Thinking people understand that the GOP was put at serious risk of existence by the drubbing in November. One of the questions of the moment: Do GOP national leaders understand this? For the life of me I cannot answer “Yes.”
Peggy Noonan, herself not blameless in the current catastrophe today does raise some legit points: It is time for the GOP to do some re-thinking and talking.
Those of you who read this blog with any regularity know that although I despise the Left, I often take the GOP to-task for ideas dumb, outmoded, truly idiotic – or all of the above.
So here are some responses to Ms. Noonan, most from previous posts, which are linked.
1. Executive pay. It is truly insane to protect what any previous generation would have seen as (and been shamed by) outrageous Executive Pay when their employees make less than is required to raise a family or send kids to college. Because both of these are conservative values, and nothing is particularly conservative about paying an executive $90M to be fired, or paying someone tens of millions to manage (or mismanage) a company. A suggestion to use the market and tax policy to limit the Baby Boomer craziness that has infected executive pay.
2. Energy Policy. America needs a serious energy policy, fracking is not a substitute, and there is nothing conservative about not having a policy – nor is there anything conservative about letting the government pick Winner & Losers through centralization of energy decision-making and crony capitalism. A suggestion.
3. Social Security. SS is an entitlement, not an earned pension. The money taken from our checks today goes out in a check to Granny tomorrow. It never was designed to function as a pension, it never was sold as a pension, it never was funded as a pension, and it never was managed as a pension. The entire purpose was to keep Granny out of the cat food. Warren Buffet and Bill Gates don’t need to be kept out of the cat food. A suggestion.
4. “Social issues.” A government of “Limited Powers” has no authority outside of those enumerated powers – and the “Social Issues” are not among them. If Conservatives demand a voice in these topics it must be at the State level. There IS a Conservative case for abortion. Yes, I know that pro-life polls higher than pro-choice at this time. I am not arguing for either stance; only pointing-out the overlooked issues – which are large. I am arguing for limited government under the enumerated powers through which we (are supposed to) limit the federal government, which is supposed to be what Conservatism is all about.
5. Defense & the military.
Military. Conservatives somehow have arrived at the un-thought-out conclusion that deploying the military is a conservative value and that it is a conservative value to support deployments regardless of the rationale, outcome or legality (yes, there are laws controlling the use of American military force). In fact, the military has become a Palace Guard, deploying – using America’s unparalleled military might – at the whim of the president, and killing people and toppling governments simply because we can. This is wrong and must be changed, the Military Industrial complex, of which we were warned by Eisenhower, reined-in, and the unfettered access by the president to deployment of combat troops, drones and assassinations — stopped. There is nothing conservative about extra-legal, extra-judicial, extra-Constitutional killing simply because one man wants to kill another, regardless of his role as CINC. If America is going to go to war – go to war, with the support of our representative government and using all national means to change the behavior of an opponent, presumably the reason we go to war. But if we are NOT going to war, we have NO business killing and dying on foreign soil.
Defense. Extending the above: What on earth are we doing spending tax dollars for the upkeep of a military to defend nations perfectly capable of defending themselves? A suggestion.
6. Immigration policy. As is nearly everything else now that we are governed by the Worst Generation – immigration policy – or a lack thereof – is run by the extremes on both sides, and the Right has allowed the Left to take the moral high ground after both sides chose decades ago to ignore the law. As with nearly everything else, these extremes have given us chaos. A conservative solution exists to the mess we have made, a solution that easily could change the political and economic dynamics of America for the better.
7. The Right often says free trade makes everyone richer. The facts are that it does not; it makes workers in other nations, and investors in America, richer. Then, having raised the standard of living in one foreign nation, it destroys those jobs and moves on to another. See Japan -> China -> Vietnam -> etc. This is an Industrial Age-Information Age conundrum. As America leaves the Industrial Age farther behind, those lacking the skills or intelligence or education necessary to compete for Information Age jobs become unemployable in order to enrich citizens/subjects or other nations, or companies/investors – not employees – in America. No amount of “re-training” can make a 40- 50- or 60-year old industrial worker employable in an IT department. By pulling the rug from beneath these workers artificially through yanking them into an Age for which they cannot be made ready, rather than letting the economy move forward organically as economies historically have between economic Ages, allowing this unavoidable displacement to happen over a generation or more, we have destroyed jobs (and families) here that did not need to be destroyed, and created jobs offshore that those economies did not yet need (and then destroyed THEM by moving on (Japan -> China -> Vietnam, etc.)) – and hammered our own economy and citizens. It is the role of our government and our industries to care for our citizens and economy first. It is past time to put America first and re-think Free Trade. (And it is important that, as we do so, all of us recognize that it was the Left in the 1970s, who, through condescending and arrogant complaints about the quality of UAW-built products (the sound of a slamming car door that become the iconic complaint in the 1970s still is featured on ads for foreign cars), that barriers to automotive competition were dropped, foreign cars – particularly low-priced Japanese cars – were introduced, the coastal (Blue) states filled-up with imports, and union job losses began in huge numbers. When the Left yammers about the UAW it needs to be noted that it is the Right who buys American cars and actually supports UAW jobs, and it is the Left who buys imports and destroys UAW jobs.)
8. American Industry needs a well-educated work force. Because the Left does not believe in the future even enough to populate it, and so has no kids – but is in need of public-sector union dues to remain in power, America will never get an educated work force unless the Left and their theories are thrown-out of school boards, councils and, ultimately the schools. Democrats have owned every major metro school district since FDR. If Democrats WANTED better schools, we’d HAVE better schools. No logical argument exists to rebut this. So why aren’t companies large and small putting time and money into local school district races? Why are the entities that most require educated citizens completely absent from the fight? Companies, particularly tech, communications, transportation, should be spending whatever it takes to help repair the damage the Left unquestionably has done to our schools – and to our voters. As a side benefit, an educated populous would NEVER allow the irrationality of the two extremes we have had destroying America since the Boomers came to power. And, no, supporting the PTA, which in most places is just an adjunct to teacher unions, is not supporting the necessary reform in education. For companies to spend dollars lobbying for more H1-B visas, but not to spend similar (or higher) sums on improving our schools (which does NOT mean giving more money to teacher unions, but throwing out the Left who have destroyed it and replacing them with real adults based on merit), is crazy.
9. The 2nd Amendment protects private gun ownership. If the Left truly is against guns, they would amend the Constitution. Two arguments exist that the Left is really not against guns – but rather against guns in the hands of citizens they do not control: 1. They have never tried to amend the Constitution, even after Heller, and, 2. Lefty elites who yammer about gun confiscation have armed bodyguards; somehow our employees and celebrities have decided that we who employ them directly or indirectly cannot be trusted with guns, but that they, themselves, must be trusted with guns – which is both arrogant and stupid. At the same time, no logical reason exists not to have background checks at gun shows, waiting periods to buy guns, nor to enforce the laws against gun violence, no matter how many voters the NRA (of which I am both a Life Member and an occasional competitive shooter) can muster at election time. It also should be noted that the Left never hold accountable many who perpetrate gun violence: A woman shoots her husband, a man shoots a cop, and they had a rough childhood or an abusive spouse. I don’t care. If gun violence is illegal, prosecute it; if you don’t prosecute it you really aren’t against it. The Left does NOT believe in consequences, and no matter how many laws they put on the books, they never will send to jail – or the Chair – those who deserve it. Every state that has increased the ability of citizens to go armed (ie. has NOT unconstitutionally infringed the rights of their citizens to bear arms) has seen a decrease in gun violence. Every State in which it remains nearly impossible for a citizen to obtain a carry permit has high gun violence. Chicago has the strictest gun-control laws in the nation – and the worst gun violence; this is NOT a coincidence. The Left lives in some fantasy land and actually believes that people will do what they are told simply BECAUSE they are told, and that a lawbreaker (all massacres are perpetrated by lawbreakers) will somehow not break a law regarding “gun-free zones,” which really are just “shooting-fish-in-a-barrel” zones.
10. American foreign aid is predicated on the idea that we are wealthy and other nations are not, and somehow others are more deserving of the rewards of American labor than the American laborers and their families. It also has been observed that foreign aid results in the American government taking money from workers in America to give to rich elites in foreign nations. Before America practiced Foreign Aid, most countries liked us. Now that we give away billions, most countries seem to hate us in direct proportion to how much aid they receive. Given on what foreign aid is predicated, the American foreign aid that is given to other nations are copies of our Constitution – and that is all. WE earned this wealth through our form of government. THEY must be allowed to do the same. NO reason exists to penalize the American workers because others CHOOSE live in tyranny or despotism. Not unrelated to this is membership in what has become an supranational organization majority-ruled by despots to which America belongs and to which some think we should subsume our rights of self-government: The UN. It is past time to recognize the UN for what it is and get out; nothing positive is served by giving them tax dollars – only to have them used against us. They can argue and fight and whine against us WITHOUT our tax dollars.
These seem rational, overdue ideas in changing the political landscape. For the greatest part these ideas are conservative. They need to be discussed.
But mostly what seems evident to all with eyes to see and ears to hear, is this: Baby Boomers were given by their parents the freest, wealthiest nation in the history of the known universe. We are giving our kids the brokest nation in human history and the least-free nation in Western Civilization. WE should be truly ashamed of ourselves and angry with our leaders.. and NO ONE under 45 should EVER consider voting for one of us EVER AGAIN. The GOP has been a part of this. Mostly it is time to change leadership, to turn the party over to non-Boomers. To trust that perhaps we have raised kids who understand the destruction we have caused, learned from it, and will begin America’s repair.
For if we haven’t raised our kids to be better than ourselves, what was the point?