I’m not interested in winning one or two election cycles. I’m interested in generational change and in reverse engineering what the Progressives put in place a century ago. I wrote about some of these things in my recent column for The American Spectator, “The Crime Scene is Local.” While we can’t ignore such things as ObamaCare, and fill-in-the-blank on whatever travesty is taking place in Washington, DC, the fact of the matter is that there has to be a groundswell from the bottom up if there is to be definitive change, and at the same time significant structural reform. The Progressives fundamentally changed our electoral process with direct primaries, direct election of Senators, among other reforms.
But the Progressive reform didn’t happen overnight. Starting roughly in 1890, it took the Progressives nearly 20 years to really get to power. But then between 1909-1920, Progressives in Congress (and in case you think Progressivism somehow grew out of the Democrat party, it did not. It was birthed inside the Republican party.) passed four Constitutional amendments. Think about it. You need 2/3rds of the House, 2/3rds of the Senate, and 3/4ths of the state legislatures to pass an amendment. They just didn’t pass one. They passed four. In roughly ten years. You can’t do that from the top down. You can do it because you have a massive, broad base of support across the nation.
While not ignoring the federal, because at this stage we cannot afford to, those conservatives who want to see real national change have to start digging in at the local level. If enough do that, in hundreds, if not thousands of communities nationwide, there will be a groundswell from the bottom up that can bring national change. We also have to start seriously thinking about structural reform. Do we repeal the 17th Amendment? (I’m not entirely sold on it, but think there are valid points to repealing it). Do we devolve government agencies out of Washington, DC and start placing the Department of Agriculture in Kansas, and other departments elsewhere? Do you require elected officials to actually live in their districts and be there for a certain amount of days?
I think we have to start thinking outside the box more, and we certainly have to start changing some of our approaches if we’re going to get this country turned around.
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