There is more at stake other than choosing a specific person for the presidency, there are choices about theories of governance. I’ll attempt to take the personalities out and rank them from most government to the least, based strictly on this one man’s opinion of their policies and how I think Congress and the citizenry will relate to them. Here are the ranks, beginning with the most government and flowing to the least.
Let us begin, shall we?
- Bernie Sanders: the Bern is a full on “chicken in every pot” Utopian neo-communist. He claims to be a “socialist” but is for government intervention and involvement in all facets of life, preferring a “managed” economy in the classical, centrally planned, socialist model. Bernie sees a role for government in everything. His economic and tax plans are straight out of the old USSR politburo playbook and his Sanders Claus approach will explode government programs if Congress can’t stop him. Bern has the support of a lot of ignorant youth who wear Che t-shirts and think communism is something new.
- Donald Trump: Trump is an authoritarian corporatist. He promises some government cuts out of one side of his mouth and out of the other side, he promises the most classy, phenomenal, tremendous, efficient well-oiled China beating Leviathan ever, not smaller government. Trump has self-identified as a “common sense conservative” which I interpret as he will be abetted by the usual progressive Republicans in the Congress, he will continue to grow government in a “compassionate conservative” process. The GOP Congress will pretend to resist but will knuckle under just as they have to Obama. His progressive tendencies are evident in how he believes government is a means to an end. GOP loses control of Congress under a President Trump.
- 3. Hillary Clinton: Clinton is a progressive in the mold of Woodrow Wilson and Teddy Roosevelt, meaning that she is a Constitution hating, power hungry, self-interested socialist. About the same as Trump and will be abetted by the same GOP progressives – but since she doesn’t have the same force of personality as Trump, will be able to get less done. She uses different motivating tactics – where Trump uses bombast and insults, Mrs. Clinton uses influence and blackmail – “That’s a nice federal grant you have there, be a shame if anything happened to it.” Hillary wants to continue Obama’s policies with a wink and a nod. She doesn’t have any big plans other than to get elected. She is the safe alternative to Sanders.GOP loses control of Congress under a second President Clinton.
- John Kasich: Kasich is a Nelson Rockefeller progressive Republican – he is basically a conservative Democrat (he and former Democrat candidate Jim Webb share a lot in common). Kasich is a solid company (establishment) man who, if you saw him on a street corner with a cardboard sign, it would read “Will work for federal funding.” His support for common core and the Obamacare expansions at the state level prove the mailman’s son is a reincarnation of George W. Bush’s second term and George H.W. Bush’s only term. The Conservative caucus in Congress is strong enough to stop him short of being Hillary Lite. I can see Kasich crafting social programs like Bush’s Medicare Part D drug benefit. Might even create new government agencies like Nixon did. Kasich is a safe vote for people who might want Hillary without her legacy of perfidy, lying and criminal behavior. GOP loses control of Congress under a President Kasich.
- Marco Rubio: Rubio is a soft core conservative with progressive leanings. He’s George W. Bush in his first term. Progressive on immigration, conservative on other points – enough so to not grow government too terribly much. Enough of a neocon who would put more money into defense (not that I disagree with that). Seems to have the ferocity of a rabid attacking Chihuahua puppy and would be constrained by the conservative minority in Congress. Rate of government growth would likely be limited to about what we saw during the Reagan years. As Hillary is a safe alternative to #feelthebern, Rubio is a safe alternative to Cruz. GOP narrowly retains control of Congress under a President Rubio.
- Ted Cruz: Cruz is a constitutionalist, what a “conservative” should be. It is my belief that out of the remaining candidates, Cruz has the greatest potential to reduce size and scope of government, beginning with a tax policy that reduces the temptation for government to use it as some sort of Pavlovian reward system. I believe Cruz is a minarchist, a person who believes government has a role in daily life but that role should be constrained and minimal. Strong on a traditional interpretation of the Constitution, I believe he can leverage the conservative minority in Congress to begin the process of putting the federal genie back her bottle. GOP narrowly retains control of Congress under a President Cruz.
The readers may agree or disagree, I’m sure my ranking of Trump as #2 will come as a bit of a shock, but there is not a lot of actual government reduction in any of his policies – for every put there is a take. I think he will continue to motivate politicians to deal based on doling out money – just the taxpayer’s money instead of that from investors. Trump is about building monuments to himself, monument builders don’t build tract homes or temporary structures. That’s a lifelong drive that I doubt can be curbed.