“We are five days away from fundamentally
transforming the United States of America.”
-President Barack Obama-
In 2008, President Barack Obama, then the Democrat presidential candidate (spoiler alert: he won), announced in a passionate stump speech before a cheering crowd that the stated position of his Democratic candidacy was “fundamentally transforming” America. If his goal was a dominant Democratic super majority for years to come, the election results from 2016 are enough to show that he clearly failed. If, however, this “transforming” was merely shifting the political goal posts leftward, then clearly he succeeded far beyond his wildest expectations.
Sure, the fact of Republican victories of numerous governorships, state legislatures, the House of Representatives, the Senate, and now the White House fly in the face of this. I’m not going to argue that point. What I’m going to argue is that the days of “Government is the problem.” and laissez-faire economic policy, once core to the national platform of the Republican Party, are clearly over, sacrificed to an oligarchy of bankers & billionaires who seem poised to reshape the country into an extension of their corporate hegemony.
As it becomes increasingly uncertain what the party of “Honest Abe” stands for anymore, or if it stands for anything at all, there can be no doubt that the Republican Party is no longer an effective opposition party in any sense of the word. Even after maintaining six years of political (off and on) ascendancy, it has failed to act as though the Congress is coequal to the presidency, almost as if noone in the GOP has read the Constitution or, at the very least, really believe in it anymore.
“We have a plan.“
-House Representative Phil Roe-
Does anyone actually remember how outraged we were when a lame duck Democratic Congress passed the Affordable Cair Act in the middle of the night without a single Republican vote? Does anyone actually remember the bitter taste when the Supreme Court ruled not only once but twice on the supposed constitutionality of the ironically named Affordable Care Act? Does anyone actually remember the betrayal of the GOP Congressional leadership failing to defund the ACA in budget fight after budget fight and continuing resolution after continuing resolution? It sure doesn’t seem like it.
Now, while the Republican Party is making a great show of repealing and replacing the ACA, I can’t help but notice that the Republican leadership seems to have assumed the federal government has any role in telling the American people and the States what kind of insurance they should have or should be available, despite the continued absence of any such enumerated power in the United States Constitution. Who in the Republican Party is leading the fight to dislodge this obvious federal overreach into the private affairs of the people beyond the Constitution? Exactly no one.
For years now, the Republicans have made a great show of chasing their own political tails, but the debt ceiling has continued to rise, the deficit has continued to bankrupt future generations, and the policy direction of the country has continued to lurch leftward. Now we’re supposed to abandon every principle of constitutional conservatism and just go along with it, because we are supposedly on the same “team“? I’m afraid that I have to respectfully decline.
“He who fights with monsters should look to it that
he himself does not become a monster.”
The fight for conservatism has devolved into a fight for the very soul of the conservative movement. If, as a political movement, we do not stand for limited federal government, constrained to a few enumerated powers within the United States Constitution, then we’re merely arguing about the color and placement of deck chairs as the Titanic sinks beneath the waves. By failing fighting on this issue, the Republican Party is simply agreeing with the tyrants, albeit via a very circuitous and theatrical path.
If the left’s position is government has the duty and necessary power to intervene in the private choices of the people in their business, their labors, their health, and even their beliefs, then the natural opposition position of the right must necessarily be government does not have a duty and necessary power to do these things. If the left’s position is government has the duty and necessary power to confiscate and redistribute capital, the natural opposition position of the right must necessarily be government does not have a duty and necessary power to do these things.
How many people “on the right” hold actual opposition positions? In the tug of war of politics, there is a left end of the rope and there is a right end of the rope. Are you certain which end of that rope you are pulling?
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