The American Republic (tattered, pauperized and morally confused) will survive Barack Obama’s eight year run at monarchy. It will be glad to see him off to a lavish retirement with those he loves — Michelle, his daughters and his teleprompter.
Eight years of moral preening from the Lecturer-in-Chief will have eventually worn off the narcotic high Americans have felt about finally electing The First Black President. Voting (twice) for the unqualified black guy means we’re not racist. Good for us. Now what do we do about our colossal debt and our submerged economy? Republicans should be prepared with good answers.
The GOP will make a tactical mistake if they confuse weariness with Obama for disgust with Democrats. It won’t be the case. If you think Democrats can’t overcome the horrible conditions their policies create please refer to the encrusted political dynasties in Chicago and Detroit. Also see the Presidential vote tally of November 6, 2012. Therefore, the next Republican presidential nominee needs to have a brain wired to conservative principles that functions a second ahead of his mouth, a skin made from dragon scales, a brawlers love of the fight and a personal familiarity with 21st century American culture.
He or she also needs the following tools in his or her political bag:
- The ability to make a clear distinction between what the federal government is obligated to do under the Constitution versus what states can do. This is absolutely necessary and at the same time politically perilous. We are not a social democracy and we cannot muddle along as if we are much further without a total fiscal collapse. The Left will demagogue this issue with the crazed ferocity of Ray Lewis in a bar fight. It also will be tough for many on the Right to stomach because it may include some tactical retreats or defeats at the state level on gay marriage and marijuana laws. We need to take a lesson from the father of our party. Abraham Lincoln could not have won the presidency in 1860 running against slavery but he could end slavery once he did win. This is not a plan to deceive voters about what our intentions or what we think but a way to show we take federalism seriously and will govern under the constraints of limited government even when the vote does not go our way. The Obama administration is arresting marijuana growers in states where marijuana use is legal. We need to be in a position to spotlight the Left’s hypocrisy regarding the use of federal power. We cannot do that if we are engaged in the same practice.
- A clear understanding that spending, debt and the welfare state is not only about money. It is also about morality and what type of people we are. Accumulating massive debt is unwise, spending someone else’s money with no intention to repay is immoral and inflating the welfare state creates a stifling caste system honeycombed with dysfunction.
- A clear separation from and opposition to Dodd-Frank ,which many Americans, if conservatives do their job, will come to understand has had a negative effect on their prosperity and a visceral disgust at the notion of too big to fail with a plan to remove it from our financial system. The candidate has to be principally opposed to federal cronyism and corporate back slapping with sharp rhetoric to match.
- The courage to articulate that we do not have an immigration problem but an assimilation problem insofar as immigration is considered automatic while assimilation is optional. The candidate should come equipped with a national immigration policy (one of the responsibilities of the feds) that is not built upon leftwing assumptions or fear of the elusive Hispanic voter.
- An instinctive feel for the mood of the voter. It is hard to predict now but the candidate will need to know what is resonating with voters. It could be issues like fathers not wanting to register their daughters with Selective Service, parents under the burden of taking on 100k+ college loans and still having their unemployed 26 year old as a dependent, or shoppers understanding inflation is wild and on the loose despite the sonorous pronouncements of windbags in Washington.
It is hard to see anyone that fits the mold at this moment but if conservatives lay out the framework we can encourage someone to adopt it, run a vigorous campaign on it and win with it.
Author Wendell Talley