Ideas for the Republican Party
This past week I received a letter soliciting funds for the National Republican Party. Give once and you are on their mailing list forever! It had the usual questionnaire included -- the one you are supposed to fill out to determine the future course of action for the party. In looking it over it appeared to me that the Republican Party is the party of NO, no to every Democrat initiative, program or piece of legislation.
Now my political ideology tends to run to the negative for most of the Democrats favored pieces of legislation, no to their healthcare initiative, no to Cap and Trade, no to expanded welfare payments, no to increasing the national debt through another stimulus program but gee where are the Republican initiatives -- what does the party stand for? Surely we are more than the party of NO.
I'll admit that I registered Republican upon reaching the age of majority and have voted in every election since I earned the right in 1958. Did I vote the straight Republican ticket every time? Not by a long shot, as I tried to select the best candidate for the office. Memorably I have been burned a couple times, Jimmy Carter for one, as I thought his military experience would have taught him better and Ben Nelson, who really let me down recently with his vote for socialized medicine. I also voted for Richard Nixon, who turned out to not be very good at stealing Democrat secrets!
Why am I a Republican? I suppose it is because my dad was a Republican and I grew up hearing his objections to tax-and-spend Democrats. Besides that, the Republican philosophy of smaller government, strong national defense and unshackling business through lower taxes just seems to fit my way of thinking.
Therefore, in the spirit of trying to remake the Republican Party to be more acceptable to the vast majority of freedom-loving Americans who favor morally upright politicians to represent their best interests I offered the following:
* Abide by the U.S. Constitution as written.
* Eliminate all earmarks and federal grant programs. An office holder who accepts a bribe or gives one, for an example any earmark, shall be forced out of office. All "gifts" and special favors are to be accounted for and the office holder must make that record readily available for public inspection.
* Stop deficit spending. (Adopting Nebraska's plan of a required balanced budget is a good start)
* Adopt term limits (as we do for the President) for all federal elected offices. Eliminate all federal pension plans for elected office holders -- Social Security is adequate. If they want to participate in a 501K arrangement with no employer match, that is fine. Medicare will be the total health care insurance plan provided by their employer.
* Marriage is defined as a contract between a man and a woman -- only.
* Get out of any nationalized business, for instance "government motors -- the former GM and Chrysler Corp."
* Get out of the insurance business, especially Freddy Mac, Fannie Mae, AIG and definitely medical insurance.
* Abolish the estate tax and graduated income tax. All Americans should have the privilege of paying taxes and a level income tax for all would work just fine.
* Social Security and Medicare should pay their own way, no federal subsidy and no dipping into the funds for unrelated payments. Let the states do Medicaid if they desire.
* Abide by legal immigration law. Create a temporary guest worker program with no amnesty provision.
* Tort reform! Strictly limit punitive awards. (I was sad when my Democrat friend Biff Morrison explained that he moved from Nebraska to practice law because Montana had no punitive award limits and Nebraska does which limited his lawyer income!)
* Restrict environmental regulations so as to encourage domestic energy development and wean us off foreign oil.
* Eliminate the Departments of Education, Labor and Homeland Security. Teachers' unions and useful education of students is not a good mix! No taxpayer-supported organization, police, fire, government employees of any stripe, should be allowed to form or participate in a union.
* Reform election law to limit special interest payments to all candidates running for office.
I am sure that each of you readers could add more. All we want are honest politicians that will represent the interests of an informed electorate.
In may be instructive to read a passage penned by Pierre-Joseph Proudhon:
"To be governed is to be watched, inspected, spied upon, directed, law-driven, numbered, regulated, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, checked, estimated, valued, censured, commanded, by creatures who have neither the right nor the wisdom nor the virtue to do so. To be governed is to be at every operation, at every transaction noted, registered, counted, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished, prevented, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished. It is under pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest, to be placed(d) under contribution, drilled, fleeced, exploited, monopolized, extorted from, squeezed, hoaxed, robbed; then at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, vilified, harassed, hunted down, abused, clubbed, disarmed, bound, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed; and to crown all, mocked, ridiculed, derided, outraged, dishonored."
Whew, all that and Proudhon, a Frenchman who died in 1865, never had a chance to live in the socialist state envisioned by liberal leaning President Barack Obama. But then Mike and Garnet probably look forward to his vision of utopia.
That is the way I saw it.