I'm a Pundit Too

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Conservatives Need To Get Back To Reagan Basics

Over the past week, there has been a constant parade of political “experts” through the news networks to propose their recommendations to the Republican Party to renew the party. The suggestions have all had a familiar ring to them. The “intellectual” opinion is that the Republicans need to jettison their conservative values and ideals. They believe that conservatism is the reason behind McCain’s defeat and the Democratic takeover of Congress in 2006. They completely disregard any of the other competing forces weighing on the minds of the voters in the past 2 elections.

It will come as no surprise, but I do not agree with the self-proclaimed experts. I believe that the major problem within the Republican Party is not that they are too conservative, but rather that they have neglected their responsibility in educating the voters on what they believe. Of course, then they have to actually govern as conservatives.

It is not enough to say that as a political party we believe in smaller government. The average voter does not care what that we are for a smaller government unless we explain what a smaller government means and why we believe it is the right choice. Some of my Christian friends have asked how I could be a conservative and a Christian at the same time. They believe that my conservative position on the role of government is in contradiction to Biblical teaching to take care of the poor. I believe that as a Christian we should take care of the poor and downtrodden, but I do not believe that it is the government’s responsibility. I believe that the community at large is better at dealing with those in their own communities. Local churches give more food and aid to the homeless and the poor in their communities than the government could ever dream of helping. The sheer size of the bureaucracy of government makes it inefficient in helping the poor. Jesus did teach that we should help the poor, but I have never read in my Bible that as long as we pay our taxes than our responsibility to the poor is done.

We cannot simply say that we are pro-life and expect that the voters will simply accept it and be with us. The age-old axiom, “you are preaching to the choir” holds a lot of truth in this case. Claiming to be the Pro-life party will bring pro-life voters to you, but it does nothing to educate those who may not have a strong position either way. We need to explain why we are pro-life. We need to explain that the procedure known as partial-birth abortion is a horrific and completely unnecessary procedure. I do not know of any medical condition that would require a pre-term baby to be vaginally delivered to the point of leaving the baby partially in the birth canal, and then piercing the live baby’s skull to suck the infant’s brain out to kill the baby. If an expecting mother is in such a bad physical state that she will not survive a normal delivery, how is she protected by inducing labor only to partially deliver the baby as normal before killing it? We need to explain why we are against government funding for abortion and the readily available abortion on demand for any reason. We do not believe inconvenience is a feasible reason for ending a human life.

Campaigning on lower taxes is great, but it needs to be taken to the next level. We need to explain why we believe lower taxes for everyone is the best option for our economy and for our government. We need to educate the American public about taxes. We need to change the debate from a class envy debate to a debate over taxes themselves. Obama was elected claiming that 95% of Americans would receive a tax cut, but the problem is that roughly 40% of Americans do not pay federal income taxes. We need to educate the public about who actually pays taxes and how much they do pay. The top 1% of income earners pays roughly 40% of taxes. We need stop sitting back and letting the Democrats spin a tax cut for all tax payers into an unfair tax cut for the rich. We need to educate the public why an across the board 2% rate cute for someone making $1 million is still a 2% rate cut. It is the same 2% cut that someone making $40,000.

The Republican Party does not need to move away from conservative values and ideals. We need to take a page out of the Reagan notebook and do what Reagan did. Ronald Reagan was known as the “Great Communicator” because of his ability to explain his conservative policies to the American public. We need to get back to taking our case directly to the people. This election has shown the media’s affinity for liberal ideals and candidates. We need to sidestep the mainstream media and take our message to the public.

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