Frank Buckley’s latest book – “The Way Back: Restoring the Promise of America” (Encounter) was published in May, 2016. The book explains how the Democrats won in 2012 over an issue that should have belonged to the Republicans: income immobility and the rise of a class society in America. Now, four years later, the same issues will determine the outcome of the 2016 election.
“The Way Back” provides an indispensable, nonpartisan roadmap for choosing the President in 2016, and a viable guide for restoring America’s promise. According to Frank Buckley, the solution lies in employing capitalist means to attain socialist ends.
F.H. Buckley, Foundation Professor at George Mason University School of Law.
Dwight L. Schwab, Jr., NewsBlaze.com columnist: Let’s talk about the election. Give my readers your opinion on the most controversial and unusual presidential race in American history.
F.H. Buckley: My latest book, “The Way Back,” is the only book Trump has plugged in his campaign. He wrote “The Art of the Deal,” so if you want to know the intellectual background of this man, it’s a must-read.
Schwab: So where is the election this late in the game going?
Buckley: It’s clearly a toss-up. I have pretty much put it out of my mind. I am supporting one candidate and that isn’t going to change.
Schwab: It’s now nine-days before the election. Trump desperately needs to capture four keys states, perhaps three of the four which are Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Florida. This late in the game, what must he do to secure them?
Buckley: He must stay focused on the issues that working class Americans are concerned about. No more tweeting, off-the-cuff remarks and select his best positives with his base and that of many independents; Hillary’s new email evidence announced Friday by the FBI, her tenure as secretary of state, corruption at the highest levels of our government, jobs, national security and law and order. There are still many events that can happen in a short time and I think something directly tying Hillary to whatever it is – is a distinct possibility. If you look at this election state by state and the popular vote, it’s all tied up.
Schwab: So it’s time to quit talking about all the women the media has dug up.
Buckley: He cannot respond to the media’s foolishness. He has it all over Clinton in policy. The Obama administration, which she has claimed will live on in her presidency, is really unpopular. He himself is doing well in the polls, but on the issues, they belong to Trump. Hillary stands for the way things are, most people aren’t satisfied with that, the only agent of change is Trump, if he is asked about his tax returns or other frivolous issues to keep the spotlight on Hillary’s many indiscretions, he must stay on message and avoid responding to traps that her campaign strategically set for the very candid Trump and his enormous ego.
Talk about the issues Americans really care about.
Schwab: Looking back for a moment, what were your impressions of the vice presidential debate between Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Governor Mike Pence (R-IN)?
Buckley: I didn’t watch it. From all accounts, Kaine made a fool of himself. He tried to play Joe Biden. Nobody can play the fool like Uncle Joe Biden. Kaine came across as a man you would think twice about running the government.
Schwab: I found myself watching Mike Pence and wondering if many Republicans and those undecided didn’t think it should be Pence at the top of the ticket.
Buckley: I think it takes a more forceful personality to win the primaries and Pence said early on he would not be a candidate. But it is to Trump’s credit that he selected a man of unquestionable integrity who in very many ways is Trump’s opposite. I think it shows the type of thinking that Trump will make choosing his cabinet. His selections will be based on the person’s merits, ability to handle the position they are nominated for, and the delegation of authority a good leader brings to the White House.
Pence is his first major selection against all the advice of his campaign to pick this or that because of an important state to win or their race, etc. I equate Trump’s thinking to a noted scholar I had dinner with recently. He was pro-Brexit (Britain leaving the European Union) and he equated that startling and unexpected vote to leave the E.U. to the American presidential election where you have millions upon millions of angry voters sick and tired of the entire political system.
The Brits weren’t talking to pollsters, obviously by the surprise vote; all the talking heads and media missed it.
Schwab: That was a good move by the British?
Buckley: I like trade agreements – to include Trump on this answer. But multilateral trade agreements are dangerous because they remove people from all politics, and as a Brit, if you don’t like something out of Brussels, where the EU is headquartered, you don’t have much choice in the matter. Brexit was a move toward democracy. Here we have gridlock, divided government that promotes extremism in politics, it is so hard to effect change, and there is real frustration. You get all passionate about a congressional election and then realize it didn’t mean a darn thing. You still have a divided government. When, in a parliamentary system of government, it doesn’t work like that. When you elect a new parliament, things actually happen.
That advantages a man like Trump who conveys that things are broken and I am the agent of change.
Schwab: When Trump talks about trade for example. When he gets into the specifics, do you think it is even registering with “Joe Six Pack?”
Buckley: I think so. I hear a lot from people I know about low-level people coming into this country and taking away American jobs. Ordinary Americans are being shafted by the majority of those entering illegally. Clinton doesn’t really care about these Americans and has labeled them “A basket of deplorables.” It’s a signal she could care less about them.
Moreover, the people you are bringing in will reliably vote for you. There’s a betrayal built into the immigration system. In respect to trade deals with respect to Obama and maybe George W. Bush, they will agree to a trade deal no matter what their ideology is without thinking of the consequences for the American people.
In trade deals, the specifics are hugely important. A massive trade deal like the Trans-Pacific Partnership, you’re going to have real problems with goods and shipments and if you have an objection, that isn’t possible with the TPP. There should be trade deals with countries one on one. Other countries have that philosophy and they do well. Countries like Canada and Israel have those sort of free trade deals, yeah we want free trade but it must be one on one.
End of part one of the F.H. Buckley interview. See also Part two.