After Iowa

By Thomas Sowell

Senator Marco Rubio, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz
Senator Marco Rubio, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz
Thomas Sowell
Thomas Sowell

USA –  -(Ammoland.com)- Senator Ted Cruz’s upset victory against Donald Trump has robbed “The Donald” of his stock answer to any criticism from rivals— that he is winning and his critics are losers.

Now that he has lost, Mr. Trump may finally have to try to come up with some substantive arguments about the complex issues facing this country, rather than simply boast about the great things he will do when he becomes president.

Trump may turn out to be like the Wizard of Oz, after the curtain was pulled back to reveal the real man who was been busy projecting an awesome image.

Everything, however, depends on Trump’s followers, and on how much they have what William James called “the will to believe.” Iowa’s system of caucuses forced those followers to confront other people with different views before they could vote. In other states, they can simply walk into the voting booth and vote their unchallenged beliefs.

Although Trump was defeated in Iowa, he was by no means routed. Without the special handicap that the Iowa caucuses presented, he may still bluff his way through to the Republican nomination. And with Hillary Clinton’s lies and illegalities catching up with her more and more, this could still end up with a President Trump in the White House.

With this country at a crossroads, facing social degeneration at home and dire threats from abroad, the last thing we need is an uninformed bluffer with a runaway ego in charge of our fate. Neither Trump’s talent as a media performer nor his wheeler-dealer economic success is a substitute for the depth of knowledge and the chastening experience required for governing a great nation.

What about the alternatives to Trump?

After months of media fixation on Trump, and so-called “debates” that featured sound-bites which seldom got below the surface, we know remarkably little about the other candidates. The fact that there have been so many candidates has added to the problem of trying to understand any of them.

We can only hope that never again will the fate of this nation depend upon a media gimmick like these “debates,” which obscure and mislead far more than they inform us about anything beyond the candidates’ talents for glib responses.

Having each candidate sit down alone with an experienced interviewer for an hour-long, in-depth discussion of the problems facing the country would tell us a lot more about the things that matter. But such discussions would be unlikely to have as high media ratings as the sound-bite circuses we have seen.

With current realities being what they are, we can only make our choices among the alternatives available. That means both the existing candidates and the existing ways of learning about them.

There is much to be said for choosing among candidates with a track record of governing that we can judge. But none of the candidates with experience as a governor had voter support as high as 10 percent in Iowa.

Senator Ted Cruz’s experience as attorney general of Texas is the next best substitute. But it is still only a substitute. Others have zero experience of actually running a governmental organization and having to take responsibility for the consequences of how it ran.

Senator Cruz’s refusal to pander to the sacred cow of ethanol subsidies in Iowa showed a resolve that is rare in politics, and may account for the Republican establishment’s sudden shift to a more favorable view of wheeler-dealer Trump— someone who can “rise above principle,” as an old-time politician once put it.

Dr. Ben Carson’s monumental achievements as a brain surgeon, and as a human being, have made him an obvious favorite, even among people who did not vote for him. But you have to get the votes.

Only three people received enough votes in Iowa to lift them above 10 percent— Senator Cruz, Donald Trump and Senator Marco Rubio. Unless something spectacular happens in New Hampshire, these may be the voters’ only viable choices.

Senator Rubio has both a heart-warming personal story and an attractive personality. But his fling at joining with ultra-liberal Democrat Chuck Schumer to try to push an amnesty bill through the senate suggests that he too has the ability to “rise above principle” that is all too prevalent in politics.

About Thomas Sowell
Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, as well as a prolific author including Black Rednecks And White Liberals. His website is www.tsowell.com. To find out more about Thomas Sowell and read his articles visit his website above.

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The Truth
The Truth
5 years ago

Gee Thomas Sowell, looks like you’ve been humping the leg of Ted Cruz lately. Ted Cruz, he’s against illegal immigration, Obamacare, gun control and corporate personhood, but most of all Ted Cruz wants to revive Christian morality in America.” Ted Cruz spoke of the five unelected judges who issued a lawless fundamentally, illegitimate decision purporting to tear down the marriage laws of all 50 states. So who are these unelected judges Ted Cruz speakes of? Well Ted, we know you are an “Israel Firster”. Don’t you Baptists know that the Jews despise you yet you cheer for them. I mean… Read more »

KMSMNCM1
KMSMNCM1
5 years ago

Trump is a blowhard, but he speaks to the disenfranchised; Sen Cruz seems to be a true Christian Constitutional conservative, as am I, and Rubio isn’t far behind him. I would vote for any of those three as opposed to the socialist/communist offerings of the left. I think any of the three would govern better than has our last commander-in-chief, and would make better foreign and domestic policy decisions. I retired after 30 years in the Navy in 2012, so I have seen some commanders-in-chief, and I only liked Reagan–would give him a 10–GHW Bush–a solid 8–and GW Bush–a 9–with… Read more »

Paul
Paul
5 years ago

Dr. Ben Carson is the only candidate who will actually consider what is right both morally and legally before making decisions that affect all citizens. Political experience or lack of it is not a required qualifier to serve in government as evidenced during the last seven years. Listening to trusted advisors and having the courage to place the good of the country ahead of party and politics when making decisions instead of considering monetary contributions or holding to personal agendas over the will of the people is all that is needed. This country’s enemies have been identified and will be… Read more »

Lynn M.
Lynn M.
5 years ago

Ok. I will agree that Trump is brash and arrogant, but frankly I’m SICK of politics as usual, and every politician being bought off by one Political Action Committee or another, and telling you what you want to hear to get another vote. One thing people cannot say about Trump, is that he will tell you what you want to hear, because he most definitely will NOT! He will simply tell you what he thinks, and has zero filter between his mind and his mouth. Now that might not be a good thing to have him telling the leader of… Read more »

JohnC
JohnC
5 years ago

Well written Mr. Sowell I agree with all of your points about the qualifications and probable success of the candidates with one exception. Secretary Clinton having been in the White House and wife of a great President, her service as Secretary of State and her Senate experience makes her arguably the most qualified to be President. Ex Governor, Senator and Military man Kasich is my pick and he is the most qualified besides Clinton for the Presidency. As the author insinuated he has little chance to win.
Anybody but TV showman Trump.

Southwest Chuck
Southwest Chuck
5 years ago

It would have been nice if the author had touched on the gun rights stance of each of the candidates. Who is stronger, Cruz or Rubio? I don;t trust Trump after he said “Everything is Negotiable” when dealing with Congress. Sorry Donald, my rights aren’t negotiable.

Boz
Boz
5 years ago

Trump didn’t “lose”. He got 7 electoral votes, Cruz got 8. Is Cruz President? No. 49 more states to go. Trump will take New Hampshire. Reagan and Bill Clinton did not come out on top in Iowa either. Who made Iowa the king maker? No one!

Jim
Jim
5 years ago

Trump is simply a bombastic arrogant yo-yo–but a whole bunch better than the democrat communist or socialist choices–unless the New York dwarf gets in, then it will be two communists and a socialist. Rubio is sharp, attractive and quick–but totally tied to the Republican party (I am one also). But Cruz is super smart, quick and has an excellent background and he is tied to the American people and that is what pisses the party types off and why they do not like him (for now). If elected, don’t worry, the Congress will get along with him-they must as must… Read more »