This is the third, and last, in a series of Daily Republic columns designed to help the Republican Party return to mainstream American values and to help improve the overall political climate of our country.
I’m not saying there are only three things wrong with the Republican Party, but if the Republicans could concentrate their self-improvement efforts in these three areas, we would all be much better off.
Two weeks ago, we studied their tenuous, bubble-based belief systems and I politely suggested using fact-based information as a basis for proposing policy. Last week, we examined their devoted embrace of plutocracy, government run by, and for the wealthy, to the detriment of all others. Today, we’ll delve deeper into the Republican view of our federal government, see where they derailed from conventional American principles, and try to bring them back on track.
In the beginning, our Founding Fathers enacted the Articles of Confederation, which organized our country into an assembly of independent states where each handled its own international affairs, created its own money, and provided for its own defense.
As you might imagine, this loose confederation functioned poorly, and the Founders found it necessary to create our current Constitution, forging a strong centralized federal government to oversee the states and protect American citizens. Federalists, those who support a strong central government, and Confederationists, those wanting a weak central government, have been arguing ever since; the Civil War and today’s childish secessionist movement leap to mind.
Overall, our American system of government has worked very well for the vast majority of our citizens for more than 200 years.
In 1860, a Republican, Abraham Lincoln, was president and the southern secessionists were Democrats. Today, the political party roles have reversed, with the South being a solid Republican red and a Federalist Democrat in the White House. Today, Republicans are pushing the “states rights” agenda and trying to hobble our federal government. The Republican position has devolved into the absolute absurdity of Grover Norquist’s “I’m not in favor of abolishing the government. I just want to shrink it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub,” and his crippling, “no new taxes” pledge, signed by virtually every Republican in Congress. These simplistic slogans and sacred pinky-pledges only exacerbate the gridlock in Washington and raise our national debt.
Unfortunately, they continue to attract the attention and votes of those unwilling or unable to comprehend the complexities confronting Congress.
It sounds very “adult” to groan about “big government” and “over-regulation,” but often, when complainers are asked to be more specific, they disappear. The laws of this land all had some purpose when they were first proposed; which regulations should we eliminate and what would be the consequences? For example, Thursday’s Daily Republic letter to the editor specifically complained about “no burn day” regulations in Fairfield. We should weigh the good fireplace heat against the bad air pollution and decide if “no burn days” still make sense.
Of course, there are some silly rules, nonsensical laws and even government agencies whose time has passed. As good citizens, it is not only our duty to get rid of them, but more importantly, to understand the true purposes of those left standing. There is no need to drown our Constitution in a bathtub.
Last Tuesday, your Daily Republic printed an article about a few congressional Republicans renouncing Grover Norquist’s no-tax pledge. Hopefully they’ve also decided to abandon their failed, nation-crushing goal of making Barrack Obama a one-term president. This new open-mindedness emerging on the right is refreshing.
Now, let’s see how they vote.
Mike Kirchubel grew up in Fairfield and is the author of “Vile Acts of Evil – Banking in America.” He can be reached at [email protected]