As I watched Donald Trump speak to a group of veterans this morning, I was shocked. Not by something he said, but by the way he said it. And therein lies the critical contrast between him and her, in my opinion. Here’s what happened …
Someone asked how he would address the problem of vets not getting timely or effective care from the VA. In a calm voice, he said that he would put veterans into the supply chain with private hospitals, allowing them to seek care essentially anywhere if they want to, without being forced to use an outdated, inefficient, inept infrastructure. He said (and I’m paraphrasing), “the hospitals need the business, and the vets need and deserve the care – it’s simple. We have to do that.” He said it with a shrug, as if it is basic common sense. His instincts are to solve the government-created problem with a private sector solution that is already established, tested, and ready to activate.
Her instincts are the exact opposite. When she was asked what she would do to address the tsunami of major health care providers who are leaving the Obamacare exchanges, the states who have dropped them entirely – what were her instincts? She said she would “not let that happen”. Instead, she would “invest more in Obamacare to prop it up”. Her instincts are to solve a government-created disaster with even more government.
It is reasonable to believe that if asked the same question about the VA, her answer would go to her instincts, unless of course she has focus-grouped another scripted reply. She would never in a million years offer to make the VA all but obsolete, or even to make it much smaller. To even suggest handing control over to the veteran and his private-sector doctors would be anathema to her. Her instincts are ALWAYS the same – central planning will solve it, with a committee, or a panel, or a task force – and ALWAYS with “more investment” which is just code for higher taxes.
There are many empirical examples of how “more investment” has never led to “better results”. This is a failed and false presumption, and it is the foundation of liberal ideology. It’s not to say the private sector is always better either. Expertise specific to veterans issues can be absorbed by private sector providers, offering vets the best of both worlds. There are probably a dozen other solutions that Mr. Trump could come up with that she would never even consider. And the simple reason is that he is focused on solving a problem, while she is focused on preserving a power base. He is willing to envision a solution that eliminates the current VA infrastructure, or drastically re-casts it. She and Obama are determined to “jigger” with it, tweak around the edges, but keep the basic construct in place. Hence Obama’s promise years ago to fix it, which led to him demanding that appointments take less time, and that in turn led to the fraudulent online appointment calendars in VA offices that bore no resemblance to reality.
The huge contrast between Trump and Clinton is simple: Trump’s heart is with Americans. He likes this country. He believes capitalism and free markets do more to create prosperity than destroy it. He is pragmatic and optimistic. Clinton shares none of those traits. She despises the people she must “govern” in order to feed her insatiable desire for power. She believes private enterprises are mostly corrupt, evidenced by their willingness to fill her coffers upon demand. And she believes that any problem, even one that’s government-made, must be solved by more government. She will tinker, and task force, and trivialize – but never ever destroy an existing power base in the government.
Trump is willing to blow it all up and rebuild it in order to fix it once and for all. Will he get a Congress who will help him? Can he negotiate the snake pit in Washington without shredding the Constitution as his predecessor has done? Time will tell. But I’d rather bet on Don Quixote, willing to try – than settle for the status quo and 8 more years of her monotone, rhetoric, and complete inaction.