The Republican Party is a relative newcomer in the political scene. Created in 1854, its existence was brought about to combat the Kansas-Nebraska Act. The original platforms were gold standard, pro business, and railroads among others. Abraham Lincoln was the first Republican president. He was the only president to actually sign an amendment to the Constitution. He signed the 13th amendment abolishing slavery.
How far has the Party come since Lincoln? I would say that up to and including President Ronald Reagan the Party has remained fairly consistent with its original platforms.
So, what is the problem with today’s Republican leaders? Why is the Party losing membership to those who label themselves Independents or just “Conservatives”? NBC seems to think that the Republicans face an empathy gap among voters. As usual, they are accusing the Republicans of not being able to relate to the poor, and only helping the rich. This is the standard equestrian residue that all Democrats like to throw at the GOP.
So far, the Democrat Party has never won a single battle with the “War On Poverty”–unless you count the fact that we are all a great deal poorer than we were a few years ago (and while Democrat politicians remain exceedingly wealthy…). Constant handout programs strip dignity from the recipients, breeding generations of loafers. The productive have a greater financial burden resulting in a lower standard of living for everyone.
Ronald Reagan said that the best social program for anyone was a job. I agree.
Lou Dobbs seems to think that the key to a GOP win in 2016 is to “embrace all Americans around the traditional values (of the Party).” I personally believe that a return to the original principals of the Party could be a great first step. In fact, standing firm on any principal or belief would be a wonderful idea. Right or wrong, please hold something sacred and be willing to be unpopular to defend your position. Elected officials are sent to represent the values and wants of their constituency. They are not sent to try and please all of the people all of the time but this has been the common trend among Republican leaders.
For example, Republican House Leader John Boehner will appear to be against something. He plays a big game, huffing and puffing for the television cameras, vowing consequences for actions. But then later, behind closed doors, he gets together with the opposition and quietly folds like a cheap suit, as we have seen on his unwillingness to confront the IRS scandal, Benghazi, or any other scandal that has come about lately.
Where is the leadership of the position?
The best thing the Party could do to retain its members would be to mean what they say and say what they mean. Compromise is a necessity in politics, but backbone can go a long way as well. So far, it is a scarce commodity. Most politicos are more interested in their own popularity among their peers than among their own constituency.
They were not elected to make friends and grow rich on closed-door deal; they were sent as a representative of the people.
Ted Cruz is one elected Republican official who does not mind offending to represent his district. He is an affable young man, but he covers every inch of ground that he stands upon. (Click HERE for a few quotes.) I believe he summed it nicely with when he said, “Washington is not listening to the people.” Sen. Cruz has expounded on this subject at various times and has hit the nail on the head: No one is listening. They feel that they know what is best and we are just a convenience for them to be elected—and they also believe that We the People are simply a means to their networking abilities, leading to great wealth and privilege for themselves. As far as our concerns and needs, their attitude is “well, aren’t they cute, they want us to perform according to the promises made to get here, silly boys and girls. We know what is best.”
We have a chance in both 2014 and 2016 to make the elected elite understand that the people have had enough. Until they do, voters will do well to continue to eschew both the Republican and Democratic parties. We need to demand that all our candidates reflect and stand by our values.
When asked, I admit to being an “Independent Conservative” and you are welcome to work for my vote!