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My Suggestions for the GOP (And Other Stuff)

November 9, 2012

Conservatives lost.  Not a huge surprise.  Disappointing, but not surprising.

Something great happened this election and the Democrats are to thank for it.  More people voted in this election than ever before.  The deciding entries probably voted for all the wrong, racist reasons, but that’s America.  We get what we deserve and this time more than ever if things go south, while Bush and the wealthy will still be blamed, the truth is that we collectively, with our poor beliefs and worse morals will be to blame.

I suspect we’re going to see record unemployment as companies adjust to the whopping tax hike coming in January and the bloated burden of the healthcare bill has to be adjusted for (my CPA friends say to expect it to reach 20% or higher as their calculations suggest, to remain solvent, companies in non-boom industries will require layoffs of up to 30%, and those that refuse to adjust will close… Romney may be smarting now, but methinks Bain Capital and cohorts is the real winner this election).  Our debt will hit $25T, and taxes will go through the roof. The percentage of people on entitlements will climb well over 50%.  The question is, will they recognize the failed policies of the left or just keep voting for their government paychecks?

My wife points out I’m always wrong about politics, so hopefully I still am and none of that will happen.

Regardless, the Republicans need to make just a few adjustments to do better.  I don’t think they should abandon their principles; in fact, I think they need to live up to them much better on a personal level (say what you want about Bush, but he lived up to his principles on a personal level better than any politician I’m aware of, from personal health, giving to charity to eco-responsibility).

Most of all, a little realism needs to be injected back into the platform.  Certain truths are known but not acknowledged.  They still need to be the Personal Responsibility party, but some ground is unrecoverable, so adjust as necessary:

  • Become the Partner Party.  Partner with Americans, promoting volunteerism, good works and carrying of the burden that government never should have had.

 

  • Be Pro-Life but recognize that abortion will never be illegal.  That box has been opened and Pandora has no hopes of closing it.  Yes, abortion is reprehensible, barbarian and immoral, but making it illegal?  No way.  How do you prosecute it?  Jail time, fines on the mother?  Don’t be ridiculous.  You can’t go after the doctors without holding the mom being complicit. (I’d like it to be free; doctors can’t charge for anything at all connected to it, they must murder out of the goodness of their heart).  Make Pro-Life a PR campaign to change people’s beliefs about it.  Again, the burden would have to be on the private sector, but politicians CAN encourage it.

 

  • Illegal Immigration.  Those people aren’t going anywhere, so it’s a waste of time, money and energy to pursue it.  Offer all illegals special status.  If you’re here and illegal, become legal BUT you will never be a citizen, never be able to vote, never be able to take part in entitlements (other than kids going to school).  To be citizens, you immigrate legally, but if you’re illegal, come out of the woodshed and you can stay as a guest worker, pay tax, and live without fear of ICE.  After that, any who choose to remain illegal, hunt ’em down and ship ’em to Australia.

 

  • Change FEMA from being useless to being resource facilitators for in-state emergency experts.  They don’t come in and take over; they partner with the locals who know what they’re doing.  If the locals don’t, they bring in advisers who do.  FEMA just smooths resource gathering (happily busting unions who say volunteers can’t come in and help).

 

  • Actually follow through on promises to reduce government.

 

  • Legalize pot.

I also think that we should harken back to FDR to cure our problems with poverty.  Do away with Welfare completely.  Anyone who qualifies for Welfare instead becomes a government employee who does the work that needs to be done from trash pickup to administration and civil engineering (Superstorm Sandy would keep a lot of people in need busy); certainly incorporate personnel improvement to train civil “employees” for better work; this isn’t punishment, after all.  Finally, if you get fired because of attitude, willful incompetence, or slacking, then you’re out of luck.  No paychecks for you.  Of course, people with disabilities are exempt, but able-bodies workers work or starve.

I do not believe all people on Welfare are abusers, slackers or in any way evil.  I think most would work if they could, so why not let them?  After all, there’s so much to do.

Hopefully, they’re through the, ahem, older GOP men wanting to be president and can field a younger, less tainted group.

That’s what I think needs to happen for the Grand Old Party to return to the top… and back to reality.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. November 9, 2012 10:16 pm

    I was waiting for your take on recent events, of course! And I actually agree with you on quite a bit of this. One of the best takes I’ve seen is by an author named John Scalzi–he says what I’ve been thinking well (though, I should warn you, with a smidgen of harsher language than I’d use).

    Anyway, as for what the next 4 years holds, I feel certain you’re wrong on the economic front–I certainly hope so, anyway! I think neither side wants to go over the so-called fiscal cliff, so a deal will be struck before the time comes. The only question there is whether it’s a kick-the-can-down-the-road deal that just maintains the status quo, or a deal that actually generates additional tax revenue to start bringing down those deficits the right only actually cares about when they aren’t in charge. If there is a tax hike it will be on the wealthy, and it won’t be all that big–all Obama is asking for is Clinton-era tax rates, certainly not Eisenhower-era tax rates, and you know what, the wealthy did juuuust fine under Clinton-era tax rates. It’s a start, anyway. There’s plenty of debate about the economic ramifications of Obamacare, but the plain truth seems to be that no one quite knows how it will pan out. Either way, you can bet that if it goes badly it will be changed or shored up somehow. Or we’ll scrap it and go single-payer, which is what we should have done in the first place.

    Yes, absolutely, put people back to work with WPA/CCC-style programs. 100% agreed–there’s work to be done, so why not pay our unemployed to do it instead of paying them to look for work that isn’t there yet. Once a goodly number of those people get back to work, consumer demand goes back up, companies grow and put even more people to work, consumer demand grows more, and so on until we’re back in black. Funny thing about that idea, though–it’s exactly what people like Paul Krugman have been advocating for several years now, greeted by silence from the left and ridicule from the right.

    Social issues: you’re right here too, they aren’t to be ignored, but they certainly are to be handled differently than the GOP has been handling them. Immigration needs reform, not higher fences and more border guards. Gay marriage is on the ascent and most people (outside of the evangelical conservative base, anyway) greet that with either warmth or simple indifference. Marijuana, it is ridiculous to spend what we spend on enforcing those laws and prosecuting and incarcerating so many otherwise non-violent offenders. Abortion is an abhorrent necessity, but you know what reduces the rate of abortions (and teen pregnancies, another societal evil)? Easy access to cheap (or free) birth control. By fighting one, you make the other even more necessary, so why shoot yourself in the foot trying to fight both?

    To sum up, I don’t think conservatives lost this past Tuesday, not really. The guanopsychotic conservatives–who used to be the fringe of the GOP but have forced their way to the front and center–that’s who lost, and lost big. As Scalzi said, the GOP base might listen to those folks and see them as rational and wise. But the rest of the nation–a majority, as this week’s election demonstrated–see them as anything but, and wonder why on earth they even get the time of day from the GOP, let alone why they’ve become the ones giving the party’s marching orders. So for me, the question about the next 4 years is how obstructive the GOP will choose to be. Will they realize that the way back to national relevance is to moderate their insanity and get back to being true conservatives again, instead of the insane reactionaries they’ve largely become? Or will they double down on the nonsense and obstructionism, mistakenly thinking they lost this election because they weren’t reactionary (or “principled”, as they like to see it) enough? And will Obama, now that he doesn’t have any more elections to concern himself about, finally grow enough spine to call out GOP obstructionism for what it is, and stand up to it like he should have for the past few years? The next few weeks, and the fiscal-cliff deal that gets struck, will likely be quite instructive. I’ll be watching. 🙂

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