Advice from Rand Paul

Rand Paul has written a column for rare.us which I think is full of good advice for the Republicans, that is if they would like to start winning elections again.

 Many are saying that the Republican Party must change if we want to remain a viable national party. The advice from some is to become less conservative. These critics believe that the GOP will somehow do better if we become more like the Democratic Party. But why would anyone vote for a lesser version of the Democrats when you can vote for the real thing? It doesn’t make sense and defeats the entire purpose of having two parties.

It is true that Republicans will continue to lose if changes are not made. But some of those changes will require us to become more conservative, especially when it comes to economics. Other changes might not neatly fit into what we currently think of as left or right.

The Republicans will never be able to outspend or outpander the Democrats and they shouldn’t even try. One party, at least, ought to stand for fiscal sanity and keeping the country together instead of trying to divide Americans along racial and class lines.

The GOP is supposed to be the party of limited government but it has not done a very good job of proving it. If Republicans can become the party of balanced budgets and fiscal responsibility, we can appeal to millions from all walks of life who genuinely fear for the burden we’re placing on our children.

“Limited government” doesn’t mean no government. It means $2.6 trillion worth of government—the amount of revenue we currently bring in. Over the past number of years, Americans have had to learn to live within their means. Government must do the same and Republicans should be the party that shows how it can be done.

The Republicans have talked a lot about limited government and balanced budgets but have certainly not acted on these beliefs whenever they have had control of the government in recent years. I hope that with the rise of the Tea Party this will change.

We need a strong national defense, but perhaps this does not mean having an overly aggressive foreign policy that puts American troops all over the globe, all the time. After nearly a decade in Iraq and well over a decade in Afghanistan, no one wants to now see a misguided intervention in Syria or Iran, as some from both parties have suggested. A foreign policy that does not try to police the world, does not try to dole out welfare to the world through foreign aid, and that recognizes fiscal limits will be better for our military, our national security and the Republican Party.

The problem here is that somebody is going to have to act as the world’s policeman and like it or not, we are the only ones with the capacity to do so. Besides, would anyone prefer to live in a world dominated by China, or Russia, or the UN? Of course, we do not have to intervene everywhere there is a problem. We can and should pick our battles and there are some situations we should just stay out of. The civil war in Syria is a good example. We probably are going to have to intervene to keep Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. It would have been a whole lot easier, and cheaper to take determined (not necessarily military) action against the Iranians years ago, but our leaders have just kept putting the problem off until it has grown.

We need to recognize that the rising generation does not want people put in jail for unduly long sentences for non-violent offenses. No one supports the use of drugs or encourages that kind of behavior, but too many lives have been ruined due to our unfair and unjust mandatory minimum laws. It doesn’t make sense to put someone who has made one mistake in prison with rapists and murderers—sometimes for sentences longer than rapists and murderers. Under our current laws, both George W. Bush and Barack Obama could have been served jail time due to their youthful drug use, and once released from jail, these two men wouldn’t have been employable, much less capable of winning the presidency.

Mandatory minimum sentencing also disproportionately affects those lacking the means to fight back, particularly minorities. This needs to change and Republicans should lead the way.

I am not for legalizing drugs but I think it is obvious to everyone that the War on Drugs has not been very effective. There is a real opportunity for the Republicans to develop effective and just policies here. I should add that many of the more egregious government violations of civil rights have been done in the name of the war on drugs and perhaps we need to seek a better balance between minimizing drug use and respecting civil liberties.

The GOP needs to be the party that embraces immigration while also demanding strong border security. Nobody wants a party that is perceived as wanting to round-up people. We can move the ball forward by offering an immigration policy that humanely deals with the 12 million undocumented immigrants already in the country, but puts the proper security measures in place so that we don’t have to keep revisiting this issue every few decades.

The problem I have with illegal immigrants is that they are here illegally. I do not like the idea of rewarding people who break the law with citizenship. A lot of the discussion on this issue seems to be fairly muddled on that one point. You may call these people “undocumented” but the simple fact of the matter is that they are in violation of the law. If immigration laws are too harsh or if they are unjust, than the laws should be changed, by an act of Congress. As long as the present laws are in place they should be enforced, and the Executive does not, or ought not, have the options of simply deciding not to enforce laws it finds inconvenient.

Fiscal conservatism, a more prudent foreign policy, ending mandatory minimums and immigration reform coupled with border security are but a few issues Republicans can lead on if we want to build the necessary coalitions that will allow us to remain a governing national party.

If we’re going to start winning on the West Coast and in New England, and if we’re going to attract the young, we must change. If we don’t evolve and adapt, the Republican Party will die.

The GOP of old, stale and moss-covered, is largely responsible for our party’s current quandary. Only a new breed of Republican—bold, innovative and dedicated to liberty—can get us out of it.

I hope the Republicans will listen to what Senator Paul has to say. Being the stupid party, they likely will not.

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One Response to “Advice from Rand Paul”

  1. queenofliberty Says:

    Interesting, thanks David

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