In recent months, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has become the poster boy of the 2016 GOP hopefuls. Walker is charismatic and holds quite an accomplished track record in Wisconsin. Inheriting a $3.6 billion deficit from his predecessor, James Doyle, Walker was successful in converting the deficit into a $911 million surplus. The governor also signed the Act 10 Budget Adjustment Act, greatly limiting the power of public unions, thereby saving Wisconsin taxpayers $3 billion.
These feats should rightly be championed. This is how state leadership ought to appropriately conduct itself. However, fiscal conservatism alone is not enough to make for a successful leader at the federal level. Presiding over the executive branch of the federal government entails the additional responsibility of foreign policy; a duty state governors are exempt from and hold no experience in. This is why Matt Purple of Rare.us believes we ought to elect a Senator for president in 2016.
When young Barack Obama ran for the presidency in 2008 on the platform of liberty, hope, and change, conservatives fervently opposed his campaign saying he lacked enough political experience to hold the position. Yet when Governor Walker goes around preaching the same message, conservatives gloss over the fact that he is inexperienced in the realm of foreign policy. Frayda Levin, who is a member of the Club for Growth’s board of directors, recently confronted Walker about this after a meeting in New York, saying “To be honest, the feedback was you were not prepared to speak about foreign policy.” Much of Scott Walker’s foreign policy beliefs still lie in the dark, but is comparing your political opponents to ISIS terrorists really an appropriate way to enter into the spotlight?
What is known about Walker’s foreign policy however is that he wouldn’t hesitate to intervene in Syria, dragging the United States into yet another offensive war. That’s right folks, despite 55% of our federal budget already going towards military expenditures, the “fiscal conservative guru” that is Governor Walker “wouldn’t rule out anything” and would have no problem throwing even more of your hard earned tax dollars towards more pointless wars in the name of national security. Any man who fails to comprehend that United States intervention is precisely what gave rise to ISIS in the first place ought not to be POTUS, in my humble opinion.
Speaking of national security, when have you ever once heard Scott Walker speak out against the NSA’s expansive data mining of American citizens? In his beef with Senator Rand Paul two years ago, Governor Chris Christie passionately supported the NSA’s data collection program, believing it to be in the best interest of our national security. Christie opined that libertarianism “is a very dangerous idea.” Rand Paul aptly responded by tweeting, “Christie worries about the dangers of freedom. I worry about the danger of losing that freedom. Spying without warrants is unconstitutional.” As the new face of conservatism, you would think that Scott Walker would have agreed with Paul’s logical sentiments. However he did not, and instead said, “I tend to agree with Chris.”
Do conservatives honestly believe that if Scott Walker is elected president, he will shrink the size of government? Walker already plans to accept the welfare state as status quo by pushing for federal standards that would mandate welfare recipients to be drug tested. It is evident that Walker aspires to be like Ronald Reagan, but Reagan never cut a single federal agency in his eight years in office. If Walker wishes to be the next Reagan, here is what we should expect from a President Walker: our debt to double, increased military spending, increased military intervention, stricter gun laws, an expansion of the war on drugs, more sanctions and less diplomacy abroad, giving aid to Islamic jihadis, doing nothing to downsize the breadth of our federal government, and claiming to love our Constitution while desecrating it.
Conservatives paint President Obama and Hillary Clinton as flip-floppers for changing their views on gay marriage, yet they are oddly docile to Walker’s continual flip-flopping on just about every issue. Despite giving candid support to Chris Christie in his quarrel with Rand Paul, Scott Walker recanted this just a week later after a poll was released that showed an overwhelming majority of Republicans sided with Paul on the issue of civil liberties. Just a few years ago, Scott Walker supported Common Core federal education standards. In 2013, his views on Common Core evolved and he began calling for the repeal of Common Core in his home state of Wisconsin. However in recent months, he has toned down his hardball approach against Common Core. Scott Walker also flip-flopped his beliefs on immigration.
The list of Scott Walker flip-flops is endless. Walker states that President Obama’s executive amnesty violates his Constitutional authority, yet in Wisconsin, Governor Walker fails to even uphold his own state constitution. Although claiming his opposition to gay marriage had “nothing to do with his support for traditional marriage,” Governor Walker fell awfully silent when lawmakers in Wisconsin began an initiative to repeal the state’s gay marriage ban. Despite 53% of Wisconsinites supporting same-sex marriage, Governor Walker’s position on a government imposed ban remained staunch.
It’s troubling that despite being an ardent flip-flopper, Walker ginned up 21.4% of the vote in the 2015 CPAC straw poll, coming in second place just behind Senator Rand Paul. What is it that some conservatives see in the wildly inconsistent Walker that they don’t see in men like Rand Paul or Gary Johnson, who have been very consistent in their defenses of civil liberties? If charisma is what has garnered his rampant support, it is worth noting our most charismatic presidents (FDR, Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Lyndon Johnson) turned out to be some of our worst presidents.
What we need in the White House is a pragmatist. While appearing on his show last November, Bill Maher said he would consider voting Rand Paul for president in 2016. Rand Paul wishes to end the war on drugs, and he has also teamed up with Senator Cory Booker in an attempt to restore voting rights to non-violent felons. These are common sense, small government issues that many conservatives are not willing to reach across the aisle to compromise on. Do conservatives really believe they will attract liberals out to vote for Scott Walker when he shows no interest in bipartisanship? As aforementioned, comparing liberal protestors to ISIS really isn’t a good way of convincing them to elect you president. With Scott Walker on a 2016 ticket, I can assure you he will be making a similar remark to Mitt Romney’s 47% comment in 2012.
I ask my fellow small government minded brethren to please think prudently before blindly supporting a candidate in 2016. Are you really willing to compromise your values and give an elite hypocrite the keys to the White House? Scott Walker’s political views are schizophrenic to say the least, and our founders would rightly be weary of him. While the man may be good for the state of Wisconsin, Scott Walker would be atrocious for the United States of America. He is poised to be the next George W. Bush.