A Very Dark Horse

With the 2008 presidential primaries well over a year away, John Cox of Illinois is already striding the landscapes of New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina in an effort to generate attention and support for his campaign for the White House. He wants to bring Reagan Republicanism back to the party. Cox has also recently published a book outlining his thoughts on out—of—control career politicians and explaining his own philosophy of progressive conservatism.

John who?

John Cox is a 50—year old Chicago businessman, tax attorney and accountant who thinks the time is now for a true 'outside—the—Beltway' candidate to take the reins from President Bush 20 years after President Reagan bid Washington farewell. Mr. Cox's success in running for federal office reads more like the pre—1860 resume of Abraham Lincoln, but Mr. Cox would surely be quick to note that Lincoln was the right man for the right time. Mr. Cox, unsuccessful for Congress in 2000 and the Senate in 2002, believes his moment has arrived.

In Politic$, Inc., Mr. Cox argues that the current political model is broken, due mainly to the emergence of politicians concerned more with personal advancement and financial gain than the national interest. Mr. Cox draws on his vast experience in dealing with the onerous tax code, bureaucrats that forget for whom they are truly working and legislators who turn elected office into a personal fiefdom of greed and power, and promotes what Cox calls "progressive conservatism."

Far from the typical book—length rant about the state of affairs in Washington, Mr. Cox offers concrete solutions in simple language that will strike a chord with many conservatives frustrated by profligate spending approved by a Republican Congress and White House, the automatic protective stance the Speaker of the House took against the search of the office of Frigidaire banker Rep. William Jefferson of Louisiana and the spineless disingenuousness of people like Sen. Arlen Specter and Sen. John McCain.

Mr. Cox aims to reassert that the left has no monopoly on the term 'progressive,' and that free—market principles — not reliance on government — are needed to combat the looming problems of Social Security, health care and the continued tension among races and nationalities and the deteriorating American educational system. Government, Mr. Cox argues forcefully and with much proof, is a hindrance to progress and made all the more so by professional politicians who constantly strike what is portrayed as a middle ground to cling desperately to their offices and trappings of power and prestige.

Much of what Mr. Cox writes will have appeal for those starving for true conservative leadership. He concludes that term limits (perhaps achieved by a Constitutional amendment) are necessary because legislators have shown themselves incapable of restraint and the advantages of incumbency are ingrained and strengthened by those already in office. He points to McCain—Feingold as a prime example, and one would relish the sight of Mr. Cox taking the Senator from Arizona to task and showing him what 'straight talk' really means.

Mr. Cox, whose father abandoned his mother when Mr. Cox was an infant, is absolutely opposed to abortion on demand. He is against amnesty for illegal aliens. Like President Bush, he recognizes that the chief duty of the President of the United States is to maintain and defend the security of the nation, and Mr. Cox advocates a missile defense system to stay a step ahead of rogue nations who are in pursuit of nuclear weapons. He is committed to implementing a free—market blueprint for health care costs, education and the environment that is fair and responsible, meaning minimal government interference. He is for the elimination of useless agencies such as the Departments of Education and Energy.

Politic$, Inc., of course, is not a flawless recitation of utopian solutions to the nation's ills. Many of Mr. Cox's proposals and solutions depend not only on a more responsible brand of public servant, but a more responsible electorate. Throwing out career politicians such as Sen. Specter, for instance, requires a certain sort of political courage; courage to back true conservatives (as Pat Toomey was and is), at the risk of putting Democrats in office for a little while. Then again, it can be argued that Sen. Specter's reelection did put a Democrat in office. Should Mr. Cox win the presidency, he would need a dramatically altered mindset in Congress to see his plans truly set in motion. These things do not happen overnight, as Mr. Cox would no doubt admit.

But Mr. Cox's ideas are timelessly solid. He has the advantage of having spent his entire professional life in business, wrestling with the regulations, rules and red tape that those far removed from the vagaries of meeting payroll, bowing to bureaucrats and negotiating the tax code have forced upon achievers and job creators such as himself. Mr. Cox's progressive conservatism is an independent conservatism. He is beholden to no group. He does not need political office to gain wealth. He has earned his fortune on his own. If his personality resonates as brightly as his thoughts, he will make an attractive candidate.

Recent history has seen — on both sides of the political aisle — individuals who may politely be classified as non—heavyweights forge presidential campaigns that were taken seriously by the media and voters. Gary Bauer, Pat Robertson, Pat Buchanan, Al Sharpton, Dennis Kucinich, Carol Moseley—Braun (to name but a few) were accorded the courtesy of appearing alongside more serious candidates in debates and in news coverage. The prospect of McCain, George Allen, Mitt Romney and Bill Frist in the upcoming Republican field is decidedly uninspiring, as is their outworn slogans and reliance on the status quo.

Mr. Cox is admittedly not well known, but his ideas should be. He is much more serious and astute than the aforementioned candidates, and comes the closest by far to championing the ideals of Reagan Republicanism. At the least, John Cox deserves a serious hearing on the national stage in 2008.

Matt May is a freelance writer and blogger.

With the 2008 presidential primaries well over a year away, John Cox of Illinois is already striding the landscapes of New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina in an effort to generate attention and support for his campaign for the White House. He wants to bring Reagan Republicanism back to the party. Cox has also recently published a book outlining his thoughts on out—of—control career politicians and explaining his own philosophy of progressive conservatism.

John who?

John Cox is a 50—year old Chicago businessman, tax attorney and accountant who thinks the time is now for a true 'outside—the—Beltway' candidate to take the reins from President Bush 20 years after President Reagan bid Washington farewell. Mr. Cox's success in running for federal office reads more like the pre—1860 resume of Abraham Lincoln, but Mr. Cox would surely be quick to note that Lincoln was the right man for the right time. Mr. Cox, unsuccessful for Congress in 2000 and the Senate in 2002, believes his moment has arrived.

In Politic$, Inc., Mr. Cox argues that the current political model is broken, due mainly to the emergence of politicians concerned more with personal advancement and financial gain than the national interest. Mr. Cox draws on his vast experience in dealing with the onerous tax code, bureaucrats that forget for whom they are truly working and legislators who turn elected office into a personal fiefdom of greed and power, and promotes what Cox calls "progressive conservatism."

Far from the typical book—length rant about the state of affairs in Washington, Mr. Cox offers concrete solutions in simple language that will strike a chord with many conservatives frustrated by profligate spending approved by a Republican Congress and White House, the automatic protective stance the Speaker of the House took against the search of the office of Frigidaire banker Rep. William Jefferson of Louisiana and the spineless disingenuousness of people like Sen. Arlen Specter and Sen. John McCain.

Mr. Cox aims to reassert that the left has no monopoly on the term 'progressive,' and that free—market principles — not reliance on government — are needed to combat the looming problems of Social Security, health care and the continued tension among races and nationalities and the deteriorating American educational system. Government, Mr. Cox argues forcefully and with much proof, is a hindrance to progress and made all the more so by professional politicians who constantly strike what is portrayed as a middle ground to cling desperately to their offices and trappings of power and prestige.

Much of what Mr. Cox writes will have appeal for those starving for true conservative leadership. He concludes that term limits (perhaps achieved by a Constitutional amendment) are necessary because legislators have shown themselves incapable of restraint and the advantages of incumbency are ingrained and strengthened by those already in office. He points to McCain—Feingold as a prime example, and one would relish the sight of Mr. Cox taking the Senator from Arizona to task and showing him what 'straight talk' really means.

Mr. Cox, whose father abandoned his mother when Mr. Cox was an infant, is absolutely opposed to abortion on demand. He is against amnesty for illegal aliens. Like President Bush, he recognizes that the chief duty of the President of the United States is to maintain and defend the security of the nation, and Mr. Cox advocates a missile defense system to stay a step ahead of rogue nations who are in pursuit of nuclear weapons. He is committed to implementing a free—market blueprint for health care costs, education and the environment that is fair and responsible, meaning minimal government interference. He is for the elimination of useless agencies such as the Departments of Education and Energy.

Politic$, Inc., of course, is not a flawless recitation of utopian solutions to the nation's ills. Many of Mr. Cox's proposals and solutions depend not only on a more responsible brand of public servant, but a more responsible electorate. Throwing out career politicians such as Sen. Specter, for instance, requires a certain sort of political courage; courage to back true conservatives (as Pat Toomey was and is), at the risk of putting Democrats in office for a little while. Then again, it can be argued that Sen. Specter's reelection did put a Democrat in office. Should Mr. Cox win the presidency, he would need a dramatically altered mindset in Congress to see his plans truly set in motion. These things do not happen overnight, as Mr. Cox would no doubt admit.

But Mr. Cox's ideas are timelessly solid. He has the advantage of having spent his entire professional life in business, wrestling with the regulations, rules and red tape that those far removed from the vagaries of meeting payroll, bowing to bureaucrats and negotiating the tax code have forced upon achievers and job creators such as himself. Mr. Cox's progressive conservatism is an independent conservatism. He is beholden to no group. He does not need political office to gain wealth. He has earned his fortune on his own. If his personality resonates as brightly as his thoughts, he will make an attractive candidate.

Recent history has seen — on both sides of the political aisle — individuals who may politely be classified as non—heavyweights forge presidential campaigns that were taken seriously by the media and voters. Gary Bauer, Pat Robertson, Pat Buchanan, Al Sharpton, Dennis Kucinich, Carol Moseley—Braun (to name but a few) were accorded the courtesy of appearing alongside more serious candidates in debates and in news coverage. The prospect of McCain, George Allen, Mitt Romney and Bill Frist in the upcoming Republican field is decidedly uninspiring, as is their outworn slogans and reliance on the status quo.

Mr. Cox is admittedly not well known, but his ideas should be. He is much more serious and astute than the aforementioned candidates, and comes the closest by far to championing the ideals of Reagan Republicanism. At the least, John Cox deserves a serious hearing on the national stage in 2008.

Matt May is a freelance writer and blogger.