An Open Letter to All Democrats

Dear Democrats,

Lately, I’ve begun to sense an increased feeling of animosity in your tones as you address me and my ideas. You call me judgmental, call my views “un-useful”, and even wish for my death (person has since protected their tweets so the “@lgoddard I hope you die…” tweet isn’t accessible). But while you continue to attack me personally, I want you to know where I stand.

Even though we may disagree on issues, I do not hate you. I’ll still wish you a happy birthday, cheer for the same sports team, joke about your follies, enjoy your company, and congratulate your successes. We are, after all, both human beings. You’re not any better than me and I’m not any better than you. We both face life’s ups and downs. We both know joys and heartaches. So I aim to treat you as a fellow human being, not an illogical idiot.

Now, despite what view you may have of me for being a Republican, please put that aside. I know some people in my party have shown you a fanatical, ugly side of partisanship, but rest assured, you won’t get that from me.

I will warn you though that I’m not a compromiser—I’ll stick to my beliefs. I won’t back down from my ideas, but I would expect nothing less from you. The beauty of America is that we can have opposing views and still live peaceably.

So I reach out to you in a civil discussion of ideas, and while you’re not obligated to return the favor, I would appreciate a calm debate rather than hateful remarks. If you want to discuss something, I’m game. But please don’t threaten me to make a point.

Sincerely,

Lauren

Unity in the GOP?

Have we, as a party, forgotten former President Reagan’s 11th commandment? “Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.” Lately it seems as if we’ve put politics about party.

Example: This weekend was the biannual YRNF Convention in Indianapolis. Young Republicans from all over the nation gathered to listen to topics such as “Rebuilding the Party,” “Libertarians and GOP Synergies,” and “So You Want to Run for Office?” The convention also took time to elect a new Chairperson. Running for the seat was Young Republican Vice-Chairwoman at large Audra Shay and YRNF Director of Media Relations Rachel Hoff. On Wednesday, a day before the conference was scheduled to begin, a news article was featured in an online news source, describing Shay as a racist and quoting comments made by others on her Facebook page. Long story short, one of Audra’s friends posted a racial slur on Facebook and Audra then posted “You tell ’em, Eric. Lol” Now, there are many different explanations to this. Audra could have not seen the post (since it was a second comment he had left simultaneously), she could have failed to click “Read More” as comments aren’t always displayed in their entirety, or any number of other reasons. That’s not the issue. The issue I have with the whole situation is the swift move by Audra’s opponents—within the Republican party—to “leak” this info to liberal and left-leaning blogs just to smear her name.

Whether you like Audra or not, put that aside and imagine how this looked from the outside. I am not a member of the YRNF and therefore had no favorite in this race. But the moment I read of the incident and the slam the other side was promoting against her, my heart sank. I thought we were past inter-party slurs, “brother bashing,” and petty fighting. Again, I’m not saying what Audra did was right or wrong; look at the bigger picture. Once again, our party was shown as a disjointed group of politicians whose message was lost among the finger-pointing. It again proved that inter-party fighting hurts only ourselves.

Long gone are the days of running a campaign on a solid platform. Gone are the days of debates about issues, not people. We see it on every level of government—hit mailers, slanderous articles, and personal attacks. And you know the sad part? The most slanderous materials seem to come within our own party. Republicans fighting against Republicans, committed to a brutal battle for a win at all costs.

What ever happened to working together for the common good? What ever happened to joining forces to promote our cause? We’re so busy fighting among ourselves that we don’t have time to fight against the left.

When will we as a party get it in our heads that we can’t sacrifice party for politics?

The Future of the Republican Party

This is taken from an interview Esquire Magazine did with former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. Jeb was my governor while I lived in Florida and I greatly enjoyed the work he did in that state. In this interview, Bush talks about everything from the President’s approval ratings, the elections, to the Republican Party. In this particular part of the interview, the interviewer asks Jeb about the future of the Republican Party. Here’s Jeb’s answer: (Republicans, take note. This is the best formula for success I’ve yet to hear.)

Okay, give me your forty-five-second pitch for a Republican future.
[Bush outlines four points, speaking for more than fourteen minutes. It’s worth noting here that after two years out of the governor’s mansion, Bush seems a little out of practice at this interview business.]

We need to empower people to be taking advantage, to turn their fears into opportunities in a variety of different areas. It seems to me four areas of greatest concern right now, outside of foreign policy, which is a whole other subject. [On education.] Are we educating our kids properly? Are enough of our children gaining the power of knowledge in the current system? The answer is unequivocally no. So we should have more school choice, we should have more pay for performance, we should be raising standards, not lowering standards, we should embrace technology in a radical way, we should have “seat time” eliminated.

[Timidly.] Seat time?
You show up for 180 days, you graduate. It should be based on what you learned… People learn differently. It’s a simple fact that our education system ignores.

We’re living in a world now where in order to create high-wage jobs, you have to have knowledge-based workers. There is no way to do that unless they have the basic building blocks of being able to think abstractly, understand math and science, be able to read, maybe once in a while express a thought in a three-syllable word, preferably do so in more than one language, and have a sense of history, because it has this crazy way of repeating itself. I don’t think our education system in America is acceptable right now.

[On health care.] Have you ever gone to HHS [the Department of Health and Human Services]? Have you gone to CMS, the Centers for Medicare/Medicaid? It’s scary. That’s going to be the marketplace for health care if Democrats have their way. Senator McCain had a fantastic health-care proposal that he had a hard time explaining, that said that basically you should empower people, individuals, to make choices, and they should be rewarded when they make choices that improve health-care outcomes.

Under Obama, we’re going to create a system that’s not focused on quality; it’s focused on access to care.

You end up insuring fewer people the more government expands its insurance. People drop out of the private market. For every person the government takes on the rolls, there’s an equal number of people leaving the private sector. We’re like gerbils running in place. We’re not expanding health-care access per se.

There are all sorts of technologies now that exist that allow us to improve health-care outcomes if we organize our system differently.

[The budget is the third point.] If you put a performance review on almost any government program, there’s always a better way of doing things.

[Energy is the fourth point.] We don’t have control over our energy sources, and it puts us in a vulnerable position.

[Conservatives need to be involved in the discussion about alternative fuels, Bush says.] We’re the only country in the world that would consider it appropriate policy not to take advantage of our own natural resources to provide stable, low-cost sources of energy.

[A pause. A moment of reflection.]

In this interim period, we have to pay for our sins and show some humility.

American First, Republican Second

This is an article R. Patrick Murphy and myself have been working on for a few days. The original post can be read here at TheNextRight.

EDIT: The post can now also be seen on The Dana Report’s blog. Thanks Alan and Ari!

Americans have sent a clear message that must be reflected upon: As Republicans, we are not trusted to lead this country. After the results from eight years of a George Bush Presidency and six years of a Republican Congress, voters decided it was time for change. Who can blame them?

Democrats promised voters they would deliver the essential functions of government, such as a dependable economy and consistent national defense, while acting responsibly and effectively. Their promise of post-partisan politics was appealing as well, considering the growing desire among voters to elect representatives who will work for all Americans, not just a political party.

This remains a center-right nation, ideologically, but the last two election cycles demonstrated that Americans are willing to look past differences on the major issues and take a chance on candidates who have promised to be more productive and competent than their predecessors. This represents a shift in the political landscape, away from ideology and towards pragmatism.

To move this country forward, Republicans and Democrats must work together to develop the best solutions for the serious problems our country faces. Just as Republicans and Democrats allied after the disasters of September 11th, both parties must join together to guarantee America’s  problems are resolved. As Americans, we must demand that our elected representatives cooperate to solve the very serious dilemmas in America right now.

Some question the conservative credentials of Republicans willing to work with Democrats, but it should be stated that the goal is never to dilute conservatism via compromise. Republicans must never acquiesce or waver in defense of our core conservative principles: strong national defense, free market capitalism, freedom and liberty for individuals, decreased tax burden for all taxpayers, and limited waste in government. While Republicans will not win each battle, we must always be prepared to defend and promote our principles. If not, both Americans and Republicans will lose.

Delivering on the promise of good bipartisan government requires that liberal and conservative tenets are represented in every discussion. Unfortunately, when Republicans offered conservative additions to a very liberal stimulus plan, they were swiftly rejected by Congressional Democrats and President Barack Obama. We should all support Republican Congressmen in their fight to protect capitalism and lower taxes on middle and low-income workers.

Regrettably, vocal conservatives derided their actions as traitorous, instead of rallying support. This criticism is not only juxtaposed to the economic interests of the country, but also inhibits Republican efforts to rebuild our damaged credibility. As a party, we cannot afford to become marginalized reactionaries who simply oppose for the sake of opposition. The outcome of such mindless opposition would be legislation without input from Republicans, robbing Americans of conservative principles that will help in these difficult times.

With Democrats controlling the executive and legislative branches of government, they will undoubtedly advance a liberal agenda. Because of such control, Republicans have only two clear choices of action-fight Democrats in futility or collaborate to ensure our conservative principles are represented. But be forewarned, trading insults back and forth will not stall overtly liberal plans.

Once both political parties acknowledge the benefit of collaboration, they will be able to provide the most needed improvements for our nation. Republicans will also receive an invaluable opportunity to reassert credibility and narrow the trust gap with the American people. When this is combined with expanded outreach to young and minority voters, Republicans will enjoy a vastly improved electoral outlook.

In the end, it doesn’t matter to most Americans if something comes from a Democrat or Republican. Everyone desires a government that works. Americans must demand that both Republicans and Democrats place America ahead of partisanship. It’s imperative that we are all Americans first, partisans second.

Lauren is the Head Editor at The New Republicans and a Senior at West Coast Baptist College in Los Angeles. Patrick is the Chairman Emeritus of the Texas Federation of College Republicans and a Sophomore at Collin College in Dallas. Both are experienced campaign staffers.

Would You Like Some Taxes With That Change?

We tried to tell you…

GOP Presidential Nominee for 2016

Who would you choose for the Republican Presidential nominee for 2016? If you choose “other”, please explain who and why in a comment.

*Note: The date is 2016, not 2012 (the next election year), due to the fact I believe the GOP will have a better chance of winning in 2016.

Another One Bites The Dust—Bill O’Reilly

This news is just breaking about FOXNews host and beloved commentator Bill O’Reilly:

Bill O’Reilly, host of Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor,” told CNSNews.com that President-elect Barack Obama has a “pretty good vision” on the economy and that he is not going to “second guess” Obama’s stimulus plan.

“I think Obama has got a pretty good vision of what has to happen in the economic range. But I’m not going to second guess the guy,” O’Reilly said when asked about Obama’s plan for a stimulus package that could cost up to $1 trillion.

“Let’s just see what they come up with. See what they do. We need to get this economy rolling. A lot of people are suffering. So, I’m fine with what he’s put out there so far. We just have to see. Second guessing the guy is-that’s just cheap-shotting him, and I’m not going to do that,” O’Reilly added.

According the Associated Press, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has said that the stimulus package being discussed with Congress would cost more than $750 billion and that other members of Congress have indicated it could run to nearly $1 trillion.

When asked whether more spending would create jobs and stimulate the economy, O’Reilly said, “If you put money into the economy wisely and with discipline, it has to help.”

I’m not anti-Pres Elect Obama or anti-helping the economy. I think it is a major issue that needs to be addressed very soon, but I am anti-bailout or stimulus of any kind. One of the core beliefs of the GOP is that government should not grow large and interfere with personal affairs. Also, we as Republicans believe in fewer taxes (something that would be raised as a result of any stimulus package).

Note: Mr. O’Reilly has never claimed to be a Republican but has been a strong advocate for Republican ideals.

While a stimulus package is not a bailout, it is another way to raise taxes. We’ve already seen what the result of a stimulus package is. President Bush tried it last spring. Yet now Pres Elect Obama desires to invest more tax dollars in something that has been proven to not work. Any way he restructures the plan or seeks to invest differently will still require either a growth of the Gross National Debt or an increase in taxes (something Obama promised would not happen).

We need another solution to stimulating the economy.