Sunday, November 09, 2008

Some Tough Talk on The Future of the GOP

The first step toward understanding what went wrong in the 2008 election, beyond the voter fraud and the media's barrage of propaganda, is to address what the GOP should be and what it wasn't.

The Democrats ran the 2008 election on personality and biography, which they could not have done if the Republican party could have credibly laid out an alternative vision for the future. Instead McCain played "Experience" against "Change" and while that might have squeaked him through in an honest election, it was a hopeless charge when confronting the kind of fraud and mass madness the Democrats had thrown into the pot.

But the core failure lies with the unfortunate reality that the Bush era Republican party lacked substantive policy differences with the Democratic party. There are of course many ethical, moral and ideological differences, but when it comes to practical politics that isn't enough.

The Republican party ran against big government and yet once in office became the party of big government. The Republican party ran on fiscal conservatism and yet once in office spent like mad, even the NEA swelled under Bush. The Bush Administration made bipartisanship work by handing out pork to everyone who wanted it on both sides of the aisle. The size of government has ballooned and so has the deficit.

It was all very well to call Obama a socialist, which he is, when the Bush Administration has been happy enough to run the socialist machine. Obama may implement a far more extreme version of socialism, but such distinctions are easily lost on the general public. Worse yet they smack of hypocrisy.

Opposition to big government is a position that resonates well with the general American public, the public that is too turned off politics to bother showing up at the voting booth, and by their absence made room for the fraudulent ACORN voters to steal the election.

It's not enough to offer the occasional tax rebate. Taxes have to be slashed and burned to both cut the deficit and kill the Federal pork express and the grandiose Federal social welfare programs. It's not enough to talk about the size of government. If the GOP is to get serious, it's time to begin torching the bureaucratic forest. Americans today are more regulated than ever, subject to more paperwork and government restrictions.

While the Democrats, formerly Anti-Federalists, have long since entrenched themselves in the Federal bureaucracy, it is past time for the Republicans to become the Anti-Federalists. It is of course hard to give up power once you've gained it, but weakening the Federal government strengthens states and communities, which are the real power base for Conservatism.

Decentralization weakens the urbanized power bases of the Democratic party. It neuters the bureaucracy on which the party has come to depend on to move its agenda along even when it is in the minority.

For all their "Power to the People" rhetoric, the Democrats depend heavily on an urban base and on the programs they dispense through the Federal government to keep entire populations dependent and ghettoized. Breaking the back of that monster by moving domestic powers away from the Federal government and back to the states means achieving genuine "Power to the People", a prospect that Democrats who despise non-urban populations, fear.

By harnessing the frustrations imposed by government on the ordinary American, the heavy tax burden, the waste, the pork, the Republican party can take back Congress and the White House... but it has to be more than rhetoric. It has to be a real agenda. Under Gingrich, we made some progress. It's time now for a new Contract with America. One that will go much farther.

Reagan's ability to connect with the ordinary American lay in his understanding of the frustrations that most people had toward an impersonal government. There is a lot of talk about Reagan's legacy, but his real legacy should be a Republican party capable of genuine revolutionary action backed by rhetoric devoid of condescension that connects to the experiences and frustrations of the ordinary American. We should not shy away from partisanship or from radical proposals. It is the only way to survive.

Finally Obama's election is a preview of things to come if the immigration problem is not dealt with within the decade. The Democrats want nothing more than a large underclass which has not absorbed American traditions and history and is easily gulled into voting bread and circuses for itself. If we do not drastically slash third world immigration, not only will we face the indigenous Islamic terrorist threat by second generation Muslim immigrants that Europe already faces, but the American electorate will no longer be American.

The American voter whose confidence we need to win is frustrated by illegal immigration, by having to shell out tax dollars for social benefits for immigrants and by the transformation of his towns and communities into something alien to his experience. The Republican party can win big in district after district by taking up his cause. It will however lose big if it panders to the La Raza crowd in the hopes of winning a few thousand Latino voters here and there.

Finally on the War on Terror, the American public is not softhearted. It simply has a limited amount of patience for a war that consists of policing a long drawn out rebuilding process in a foreign country. Americans are prepared to fight ruthlessly against terrorists. They are not prepared to be turned into an endless piggy bank and blood bank for nation building projects.

Finally on abortion, the constant tiptoeing around the issue has not done much to bring over pro-choice swing voters, it has done a lot to make religious conservatives apathetic and unable to distinguish one side from the other except by differences of mere degrees.

The bottom line is that the Republican party will not win pro-choice women over in any significant numbers. It's a dead end because no matter how much a Republican candidate tiptoes around abortion, the rhetoric on the other side nevertheless claims that the moment he's in office it's back to coathangers again. In other words election after election, Republican candidates try to play moderate and get kicked in the teeth by both pro-choice and religious conservative voters. It's pretty clear which one we can win over and which one we can't.

A useful compromise on the issue is once again to kick the matter back to the States. It's blatantly obvious that there is no constitutional right to abortion. But at the same time it's extremely unlikely that abortion can be or should be banned at the Federal level. It's best to simply take the Federal government out of the equation and let voters in each state decide for themselves. This will let Blue States and Red States have it their own way, while drawing the fangs of the radical feminist movement in national elections who will no longer be able to frame elections on abortion as a single issue.

These are my thoughts. You may not agree, but having the discussion itself is a start. The Democrats have demonstrated how much power can be had in harnessing online voices. It's past time the Republican party took them seriously as well.


Lemon said...

We just need decent candidates for a change and people who represent morality and goodness.

Keli Ata said...

The GOP does need to reassess its platforms on certain issues such as abortion, the war, economic crisis.

Then they'd be able to give the public the change and newness it craves.

Media blitzes, PR, voter fraud etc. certainly played a significant role in Obama's victory but I also can't help but feel a large segment of Americans simply wanted a "feel-good" story.

In the Depression people went to the movies to escape their troubles. In 2008 people created a happy ending for themselves with a real-life messiah/Santa Claus.

Anonymous said...

All good points. Spent time here in the land of oblahblah & rahmbo discussing the GOP's future. As stated here we must not try and out liberal the liberals. That should not be the message of conservatives-focusing on higher taxes and smaller govt, security-domestic and foreign and opportunity must be our message.

John Holton said...

Excellent article. I need to add you to my required reading list.

The GOP has needed a kick in the pants since after the Contract With America, where they got a lot done in three months and let everything ride. In many respects they're even more liberal than the Democrats. Tony Blankley calls them "me-too conservatives", so obsessed with leaving the status quo and trying to run it better. They need to get a consistent message of lower taxes, limited government, strong defense, personal freedom coupled with individual responsibility, and stick to it. Otherwise I'm afraid that we'll fall prey to the nannies and the underclass that they pander to.

Anonymous said...

Excellent article. I bow to your knowledge...We are fighting abortion here in Kansas. The judicial system here in Kansas is finally taking on Dr Death...George Tiller. His abortion practices are very questionable. I am taking a stand against abortion for the most part because it is not a form of birth control. I am standing against funding for Planned Parenthood. I refuse to bow to pro choice women. My views have changed much in the last two years...

It was viewing and learning about partial birth abortions that really changed and a flashback to my college days. A friend had an abortion way back in the day. She married and worried that she could never become pregnant again...she eventually had two daughters...but those days after her abortion were very painful for her. I remember the pain she went through.

And something I have never shared I nearly had an abortion, when the time came I canceled the appointment, I realized in my heart there wasn't a real sane for doing it. That baby is now 25 and my very loving son! My life would have been emptier without him.

The Gunslinger said...

No retreat. No surrender. Take no prisoners. Full tilt conservatism. No apologies.

We need to stop thinking of the GOP as some impersonal "Party", and understand it is US.

We need to stop saying, "Something must be done", and start saying "I must do something."

That's when things will change.

Brian H said...

Sane and to the point. Thank you.

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