Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Thomas Sowell "My Platform" Conservative Radicalism.
Townhall ^ | 03/30/04 | Thomas Sowell

Posted on 03/30/2004 5:55:51 AM PST by Dutchgirl

From time to time some kind readers suggest that I run for public office, including President of the United States. No need for those on the left to panic. It is not going to happen.

Such suggestions, however, cause me to imagine what my platform would be if I were in politics. Once you see what that platform would be, you can understand why it will never happen.

Since politicians like to have campaign slogans, instead of "Bring it On!" my slogan might be "Get rid of it!" to describe all the laws, policies, and government agencies that I would abolish.

A more positive slogan would be "Conservative Radicalism." That is, my policies would be based on traditional values but would make radical changes in order to restore or enhance those values.

Cabinet-level departments, for example, would be reduced to just two -- the Defense Department and the State Department, with the latter purged of the weak-kneed internationalist crowd who have dominated it for so long. Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Labor, etc., would all be abolished as just money-wasting bureaucracies serving outside special interests, instead of the people whose taxes support them.

Government subsidies would be drastically reduced, starting at the top. That is, there would be a prohibition against giving a dime of government money to anyone whose annual income or total assets exceed one billion dollars. Why should agricultural subsidies be going to Ted Turner and David Rockefeller, or "universal health care" pay for their medicine?

Who could object to cutting off subsidies to billionaires? Once that was done, however, the next step would be to cut off millionaires. Then we could proceed on down the income scale until people making a hundred grand a year could no longer expect to be subsidized with the taxpayer's money.

The great advantage of this way of proceeding is that it would rob the media of opportunities to run sob stories about how some poor person was hurt by cutbacks in some government program -- even when the vast majority of those who were hurt were the bureaucrats who run these programs and slick special interests who hide behind the poor.

By the time we got down to cutting off all government subsidies to people making $100,000 a year or more, the federal budget would probably not only be balanced but have a surplus. Of course, there would be hordes of unemployed bureaucrats being interviewed on TV, complaining that the world was going to end, without their vital contributions. But that could be brushed aside.

With all the money saved by ending vast numbers of subsidies, the government could afford to pay the kinds of salaries that would attract highly qualified people from the private sector. For example, if every member of Congress were paid a million dollars a year, that would cost less than one percent of what it costs to run the Department of Agriculture.

As things stand today, a successful doctor, lawyer, executive, engineer or economist would lose money by becoming a member of Congress. This means that Congress is largely filled with people who either already have great wealth or people who don't have what it takes to earn a high income in the private sector -- or people hungry for power, who are the worst of all.

These are not the kinds of people who should dominate the making of laws in Congress or enforcing them in the courts. Short-sighted critics might object that the kinds of people we have in politics and the courts don't deserve to get a million dollars a year. But that is the very reason for trying to get better people.

If a million dollars a year won't do it, you could raise the pay to ten million and it would still be chump change compared to what is wasted by cheap politicians, who turn out to be very expensive politicians when wasting the taxpayers' money.

Then there should be term limits. In fact, elected officials should be limited to just one term. Otherwise, they and their staffs would be spending most of their time doing things to get re-elected in all but the last term.

These are just some of the things I would do in the name of "conservative radicalism." But it may be enough to show why there is no clear and present danger of my being nominated, much less elected.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Editorial; Government; Philosophy; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: bloated; bureaucracy; conservatism; constitution; government; thomassowell
A breath of fresh air. I'd vote for him!!
1 posted on 03/30/2004 5:55:52 AM PST by Dutchgirl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Dutchgirl
Unfortunately, he's in his 70's ...

Maybe someone else will pick up this platform, and we can vote for him or her! Sowell is the Greatest Living American Thinker, undisputed champ!
2 posted on 03/30/2004 5:59:00 AM PST by Tax-chick (Mother of a teenager for THREE days, and I'm still as sane as I ever was!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Dutchgirl
Thomas Sowell for President and Alan Keyes for VP.
3 posted on 03/30/2004 6:00:49 AM PST by ladtx ( "Remember your regiment and follow your officers." Captain Charles May, 2d Dragoons, 9 May 1846)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Dutchgirl
If you nominate, I second.
4 posted on 03/30/2004 6:02:11 AM PST by stylin_geek (Koffi: 0, G.W. Bush: (I lost count))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Tax-chick
he's in his 70's

He could always use Reagan's line about his opponent's youth and inexperience...

5 posted on 03/30/2004 6:02:14 AM PST by Dutchgirl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Tax-chick
I agree with you that he is a great thinker, but I would put Walter Williams up there with him.
6 posted on 03/30/2004 6:03:09 AM PST by 7thson (BT AR - means end of message - no reply necessary or wanted!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Dutchgirl
bump
7 posted on 03/30/2004 6:03:19 AM PST by Guillermo (Your own personal Konservative Klick-Guerilla)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Dutchgirl
"Get rid of it!"

LoL
8 posted on 03/30/2004 6:05:21 AM PST by nuconvert ("America will never be intimidated by thugs and assassins." ( President Bush 3-20-04))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Dutchgirl
I love the term limits. Citizen legislators once again instead of professional politicians with a death grip on office.
9 posted on 03/30/2004 6:07:28 AM PST by cynicom
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Dutchgirl
I don't like the label "conservative."
10 posted on 03/30/2004 6:08:48 AM PST by poolstick
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ladtx
Thomas Sowell for President and Alan Keyes for VP.

I second that. Imagine the debates!

11 posted on 03/30/2004 6:09:57 AM PST by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: ladtx
Thomas Sowell for President and Alan Keyes for VP.

Or:

Thomas Sowell and Ron Paul...

The FedGov needs a good wormin'!

12 posted on 03/30/2004 6:14:17 AM PST by FreedomFarmer (In memory of FReeper Harpseal. Yorktown.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Dutchgirl
Thomas Sowell makes far too much sense to win a national election.
13 posted on 03/30/2004 6:14:44 AM PST by Choose Ye This Day ("We are delighted that Pecker will be leading the way.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Dutchgirl
Wonderful piece by Sowell; he would never be allowed to do what he and we know is right however.

As a new Senator around 1972 said to me when I asked him how things looked back in Washington, his response was "It’s all over! Washington is nothing more than a back scratching party with no thought for the people except to get re-elected."......but that doesn't mean we should stop trying to reduce government.

14 posted on 03/30/2004 6:15:14 AM PST by yoe (The worse it is the better it is!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: poolstick
I don't like the label "conservative."

I see you are relative newbie. Perhaps you missed the "list of ingredients" on the front of the package...

Free Republic is an online gathering place for independent, grass-roots conservatism on the web. We're working to roll back decades of governmental largesse, to root out political fraud and corruption, and to champion causes which further conservatism in America. And we always have fun doing it. Hoo-yah!

15 posted on 03/30/2004 6:16:30 AM PST by Dutchgirl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: 7thson
Walter Williams is very impressive, but I don't think he has quite the overwhelming erudition of Thomas Sowell. Shelby Steele is more comparable to Sowell as a scholar. Each of them appeals to a slightly different group of readers, thus providing a broader dissemination of conservative ideas than any one by himself.
16 posted on 03/30/2004 6:16:31 AM PST by Tax-chick (Mother of a teenager for THREE days, and I'm still as sane as I ever was!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Aquinasfan
Sowell AND Keyes?

Sorry, far, FAR too much common sense and wisdom to be on the same ticket.
17 posted on 03/30/2004 6:17:22 AM PST by Choose Ye This Day ("IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII'm comin' up, so you'd better get this jihad started." [thanks, Silverback])
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Dutchgirl
Sounds good to me...
18 posted on 03/30/2004 6:18:49 AM PST by tubebender (My wild oats have turned to shredded wheat...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ladtx
Thomas Sowell for President and Alan Keyes for VP.

While this would be magnificent intellectually, Thomas Sowell himself says that he's too abrupt and confrontational to be a good candidate. His memoir "A Personal Odyssey" is fascinating ... he's very challenging.

19 posted on 03/30/2004 6:19:15 AM PST by Tax-chick (Mother of a teenager for THREE days, and I'm still as sane as I ever was!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Dutchgirl
Vote for him? I'd MARRY him! No, he won't run for president. But he should have the office next to the President's and advise like mad. Wouldn't it be a wonderful day to have the kind of freedom he is talking about?
20 posted on 03/30/2004 6:23:00 AM PST by mlmr (Honest officer, I wasn't speeding. This SUV is a low-flying rocket!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: All
We conservatives have such an amazing pool of brilliant men and women! Where are the liberal equivalents to a group like Sowell, Keyes, J.C. Watts, Williams and Williams (just listing black men ...)? They don't have them!
21 posted on 03/30/2004 6:23:01 AM PST by Tax-chick (Mother of a teenager for THREE days, and I'm still as sane as I ever was!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Dutchgirl
Run Thomas Run..... I rather like "Get rid of it".
22 posted on 03/30/2004 6:39:17 AM PST by freekitty
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Dutchgirl
I'd vote for him too.

Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice

23 posted on 03/30/2004 6:39:40 AM PST by katana (John Kerry, Male Prostitute)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Dutchgirl
A breath of fresh air. I'd vote for him!!

I probably would too. I wish I were able to ask Thomas Sowell where we could find such a candidate or who he is voting for.

Nader is probably the only candidate whose positions are even remotely similar to Sowell's positions. What are the odds on Nader's success?

I favor third parties and run-off presidential elections. Without run-off elections, Thomas Sowell, or any third party, has little chance. Imagine if Republican candidate Bush, Democrat candidate Kerry, and third party candidate Sowell were running for president and candidate Sowell was excluded from the debates. American would be denied from hearing one of the most brilliant minds in America debate issues with the leading candidates. To compound the sanctimony the leading candidates tell the citizens that voting for Sowell is a wasted vote.

However, consider the same scenario if no candidate received a majority vote and there were a run-off election between the two candidates receiving the most votes. Thomas Sowell may not be one of those two but under these circumstances, all citizens could have truly voted their conscience without fear of wasting their vote.

24 posted on 03/30/2004 6:40:43 AM PST by MosesKnows
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Tax-chick
You are correct. Concerning Sowell and Williams, I cannot remember a time when I have ever seen Sowell on the tube or hear him on the radio. Williams I hear a lot when he subs for Rush at times. He is a very witty man with a tongue in cheek sense of humour - the kind libs hate. I have read a lot of Sowell, including a couple of his books. He has stated several times that not only will he not run for office, but he would refuse any offer to any government position. It sort of like what Dennis Miller says - it sounds tempting until you realize you have to be in the same room with Barbara Boxer or someone like her - which there are a lot!
25 posted on 03/30/2004 7:01:48 AM PST by 7thson (BT AR - means end of message - no reply necessary or wanted!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: MosesKnows
Alan Keyes probably had his best shot back in 2000. He was in most of the debates with Bush and McCain. I voted for Keyes in the MD primary.
26 posted on 03/30/2004 7:04:10 AM PST by 7thson (BT AR - means end of message - no reply necessary or wanted!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: Dutchgirl
A great man for America --- bttt
27 posted on 03/30/2004 7:06:29 AM PST by bmwcyle (<a href="http://www.johnkerry.com/" target="_blank">miserable failure)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 7thson
I went to a Thomas Sowell speech years ago. He drew a huge crowd - economist groupies :-) - but he's not a lively speaker, or at least he wasn't then. His speech was like reading his books.

We need the intellectual powerhouses like Sowell (I feel like a total dope compared to him!) and then we need the Williamses, Larry Elder, Jesse Lee Peterson, etc., to spread the truth in different ways. Not that each of those aren't independent thinkers, but Sowell is the Big Brain, I believe. Even Alan Keyes, greatest speaker I can think of, still doesn't quite impress me with genius as Sowell does.

28 posted on 03/30/2004 7:09:24 AM PST by Tax-chick (Mother of a teenager for THREE days, and I'm still as sane as I ever was!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: MosesKnows
Umm, last I looked, Nader was a huge proponent of the "living wage" law.
29 posted on 03/30/2004 7:48:25 AM PST by stylin_geek (Koffi: 0, G.W. Bush: (I lost count))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: MosesKnows
Nader is probably the only candidate whose positions are even remotely similar to Sowell's positions. What are the odds on Nader's success?

I had to read these sentences several times to try to grasp the concept of the first one--since Nader is an advocate for cradle to grave socialist nanny government.

As for the second-I hate to sound like the impeached rapist in chief, but it really depends on what the meaning of "success" is.

Nader has been assuring McAuliffe that his presence on the ballot is not going to take votes from democrats...but the fact is that when the slime on Kerry finally oozes through the cracks of the partisan press, democrats of concience - and they all consider themselves people of concience- will not be able to pull the handle (or punch the chad) for Kerry.

After watching the Dick Cavett interview and seeing Kerry's responses to the FBI files proving he was present at a meeting where the assasination of US Senators was discussed, my husband has already stated that he could never vote for Kerry.

Their only alternative will be Nader, which equals success for Bush, but unfortunately, the election of a Republican no longer guarantees the promotion of conservative ideas or policies. It's like process cheese food, you know it's not the real thing, but you swallow it anyway.

30 posted on 03/30/2004 7:51:18 AM PST by Dutchgirl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: Tax-chick
Sowell is an Author, as well. His econ books are outstanding. Everyone should read them.

However, if everyone read (and understood, which is easy) his econ books, there would be no leftists to make fun of.
31 posted on 03/30/2004 7:54:22 AM PST by MrB
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: Tax-chick
"Sowell is the Greatest Living American Thinker, undisputed champ!"

I dearly love Sowell, have most of his books (which I've actually read), and have given copies of his books to friends for years. He's a Great Living American Thinker, and definitely one of the champs. But Milton Friedman is still the champ in my not so humble opinion.
32 posted on 03/30/2004 8:16:50 AM PST by labard1
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Dutchgirl
Bump.
33 posted on 03/30/2004 8:24:24 AM PST by First_Salute (May God save our democratic-republican government, from a government by judiciary.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Dutchgirl
This would get my vote in a heartbeat.
34 posted on 03/30/2004 8:26:23 AM PST by thoughtomator (Voting Bush because there is no reasonable alternative)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Dutchgirl
Got my vote!
35 posted on 03/30/2004 8:32:55 AM PST by RasterMaster (Saddam's family was a WMD - Voting DEMOCRAT can be hazardous to your health!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Dutchgirl
I think I'll e-mail this to my congressman, senators, and the white house.

yeah I know, they won't even read it, but I can dream ritght?
36 posted on 03/30/2004 8:40:34 AM PST by WhiteGuy (Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: labard1
I won't argue, because I love Milton :-). Our country has been blessed by his longevity - I hope Thomas Sowell lives as long!
37 posted on 03/30/2004 8:49:59 AM PST by Tax-chick (Mother of a teenager for THREE days, and I'm still as sane as I ever was!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: Tax-chick
They're both remarkable men, and our country has been improved by each of them.

Time magazine (not one of my favorite sources) once compared Friedman's impact on modern economics to an Errol Flynn figure singlehandedly capturing a modern battleship.

In addition to his "Knowledge and Decisions," which is probably Sowell's biggest contribution to professional economists, his writings on race could not have been penned by a white academic.
38 posted on 03/30/2004 9:19:57 AM PST by labard1
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: Dutchgirl
name the conservatism in the Gop
39 posted on 03/30/2004 10:20:43 AM PST by poolstick
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Tax-chick
If you like Sowell you would also like Dinesh D'Souza. Both as a writer and a speaker he is very good. They both can take any liberal argument and show it for the misguided and illogical foolishness that it is.
40 posted on 03/30/2004 1:26:54 PM PST by eggman (Social Insecurity - Who will provide for the government when the government provides for all of us?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: eggman
I used to read D'Souza in the "National Review." The only book of his I have is "My Dear Alex." I'll have to check the library catalog for more recent books; I know he has several. Thanks for the reminder!
41 posted on 03/30/2004 1:43:09 PM PST by Tax-chick (Mother of a teenager for THREE days, and I'm still as sane as I ever was!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: Dutchgirl
Sadly I'd bet that 99 out of 100 Black high school students have never heard of Mr. Sowell.
42 posted on 03/30/2004 4:13:06 PM PST by GSWarrior (I'm in love with the Glad 'Press 'n Seal' lady.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: poolstick
please, Sen. Kyl, adopt me!!.

WASHINGTON -- And the most conservative senator is ... Jim Bunning? Guess again.

It's Mitch McConnell, according to National Journal, a weekly publication based in Washington.

Actually, McConnell shares the title with three of his fellow Republicans -- Jon Kyl of Arizona, Don Nickles of Oklahoma and Craig Thomas of Wyoming. The four tied for most conservative senator in the latest congressional rankings published by National Journal.

Bunning, who ranked third last year and was thought by some to be the frontrunner for the top spot this year, fell out of the top 10 and tumbled all the way down to No. 25.

Bunning's staff laughed off his free-fall in the rankings, saying the Southgate Republican is just as conservative now as he has always been.

"He never claimed to be No. 1 on the most conservative list," said Bunning spokesman Mike Reynard. "When he sits down to vote, he votes on the issues that are most important to Kentucky. I don't think he sits down and reads National Journal and tries to figure out whether he's going to be on top of the list or not."

National Journal, which has been evaluating the conservative and liberal records of Congress members since 1981, compiled the list by analyzing congressional voting records for 2002.

The publication looked at 55 Senate votes that related to economic, social and foreign policy. The votes then were put through a statistical analysis to determine each senator's score.

The most liberal senator was the late Paul Wellstone of Minnesota, a Democrat who was killed just before the November general election.

Ohio's two Republican senators -- Mike DeWine of Cedarville and George Voinovich of Cleveland -- were listed among those near the ideological center of the political spectrum.

J. Michael Thomson, an associate professor of political science at Northern Kentucky University, said the ratings reflect a snapshot of how Bunning voted last year rather than a shift in his political values.

"A series of votes on two or three issues could turn these rankings," Thomson said.

"Jim might have voted time and time again as a fiscal conservative.

"But if you put a measure out there that is going to help Kentucky tobacco farmers, maybe he's going to be more pro-federal government aid because that is an issue important for Kentucky."

Btw, I live right next to Corrine Brown's district. Since she is a registered member of the democratic socialists, you can see why I am willing to accept Aner Crenshaw as my rep. in congress. My senators are journaling Bob Graham and Space Cadet Nelson- oohh if he could only be washed up on a desert isle with Barbara Eden for a few years...


43 posted on 03/30/2004 4:43:10 PM PST by Dutchgirl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: Dutchgirl
Their only alternative will be Nader, which equals success for Bush

I suggest you reconsider this conclusion, especially the last part.

44 posted on 03/31/2004 5:28:09 AM PST by MosesKnows
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson