We have a guest here… Bobby Charles is a spokesman for the Association of Mature American Citizens. It is the answer to the perceived liberalism of AARP. It’s a competitor of AARP. Bobby, welcome to the Mark Davis Show, here on 660 AM The Answer in North Texas, and thanks for being with us.
I thank you for inviting me.
Tell me what AMAC is, because people may not know.
Sure, so, I came to AMAC after a lot of prior experience doing different things. I’m now 58, but it is as you described it, the conservative alternative to AARP, and the reason I really affiliated myself with them is I worked in the Reagan White House years ago and Bush 41, and later became the Assistant Secretary of State for Colin Powell and worked for about five years with Gingrich on the hill, and I will tell you that I really came to the view that this group represents a defense of the Constitution and other – limited government, strong defense, strong on the border – kinds of issues that there really isn’t an otherwise strong voice for, particularly for those over the age of 50, and so, you know, the First Amendment, Second Amendment, Fourth Amendment, Sixth Amendment, they’re very strong-minded in in the way that they approach that advocacy and then, you know, like with other organizations you get 50 percent or 40 percent off on this or that when you buy them and you can go to them as amac.us – amac.us – or just Google AMAC, but… I thought they really were, in many ways, the gap-filler of the moment.
Americans have long had individual-issue organizations that they were parts of, but I think as we get older, history moves on and many of us over 50 have a pretty clear idea of history, and some of those in the younger end of the spectrum don’t, and I think this organization gives rise to… It tracks history, it tracks timeless principles, it tracks at the Bill of Rights, and it pushes those particular issues with the federal government’s; solvency of the federal government, limited government, lower taxes, less regulation, a sense of commitment to traditional values and, you know, I think, sadly, we don’t have enough of these kinds of organizations out there. So, I lent my effort to it because I believe it’s really – it’s the right answer on a lot of fronts.
Bobby, most of the Democrats favor some version of universal health care, Medicare for all – call it what you will – they want the government to, one degree or another – to a large degree or a total degree – to take over health care in the United States. What say you?
Well, I think these debates last night were instructive for several reasons and that issue is one that surfaced, and I’ll give you a direct answer in a moment, but I’ll tell you that these debates were you know, I saw better – I’ve seen better debates in my barber shop. It really was a sad display of poor process. The inquisitors sort of threw out softball questions. These sort of amateur oriented, you know, there were no Scoop Jackson’s out there. There were no Sam Nunn’s. There were no George Mitchell’s or Ed Muskies. This was a group of folks that have turned hard left. I think if John Kennedy or Harry Truman were alive today, they’d be Republican. It was sad, and I say that from the point of view of twenty paces out as an American.
I wish we had a robust debate that was well informed. Instead you’ve got a group of people up there that were not credible, not particularly likable, and in most cases I think not electable. There was almost no foreign policy or intelligence or border security expertise up there. There was no operational experience up there. I mean, historically, Americans, they know how to change their own tires, they know how to change the oil in their car, and if they don’t, they certainly know other things and I think most of these folks have been on the dole all their life. I mean, Joe Biden, who was probably their best representative and sort of looked a bit like an old Jimmy Carter, he, you know, he spent his entire life living off taxpayer money. You know, millions and millions of dollars that, you know, and so…
I really didn’t see anything impressive up there except to push for more taxes. On Medicare for all, it’s fascinating, because they tried to, essentially, they attacked each other, pointing out the flaws and in many ways the complete unworkability of each other’s proposals. I thought it was fascinating that Harris was hit several times by others on the stage saying, you know, you outlaw private health insurance. That’s absurd. It throws 180 million Americans off their employer-negotiated health insurance and – he wouldn’t respond to it – but both bills, I’ve read the text of both the House bill in the Senate bills, and that’s exactly what they do. In fact, in the Senate bill, it says quote, “It shall be unlawful for a private health insurer to sell health insurance coverage.” I don’t know how much more illegal you can get than that, and yet she refused to respond to it.
You know the real fallacy in Medicare for all is that it’s Soviet-style medicine, you know, lines around the block for all to get poor access to something that the private sector provides very well. You know, the Republicans, back to the era of George Herbert Walker Bush, did very strongly advocate for coverage of pre-existing conditions and for catastrophic health insurance, but beyond that, ultimately, people want the chance to go to the same doctor over the course of their lifetime. They want to be treated as an individual, not as a federal government number. And the other fallacy in Medicare for all is that it costs, on their own assessment, 32 trillion dollars. Now understand what 32 trillion is – 32 trillion is 32 thousand times a billion. So, that’s more than one and a half times the American gross national product or two-thirds of all the money in all the world’s central banks, or a fifth, again, beyond and above all the fortune 500 companies’ value. Or, let’s put it differently – it’s 10 times the cost of the Iraq and Afghan Wars.
So, you see the point. It’s inconceivably expensive, and so, they talk nonsense. I mean, to me, the other thing they do is they talk down individual risk-taking and individual liberty, and I think those are things that average Americans understand the importance of. You know, I came from a family of four kids. My mother was a schoolteacher – raised us, more-or-less, on her own – $18,000 a year. I took educational loans in order to get through the institution’s I got an education from. When I was done, I had $100,000 in educational loans. Did I complain about that? Did I cry about that? Did I say, gosh, I want the federal government to pick all this up? Absolutely not. I had skin in the game. I invested in myself, and then, I was grateful that other people had invest me, and it took about 10 years to get where I needed to, to be able to settle those debts.
But that was just part of the same idea of, you know, paying for my healthcare, paying for my car, paying eventually rent on a home and eventually a mortgage. These are all part of individual responsibility. The notion that you can promote socialism – and its socialism which really evolves into communism or the means of both production and distribution controlled by the government – we know that has never worked, anywhere in the world. It didn’t work in the Soviet Union – I spent time behind the Iron Curtain – it didn’t work in Sovietized Poland, Czechoslovakia or Yugoslavia. I was in all those places. It doesn’t – it doesn’t work in Cuba. It didn’t work in Venezuela. It’s a disaster.
And so, you know, I look at this and I say what is it that the democratic party stands for? They stand for more government, less of the private sector – I heard them up there last night arguing that we ought to throw all these executives in jail and that profit is a horrible immoral thing. Capitalism is a very moral system. It allows you to rise to the highest level of achievement within – if you can create equal opportunity – it allows you to rise to your highest level of God-given achievement. And so, you know, my notion, you know, I look at this and I say at every turn – every direction that that couple of panels of Democrats have turned – they seem to be pushing something that doesn’t… isn’t grounded in fact. It doesn’t seem to agree with the average American.
They want to make it no longer a crime to cross the US border. And I’ll end with this one thought, you know, they said, well, you know, seven have died in the custody of a CBP or ICE under Trump. You know, what the truth is – and this is the truth – there were 13 deaths during the- during the 2014-2015 fiscal year, October 1, 2014 to September 30, 2015. Those 13 deaths were in CBP and they were all under the Obama administration. Ten of those were for a use of force. No question. No further details, but that’s ugly. And under ICE – under Obama – you had 67 who died between the ages of 24 and 49. Why don’t we talk facts? Why don’t we ever talk truths?
You know, to me, this was a bunch of kids arguing on the stage about why each of them was more important than the other. The vertical pronoun “I” got used about, I don’t know, 50 or 60 times. To me, that’s so – that’s a waste of time. Well, my problem is, Bobby, that this group of people, none of whom have ever really done anything… None of them have ever created any economic value. None of them have ever fixed anything, sold anything, made anything or invented anything, are standing up and they purport to be experts on how to deliver health care to 320 million people spread across an entire continent. How is that even remotely possible? Well, you know, I think what you’re asking is the kind of question that average Americans – and I consider myself truly, really, an average American.
I grew up in a small town of 500. I think they asked themselves that question, and the question is – let’s apply a little bit of common sense here – common sense says I have a local doctor. I have a hospital that I go to that I can depend upon. I have an employer. If I’m a member of a union, even, that Union has negotiated with the employer to get me a good health care package. I have reliable technology, which is all invented in the private sector. I have the best health care in the world. So good that even the dictators come to the United States for their health care when they get into a bind. And so, you know, can we lower prescription drug prices? Of course, we can, and that’s what the president is doing with greater transparency.
Can we push toward a greater sense of accountability in the private sector? Yes, we can do that too, but the government doesn’t invent, create, or produce anything. And so, giving them the authority over the energy sector, the medical care sector, any other sector, is always a formula for increased cost – I thought some of the things that got said last night were just fascinating. You had that fellow Yang who’s probably the calmest of group, arguing that we ought to tax people essentially through the nose so that we can then give back a thousand dollars and presumably all the rest of that money goes to support the federal bureaucracy. I just don’t – I think there’s a lack of thinking, logic-kind-of groundedness [sic] – and particularly historical groundedness [sic] – in the group of Democrats that are running. And, you know, I could throw out other names of people that I think are far more responsible, but they’re not running for president, and most of them would be considered too centrist to fit into the modern Democratic Party. The modern Democratic Party has gone hard left.
Yes, it has. It would be unrecognizable to John Kennedy. It would be unrecognizable to Sam Rayburn, the great congressman from the 1st of the Fourth District of Texas. It would be unrecognizable to Harry Truman. It would be unrecognizable to Daniel Patrick Moynihan.
It would. And, you know, the funny part is, I think if you, if you talked… If some of the harder questions were asked, to some of these candidates, what you’d find is most of these candidates, from – maybe Biden would be the one exception – but, most of them, they don’t even know what Harry Truman stood for. They don’t know what John Kennedy stood for. They don’t know that he was a strong National Defense and security person.
A tax-cutter! He and Ronald Reagan were the two largest tax cutters of the last half of the 20th century. Yet, there’s no – none of them advocated for socialism. They spent every… every American, up through the most recent set, have strongly opposed anything that looked or smacked of socialism because it runs smack into the middle of our Bill of Rights. You can’t give the government all the power to suppress speech, to suppress religion, to suppress association, to dominate and control the economy, to, you know, to run roughshod over protections against illegal search and seizure – to kind of impose the sort of socialist law and order that, ultimately, is all driven by politics. You can’t do that and be consistent with the American founder’s vision of our country or everything we’ve achieved.
And, you know, the last thing I’ll say, is that the AMAC group and, by the way if you – I wrote a book last year called Eagles and Evergreens which is about the influence of World War II vets on a small town in Maine – and if you do a five-year renewal with AMAC you do get a copy, signed copy of the book, but one of the things the AMAC generation represents is the notion that we will go to war, we will stand up, we will… we will stand up for our families, we will stand up for our own individual liberty, and we’ll do that through legislation, of course, but also through a sense of being in touch with our conscience and with history and, that’s what I fear most, is that we’re drifting away from the moorings. The less we understand about the history of this country and the sacrifice and the risks taken and the failures and the resilience that we show as a people, the less we understand about that, the less we understand about how to shape the future, and I didn’t see any visionaries on that stage. I saw a lot of petty, petty politics, and that really isn’t inspiring.
Bobby, I’ve got to leave it there. Bobby Charles of AMAC. Thank you. You shared some great insights with us this morning, we appreciate it. What’s the website?
It would be amac.us. Just Google AMAC and great benefits
All right, Bobby, thank you very much for joining us here on the Mark Davis Show. We appreciate it.