Memo to the Republican Party
Well, another election has come and gone. The 2008 General Election was an unmitigated disaster and it is time for the leadership of the Republican Party to analyze their role in what happened this year. Republicans at the county, state and national levels have been complacent, ineffective and inarticulate. The overwhelming theme of the 2008 election was “change.” While Obama used the word “change” in a vague, messianic sense, the Republican party needs to apply the term much more concretely. Change leadership, change strategies, change attitudes. It’s time, because we can’t afford to let America slip any further to the Left than it surely will under an Obama administration.
It seems that in politics today, the “independents,” the “moderates,” the “centrists” and the “undecideds” are disproportionately influencing policy and strategy. The Republican party has been lamely trying to be all things to all people in a pathetic attempt to sway voters who have no understanding of Conservatism and little in the way of core principles. Republicans are doing nothing to make the message of Conservatism accessible to these middle of the road type voters. Instead of diluting Conservatism, articulate it! Adhere to basic principles and translate to the average voter how Conservatism applies in every day life! They are throwing Conservatism overboard when they really should be bringing it up to the wheelhouse and navigating with it. If Republicans would let the principles of Conservatism guide their words and more importantly, their deeds, they would see success at the ballot box. Americans need to be given a clear choice between the victim mentality of liberalism and the freedom affirming message of Conservatism.
We’ve all heard Republican candidates campaigning in their home states and districts. They all claim that the great Ronald Reagan has always been their hero, that they’re for smaller government and lower taxes and freedom for us all. Republicans have learned to say all the right things when they want you to get your checkbook out. Then they go to your state capitol or Washington D.C. and suddenly, they want to embrace the spirit of bipartisanship. The taxpayers are stuck paying the price for their new-found cooperation. We are stuck with confiscatory tax rates, redistributionist entitlement programs and bloated bureaucracy. Republicans need to accept their share of the blame for not upholding Conservative principles. They use the excuse that “well, that’s how things get done in Washington.” It’s time for Conservatives to send the message that selling out principles for the sake of “getting things done” is no longer acceptable. The government is one of those rare ventures where getting nothing done is preferable!
Here’s my list of suggestions for the Republican party going forward. They’re in no particular order because they are all important to me. This list will undoubtedly be refined and expanded as discussion ensues.
- Review the Constitution and Bill of Rights when you’re considering how to vote on a piece of legislation. Ask yourself:
- “Is this really the function of government?”
- “Is this the responsibility of government?”
- “Would this legislation reinforce the independent will of Americans or would it foster dependence upon government?”
- “Does this violate or restrict rights?”
- Take a stand for lower taxes and mean it.
- Do not include earmarks in legislation.
- Stop voting for bills that include earmarks.
- Introduce and support legislation that limits the growth of government.
- Articulate the concept that what people need is more of their own money, not government wealth transfers.
- Be the party that stands for responsible use of America’s natural resources.
- Guarantee the rights granted in the Bill of Rights.
- Oppose gun control regulations.
- Oppose limits on free speech such as speech codes and the fairness doctrine.
- Support ownership of private property.
- Limit federal regulation and allow individual states to govern as their citizens desire.
- Support the right to life for all people by opposing abortion and euthanasia.
- Recognize that the main stream media in general is biased in favor of the Left and work around them.
- When your character is attacked, defend yourself. Don’t let the Left get away with the kind of character assasination that they have successfully used against President Bush.
- Develop a strategy to reach younger voters.
- Remain steadfast in matters of national security.
- We need victory in Iraq and Afghanistan.
- Stay vigilant against the threat of Islamic terrorism.
- Do not close Gitmo.
- Secure the borders.
- Protect the integrity of our courts at all levels by appointing strict constructionist judges.
- Support choice in education and seek balance among public schools, private schools, homeschooling and charter schools.
- Champion free market capitalism with minimal government interference.
- Purge the ranks of corruption. Sorry Ted, sorry Larry, but you guys need to go!
- Promote meaningful welfare reform.
- Oppose redistribution of wealth in all forms. Take every opportunity to contrast collectivism versus capitalism.
- Prove that you value Conservative principles above bipartisanship.