A Time For Radicalism

The word radicalism scares people, but the etymology is quite plain. It means getting back to the root—from the Latin radix. It carries no necessary ideological connotation. It merely means […]

The word radicalism scares people, but the etymology is quite plain. It means getting back to the root—from the Latin radix. It carries no necessary ideological connotation. It merely means to wipe away the fluff, cruft, and baloney and speak about what matters. It also means to do what matters to find the core truth.

In this case, this is a time for radicalism. Certainly, the GOP base is looking for that.

There’s a massive chasm that separates the political class from the mood on the ground among voters. It’s been true for a very long time. The way American politics works is that there’s a pull toward conventionality and staying out of trouble with cliches and rehearsed talking points. In 2016, Donald Trump threw all that nonsense aside and spoke with authenticity and brazen disregard for civic conventions—and voters loved it and rewarded him with the most implausible nomination and election victory imaginable.

There’s surely a lesson here. Why are so many people in the running for the nomination ignoring it? The public is so over the play-it-safe and don’t-get-canceled song and dance. It’s too late in the day for that.

At the Aug. 23 debate, the moderators set up a decent tone from the first question that played Oliver Anthony’s “Rich Men North of Richmond” while asking the candidates why they thought it was so popular. There was the cue: Let’s get some hard-core truth.

Sadly, most of the candidates got a frog stuck in their throats. Vivek Ramaswamy and Ron DeSantis had their moments, but they’re not yet there with a clear plan for getting this country back to where it needs to be with a radical vision that stands up to the whole of the corrupt institutions in this country, including not just government but also pharma, media, and tech.

As a result, viewers heard almost nothing about censorship, forced mRNA poisoning, the wreckage of small businesses, the plague of administration dictatorship, the intrusions and plots of the World Health Organization, collapsed public health, inflation, the attempt to deploy a digital dollar to create a China-style social credit system of political surveillance, and the unsustainable global military empire, much less the very real threat of a new round of lockdowns.

For that reason, the debate left most of us with a sense of emptiness and suggested a bad omen for the future. Only one candidate was willing to go on record in opposing the U.S. proxy war against Russia, which 71 percent of the Republican base completely rejects. The rest seem dedicated to a war that no regular person wants.

We really need a fresh start here, and it needs to come with specifics. Fortunately, we have a good model in the remarkable ascendance of Javier Milei, economist and current member of the Argentine Congress. He won an unexpected primary that set him on the road to become the next president of the country. The victory utterly shocked the establishment, but it shouldn’t shock us. Argentinians are fed up. And crucially, Mr. Milei has a clear plan for restoring freedom and prosperity.

With the help of Manuel García Gojon, let’s examine what he has laid out in very clear terms. Mr. Gojon calls it Mr. Milei’s “pragmatic plan for government.” It’s one of the most compelling plans I’ve seen and should be adopted here in the United States insofar as it applies.

First, Mr. Milei plans to abolish 10 agencies of government, taking them from 18 to 8. The agencies on the chopping block are interior, foreign affairs, defense, economy, justice, security, infrastructure, and human capital. All employees will be reassigned. No career appointees will be renewed. No government employees will be given drivers and bodyguards. All state-owned companies will be sold.

This step is essential in a country such as the United States, which has not 18 agencies but 423 of them, according to the Federal Register. I would like to believe Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s promise that he could reform them by eliminating conflicts of interest, but I doubt it. A much safer path is the complete and immediate abolition of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Health and Human Services, the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Energy, the IRS, the FBI, the Transportation Security Administration, the Department of Homeland Security, many branches of Treasury, the Department of Labor, and many more besides.

None are constitutional, and none have proven themselves worthy of existing. Their essential functions, such as issuing passports or maintaining the interstate highway system, can be decentralized or transferred.

Second, he proposes an immediate and across-the-board spending cut amounting to 15 percent of gross domestic product, which is $4 trillion. It’s a good beginning and only takes us back to 2004 in terms of spending totals. Does anyone really believe that the federal government was too small less than a decade ago? Washington will wail and scream, but such a step is essential. It would allow the complete abolition of the income tax with plenty of revenue left over from other sources.

Third, Mr. Milei proposes the liberalization of all labor regulations to help small businesses and workers. It would allow businesses to hire and fire without the continual threat of litigation. It would also need to make Federal Insurance Contributions Act taxes voluntary and find other ways to fund Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare while they’re phased out as a fiscal burden better covered by a liberalized health care, retirement, and unemployment system.

Fourth, Mr. Milei would liberalize trade with the elimination of import and export tariffs. This is essential for South America, but it would be equally advantageous to the United States. This suggestion will not be popular with the GOP because they’ve been so thoroughly convinced of the protectionist cause. Even so, all tariffs are taxes on U.S. businesses and consumers. That’s just a fact, and former President Trump’s proposal for a 10 percent tariff on all goods entering the United States would be nothing short of an economic catastrophe.

Fifth, Mr. Milei proposes the complete elimination of the central bank in Argentina and its replacement with a currency board using the U.S. dollar. This is a sensible reform, but crucially, for our purposes, he also suggests that any commodity or foreign currency be treated as legal tender. This must include Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and also gold and silver. This measure would destroy the dangerous moves to a central bank digital currency. It would also unplug the Fed as the monopoly currency creator. Still more is necessary here, such as the elimination of open market operations and the full stabilization of the dollar, as steps toward perhaps making the dollar as good as gold again.

Sixth, Mr. Milei proposes to eliminate all subsidies to energy providers. This has U.S. relevance in a huge way, given the extreme restrictions placed on so-called fossil fuels and the massive subsidies to so-called green energy. These wind turbines all over the South and West are absurd and make no sense at all given the oceans of oil under our feet. This is a crucial step to make sure that the United States can continue the Industrial Revolution and not be forced into a darkened age of blackouts and energy insecurity.

Seventh, Mr. Milei would push for agricultural reform that would eliminate all central planning in food production. The United States, too, needs to bust up the agriculture monopolies that are killing local farmers and distributing inferior and often dangerous food to U.S. consumers. Everyone on the planet knows that the United States has the worst and most unhealthy food supply in the world, and this is solely due to U.S. regulations and monopolies.

Eighth, Mr Milei proposes radical judicial reform to end the politicization of the judiciary. This is hugely important now in this country given the weaponization of the Department of Justice. We need better, more intelligent, and politically independent judges throughout the country. President Trump did a world of good with his judicial appointments, but there’s still a very long way to go.

Ninth, we need the dramatic welfare reform that Mr. Milei proposes. The goal should be a fully privatized system that eliminates government agencies and replaces them with private systems. We had just such systems in the late 19th century in this country, and many religious groups such as the Amish and Mormons have proven that this can happen again. As part of this, we must end federal involvement in education and return all power to the local level and parents, and that goes for colleges and universities, too.

Tenth, Mr. Milei wants to end government control of the health and medical systems and establish medical freedom as a core value. There should be no mandates on what insurers can and cannot offer and no subsidies for businesses to be the main providers of health insurance. There’s no reason that the medical system cannot become a genuine market instead of being a government-protected and industry-controlled oligopoly. The GOP let the moment pass to truly repeal Obamacare, but now it’s too late and the whole system of medical care in this country needs to be uprooted and put back into the hands of the people based on the principle of freedom of choice.

Immigration is not a big issue in Argentina, but it is in the United States. Here, we clearly need to stop the insanity at the border and replace it with a rational system of work permits and the rule of law. The status quo in which American cities are being overrun by refugees is only going to lead to a massive political backlash against all immigration. This issue needs urgent solutions, including an immediate closure of the Southern border and a revisiting of the entire system so that we get immigration that’s consistent with humane values and rising prosperity.

Does all of this sound too crazy to pass political muster? That’s what everyone seems to believe. But honestly, my sense is that the political establishment and media have underestimated just how angry the American people really are today. We’re desperately hungry for truth and radical reform.

There has never been a better time for a Milei-style candidate in this country to take this platform, put it on a two-pager, and make a contract with the American people to follow through. This should have been done months ago, but there’s still time.

If the GOP doesn’t get its act together and offer a genuine alternative—and that surely must include an immediate end to foreign wars and the abolition of hundreds of agencies—it risks letting freedom continue to drain away under the control of the Democratic National Committee and the deep state. That’s intolerable.

 

Jeffrey A. Tucker is Founder and President of the Brownstone Institute and the author of many thousands of articles in the scholarly and popular press and ten books in 5 languages, most recently Liberty or Lockdown. This commentary was first published here.

Related Items:

Jeffrey A.Tucker’s interview with David Leis on Leaders on the Frontier can be seen here.

His testimony at the National Citizens Inquiry (Winnipeg) may be viewed here.

Featured News

MORE NEWS

Invest in Roads Not Transit

Invest in Roads Not Transit

The jury is still out in Winnipeg: should governments be spending money on roads or more public transit? Well, a new policy brief from the Frontier Centre show that the sooner governments abandon their bias against cars the better. A recent University of Toronto paper...

Canadian Author T.K. Kanwar Defends the Virtues of American Liberty

Canadian Author T.K. Kanwar Defends the Virtues of American Liberty

Books matter! Literature can influence the course of a nation’s history. The world will long remember Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn for exposing the tyranny of 20th century Bolshevism. In novels like “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich,” “Cancer Ward,” and “In the First...

What Do Israelis Want; What Do Palestinians Want?

What Do Israelis Want; What Do Palestinians Want?

Israelis and Palestinians want contrary things. Pretending that their wants are reconcilable does not help; it obfuscates reality. Imposing policies not based on reality guarantees failure. Jewish Israelis want to live in a secure and prosperous society in their...