by Steve Wagner
I hope it will not diminish in anyone’s mind Dr. Paul’s charitable work to observe that his humanitarian mission will also bear political fruit. Republican presidential candidates will be debating in this campaign how best to assist persons in need. Kimberley Strassel in today’s Wall Street Journal drew the distinction between big-government surrenderists (John Kasich and George W. Bush) versus small-government reformers (Paul Ryan and Jack Kemp).
The challenge of saying “no” to more government bureaucracy as a response to human need is that spending proponents tend to be self-righteous and demagogic. They typically accuse the spending skeptic of being heartless, unconcerned about the poor. But Dr. Paul has showed us what an authentic response to human need looks like. So when he says there is no charity through bureaucracy, he needn’t take a back seat to anyone in his concern for the poor and the hurting. Plus, won’t it be fun to watch Dr. Paul contrast his practice of charity with Hillary Clinton’s?
Still, Paul hasn’t been in Iowa since August 1st. Summer’s over, Senator.
Donald Trump, who had been showing us some ankle of his immigration policy, decided this this week to give us the full Monty, and boy was it ugly. His written plan does not actually call for the deportation of 12 million or more illegal aliens, as Trump has in person. His plan, however, is breathtaking in its distortion of facts, but what’s worse, its attribution of our economic failures to illegal immigration will distract voters from the real causes of our economic mess.
Within the Republican Party, there is a vigorous debate between those who believe immigrants are an asset to our country and those who insist on the rule of law. Rule-of-law Republicans tend to bitterly resent being accused of being anti-immigrant. Donald Trump has now offended that substantial Republican constituency by tarring the “control our borders” position with a nativist brush.
Tom Tancredo already demonstrated the appeal of an anti-immigration platform in his 2008 presidential campaign. It’s about 3 percent (although he hit 14 percent, 4th place, in the Ames straw poll). Current evidence is that the Trump juggernaut has stalled; he is drawing large crowds in New Hampshire, but not continuing to climb in the polls. This may not be unrelated to his immigration stance. For grabbing at the Tancredo vote, Donald Trump is not hot this week.
Steve Wagner is president of QEV Analytics, a public opinion research firm, and a senior fellow at the American Principles Project.