Friday, November 9, 2012

2016? Already?

A news report noted that Marco Rubio is going to IA next week to headline a fundraiser for IA’s governor, Terry Brandstad.  Who do you support in 2016?

Republicans, Stop! Please!  I identified with the Republican party early, since a community protest meeting refused to allow me to sign their petition opposing the invasion of Cambodia in the Spring of 1970.  Their leaders were the local Democratic party activists.  There were a couple of Republicans there who supported me, but ultimately, I was not allowed to sign because I was not yet 18 (and draftable I guess).  In subsequent years, I have become decidedly libertarian in orientation, and have voted my conscience with particular attention to the future of the kids, and the government's rightful role in their lives – which I would hope to be pretty limited – allowing them to be free, and with some luck, not dependent.

As to the Republicans, before blindly charging toward 2016, the party needs to internalize four realities. One, demographics are against the party as it has presented itself in the past few elections.  Two, trotting out minority Republicans will impress no one and change nothing. Three, they cannot win running toward the irrational right in the primaries and then, in the general election, offering what are seen and felt as moderate platitudes by the majority of Americans who are struggling.  Make no mistake, the majority will still feel like they are struggling in 2016 and feelings are reality in the voting booth.  They will want to feel - to know - that at some point in a Republican future, that there will be real opportunity that will apply to their lives.  Four, the Party must realize that limited government begins with ending intrusion into the private lives of the people.  The party cannot define love and family differently depending on sexual orientation.  The party cannot continue to write off gays, their families and friends and expect to win national elections and enable a place at the national public policy table.

Here is a guiding principle - limited government means limited government.

The Republicans will be irrelevant in and to the future if they insist on being Far White and Far Right. Some Republicans may be greatly saddened or even angered by that, however, they need to accept the realities, get the mourning over with and figure out that limited government means limited government.  Then present principles and practices of individual opportunity and limited government differently.  Government will become more limited in the future; fiscal realities dictate this.  Republicans can choose to participate in shaping that government’s policies or be irrelevant.

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