Live from Music Row Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael to the studio.
During the third hour, Carmichael explains distinctive similarities between the Reagan administration and his world view to that of present-day President Donald Trump. He added that the upcoming presidential election is the Democratic Party which is the establishment versus Donald Trump.
Leahy: I am with the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael. I want to talk about the presidential race. A report just in that the president is expected to announce his Supreme Court nominee Friday or Saturday this week. But that’s going to really impact the presidential race significantly and that whole confirmation fight. We are now 43 days until the election. What is your take on it?
Carmichael: Well you know over the last week I have watched a documentary called The American Experience. And it was made by National Public Television. I think, but I’m not sure, that it is narrated by Dan Rather.
Leahy: It sounds like Dan Rather?
Carmichael: It sounds like Dan Rather in terms of the voice. Doesn’t matter, because the narrator had to read what he was told to read. But it was fascinating to go back and look at the life of Reagan. At that time I was 32 in 1980.
Leahy: A spring chicken.
Carmichael: I was a mere child. (Leahy chuckles) But for people who are 30 years old today, they have no living memory of Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan is a piece of history for them like FDR is a piece of history for me. I was born in 1948 and FDR’s presidency ended in 1945.
It’s interesting to look at Reagan in the review mirror for me. And Reagan and Trump have many many similarities. Reagan called the Soviet Union the evil empire. And the press went crazy. Went absolutely crazy saying that he was going to start a war.
And he stood up in front of the Berlin Wall and said “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” And the press went crazy again. In fact, his state department and his own people took that phrase out of that speech two or three times. And finally, he just quit putting it back in and then just used it anyway.
Leahy: Because after all, he was elected president. Not the staffers.
Carmichael: The point is that the advisors tend to not be visionaries. The nature of an advisor is not to be a visionary. And I made kind of a list of ways of thinking about another country. And I think it’s important. Also just in a historical sense, but also in examining this presidency and the choice between President Trump and Joe Biden.
And there are four levels. And then there are levels in between. But there are four levels. A nation in terms of the United States, another nation can be either a, an ally. It can be a competitor. It doesn’t mean these are mutually exclusive. They can be an ally. They can be a competitor. They can be an adversary. Or they can be an enemy. Iran is an enemy.
Carmichael: And I say that, because Iran has a policy of trying to kill Americans.
Leahy: That’s their official policy.
Carmichael: That is their official policy. So they are an enemy.
Leahy: Pretty hard not to say that.
Carmichael: And an adversary would be China. China is a competitor, but they are also an adversary. They have a world view that is fundamentally different from our own. And there are people in this country who share the communist party of China’s world view. And so that is part of what this presidential contest is about.
It is, do you want our world view to prevail? Is that the one that you support? Which is centered around individual rights that are granted by God? Or, do you want the Chinese Communist Party ideology, which is the central authority, who is the master of all major decisions? That God has no place in society.
That the central government is the pinnacle of power and the pinnacle of moral clarity. I don’t believe that, and that’s why I am for Trump. That’s why I was such a big supporter of Reagan’s. Now you look at Biden. And let me go back to one other thing about Reagan. Reagan went through a rough patch on the Iran-Contra Deal.
And he didn’t know, and I’m absolutely convinced that Reagan did not know about what his administration was doing in using Iranian money to help support the contras. Then when he found out about it, he didn’t know exactly what to do about it. Then he tried to deny that they were doing it.
He came back just a few weeks later and held a speech saying that we were doing it. And it was wrong. And blah, blah, blah. So he did a complete mea culpa. Now at that point, or right around that point, Don Regan, the chief of staff was fired. And Howard Baker came in. Howard Baker in this program on The American Experience.
Reagan’s own advisors, some people around Reagan, didn’t say who, but they told Howard Baker that the president was losing it and he needed to evaluate Reagan’s cognitive thinking abilities. And determine whether or not the 25th Amendment should be invoked. This is all part of the documentary. And Howard Baker talks about it.
He says when I came in I was told that. He said we had a meeting. Reagan did not realize it, but we positioned ourselves around the room so we could watch him. Listen to him. Watch him in action. And at the end of that, we concluded that he was just fine.
And it was after that, Reagan concluded the great treaty that he had with Gorbachev, that led to the demise of the Soviet Union. But isn’t interesting that you have Ronald Reagan and they are trying to use the 25th Amendment. Then you have Donald Trump, and they were trying to use the 25th Amendment. And if there is anyone that the 25th Amendment should apply to, it’s Joe Biden.
Leahy: If he were to be elected.
Carmichael: What I’m saying is they ought to apply the 25th Amendment to him right now. (Leahy laughs) They ought to have a bunch of people sit around him without notes and ask him questions and declare him ineligible to run for president, because he literally is suffering from dementia.
Leahy: Here is the thing about that, it’s a very interesting idea that you pose, Crom. And it would make good common sense to do that. However, the amendment applies only to the President.
Carmichael: Well I know that.
Leahy: Part of the transition team should include, if he were to be elected, should include the 25th Amendment game plan.
Carmichael: That’s why it’s the Harris-Biden administration. Both of them had said the Harris-Biden administration. But it was so fascinating to watch that. Now take that and let’s move forward to President Trump. Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union the evil empire. Everybody goes crazy. Donald Trump said I’m going to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Leahy: Every president since ’67 has said that and hasn’t done it.
Carmichael: But everybody goes crazy.
Carmichael: Everybody says you are going to create a war in the Middle East. Donald Trump has done something that no president has been able to do, and that is to bring Arab parties to the table to sign treaties with Israel.
Leahy: Those treaties have been signed.
Carmichael: Two of them. And there are apparently more in the works. There was a treaty between Egypt with Sadat.
Leahy: And Israel.
Carmichael: That was back during Clinton’s administration.
Leahy: Led to his assassination.
Carmichael: Led to his assassination yes. Sadat’s assassination. But it’s so interesting when you look at Ronald Reagan’s world view, which was contrary to the state department. And by the way, when Jimmy Carter was president I remember our intelligence people telling us, and Jimmy Carter repeating, that communism and free markets can both lead to prosperity. And that is fundamentally false. They both cannot lead to prosperity. In fact, communism can’t possibly lead to prosperity because it stifles the very nature of innovation.
Leahy: And it leads to just economic disaster.
Carmichael: It does because it stifles innovation, and innovation is the key to increasing productivity. But Ronald Reagan’s world view was so different from the establishment’s world view. Donald Trump’s view of the world is so different from the establishment’s.
This is the establishment against Donald Trump. The Democratic Party represents the establishment. It represents the unions. And I’ve said that the people that run these government employee unions, which I’ve equated to thugs. Which they are.
Carmichael: The similarities between Reagan and Trump are really compelling.
Listen to the full third hour here:
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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photos “White House” by Diego Cambiaso and “Donald Trump” by Gage Skidmore CC2.0