In the aftermath of the passage of ObamaCare being forced through Congress without even the appearance of bipartisan support, the Republican Party gained a clear mandate and rallying cry: “Repeal!” Just 2 years after the Great Recession gutted the popularity of the Republican Party, they won back the House of Representatives. From there, they tried futilely by the means at their disposal to repeal it, but without control of the Senate, overcoming a veto was simply impossible. There was, at least at the time, still hope of the Supreme Court overturning ObamaCare as unconstitutional.
In 2012, the Republican Party went on the warpath, proposing not only a repeal of ObamaCare but widespread governmental budget reform to reduce the out of control deficit. The government had already been through a serious budget crisis that was (and still is) bankrupting our country. Even though their rhetoric was sound and made good fiscal sense, the Republicans failed to win either the White House or the Senate and even managed to lose some ground in the House of Representatives. It would not be until the 2014 midterms that they finally managed to retake the Senate by a slim margin.
With the Supreme Court incomprehensibly failing, not only once but twice, to strike down ObamaCare, repeal became the only possible path to untangling the nation from the rapidly metastasizing bureaucratic nightmare, but vetoes by the Obama White House protected his namesake legislation. The only path to repeal lay in winning the White House or an overwhelming Congressional majority. By continuing to fail to deliver on their mandate, the GOP created the toxic discontent necessary that feed into the 2016 presidential election.
With control of the House, the Senate, and the White House, the Republican Party has yet again failed to deliver on an important political promise, not for lack trying, but for lack of a shared political vision.
“When you’re in a hole, stop digging.”
Voters generally assume, at least in countries with reasonably legitimate elections, that the purpose of being in a political party is to create a voting block of individuals with shared political interests, thus making it more likely that their shared political interests become governing policy, but what actually happens is much more like what has happened in the United States. Politicians campaign on promises to do one thing, but get to the capital and quickly find themselves hemmed in by the opposing political party or parties and the political pecking orders of their own internal party politics.
The longer political parties exist, the more diluted their purposes and, more importantly, constituency becomes, and, at least in the case of the Republican Party, the further away from a meaningful shared political vision they go. When a political party no longer has a shared political vision, what purpose does it serve an individual to remain part of the political party? The answer to this question is “none at all“. So if this is the case, and it seems fairly self evident that this is the case, assuming that you, dear reader, have a coherent political vision but remain in the Republican Party, why are you still in a political party that no longer represents you?
Especially now, in the aftermath of gubernatorial losses in New Jersey and Virginia, which seem to strongly indicate that the political successes that the Republicans have enjoyed are coming to an end, it’s time to move on to greener and, more importantly, more coherent pastures. That’s the bad news. The good news is that, thanks to the efforts of energetic conservatives, there may very well be a greener pasture to go to. Hold fast to hope and to principle, conservatives. A higher road is under construction. #StandUpRepublic
Liberty is For the Win!