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I’m reading Zev Chafets’ fascinating bio on Roger Ailes, “Roger Ailes Off Camera”, and have come across some things Ailes said that are worth sharing:

51MnVZugP7L._AA160_What would an Ailes Administration look like?

“I’d start by repealing some of the laws we have that are unnecessary or worse. The country doesn’t need more laws and regulation, it needs less.  Social Security and Medicare are more or less grandfathered in,” he says, but he would get rid of the Affordable Care Act and slash new federal entitlement budgets.

“Teaching people dependency is a sin. There is only one entitlement Americans need — the opportunity to live in this country.”

Under President Ailes, taxes would fall and budgets would be slashed. “You can’t get anywhere bargaining over spending programs with the Democrats. Whatever you offer, it isn’t enough. Say three billion and they demand nine. When you say no, we don’t have the money, they portray themselves as generous and us as stingy. That’s a trap we shouldn’t fall into.”

Unions, which Ailes considers job killers, would not have a friend in the White House. “Neither would what he calls “extreme” environmentalists. “I want clean water, clean air and conservation, but that’s not what extreme environmentalists are all about. For them it is a religion. They believe in trees and animals, not God.”

When it comes to foreign policy, Ailes is a hawk who believes in supporting friends all the way and spending whatever is needed to preserve American military supremacy.

“Strength breeds peace. Nobody walks into a bar and picks a fight with the toughest-looking guy in the place.”

At the same time, he thinks his party has a tendency to underestimate the value of diplomacy. “There are deals that can be made, and should. It was a mistake to use the phrase ‘for us or against us.’ Of course, you maintain your core policy principles. But within each one of these is a broad range of practical conservative solutions. I’d hesitate to say this at a conservative gathering, but I think conservatives are sometimes too rigid.”

As an example of an exercise in mutual self-interest, he offers Vladimir Putin’s unwillingness to help the United States bring down the Assad regime in Syria. “Putin is angry. He thinks the United States doesn’t take him seriously or treat Russian as a major player. Okay, fine, that’s how he feels. If I were president, I’d get in a room with him and say, ‘Look at the slaughter going on in Syria. You can stop it. Do it, and I’ll see to it that you get all the credit.  I’ll tell the world it was you who saved the innocent children of Syria from slaughter. You’ll be an international hero. You’ll go down in history.’ Hell, Putin would go to bed thinking, ‘That’s not a bad offer.’ There will still be plenty of other issues I’d have with Russia. But instead of looking for one huge deal that settles everything, you take a piece of the problem and solve it. Give an incentive for good behavior. Show the other guy his self-interest. Everybody has an ego. Everybody needs dignity. And what does it cost?  You get what you want and you give up nothing.”