Republicans Fumbling Towards an Agenda That Matters

After reading The Idol of Equality by Victor Davis Hanson, it was so refreshing to hear my own aspirations for this country and our source of competitive advantages defined so effectively.  That moment was followed by immediate despair as I reflected on the current focus of politics and current events.

While its expected that the Democrats are statist hacks, there should be a counter balance to this inherently destructive agenda.  Instead I’m often greeted with rhetoric or pats on the back, high fives from the GOP admonishing me how great it was they passed a budget resolution.

As if I what drives and inspires me about this country is whether we have a budget resolution but then I pause and note “Gosh, that’s not nice of me to dismiss the work they are clearly so proud of! Let’s see what’s in it.”

That’s when it gets even worse.  More spending coupled with more promises to stop doing that later.   Later is going to be awesome I tell you but I suspect we’ll never get there if something substantial does not change.

  • We have a moment in time where liberty is being encroached on from every angle and our saviors rejoice at DC Bipartisanship.
  • We are now mandated to buy a product that costs more because the government got involved and provides less health care.
  • We are actively being monitored without probable cause by our own elected government.

Our wiser elected officials deem it necessary to continue to spend our money at a profligate pace that never ends and calmly assure us there will be no problem as we print more to cover our debts.

Despite the apparent threat and clear cases of what should be easy cuts for any rational individual to make now regardless of party, our wiser folk in DC cannot bring themselves to do anything.

Sen. Coburn’s 100 programs cost about $30 billion total.  While that’s a lot of money for most anyone except Bill Gates, it is small change for the federal government, less than 1/700th Uncle Sam’s current unfunded liabilities.  Even eliminating the many wasteful projects that litter the federal bureaucracy would not balance the budget.

Granted Coburn’s list only totals $30 billion. The painful fact that even these cuts are too much for Washington is more than exasperating. It’s an essential failure to retain the trust and respect for the American taxpayer.  We get told that discretionary spending isn’t the main driver of our debt but discretionary spending is the main driver of our apathy as a country that makes us incapable of dealing with the debt.  Further, the case can be made that discretionary spending shapes much of the behavior in this country that is destroying the idea that everyone has a fair shot when you look at monstrosities like the Farm Bill and other examples of corporate welfare.

Here are 13 more reasons America is going bankrupt. Are there 13 things anyone is doing about this?

No.  Instead we are content to have arguments about the all important “culture wars” which really at this point have devolved to our own panem et circenses distraction to avoid talking about how we are broke and are actively eliminating liberty from American’s lives and leaving a country to our children in decline.

We continue to devolve what should be likely alliances between conservatives, independents, libertarians, and sane democrats and beat each other over the head with whether 5% of the population should marry or have civil unions, whether everyone must supply goods for said weddings and whether it’s critical that pot is legal.

Clearly the path to a better tomorrow is paved with government getting involved in our intimate relationships, people using government to sue each other if they don’t like what someone else thinks, and getting high.

The thing is, I couldn’t care less about the issues above. I truly don’t care if gays get married or if pot is legal. It’s fine with me either way but it’s not the central occupation of my time nor the thing that is holding America back. In fact it never comes up in my daily life at all.

There are literally $17 trillion other more important things but we get involved in the left’s latest distraction instead of tackling the actual problems.

Instead we all fall for the left’s divisive rhetoric and think we need to play the same game by tailoring messaging or issues into buckets based on gender or color. Notice how Boehner still can’t grasp that pursuing immigration reform with this President is a giant waste of time compared to meaty challenges the ACA has wrought as well as the persistent joblessness that matter to a large majority of the country.  It’s as if we have a party more in tune with a small donor class than Americans.

  • In fact “In a list of 12 priorities for leaders in Washington, Americans ranked gun violence and immigration reform at the very bottom, as the 11th and 12th priorities, respectively. Other topics that draw decisively more public support than the two issues that have mesmerized official Washington this year include reforming Social Security and Medicare, improving education, fixing government inefficiency, reforming the tax code and cutting the deficit.

  • Specifically “Instead, Americans would urge their elected representatives to focus on creating jobs, improving the economy, making the government run more efficiently, and improving the quality of education,”

Talking about the left’s boutique issues typically just leads to awkward comments from right leaning politicians while unnecessarily ceding ground that we aren’t all Americans and we don’t aspire and dream of a better future or have the same concerns for our future.

Reagan always painted a world of Americans never a world of “gender- American” or “color- American”.

The assumption and vision fit a vast swath of people because Republicans used to believe people dreamed of the same thing: a better tomorrow.

Lots of time is spent wallowing in issues that are not even in the top ten concerns for Americans.  Its demeaning, uninspiring and electorally a dead end  if we continue down this path.  A party interested in winning demonstrates it with every action they take. I remain an eternal optimist that the Republican party can pull it together but hope isn’t a plan. Waiting for that party to show up 10 years later to deal with the can we continuously kick towards our future is wearing thin.

“2024: The Year We Start to Govern” doesn’t strike me as a winning message.