For many years, I have read the editorials in the West Newsmagazine by syndicated columnist Thomas Sowell.
Sowell announced in December that he will no longer write his articles. As a columnist, he found it necessary to constantly monitor the news and current events. At 86, he is ready for the next step in his life. He isn’t retiring; he has a list of books to write and other projects on his list.
From an interview that appeared in the West Newsmagazine, Sowell shared that in his 20s, he was a Marxist. However, being an empiricist, as he did more and more research, he realized that things that looked one way on the surface often looked the opposite way when you dug into the realities underneath.
Over time, his views changed. In recent years, he has been described as a conservative with libertarian tendencies, a supply-side economist and an opponent of the welfare state.
Sowell, who is black, has often been critical of leaders of the black community who have supported welfare policies that have mired people in poverty and in the ghetto. He notes that people who live in our inner cities are worse off now than they were in the 1960s.
Here are some highlights of several of Sowell’s last columns.
- In November, 1962, President John F. Kennedy went on television to tell the US that we were at the brink of nuclear war due to missiles being place by Russia in Cuba. Even though he was narrowly elected two years earlier, most did not question what he did.
- But could any President today handle a crisis like that with the American people behind him? Years of lying Presidents – notably Johnson and Nixon – destroyed both their own credibility but also the credibility that the office once possessed.
- One can gain an understanding of the dangers facing the US today by reading The Gathering Storm by Winston Churchill. The book shows how Europe’s delusional attitude about Hitler before World War II led to the most terrible war in history.
- Those that glorify the young today do them a great disserve. They go out in the world under-equipped to deal realistically with the issues of life.
- The government makes too much its business. Government needs to be less invasive and more restrained.
- Our fundamental freedoms under the constitution are threatened. The next nominee to the Supreme Court must be someone who defends the constitution. And hopefully not someone who changes to more liberal views once they are on the court as several supposed conservative nominees have.
- Our military needs to be rebuilt. Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Defense is an impressive man and will hopefully craft a plan to restore our military.
- Obamacare needs to be repealed, not just adjusted.
- Trump was elected by Republican voters frustrated with the repeated betrayals of the Republican establishment going back to the first Bush Presidency.
- The Republicans need a person who can articulate their point of view in a way that the public understands. The last President to do that was Ronald Reagan.
- Trump is a communicator but tends to speak without a lot of thought. Trump has picked a good cabinet with higher quality individuals than typical. But will he listen to them?
- Trump’s support of charter schools is a positive. Charter schools have been successful in several inner cities and should be expanded.
- The Republicans have an opportunity to get a lot of their agenda passed and move this country in a positive direction. However, Sowell is skeptical that they will do so based on their history of bungling such opportunities in the past.
- Ultimately, according to Sowell – and I agree with him – the key is Donald Trump. Will he be a President who listens to the best advisors and takes clear action as Ronald Reagan did or will this country miss the opportunity to change course from the destructive policies of the last 25 years.
No matter what the future holds for our country, Thomas Sowell’s voice will be missed as a voice of reason and integrity. His commentary through the years about the course of our nation serves as a roadmap about how to fix many of the problems we have today.
You might enjoy his website at http://www.tsowell.com/