In The Wake Of The Populist Wave: An Interview With Evan Carp


Brett Stevens Freelance Writer
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Ohio House of Representatives candidate Evan Carp belongs to a movement sweeping America in the wake of populism. Members of this movement combine Trump-era populism with Tea Party level common sense and can unite on the idea of reducing big government both to clean up a broken system, and restore power to where it belongs in his view, with states and local governments.

He sees himself as part of a sea change. “It is similar to the Age of Enlightenment,” Carp said in an email from his campaign headquarters, where he is staging his campaign to retake District 14, an area of the state near Pennsylvania with just over 100k people, in the Ohio House of Representatives. “People are waking up to the fact that turning a blind eye, expecting government to do what is best for the people isn’t always the result.”

He continues, “Americans and Europeans have trusted their government representatives to reflect their actual beliefs and do right by them for decades. It seems politicians all over the globe have chosen self-enrichment at the cost of their own state or country. People and in turn, governments left to their own devices always seek to gain more and more power.”

Carp believes he has the grassroots support to defeat incumbent Dave Joyce, a fellow Republican, in the primary. Since this district has stayed loyally Republican for over two decades, Carp thinks that the race will be decided in the primary, and he feels he has a good shot at winning, if “I can inform every voter of what is actually going on at the federal level.”

In his view, what is happening at the federal level is “authoritarian big federal government” instead of the system of dual federalism which had been the norm until FDR in the 1930s. With dual federalism, the states have significant power and cooperate with the federal government, but as Carp sees it, the government became corrupt and weak in the time period leading up to the FDR takeover, leading to the Great Depression.

His approach — a mixture of classical liberalism (now called “libertarianism”) and fiscal conservatism — aims to find a popular appeal without treading the dangerous waters of controversial social conservative issues, for the most part. The platform on his website addresses constitutional rights, national security, healthcare, education and the economy in addition to his quest to limit federal power, but no mention of abortion, same sex marriage, religion or morality is found therein.

“It has become clear to me that politicians have continually hurt the American people as a whole over the past few decades.  I want to restore America to the country that it should be using the wisdom of the Founding Fathers,” Carp says, referring perhaps to the section of his website that paraphrases George Washington and refers to Reagan, but essentially skips the rest of American history, which he sees as an ongoing process of corruption dismantling the Constitution and the idea of the United States of America.

“Swinging all the way toward big government is communism, which is inferior to true capitalism,” he adds, then explains that America is now in the grips of “crony capitalism” which he sees as a consequence of government entitlement spending. “The crony capitalists keeping the rest of America down are the ones benefitting from big government through federal subsidies to begin with,” he says.

Carp believes that government has indirectly sabotaged the American worker and American productivity. “America has come to a place where it has major corporations, with no competition, creating regulations that keep new competition from springing up.  This is a result of corruption and no enforcement of antitrust laws,” he interjects.

His solutions involve several major changes. First is a tax plan that uses the numbers from the Revenue Act of 1913, multiplied by ten to account for changes in government size. He then wants to reduce the tax rate, believing that the upward economic pressure caused by reduced taxes will revitalize capitalism and American small businesses.

He also wants to create an Economic Accountability Act to reduce the size of the federal government and to keep it from growing in the future. This along with his tax reduction will force the elimination of many government programs, allowing small businesses to overcome regulatory hurdles and unnecessary regulations that he says “were purposely created to kill competition.”

Touching on an issue that has been in the news of late, he also wants to promote an international treaty to end cyberwarfare, following the model that worked for limiting nuclear weapons. “With every great weapon (nuclear, cyber, biological), a treaty is needed to ensure civilization exists,” Carp says.

While it seems like a longshot for now, Carp sees the future as one of a populist movement clashing with the entrenched Establishment. “I believe the huge outrage of the American people is translating into new people running for office,” he says, adding that he believes that even if he runs along, history has shifted to the point where people like him are forming a wave rising against politicians, “corporatists” and crony capitalists.

Still, his outlook remains cheerful. “It is going to take real grassroots support to win because I am trying to defeat the worst of the worst in terms of bought politicians.  My goal is to unite everyone that is dissatisfied in order to win,” he says. We wish him the best of luck.

Brett Stevens