Before the election, I couldn’t turn on the TV without being exposed to political ad after political ad, urging me to vote for one of the two big party, big government candidates to lead this country. I got so sick of the whole thing, I honestly stopped turning on the television. I would watch reruns of Penn and Teller’s Bullshit on OnDemand, knowing that there would be no ads, and stuck to Showtime shows with no commercials.
Now that the election is over, I thought that maybe we’d get a reprieve. Well, the political ads are gone, but now I’m being inundated with Republican self-flagellation. What went wrong? How did we lose? What can we do to retool the party? How does the GOP come back?
I just turned on the TV, and saw House Speaker John Boehner claim ” The principles of the party are sound.” As if all the party really needs is to revamp its message.
Well, guess what! the principles of the party are NOT sound. Not even close. The GOP is the big government alternative to the big government Democrats. Except where the Democrats can’t keep their snouts out of your wallet in an effort to level the field for those too indolent or too incompetent to achieve on their own, while the Republicans can’t keep their snouts out of your personal life in an effort to ensure that you abide by their moral values, and they will spend money to do so. Your money.
But it goes even deeper than that. Whereas Democrats are honest about their desire to take your earnings by force to redistribute it to *insert recipient here* – the Republicans don’t seem to want to even bother talking about changing the entitlement system. And Dog forbid we even mention reducing the size of the federal bureaucracy!
So, how does the GOP come back?
Here are a few ideas. You may disagree with me, and you’re welcome to do so. These thoughts are my own, and I’m sure you won’t like what I say. You also will get insulted at the way I say it. So be it.
Abortion. Stop promoting it as a national issue! It’s not. It’s not the job of the federal government to regulate it or fund it, so return the decision whether or not to legalize it to the states. Stop talking about dead children and shoving photos of dead fetuses in our faces. Stop talking about your religious values when it comes to abortion. No one gives a damn whether or not God told you that abortion is murder. It’s not a political issue, and it shouldn’t be. It’s not an issue with which the federal government should be dealing. You start talking about how it’s God’s will that a child resulting from rape should be born, and you sound like a frothing fundamentalist fruitcake. You may believe it, but to tell that to a woman who was brutalized by a rapist in your position as a politician is not only stupid, foul and insensitive, it will turn many women away. Frankly, we have bigger fish to fry than abortion. It’s one thing to advocate an end to federal funding of Planned Parenthood and other organizations that provide abortions – hell, as far as I’m concerned, we need to stop federal funding of health care. Period. We can’t afford it. It’s a service, and much like other services, taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to foot the bill. But quit trying to stick your noses into a woman’s vagina. Forcing a woman seeking an abortion to have a trans-vaginal ultrasound at the point of a government gun is repugnant.
Entitlements. No, we don’t want to protect them. We want to eventually phase them out! We need real reform. In 2011, 20 percent of the federal budget was spent on Social Security, and 23 on Medicare and Medicaid. This is nearly half the budget! HALF. Stop pretending that people deserve this money, because they paid into it, because they’re getting way more than they paid in, and they’re living longer on top of that, so they’re getting more longer. This can’t go on, so we need to phase it out. People are perfectly capable of saving for retirement themselves. Stop treating people like they need a government nanny. They don’t. Explain that Americans are responsible, hard-working, adults. They are perfectly capable of saving for retirement and purchasing health insurance after retirement. Trust me, if their taxes are lower, they will have more to save, and they are smart enough to purchase better insurance than Medicare. Have the balls to say it!
Stop trembling and stuttering anytime the Democrats accuse you of cutting taxes “for the rich.” People making $250,000 per year are not “rich.” They pay insane taxes, and considering 47 percent of the population pays no federal taxes at all, they just need to shut the hell up. Yes, we need to cut taxes. Yes, we need to cut spending. And while we’re at it, we need to simplify the damn tax code! The only ones who are benefiting from the lunacy that is our tax code are lawyers, accountants and the corrupt corporate assholes who help write it and fill it with loopholes that benefit them. Enough already! Eliminate the loopholes. Lower the corporate tax rate, which is the highest in the world. Ensure that companies pay the rate they’re supposed to pay.
You want to attract women and minorities to the party? Then tell them they are smart and capable. They are capable of success without special government protections. They are smart enough to achieve without the nanny state’s help. Show them they are welcome if they are willing to learn, achieve and succeed. If they aren’t, you don’t want them in your party anyway. And by the way, weed out the racist assholes. Please. There aren’t a whole lot of them, but they are loud and they ruin the conservative movement for the rest of us. If you see them, make them go away. We don’t tolerate racism and misogyny in the party. Make it clear without pandering and apologies. You are not responsible for racists, but you will be held responsible if you don’t boot them out of the party.
Stop. Imposing. Your. Religious. Mores. On. Others. I cannot stress this strongly enough. Stay the hell out of marriage. Stay the hell out of people’s sex lives. It is none of your business if two consenting adults want to spend their lives together. It shouldn’t be the government’s concern – on any level – who does what in their bedrooms. If they find a church that will marry them, fine. Stay the hell out of it! Stop demanding that religious ideas be taught in schools as science. If you want your kids to learn creationism, send them to a religious school. Leave the rest of us alone.
Strong national defense =/= interventionism. We are a great country. We should have a strong national defense. What we shouldn’t do is interfere in other nations in an effort to promote democracy or any other bullshit reason. We should not get involved in conflicts around the world unless our national security is directly at risk. And don’t be afraid to make cuts to defense. There are defense cuts to be made, but they shouldn’t be arbitrary. First audit everything and get rid of fraud, waste and abuse. Then look at how we’re spending our money. If the Pentagon says we don’t need an aircraft, then we don’t need it, and Congresscritters whose districts happen to build said aircraft shouldn’t impose said aircraft on the military. And do we really need a bunch of Chevy Volts at $40,000 per vehicle? I would argue we do not. Propping up Government Motors with this purchase is not a way to cut costs.
Have the balls to propose real spending cuts – especially getting rid of the gargantuan government bureaucracy. HUD, the Department of Transportation that subsidizes urban transit, passenger rail, etc., HHS, Education, Labor, Energy, whose regulations cost us billions per year , Agriculture that subsidizes and regulates the agricultural markets… these are gargantuan money sucks. Have the intestinal fortitude to either eliminate them altogether, or shrink them so much that they are barely a blip on our budget radar screen.
Attracting women to your ranks is not about supporting some superfluous equal pay law, but to show them that it’s the content of their character that matters, not their plumbing. Smart, self sufficient, intelligent women don’t need politicians’ help to succeed. They don’t need you to promise them free birth control. And if they cast their vote based on whether or not you’re willing to give them contraceptives at other people’s expense, then those aren’t the women you want. Women are smart, they’re ambitious, they’re capable, they pay taxes, and what they need is not empty promises about free birth control pills and forcing private employers to pay them higher salaries. They need the economy to grow, the opportunities to be plentiful and the chance to achieve on their own – like the intelligent, capable adults they are.
Look, being the party of “We’ll give you less free shit for the good of the country” rather than the party of merely free shit is not the way to go.
We need a real alternative, and you are not it.