Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Resurrecting Conservatism and the Republican Party

As a conservative and a party affiliation of Republican, what is it that our party stands for again? Every time I get call from the GOP for a solicitation for money, I keep asking the same question. I have been a conservative Republican since the Reagan days and for the past few years the Republican Party doesn’t come close to resembling the party that I have so proudly supported all these years.

Our party has been rocked by scandal, government expansion, fiscal irresponsibility and outright incompetence. The American people gave the Republicans the Congress and the White House because they agreed with the fundamental principles and commitments that the Republican Party espoused in the Contract with America.

What did the Republicans do with that power? They acted like liberal Democrats. To say the Republican brand is damaged is the understatement of the decade. What happened?

Let me throw out a few words and see if they aren’t true; compromise, corruption, opposition, over-spending and articulation. Let me explain. When Republicans laid out an agenda that reflected a conservative agenda, the American people gave power to the Republicans. What did the Republicans do? They compromised conservative principles and allowed the size and scope of government to expand. Secondly, corruption was found in the ranks. Too many elected Republicans went to jail for being corrupt. It’s kind of hard to say you’re the party of morality and ethics when there is that level of corruption going on.

Thirdly, there was opposition from liberal Democrats and a corrupt and biased news media. While this is not necessarily the fault of Republicans, Republicans allowed the opposition to define Republicans. Where were the fierce supporters of the conservative cause when liberals were attacking them? These weak knee Republicans were either too afraid to say anything or they were busy throwing their own under the bus as liberals targeted certain members. Instead of facing down the opposition, Republicans caved to them.

Fourthly, Republicans who controlled the power of the purse spend money like a bunch of drunken sailors. While Republicans can argue the liberal Democrats were encouraging them to spend more and more money, guess who got holding the bag? You would have thought that Republicans would have learned the lesson from what happened to the first George Bush for compromising with Democrats over raising taxes after saying “ read my lips, no new taxes,” you would have thought Republicans would have got a clue about how liberals operate. Obviously not and once again look who got left looking like liberal spenders.

What the Republicans should have done is look square in the eye of the American people and say, it is the role of government to protect the American people and try to create a playing field that allows the greatest amount of people the opportunity to succeed, but it is not the role of government to provide every need in life. They also should say, sorry we can’t afford it. Had they stuck to their principles and not caved to a minority of whiners, they would still have the respect of the vast majority of American people. While there are always things we as a society want, we do understand being told it’s not our responsibility and we can’t afford it.

Finally, Republicans failed to articulate conservatism. Life is full of teachable moments. Conservatives should be out there whenever they can to articulate what conservatism is and explain why it is superior to liberalism. The vast majority of Americans regardless of their party affiliation live their lives as conservatives. They believe in God, traditional marriage, the American flag, they are patriotic and fiscally and socially responsible. Why Republicans ceased to articulate conservatism is beyond me.

So where do Republicans go from here. First, I suggest that liberal Republicans leave the Republican Party and go join the Democrat Party. Liberals have a home. It’s called the Democrat Party. The GOP should identify liberals in the party and cut off all funding to them.

Secondly, the Republican elected leaders should have gather on the steps of a capital and apologize to the American people for compromising its principles. Thirdly, they should present a new and fresh conservative agenda. Something akin to the Contract with America. Fourthly, recruit new and fresh conservative faces to run for elected offices.

Fifthly, get out and campaign on the agenda, teach conservatism and ask the American people for a second chance to earn their trust. Lastly, Republican need to quit this compromising with liberals and don’t buy into this bi-partisan non-sense. What America wants is an effective government not a bi-partisan government. If your ideas, policies and vision are superior to the other party and long term they bring the best results for the vast majority of Americans, they will support you and your party.

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