Matt Clark and Rich Hoffman on WAAM Radio: Trump will be better than Ronald Reagan or Teddy Roosevelt

You might have heard the show live, but if you didn’t, you can catch it again by clicking the video below–Matt Clark had me on his WAAM radio show in Ann Arbor, Michigan essentially to defend Donald Trump’s statements about the three functions of government.  As far as I’m concerned, Milton Friedman was the advocate who last did the best work of clarifying such things for our Constitutional Republic and he defined it like this; “Government has three primary functions. It should provide for military defense of the nation. It should enforce contracts between individuals. And it should protect citizens from crimes against themselves or their property. When government– in pursuit of good intentions tries to rearrange the economy, legislate morality, or help special interests, the cost come in inefficiency, lack of motivation, and loss of freedom. Government should be a referee, not an active player.” I explained to Matt that I thought Donald Trump was trying to get to this definition under pressure, but could only manage to say “security, security, security.”  He went on to say that health care and housing were functions of government which of course erupted a controversy from the #NEVERTRUMP people.  Of course those #NEVERTRUMPs think they are the gatekeepers of conservatism, so they lashed out against Trump.  After the radio show a listener sent Matt and I a tweet reminding us that the three responsibilities of government are the duty of the Fed Gov and its officers to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the USA.”  So obviously there was no answer Trump could have uttered which would have pleased everyone.  Listen to that broadcast here:

I personally don’t care if Trump understands Milton Friedman’s philosophy on the role of government.  As I have said previously, I don’t look for a leader in a president.  I don’t need anybody to lead me around; I just need someone to manage things in the government.  Trump I know will hire someone like Friedman to guide him once he’s in office—that’s how Trump is able to do all the things he does.  He doesn’t sit around studying constitutional law and all the details of number crunching—he hires that stuff out in his companies.  Trump relies on gut instinct after others present him with information to navigate through tribulations and his potential presidency will be unlike any other in American history—and I’m fine with that.  I see Trump as the anti-Teddy Roosevelt—as a means to undo all the trouble that the original “Rough Rider” unleashed so many years ago from the White House.

Roosevelt and his descendent Franklin brought the emerging stages of communism to America through progressivism, a movement that ironically started in Wisconsin through the labor unions.  Roosevelt didn’t understand how money was made as he was born into a wealthy family and was a second-hander who was a sickly kid.  He fought through his limits and empowered himself to be a larger than life personality who ended up on Mt. Rushmore.  His achievements were unparalleled and he turned out to be one of the great presidents.  His contributions didn’t fall neatly into conservative and liberal, but he managed to get a lot done that was both good and bad for our nation.  Teddy really started the whole trampling all over the Constitution thing showing all future presidents how to by-pass congress and do whatever they wanted without the natural checks and balances that are present for a reason.  Of course Barack Obama is the latest rendition of that original corruption over 100 years later—it’s the kind of stuff that has made the Netflix show House of Cards so compelling—because it provides insight into the kind of thinking our modern presidents utilize when dealing with Capitol Hill.  Frank Underwood is a combination of Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and even George W. Bush—but all this precedent was essentially started by Teddy Roosevelt—the path to hell is always paved with good intentions—from the point of view of whoever is doing the paving.

Watching Trump over the years he has been very successful at taking failed government projects and returning them to private sector influence—cutting costs, and shortening delivery times in the process.  He has done this kind of thing many times actually, and it is obvious to me when hearing him speak, such as the night of the CNN Town Hall talked about in the WAAM discussion, that Trump intends to return many of the tasks of government currently to the private sector.  When talking about health care—which is out of control—our national debt, our jobs, our infrastructure—just about everything really, it started with Teddy Roosevelt and his war against monopolies.  Government has stuck its nose into virtually everything since dramatically paralyzing our economic growth and overall national effectiveness.  For instance, I have said many times that the executive order that Kennedy signed making public sector jobs able to unionize is one of the largest drivers of cost that is out there consuming our national resources.  A simple recantation of that one executive order would save billions of dollars in potential financial loses and performance effectiveness.  Of course Trump can’t talk about anything like that on the campaign trail and when people try to extract specifics out of him, he certainly can’t say things like “I’d like to rescind Executive Order 11491.”  Right now, some labor unions are actually backing Trump, and they really need to—for their own good.  But when it comes time to make the hard cuts and do the job the correct way—undoing over a century of mistakes effectively by the executive branch and the congress which has eaten out of its hand like royalty, there will be a lot of angry people.

Whoever the president is in 2016 will have to make major cuts to the way business is done in Washington while hoping that a crack team of Carl Icahn types can renegotiate trade deals around the world to keep programs like Social Security floating into a new America growth period—where the United States has GDP growth between 7% to 15%.  That is what Trump has in mind, but he certainly can’t say it to anybody—because somebody in the world will be severely pissed off at him.  There is no way to make everyone happy.  So it’s best to be obscure and to let the chips fall where they fall.  Whoever is president will face criticism that is unparalleled and I’ve only ever seen a personality like Donald Trump who could endure the pain of it.  That’s why I think only he can do the job.

The White House is a step down for Trump.  It will be hard for him to live in a box and to be under the constant scrutiny that being president will entail, and he knows that.  The guy is a deal addict, and it just so happens that the best job in the world for someone like him is POTUS.  At his age after doing everything that he’s done around the world and all the success he’s managed to acquire; only a job like POTUS poses a challenge to him.  I don’t think he wants to be a king, and I am confident that his egomaniac persona is an invention of his to provide insulation to a soft center that he lets few people see.  He promises to essentially undo what Teddy Roosevelt started using the same methods only going in the opposite direction.  I would hope that by the end of the Trump years that America would have the same opportunism that it did as a capitalist society in 1880.  1980 for my money wasn’t that great.  Reagan did dust off the hat of capitalism, but he was hardly a bastion of conservatism.  He contemplated communism for a time and most of his social positions were an act.  I would not point to Ronald Reagan with the reverence of the second coming.  He did a good job, but for me—not good enough.  Trump could do better. 

But it will take a leap of faith from the American electorate to get there.  Trump is a unique opportunity that we should not pass up.  He requires us to think differently about what the POTUS means to us.  Trump I don’t think cares one bit about the pomp and circumstance of White House life.  He’s been there and done it.  I really don’t think he’ll waste time entertaining European and Canadian socialists posing for pictures to maintain an executive branch image.  Trump has all that now, he doesn’t need the White House to give it to him—and that makes me trust him even more.  I think a Trump White House will be the hardest working in history.  Everyone can say what they want about Trump’s conservatism, but prior to Wisconsin, being down ten points to Ted Cruz, Trump did seven rallies over three days there trying to win.  The guy works his ass off, and I’m certain that he will put in 12 to 15 hour days in the Oval Office seven days a week.  I really don’t think we’ve ever seen anybody like Trump even trying to get into the White House.  He will work hard and he’ll hire the best people that’s out there to fill the details of what he needs.  So as I said on Matt’s show, I don’t care if Trump knew by definition the three functions of government.  He was close enough—it’s all about security of individuals and their property—from either foreign or domestic enemies.  He passes my test—everything else is a formality.  I’m ready for a Trump White House because I don’t think we can afford anything less.  The next POTUS has to have the courage and personality to undo all these progressive mistakes and it has to happen now.  We are beyond second chances.  Really, it’s already too late.  Trump is the only hope we have.  Argue with me now—that’s fine.  But I really don’t want everyone to tell me twenty years from now that they should have listened to me.  Because by then it will be too late—and I will have been right—of course.  Listen now, save your nation, tell me later that I was right—cry at your country’s funeral.  Watch the videos above for full context.

Rich Hoffman


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