by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Q. What are your goals in this election?
A: My view of the political realm, not just now but for many decades, is that the Democrats are taking us down the road to serfdom over the cliff at 100 miles an hour and the Republicans are going around 70 miles an hour. What I want is to reverse the trajectory of this country.
Q. What are the key issues?
A. There are a lot of topics we could talk about but two really big ones. One is we have out of control, irresponsible spending by both parties that are taking us toward bankruptcy as a country and as a government. Related to that is we’re headed toward a two-tiered society. We’re destroying opportunities for the disadvantaged and creating welfare for the rich. This is coming about by misguided policies creating a permanent underclass, it’s crippling the economy and corrupting the business community.
Q. How do you fix poverty?
A. Our priorities are criminal justice reform and eliminating the barriers to low-income people starting a business or even getting a job. The biggest is occupational licensure. There are hundreds of these. You name it, depending on the locale or the state you have to get a license. They’re knocked out of it and of course, this is all cronyism corporate welfare. Those who are in the business don’t want all these newcomers coming in undercutting ‘em and destroying their profit margins.
Q. Who do you like in the GOP field?
A. I’ll let somebody else decide that. I’m not going to talk about personalities or the individuals. …
… Q. Have you had any impact on the Republican Party?
A. It’s tough. Not nearly what we’d hope. (An aide suggests he seems to have succeeded in killing the Export-Import Bank.) But that’s a small issue in the whole scheme of things. I take a much longer view. My brother David is much more interested in the political side. I’ve been doing this for more than 50 years, as you know. I’m more interested in the understanding, the education, the cultural aspects. Because I think that’s what’s going to drive what kind of country we’re going to have and whether can really change the trajectory of the country. To have a white knight come in and going to save us, that may help a little, but you’ve gotta change the hearts and minds of the people to understand what really makes society fairer and what’s going to change their lives. And it’s not more of this government control, and those in power telling us all how to live our lives. Throughout history that has not worked. And the more you have of that, the more people suffer, particularly the poorest people suffer.