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Tags: joe biden | equality | equity | conservatives

Why We Must Feed the Better Angels of Joe Biden's Nature

Why We Must Feed the Better Angels of Joe Biden's Nature

Founder of Stand Together Charles Koch at the Stand Together Summit on June 29, 2019 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. (Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images for Stand Together)

Ralph Benko By Wednesday, 27 January 2021 01:23 PM EST Current | Bio | Archive

Most conservatives are eager to commence hostilities with President Biden. Big mistake.

Charles Koch, by contrast, in an interview with The Washington Post's James Hohmann to promote his new book ''Believe in People: Bottom-Up Solutions for a Top-Down World,'' stated, ''We're going to be looking for common ground [with Biden] and things that we can work together on for as many issues as possible,'' among which are repealing ''President Trump's tariffs, restore protections for 'Dreamers' and enact police reform that addresses systemic racism.''


President Biden has already proposed some policies that archconservatives like me find problematic. One is a federally mandated minimum wage of $15 per hour.

Nobly intentioned, letting people earn a living wage.

Yet wages, like all prices, are determined by supply and demand.

Raising the minimum wage by statute is akin to purporting to repeal the speed of light by statute. This violates the Ten Commandments of humanitarian capitalism.

Thus, it will hurt those it intends to help.

And, in an order designed to help destigmatize those identifying as transgender, President Biden allows biological males to compete in Title IX women's sports.

This, I submit, is inequitable to women.

Additionally, shutting down the Keystone XL pipeline is already drawing protests from Biden's own organized labor base.

As a dues-paying member of the AFL-CIO, I concur in those protests.

Yet these policy errors aren't existential threats to America.

They are Biden's ''sop to Cerberus'' that I had previously predicted at Newsmax.

Per The Free Dictionary: ''In the Aeneid Virgil describes how the Sibyl guiding Aeneas to the underworld threw a drugged cake to Cerberus, thus enabling the hero to pass the monster in safety.''

These disputed policies are politically expedient by the shrewd Biden.

They do not betray him as a sleeper Communist agent.

Conservatives will be making a mistake if we obsess over our (perfectly legitimate) disagreements with President Biden. Few other than Judge Judy groupies relish a scold.

If we become policy shrews, always carping and criticizing, we will erode our public support. Let's not cast ourselves as Grumpy Cats.

As Peter Drucker wrote in his ur-supply-side classic, ''The Effective Executive'' (p.98), ''In every area of effectiveness, one feeds the opportunities and starves the problem.'' (Original emphasis.)

If we make Biden's policy missteps our focus we court the fate of the peg-legged Captain Ahab. At the climax of Ahab's vendetta against the great white whale that had bitten off his leg in a previous expedition, "Moby Dick" rams and sinks the Pequod.

Ahab precipitated his own doom, losing his ship and all hands except Ishmael.

Bad policy, bad politics.

We needn't weaponize every issue.

In addition to the areas of common ground enumerated by Charles Koch there are other areas where true conservatives can, fully consistent with our principles, cooperate with Biden. Three marquee Biden initiatives immediately come to mind. These promote values that, while not betraying the Democrats' progressive faction, are highly appealing to many conservatives.

Paramount is Biden's shifting the discourse from ''equality'' to ''equity.''

Second is his offering to add 11 million new conservative voters, the trapped undocumented, to America's voting roles.

Third is getting serious about restoring America's world technological leadership.

I will address these more extensively in a future column. For now, the most subtle and, therefore, powerful of these is Biden's shifting of the discourse. Astoundingly, Biden instantaneously, without fanfare, redefined goodness from ''equality'' — long a Democratic Party darling — to ''equity.''

I have been protesting the progressives' misguided focus on ''inequality'' for many years. ''Equality'' is a grotesque caricature of the legitimate value of equity. Protesting ''inequality'' overlooks the legitimacy of merit-based differentiated outcomes based on qualities such as, among others, those identified by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr. (on Aug. 28, 1963 in his "I Have a Dream" speech) on ''the content of their character.''

"Equity'' is legitimate and consistent with the American sense of fair play.

Joe Biden is singing from our hymnal.

I have been preaching in vain the doctrine of ''equitable prosperity'' for a generation or two.

To be clear, ''equitable'' means that nobody gets special privileges and nobody gets prejudiced by the ground rules. The call for a level playing field is something most conservatives give lip service to, albeit only sometimes. Biden effortlessly shifted the discourse from the progressive shibboleth of equality to conservative-compatible equity. This achievement is, to quote then-Vice President Biden, a ''big f*****g deal.'' Bravo!

My fellow conservatives? ''And I only am escaped alone to tell thee.''

It would be self-defeating to engage in a dreary vendetta making Joe Biden our very own "Moby Dick." Let us experiment with laying aside our rhetorical harpoons and, instead, feeding the better angels of President Biden's nature.

Ralph Benko, co-author of "The Capitalist Manifesto" and chairman and co-founder of "The Capitalist League," is the founder of The Prosperity Caucus and is an original Kemp-era member of the Supply Side revolution that propelled the Dow from 814 to its current heights and world GDP from $11T to $88T. He served as a deputy general counsel in the Reagan White House, has worked closely with the Congress and two cabinet agencies, and has published over a million words on politics and policy in the mainstream media, as a distinguished professional blogger, and as the author of the internationally award-winning cult classic book "The Websters' Dictionary: How to Use the Web to Transform the World." He has served as senior adviser, economics, to APIA as an advocate of the gold standard, senior counselor to the Chamber of Digital Commerce and serves as co-founder of and senior counselor to Frax.finance, a stablecoin venture. Read Ralph Benko's reports — More Here.

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If we become policy shrews, always carping and criticizing, we will erode our public support. Let's not cast ourselves as Grumpy Cats.
joe biden, equality, equity, conservatives
Wednesday, 27 January 2021 01:23 PM
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