The Republican Party no longer seems to lead through the ideals that made it the political launch pad for abolitionists in 1854. US demographics demand that Republicans get their party back into communicating a vital few messages because rising Millennials will be seeking intelligent leadership – especially around national security. The Republican Party can do this by reasserting its foundational values and fortify it with accountability, addressing the real economy and protecting the constitution, not put up presidential candidates that behave like they’re on the Jerry Springer show. For the Republican Party to get back into the American conversation it must drop the habit of using political policy as the instrument of change and focus on 1) making government work 2) defending the constitution and 3) promoting private enterprise.
My ten recommendations are:
1. Abandon the extremist public criticism of social issues, particularly gay marriage and abortion. Democrats use these outbursts to bludgeon the Republican Party, make it look foolish and take public attention away from the incessant liberal-socialist attack on the US constitution.
- Abortion – It’s the law of the land so stop telling voters a fairy tale about getting enough
- Gay marriage – Stop defining family values with a nuclear family lens – the walls of Supreme Court Justices to overturn Roe V Wade. Protecting the US constitution is more important than taking away a woman’s right to choose. Besides, focus on birth control. sexuality have been breached and the issue is far too influential on voter choice. Do you really care if the surgeon who just saved your child’s life is in a same-sex marriage?
2. Time for a Divorce – over-the-top religious zealots that have hijacked the party’s intellectual core and replaced it with judgmental views on family values and societal behavior. Move away from these voters and allow Teddy Roosevelt Republican leadership to replace them with centrist Democrats worried about the same type of hijacking going on by socialists. Americans in the political center are in abundance and need to find something to believe in – take the intellectual lead on essential issues and they will come.
3. Focus on whether government is working – not that it’s too big. Shutdowns look foolish and are fodder for a media desperate for content. Demonstrate the approach with the TSA which is an agency the public loathes and would like to see reformed. Once the concept of accountability and eliminating waste has gotten results move on to another unpopular agency like the FAA. And for God’s sake don’t start with the Environmental Protection Agency – take baby steps.
4. Put Conservation back into Conservatism. Make energy independence a national security objective via renewable technology sources. Promote a “moonshot” partnership with technology companies and rely on carbon-based energy only as the bridge to a renewable future, not the solution. Oh and by the way just be quiet about climate change.
5. Tort reform – this is way overdue. Civil lawsuits are the most efficient income redistribution tools the Democratic Party has ever created. Call out the American Trial Lawyers Association on their socialist agenda and promote the English system which makes the loser pay for the lawyer fees. This will single-handedly reduce trivial civil actions that make small business targets for these incentive sucking legal shenanigans.
6. Put a Federal usury law back on the books for all consumer credit transactions and student loans – why do banks, retailers and credit card companies still get to charge for rates and impose fees worthy of loan sharks? Want to get the economy moving again? Lower consumer borrowing costs and student loan debt service.
7. Publically support constructive immigration policy and work visa system – call out the Democrats who open our borders just to add voters and in doing so compromise our security – this carries very important economic implications as well.
8. Court and embrace the Hispanic vote – Hispanic culture is closely aligned with working families, a spiritual core and individual accountability. Rodriguez is now the most popular surname in the US, replacing Smith. Just look who’s doing all the work in your neighborhood.
9. Reform Obamacare – not kill it. Affordable health insurance is right in line with the how the US labor is changing to a knowledge-based labor resource so this is an economic issue – not a social one. Since the economy is not soaking up graduating Millennials, they are joining small start-up companies or working as independent contractors – this is the only health insurance coverage many of them can get. Remember that health insurance is really bankruptcy insurance and not about free healthcare.
10. Put Banks back where they belong. Republicans should call out Wall Street for their selfish disregard of destabilizing impact their business models have on the economy. Finance is the enabler of economic growth, not the object and on this topic Elizabeth Warren looks positively main-stream. Wall Street has engineered three “one-in-a-hundred-year” disasters within the last 20 years and ruined free market capitalism. And also keep away from Wall Street affiliations – don’t take their money.
The elephant in the room (some levity here) is that hasn’t been addressed is how the Republican Party can shed the contempt of African-Americans voters. This is a complex topic and requires a more in-depth examination which will be discussed in an upcoming post. But as mentioned earlier we are the party of abolitionists and Lincoln and Republicans have clearly lost their way – we need an honest, and maybe painful, self-examination to develop a re-boot of party priorities around race relations.