The presidential election of 2016 will be a defining moment for the nation and for the Republican Party.
Not so for the Democratic Party. There’s no controversy among Democrats about what America should be and what their party is about: big government, welfare state socialism and secular humanism.
The only question about the Democratic presidential ticket is which welfare state socialist, secular humanist the party will nominate.
The picture for Republicans is more complex, and this makes Democrats happy. They see Republican Party dissension as division and weakness, which, in their view, can only help Democrats.
Key issues divide Republicans about principles (what is America about?) and political strategy (what are the best tactics for electing candidates and advancing the party agenda?).
So let me say what I see as the Republican “dream team” ticket for 2016: Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson.
Yes, I can hear Democrats saying, “Oh yes, I hope Star is right. This will guarantee another four years of our big government socialism. These tea party whackos could never win.”
And I can hear the Republican “establishment” saying basically the same thing (any chance these folks have more in common with Democrats than they do with real conservatives?).
Both parties are being hammered now in the polls, but Republicans more than Democrats. And among Republicans, the tea party is really being hammered.
So how can I seriously say that a truly conservative tea party ticket is the answer for the Republican Party and the country?
First, looking at polls is the formula for political failure.
Apple co-founder and technology entrepreneur Steve Jobs was widely quoted for his disdain for market research. Jobs’ view was that leaders and entrepreneurs don’t start by asking people what they want, and then trying to give it to them. Visionaries see what problems need to be solved and deliver solutions that customers never dreamed of.
Political leadership is no different than business leadership in this regard. Polls reflect yesterday. Leadership reflects tomorrow.
What is the relevant information we should be looking at today?
We should be looking at the ongoing dismal performance of the American economy and of the ongoing dismal state and breakdown of the American family.
The polling data we should look at is the deep dissatisfaction Americans feel about the state of the country, its direction, and the low levels of trust they have in their government and political leaders.
It’s time for Americans to have a real choice. We know what the Democratic Party is going to put on the table for them.
A Cruz-Carson ticket would give Americans a clear, no-nonsense, honest alternative: two Americans who are really committed to what America is about and what made it great. That is traditional values, limited government, free markets and a strong national allegiance and defense.
Given the sweeping demographic changes of the country, it can’t hurt to hear this from two self-made Americans: one of Spanish-speaking roots (Cruz’s father emigrated from Castro’s Cuba) and one African-American raised in a ghetto in Detroit.
Both are living examples that personal success is not about government programs but about taking personal responsibility. That freedom is about creating and serving, not about claiming and taking. And neither has interest in political game-playing.
Ironically, the tea party was born when the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, came to life. Now, as the Obamacare disaster unfolds, Americans are starting to understand what the tea party saw then.
We shouldn’t be trying to drag the tea party back into the amorphous masses. We need the tea party out front to lead.
I don’t see a more powerful team to do this than Cruz-Carson.
Originally published in November 2013.