The Ron Paul campaign, while bringing many fresh, new Republicans into the party locally and nationally was almost completely rejected by the GOP at-large. Those new Republicans are highly articulate and active about the core, root message of the GOP. That message was Constitutional, strictly-limited, small-government maintaining tight, fiscal responsibility and following the true features of free-market economics, not those of the distorted and perverted “free market” currently in vogue.
The GOP over the last 3 decades has steadily co-opted or nearly-outright adopted the Democrats opposite message. Today a growing majority of GOP elected-officials practice enlarging, fiscally-irresponsible government in office while preaching the opposite. That has not gone un-noticed by the electorate. That has caused many of those new Republicans in turn to decide to seek either alternative parties or return to being independent voters. The record in the recent elections stands as mute testimony to that outcome. It is, ultimately, about the economy
In addition, the Party’s processes and structure are directly exclusionary to those fresh, new ideas and tend to move the Party towards rigid adherence to failing standards and processes in conforming to a doctrinaire stance. In many ways the Party has also co-opted democratic and burueacratic processes (i.e., the “Caucus System”) in selection of candidates and assembly/convontion delegates. The “top-down” Party structure in controlling candidate and delegate selection procedures has resulted in disallowing change to occur quickly and effectively in the Party in response to changes in the electorate, economy and political environment. In effect, at this point, the GOP is largely incapable of adapting to change. If current processes and the doctrinaire stance remain, the GOP will continue to shrink for the next generation and may, in fact, disappear altogether as an effective counter to the left liberal and socialist agenda.
The Ron Paul and Obama Presidential campaigns represented the two effective “social networking” campaigns of the recent election. One was embraced, one rejected by their own party. While the Republican Party concentrated on “lists,” the social networking phenomena focuses on enabling communication and cooperation across all the different social networks to get the message out rather than “calling lists.” Again, note results of recent campaigns and election.
Internal pressure and forced conformance to generate false “Unity” of the Party, active repression of dissent, reasonable debate and discussion of constructive changes and issues that directly effect the overall message presented to the electorate, must end. Open and constructive processes, inclusive participation and acceptance of change must become the hallmark of a reformed GOP in order to meet the challenges of the next decade. A winning GOP strategy cannot be developed in the current environment and with a significant portion of current leadership from top to bottom.
Because of the social networking phenomena, the GOP fundraising model is broken and was evident in the recent election. The Party can no longer rely on a small number of high-dollar donors, but must change to a large number of small dollar donors that works in tandem with the social networking phenomena. There will always be some number of high dollar donars as well, but their effect in driving a top-down, controlled GOP against the core, root principles must end as well. The GOP must return to being a grassroots, ground-up individual liberty, Republican Party again. Meritorious leadership of the Founders must come to the fore again, not continue the wait-your-turn, status-quo leadership selection.
The GOP has failed to effectively articulate the freedom and liberty message to the voters in a manner that motivates the independents, fiscal conservatives and libertarian-leaning Republicans to support the Party’s candidates. That is true even while the voters largely rejected increased taxes, larger and intrusive government when voting on ballot issues. The voters also largely rejected the legislative or issue-based attempts to achieve the social conservstive message.
There is a close correlation, particularly in Colorado, between the fiscal and social conservatives except in one sense. The strong fiscal and Constitutional conservatives are not attuned to the statism expressed by many who are strong social conservatives as well. In many ways, the social conservatives have “led with their chin” on social conservative issues the same way the Libertarians “lead with their chin” on Drug Legalization. Trying to use increased legislative “rent-seeking” in promoting the socially conservative agenda has driven away the Independents, libertarian-leaning and strong fiscal conservative Republicans. Traditionally in the Republican Party, the social conservative message was a direct consequence of the core-root message of the Party. As inherent social conservatism in the population has deteriorated during the last three decades, those conservatives have become increasingly active with counter-legislation, even though it should be clear at this point that it is both Constitutionally hypocritical and practically unattainable in a Center-Right-leaning voting population.
There was much less of an attempt to legislate the moral and philosophical social conservative message into the political arena up until the 1980s. Of course, this was a backlash to the increasing attempts by the left-liberal camp to legislate their message first. Understandable, but not necessarily the right response. It would be recommended that a return to the core-root and foundational message of the Republican Party, while continuing to battle or stop every attempt by the left to legislate their social agenda, would bring more Independents, libertarian and strong fiscal conservatives back into active support of the GOP and the renewed message. Re-instituting a stronger moral-conservative base in the population via education and example is a much better course in the long run.
While almost all Republicans profess a belief in the Constitution and free market principles, few actually understand or practice the principles inherent in that framework. That is largely due to not actually educating themselves; nor has the Party actively and continually promoted that education. I don’t believe there is one active education effort in any county in Colorado or from the state Party. The GOP, in effect, has not developed the next generation of Republicans through positive, constructive education of its core priniciples. It has, in fact, actively subverted its own message in practice and through its governing philosophy vs the stated message. That is not a sustainable trend, particularly in light of the current and future challenges to freedom and liberty currently being exhibited in government’s response to the ongoing fiscal and financial crisis.
See Dr. Fagin “Maybe it’s time to try limited government ” article at: http://www.faginfamily.net/barry/columns/116%20Nov%2013th%202008.htm
There is no “free market” as long as the underlying basis of the market is a monetary system that is based on monopoly-issuance (i.e., centralized banking) and a fiat basis for controlling economic behavior. The US economy is headed for a correction to its economic base and a lowered standard of living not seen in several generations. That will generate massive changes in social and political structures. It is imperative that the GOP begin a broad-based, education effort in its fundamental principles, the Constitution and true free-market economics in order to rebuild a sustainable base for re-launching a strategy to retake effective governance of city, county, state and federal office.
It would seem axiomatic that absent a foundational basis for Party rank-and-file in developing, articulating and propagating the Party’s message to current and potential members, it is a complete non-sequitur to expect them to understand and incorporate a strategy for implementing election campaigns that win over Independents and other non-Republican voters in an election.
References, Info and selected reading:
For info on the Campaign for Liberty and the Precinct Leader program:
Link to the Money as Debt video:
The Federal government is headed for complete fiscal breakdown. This link is the GAO Audit of the Schedules of Federal Debt: http://treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/pd/feddebt/feddebt_ann2008.pdf pay particular attention to “Note 3 on page 25 for the gutted surplus funds of the Federal government used to “buy-down” the deficit since 1992. There are now $4.2 Trillion in ‘warrants’ (IOUs) in those funds that will stop running surpluses very soon.
Fundamental background information:
“The Law” Frederick Bastiat online book- http://www.fee.org/pdf/books/The_Law.pdf
“Economics in One Lesson” by Henry Hazlitt
Further study: “Human Action” by Ludwig von Mises, online; http://mises.org/pdf/humanaction/pdf/humanaction.pdf
Historical- “Wealth of Nations,” by Adam Smith: http://www.online-literature.com/adam_smith/wealth_nations/
Current study and information of Austrian School economics: http://mises.org/
For ongoing study and development of “The Citizen’s Rulebook,” see:
Declaration of Independence:http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/document/index.htm
Constitution of the United States:http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html
I wish to emphasize again that this effort is to grow the Republican Party and not alienate anyone who believes in the core freedom and liberty message. I believe it to be imperative to the country and the times and challenges we face in the next decade affecting the survival of freedom and liberty. At this point, the Republican Party is the only place to start a large-scale effort to “re-establish” the founding principles and direction that has been lost the last few decades. However, the effort will be stillborn if there is not first recognition that recovery in a 12-step program begins with acknowledgement that there is a problem.