The best news out of Iowa is not that Ted Cruz won or that Donald Trump’s political gamble of skipping the last debate, like a sulking child, likely cost him a win there.
It’s not that the long predicted surge of Marco Rubio finally happened.
No, the best news out of Iowa is that a candidate who had the courage to boldly proclaim his opposition to federal mandates and subsidies for ethanol — which comes from corn — the top crop in the state, actually won there.
Be it Ted Cruz or Joe Blow, it turned the conventional political wisdom on its head. It proves that you don’t have to pander to get elected. If you are willing to make the case that these government handouts keep you under the thumb of Washington and wind up hurting everyone, eventually enough reasonable people will listen.
And listen they did because Cruz not only was the winner of the Iowa Caucus, he did it with the help of voters in Kossuth County, the biggest corn producing county in the state. Yes, Iowa’s 4th congressional district — which is an ethanol industry stronghold — was overwhelmingly for Cruz.
It also showed voters who were paying attention that billionaire celebrity Donald Trump is just another loudmouth bully who can’t be trusted. Trump told Iowa voters, “He (Cruz) will destroy your ethanol business 100 percent.” In a bit of faked compassion Trump added, “And look, I’m not really blaming him because he’s financed by oil people. The oil people don’t want ethanol, it’s very simple.”
Last summer Trump answered a questionnaire from a political action committee backed by the Koch brothers that he was against all subsidies, a positions the Koch’s favor. However, the chameleon quickly changed his tune while campaigning in Iowa’s farm country.
As for the oil industry, it also has a big problem with Cruz’s ethanol stance. As the Texas senator eagerly explained in the last debate, and to anyone who would listen, he is also against the EPA’s “blend wall” which puts a limit on the amount of ethanol that can be added to gasoline. Cruz, who really is against all subsidies, makes a compelling case that the government should not be in the business of picking winners and losers. By getting rid of the mandates and subsidies, along with the blend wall, ethanol’s market could be expanded by 60 percent.
Subsidies are used by politicians of all stripes to pander to voters and rake it the big bucks from lobbyists. In the end, these subsidies drive up the national debt as well as the cost to consumers. Subsidies kick the tires out from under the free market.
In addition to the tug-of-war between lobbyists hired by the corn and oil industries, what about the tug-of-war between the corn and sugar lobbyists? It’s what drives the price war between sugar and high fructose corn syrup. Why not level the playing field and let consumers decide who wins and who loses?
I favor an outsider — and Trump could be called an outsider except for the fact that he has been buying politicians ever since he inherited daddy’s millions. However, I think that the very least we should demand of anyone seeking to become president of the United States is honesty. The ethanol issue alone shows you which candidate is honest and which one is not.
Also, Trump is preferred by the Washington establishment over Cruz. Why? Because they think — no, they know — they can “work” with him. This is what’s wrong with Washington. Too many elected representatives go to Washinton and then sell their souls in the back room to stay in power. They are afraid to rock the boat.
This boat, the ship of state, is sinking and we need someone who will rock it. That is why so many people have lined up behind Donald Trump. He is outspoken. However, he has proven he is willing to say anything to get elected.
Ted Cruz is one of only a handful of politicians who, once elected, has stayed true to his principles. That is why he will not win any popularity contests with his colleagues in Congress. That is why he was handed a victory by the thoughtful people of Iowa.
Unfortunately, Cruz’s victory was tarnished by the actions of some of his supporters who were telling voters that Ben Carson had suspended his campaign.
Cruz was quick to apologize. He would do well to keep the good doctor on his speed dial. There isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between these two men. Either would make a great president.