The Democrats now control the House of Representatives, the Senate and of course as we all know with the coronation…oops inauguration ceremony on Tuesday…the White House. They are there in force and number following a much deserved loss by the Republicans. Now lets step back a second….I can hear some readers groaning at the moment. No… I have not gone soft in the head, nor am I a turncoat. In every way I am a Classic Liberal which by today’s standards makes me a conservative. This is not the issue. Why then am I so down on the GOP? Here is a list of twelve reasons:
1. The Republican House members in the last few congresses have acted like small ‘l’ liberals. They increased government spending and seemed averse to tackling the spiraling debt…in short they turned their back on the successful Gingrich Revolution. A return to fiscal conservatism is needed.
2. They tolerated within their ranks such pork belly project seat warmers as Alaskan Ted Stevens. Yes the Dems had former Klansman Senator Richard Byrd, who was just as obnoxious in this department, but surely the GOP has higher standards than what the Dems have to offer?
3. Republicans especially the Bushites continued to endorse affirmative action programs…. mostly by their silence. In fact it seems that only the Young Republican groups on campus take opposition to affirmative action seriously. Affirmative Action is wrong and affront to anyone who believes in meritocracy. Many Republicans in congress claim to agree with this sentiment. Why then did they do so little to advance the fight against such blatant discrimination?
4. University Campuses grew more radical during the Bush years. Allan Bloom’s analysis in the ‘Closing of the American Mind’ is coming to fruition as the far leftist Anti-American monoculture continues to spread in the heart of higher education. Other than the work of David Horowitz and co. (who are not in government) where was the concerted effort from Republicans to combat this imbalance? After all if we lose the minds of the younger generation the future of the GOP and the nation will indeed look bleak. On the same theme why do so few Republicans (in government) stand up for the American people’s First Amendment Rights, in actively opposing the Speech Code lunacy that are commonplace at the nation’s university and college campuses?
5. Too many Republicans (especially the Bushites) cozy up to the Saudi’s as though they are America’s ally in the War against Terror. The Saudi’s for the most part detest the US. Their schools and institutions preach a version of Islam (Wahhabism) that is extremely hostile to the West. It is no accident that the vast majority of the 911 terrorists were Saudis. Saudi Arabia is no friend of the US nor should it be treated a such. If Republicans were truly serious about combating the Islamist threat they would distance themselves from this terror source. In short its time to rethink the influence in the party of the Grover Norquists, Darrell Issas, Spencer Abrams and James Bakers of the world. By the same token how is it that so many radical Muslims have found their away into the US over the last ten years or so. Look at the latest pro-Hamas demonstrations in Fort Lauderdale, New York and Detroit. Not to mention Irvine, San Francisco and Seattle. I thought there would be more vigilance in this area or are we now allowing CAIR to influence our immigration policy?
6. Although I am generally not a fan of Lou Dobbs (his smugness is annoying) he is correct in arguing that Republicans have let down the Middle Class in favour of the corporate elites. The Democrats picked up on this weakness and it cost the Republicans at the polls. It is time to return the party back to its base. The base being those who work for their money and pay taxes.
7. Secure borders are a necessity and illegal immigration has to be curtailed. Republicans failed to show a united front on this issue allowing it to drift from the radar in 2008. Both McCain and Bush were particularly weak in this regards. The Democrats took advantage of this lapse to shift focus to areas where they were most likely to win votes and it clearly paid off.
8. Sarah Palin was a poor choice for VP in 2008 (and would not be a great pick for president in 2012 either). She was clearly out of her depth from the get go and allowed the McCain campaign to forgo their one trump card that they had over Obama et al…that of experience. The prospect of Palin in high office was as a fellow conservative friend of mine stated ‘..like a bad Disney movie.’
9. John McCain’s environmental policy was second rate and whether conservatives like to admit it or not green politics will not disappear in the future. Conservatives need to adapt to this reality which is not inconsistent with support for western ideals or the free market. A change of approach may translate into a long term winning ticket. Republicans can make an environmentalist agenda their own by embracing geothermal, wind and/or solar technologies within an entrepreneurial context. Bismarck followed a similar philosophy of thought when he bought in a workable pension system (also an issue of the left) in 19th century Germany and thereby undercut the influence of his Social Democrat opponents.
10. Silly Red Neck Simplicity does not work….Some Republicans counted on this to pick up votes in various regions of the country…but the approach is tired and jaded and lacks vision. The electorate has changed as has the population dynamics of the country. Grow up.
11. Republicans needed to press for more consolidation of the security agencies in the US. Why does the nation need so many different organizations anyway? The CIA, NSA, Military Intelligence, Homeland Security etc? Also it seems that the CIA for one is acting like a rogue agency. After the WMD fiasco the organization should have been purged from top to bottom. Enough is enough…the US needs a world class intelligence system not a bunch of competing Keystone Kops…
12. Too often it appears that the Republicans are waging a War on Science. While this is not the case this meme (expanded on by the MSM) clearly influenced public perception. Republicans can allay such fears by divorcing themselves from the pseudo-scientific intelligent design movement and the anti-stem cell brigade and re-emphasize a commitment to science. An outreach to the scientific community would help in this regards. Obama has already enhanced his credentials in this region by choosing Physicist and Nobel Prize laureate Stephen Chu as his Energy Secretary. The US is the driving force of democracy if it wishes to continue in this regards it needs to be a scientific powerhouse as well. Republicans could take the initiative from the Democrats by championing private enterprise in the field of Space Exploration Industry for example.
In short the GOP has to alter its way of thinking…it should certainly not separate itself from its Conservative base but it must not be loathe to incorporate new approaches to policy either….policies that can only break the milieu of staleness that it currently finds itself in. If it doesn’t it could endure an absence from power comparable to the FDR/Truman era. Times after all they are a changin……..