges if they have to pay for them proportionally out of their own pockets. They will begin demanding a steady reduction of government. They will begin demanding that the 10% rate be lowered to 8%, 7%, 5%, and eventually replaced with across-the-board tariffs and a small national sales tax. Voila! The horrid income tax and IRS could be ended in a decade or two simply by eliminating "progressive rates."
Pillar #2 : Mandating by law that the Federal Reserve increase the money supply annually at the same rate as the growth of goods and services -- approximately 4%. This would reduce price inflation to zero every year and end the horrible destruction of our currency and savings until we can convince Americans to end the Fed and restore gold. Milton Friedman suggested this years ago. It has its own flaws and thus is not a permanent solution, but it will stifle price inflation and buy time for us to educate America about vital monetary truths.
Enactment of these first two pillars of tax and monetary reform will bring hundreds of billions of dollars of investment capital back to America and millions of jobs back from overseas. It will create an explosion of economic productivity. It will restore our country's manufacturing power and our people's freedom because it will end the government's ability to expand through confiscatory taxation and currency debasement.
Pillar #3 : Radical immigration reform that encompasses a genuine crackdown on illegals and the total abandonment of any kind of amnesty. We don't need massive deportation schemes to bring this about. An effective immigration reform would entail mandating English as the country's official language, ending anchor baby policies, as well as chain migration and all welfare perks for illegals, along with persistent prosecution of all employers who hire illegals. In other words, remove the honey pots from our backyard, and the fire ants will stop invading us. The illegals will stay home.
Pillar #4: Ending the Mideast wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and returning to a mind-our-own-business foreign policy, which means we maintain a powerful military, but stop trying to be the policeman for the world. Carry a big stick, but walk softly would be the advice of the Founders. America does not need 140 military bases all around the globe. We are bankrupting the nation both morally and financially with such imperial hubris.
Imagine Ron Paul and Jefferson Thomas giving 30 minute lectures regarding these Pillars in prime time TV the night before each of their debates as Perot did so effectively in 1992 with his lectures on the coming debt crisis. Such an ideological challenge would shake up the corrupt Demopublican establishment in a very big way. In my opinion it would launch a profound paradigm shift in American politics.
Would a Paul-Thomas ticket be able to get 38% of the vote and win in a three-man race? Probably not; but what's important is that freedom would now have a powerful voice in national politics. This would lay the groundwork for Jefferson Thomas running again in 2016 as head of a new party and visionfor America -- a small government vision of freedom and sanity. That new party is already formed. It is called the Conservative American Party, and it could be officially registered in all states and sufficiently promoted to the American people by 2016 if Ron Paul and Jefferson Thomas endorsed it. Paul would be 80 years old by then, but he would become the elder statesman, the symbolic head of the party.
Unlike today's conventional third-parties that get only 1% of the vote, this would be a REAL third-party that achieves parity with the Democrats and Republicans and then replaces the Republicans as they replaced the Whigs in the 1850s.
Naysayers on the Right
The naysayers on the right will protest that such a campaign would split the Republican Party vote and assure Obama's re-election, which is intolerable. This is a false fear that is stultifying the freedom movement. Here's why. If a Paul / Thomas Independent ticket loses and Obama wins as a result of the GOP support being split, his socialist agenda can still be stopped because Republican conservatives will pick up a considerable number of seats in the House and Senate in 2012 -- adding to their sizeable gains in the recent 2010 elections. This will create gridlock and force Obama to come into the center and govern no differently than a Romney or Gingrich.
So what do we lose in 2012 by splitting the Republican vote? Nothing. What we gain, however, is the means to dramatically explain to America what is really happening. Our message of freedom gains access to 70 million voters! The Demopublican monopoly of ideas is broken! A genuine third choice is offered. This has never been done in the entire 48-year history of the Presidential debates.
What's important to grasp is that the country is finally ready to establish a conservative / libertarian era of government. The past 80 years of Marxist-Keynesian ideology has created the ruination that is driving the people to this realization. All that is necessary now is for a courageous leader to enter the scene and crystallize such a realization with a Ross Perot style campaign in 2012.
The path would then be open for a Jefferson Thomas win in 2016 on a Conservative American Party ticket, which would be genuinely revolutionary in a way that the ossified Republican Party can never be. The restoration of the republic could begin. The Four Pillars of Reform mentioned above could be implemented.
Would Ron Paul be willing to give up his House seat to run an Independent race? Hopefully so. At this time, we need him more in the National TV Presidential Debates than we do in Congress. He is no longer just a Representative from south Texas caught up in exposing the criminality of the Fed. He is the leader of freedom's hope in America. This entails different responsibilities and larger ambitions. The freedom movement needs to be sensationalized, which requires a leader who is articulately schooled in its ideological fundamentals. Ron Paul is the one who history has ordained as that political leader.
Many prominent intellectuals, talk show hosts, and activists, would support a Ron Paul / Jefferson Thomas ticket such as: Patrick J. Buchanan, G. Edward Griffin, Edwin Vieira, Judge Andrew Napolitano, Alex Jones, Chuck Baldwin, Peter Brimelow, Thomas Sowell, Paul Craig Roberts, John Stossel, Walter Williams, Bill Bonner, Sheriff Richard Mack, Stewart Rhodes, Rick Santelli, David Koch, Peter Schiff, John McManus, Peter Lillback, Ted Baehr, and thousands of other prominent men and women in positions of leadership in the business, media, entertainment, religious, and literary arenas.
The latest Gallup Poll indicates that 58% of the American people feel that the Democratic and Republican Parties are doing such a terrible job that a third-party is needed. The time for such a revolution is now. As Shakespeare said, "There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries."
America desperately needs a small-government vision in its political arena. And the best way to bring such a vision about is to launch it with an Independent run by Ron Paul and Jefferson Thomas in 2012, to be followed by the official formation of the Conservative American Party for 2016 with Jefferson Thomas as its candidate for President.
To learn more about the Conservative American Party, see The Conservative Revolution: Why We Must Form a Third Political Party to Win It. This book explains in great detail the Four Pillars of Reform.
Also a new documentary, inspired by The Conservative Revolution, is now in production by filmmaker, James Jaeger. The feature-length film entitled, SPOiLER - How a Third Political Party Could Win, features Pat Buchanan, Edwin Vieira, G. Edward Griffin, John McManus, PeterLillback, and others. A 3½ minute trailer is available at the official SPOiLER website at www.SpoilerUSA.org.
Conservatives and libertarians of America need to put their thinking caps on. Just as David O. Selznick conducted a nationwide search in the late 1930s to find his Scarlett O'Hara for Gone With The Wind, we need to find our Jefferson Thomas to team with Ron Paul for an Independent campaign in 2012 and then assume leadership of the freedom movement for 2016. Just as Hollywood needed Vivien Leigh, America now needs Jefferson Thomas to come forth.
Nelson Hultberg is a freelance writer in Dallas, Texas and the Director of Americans for a Free Republic www.afr.org. His articles have appeared in such publications as The Dallas Morning News, The American Conservative, Insight, The Freeman, and Liberty, as well as on numerous Internet sites. He is the author of The Conservative Revolution: Why We Must Form a Third Political Party to Win It and a forthcomingbook on political philosophy, The Golden Mean: Libertarian Politics, Conservative Values. Email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org