I would love to see a party that espouses the principles of the free market and the protections for liberty embedded in our Constitution that would reflect on the imperfections of these principles and would be clear, precise and limited in how these imperfections would be addressed.
I would love to see economic and political issues explained in more than 2 minute sound bites, economic tradeoffs honestly addressed, and the conflicts between sound principles and short term pragmatism recognized with some degree of intellectual consistency.
It would take an exceptional leader to address these issues to voters who are hurting, to tell them that their solution is not more of the same that brought us to this point. It may be too difficult to explain the benefits of international trade to one whose job was just exported or how lower corporate taxes could help him out.
It may be too difficult to explain the math behind the inevitable failure of socialism. It requires some thought to recognize that the human flaws of capitalism do not disappear when these same humans work for the government.
Apparently one does not win elections with hard truths. You cannot redistribute the pie and guarantee everybody a bigger piece. Tax cuts do not always pay for themselves. We can no longer hide the human toll of an ever expanding welfare state. Every government program is not an investment. The consequences of hard decisions are not less painful if we abdicate the choice to an elected official.
We cannot keep adding bureaucracies and friction costs, all justified in isolation, and ignore their cumulative effect. “Every snowflake pleads innocent but it is still an avalanche.”
We pay lip service to our principles but sacrifice them quickly and willingly to the seduction of pragmatism. You may stifle debate temporarily with the politically correct nonsense; cries of racism, sexism, bigotry that are meant to end discussion more than promote any real sense of social justice, but the anger and offense will only resurface when it finally finds a voice.
Is it too much to ask for a leader who can connect our important intellectual principles with the real concerns of voters?