13 September 2009

Note to the Republican National Committee

I sent this note to Michael Steele, Chairman of the Republican National Committee. It’s a little too long, I know, but I wanted to drive home my assertions with enumerated details that emphasized just how far the Republicans have strayed from defending limited government. I’m hoping a couple of things mitigate the defect of the letter’s length. First, I sent it by “snail mail,” which may earn the letter slightly more attention than would an email or blog comment. Second, the bold type may help highlight the essence of the idea, even if the bulk of the text is glossed over by the intern who is likely to be reading it.

Dear Mr. Steele:

The leftist attack on individual rights led by Barack Obama is unquestionably a disaster for America. However, the Democratic hold on the White House and Congress does have one benefit: it has unshackled the opposition, leading, as you said, to “the rising mood of freedom-loving Americans across this country.” The spontaneous rise of the “Tea Parties,” the indignant opposition to the government takeover of industries, and the exploding sales of Atlas Shrugged simply would not have happened with the Republicans in power.

Why not? The reason is certainly not that John McCain would have been much better than Barack Obama. Freedom lovers are being heard now because Republicans had silenced defenders of American principles more effectively than the Democrats could hope to have done.

Precisely because Republicans are supposed to be the guardians of freedom and limited government, they have rendered the true defenders of liberty impotent. When Republicans pursue the policies of a bloated, paternalistic state, as they have for decades, their failures are blamed on freedom. When Republicans expand the federal regulatory grip with ever-increasing rules and restrictions, the inevitable failures are blamed absurdly on “deregulation” and the “free” market. Republicans have outspent Democrats for almost half a century; they dealt the killing blow to the gold standard, imposed price controls, meddled ceaselessly with the monetary system, and expanded the welfare state. It is primarily Republicans who have ushered religion into government affairs and legislation. Republicans are behind compulsory health insurance, corporate bailouts, TARP, funding of religious groups, and the prescription drug bill. Republicans have prosecuted a weak and sacrificial war, putting our fathers and sons in harm’s way not to crush an enemy but to hand out food. With Republicans like this, who needs Democrats?

For decades, Republicans and Democrats alike have been the active enemies of freedom. Thanks to the Republicans alone, freedom has taken the blame.

In the last presidential election, despite my overwhelming disgust at the prospect of an explicitly un-American socialist presiding in the White House, I voted for no one. (I handed in an empty ballot.) If John McCain or any Republican had been elected, he would have eroded liberty in more or less the same manner as Barack Obama and his predecessors. His administration would have been a continuation of the Bush “compassionate conservatism,” replete with pleas for sacrifice and national service, capitulation to environmentalists, religious groups, and multiculturalists, and heavy-handed, pragmatic meddling in the economy. Republicans are simply weak, “me too” Democrats; they offer 75% the socialism of their opponents, with the identical moral underpinnings: altruism.

All my life, I had voted exclusively for Republicans... until recently. I refuse to vote for a Republican again until they explicitly, in word and deed, hold individual rights as the fundamental principle of the United States. Republicans must recognize anew that the sole purpose of government - the founding principle of our republic - is to safeguard the rights of every individual to his life, the property he earns, and the pursuit of his own happiness for its own sake.

Republicans must heed this message: They were booted out of office because they were too religious and gave mere lip service to freedom. They will return to office when they embrace the principle that makes America the greatest nation in history: the defense of individual rights.


Stephen Bourque

1 comment:

Gordon said...

Well stated.

I fear that the political elites neither "get it" nor care to. Their pursuit of power takes precedence over all else. Lip service to liberty is the best that Republicans have been able to do. But, as you point out, that makes them even worse than Democrats, who make no pretense of standing for individual rights.