By Jonathon Moseley
Will the GOP have to change its positions to appeal to certain groups of voters?
This question is filling the Republican Party, all the political world, and the chattering classes after Mitt Romney’s defeat. Should the Republican Party abandon its strongly-held beliefs and its positions on political issues?
There is only one path to success that lays before us: Persuasion, not retreat.
On every dilemma facing us, the answer is persuading voters and interest groups of what we truly believe, that these policies are best for America and the alternatives will be harmful for America.
We see an impossible problem. There is no way around it. It seems we have to give up. We have to quit. We have to sound retreat.
But there is an answer: Rearrange the political landscape. Persuasion has always been the only answer. Every citizen is valuable and deserves respect. Therefore, every citizen deserves a full and convincing explanation. It is morally wrong to win by manipulation and morally right to address each voter as a mature adult and to reason with them out of respect and with equality. Cynical manipulation of the electorate is immoral.
There once was a time before the conservative movement created a national consensus that taxes should not be raised. It was not always so. Democrats adoring Franklin Roosevelt believed that government is good and assumed it should get whatever it needs. But conservatives changed the political landscape in the 1970’s and 1980’s. We created that. Conservatives built that. We persuaded the nation that raising taxes is not the answer. Obviously we are now losing that consensus (because we have forgotten how we got there). But conservative persuasion dominated the nation’s politics for 30 years on taxes.
What is best for the country? Is it good or bad for America to grant amnesty to illegal invaders? Is it good or bad for the country to raise taxes? Is it good or bad to avoid making cuts to an out of control Federal budget?
Everyone in the political world is assuming that it is better for the Republican Party to promote and implement policies only to gain its own success and win elections. This hand-wringing debate suggests that getting elected is more important than doing what is right.
The Tea Party arose because citizens realized that the parties and politicians are doing what is best for themselves, not what is best for the people, the country, or our children’s future. Demanding that the politicians stop looking out for themselves and start caring about the country is what the tea party is all about.
But, they say, if you cannot get elected, how can you do any good? The Tea Party responds: But when you get elected you don’t do the right things anyway. So that argument is wearing thing.
Yes, it is possible to win elections running on what is best for the country, as Ronald Reagan showed us. The GOP establishment didn’t believe it then and fought Reagan every step of the way, and they don’t believe it now.
For example, Obama argues that we should return to the tax rates under the Clinton Administration, the rates to which Newt Gingrich and the Republican Congress reduced taxes. But the economy was booming then, thanks to Newt Gingrich (no thanks to Bill Clinton). Taxes were pouring in to the Treasury because so many people were employed and business was booming. Raising taxes now will not raise the same revenue, because the economic activity is not the same. A higher tax rate applied to lower incomes will bring in less money.
Improving the economy must come first. Growing revenue and falling deficits will follow as the economy expands. We can explain that, can’t we?
We can persuade Hispanic citizens that illegal amnesty is bad for them. Very bad. Hispanics who obeyed the law to join our country honestly have had a soft spot for their countrymen who break the law. When jobs were plentiful and the economy was booming, what’s the harm?
But when jobs are scarce, slowly Blacks and Hispanic citizens are going to figure out – if we help them think it through – that it is their job that an illegal invader is going to steal. It is not the dentist, accountant, stock broker, or insurance agent that an illegal alien is going to displace. Hispanic voters are the ones who are going to lose jobs to illegal trespassers.
Hispanic immigrants came to this country for a better life. We need to explain to them, through conservative Hispanics: Do you want to recreate the problem here in the USA that you left behind? Isn’t a culture where laws don’t matter part of the reason why you left your home country? Isn’t a lawless society the reason the economy was bad back home?
Mexico’s immigration policies are very strict. We need to challenge Hispanic voters: Why shouldn’t the USA have the same immigration policies that Mexico has? Mexico’s Southern border is tightly controlled and trespassers from the South are sent back. So, explain to us why U.S. policy should be different?
There are jobs in Mexico. Mexicans need to stay and build a better country for all Mexicans. We need to send a conservative Hispanic film crew down to Mexico and interview Mexicans commenting to their countrymen in the USA. A member of the Highlands County Tea Party in Sebring, Florida, described how his family has been visiting the same Mexican hotel for decades. They watched the same man work his way up from door man to handling luggage. Now he is the manger of the entire resort. There are opportunities for industrious Mexicans.