We have effectively handed all three branches of Government over to you. For the first time in a decade you are tasked with the awesome job of governing this country. Unfortunately, you have demonstrated in the past (i.e. George Bush’s second term’s failed attempt to overhaul Social Security with a Republican congress – that was all you!) that you don’t govern well.
To that end, please consider the following:
Stop Wasting Political Capital
We have given you the reigns to the most powerful country in the world. We want change, we want less government, less regulation, less taxes – in short, we want to stop thinking about the Federal Government. We know that you will make mistakes along the way, but as long as you are working toward that end, we who elected you will be forgiving.
Yet, already you are wasting that goodwill on silly things. Earlier this week, for example, you tried pushing through an ethics reform package. Good or bad, it was done in the middle of the night, against leadership advice, and without a well-crafted message. You had to walk it back – and you lost valuable momentum.
Follow Through on Promises Made – Quickly
You promised to repeal and replace ObamaCare, lower taxes, reduce government spending and waste, overhaul the immigration process, and increase our oil production to decrease dependence on foreign sources. These are the issues that swept you into power.
Now we are hearing talk that replacing the Affordable Care Act will take two to four years? Surely you have a plan, surely you have sought out the advice of the Heritage Foundation and other conservative think-tanks. Immigration reform can start with a simple act of Congress putting a moratorium on all immigration to allow for those already here to settle in and assimilate. Passing laws to streamline the Keystone and other pipelines should be a no-brainer. Do them, and do them quickly, so the American people who elected you can be vindicated in their support of you, and those who opposed you can get a chance to see what Republican ideas put into action look like.
Remember that Statism – whether it comes from the Left or Right – Is Still Statism
We are a Federal system. The Founding Fathers realized that the states must cede certain rights to a central government for the good of the union. At the same time, most of the powers of government must stay with the states themselves. The Obama administration has consistently taken power away from the states to centralize policy – leading to a far stronger and invasive federal government than the consitutional framers ever envisioned. Republicans have a record of fighting this movement – until now.
Bills such as the National Concealed Carry law which requires states to recognize these licenses granted from other states is but one brick in the road down “Conservative Statism”. Forcing states into such reciprocity takes away from their sovereignty – and from the free choice of people living in those states. A better law would be to require states to give ample notice of those laws and leeway to those carrying from other states. Such a law does not violate individual states rights, yet at the same time protects the individual as he exercises his 2nd Amendment rights.
Do not let your pursuit of a conservative doctrine steer you away from this basic premise of our founding – the power reserved in the states must be protected from any incursion from the federal government.
Understand that Term Limits is not a Republican Concept
On the surface, term limits seem like the way to end corruption and power-hungry politicians. By limiting their time in office, elected representatives would be motivated by service, and not by keeping a political seat. Given the fact that once elected, a sitting politician has better than 90% chance of being re-elected, a system of term limits seems necessary in the quest to reform Washington, DC.
However, term-limits actually lead to a much more entrenched and corrupt government, not one that is free of corruption:
- Instead of elected officials, the continuity of the government relies more and more on non-elected bureaucrats. Removed from electoral oversight – and largely unseen by an unknowing electorate, these government employees are free to pursue agendas that might be at complete odds with the party in power.
- Term limits does away with the role of Elder Statesmen – men and women who have a skill and talent at governing. Our Republic needs both – seasoned elected veterans who know their way around the system and lesser-experienced politicians who bring energy and new view points to the process.
- We already have term-limits – it is called the ballot box. To pass such a bill is another form of statism – for it assumes that individuals are not able to make proper choices.
Term limits are dangerous – and should not be a platform of the GOP at any level.
Confirm All Nominees of President Trump
The last party to stand in the way of the president should be his own party. While Congress should never be a lap dog for the Executive Branch – in this case there should be no opposition to the men and women that the president will bring before you.
However, already there are rumblings from people like Senator John McCain, Senator Lindsey Graham, and Senator Marco Rubio (people who should not really matter but for some reason still do) that they have real questions and concerns about some people nominated. Their viewpoints should be given a hearing in private – but in public they should tow the party line and approve the slate of nominations. Period.
Good luck, O Grand Ole Party. Please do not waste this chance that has been given to you to govern. Do it effectively, do it smartly, do it as Republicans. But just do it.
Because if you blow it, you will probably never be given another chance.