I keep my new year’s resolutions simple and achievable. Nothing vague, like “try to be a better person” or “be nicer to cats”. Mine for years has been to floss more, if only to avoid the shame and blood loss at biannual dentist visits. As we round out a year witnessing the expensive and embarrassing political spectacle of two statists angling for the starring role of celebrity president, I’ve compiled a list of new year’s resolutions to triage, refocus and rebrand the Republican Party. The goals, admittedly, are much more ambitious than avoiding bloody gums and the censure of dental professionals. The Republican Party is in an existential crisis; acting as the Democrat’s co-pilot as we drive over debt and liberty cliffs will render the former useless as a case of Maker’s Mark at a Mormon new year’s party.
So here they are:
1. Bring our troops home. All of them. Despite what the neo-cons tell us, there is no “world policemen” clause in the U.S. Constitution. Mucking about in foreign lands that most Americans can’t identify on map is great at sowing resentment and draining our treasury, but does very little to make your neighborhood’s streets safer. I anticipate objections to this resolution from a small but influential covey of neo-cons and from those brought up to believe that foreign wars are macho and therefore conservative. The litmus test is simple: does the foreign entanglement reduce government and grow personal liberty within our borders? If no (which is almost always the case), then get the heck out of dodgistan. And what an easy way to outflank Democrats on a populist issue: Democrats brought us into WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Bosnia, Somalia, and ramped up the drone wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Remake the GOP as the real anti-war party, and they’ll finally nab the youth vote.
2. End president worship. Just because a president was Republican and appears on U.S. currency does not make him a demigod. Remove the fog of mythology and you’ll see that Abraham Lincoln was the first U.S. tyrant – he started a war against individual self-determination that killed 600,000 Americans and threw political dissidents in jail. And before you offer the third grade objection that “Lincoln freed the slaves!” I invite you to read about the first 13th Amendment that your sanitized history books omitted mention. And then there is Teddy Roosevelt, a favorite celebrity Republican. Modern Republicans cringe every time Barack Obama issues a new executive order that ignores Congress, the Constitution, or both. Guess who popularized that practice? Yup, TR did.
3. Become Austrians. No, I don’t mean become a steroidal Californian governor. Too many Republican Congressmen buy into the premise of Keynesian economics if it means more federal money flying into their districts. Take it upon yourself to read up on the Austrian school of economics here, here or here. You won’t be sorry, and there is nothing more fun than dicing up Paul Krugman’s bizarre arguments that essentially advocate another try at pre-1989 Eastern European communism.
4. Become Tenthers. Nullification, the Jeffersonian idea that the federal government is not the sole judge of the constitutionality of its own acts, is finally becoming mainstream. In the past few years, states have nullified the NDAA, Obamacare, federal marijuana laws and REAL ID, and 2013 appears to be ripe for more, including state legislation nullifying encroachments on the Second Amendment. Washington, DC, whether run by Democrats or Republicans, never shrinks itself. So it’s high time for the Republicans in your state legislature to grow a pair and take back their sovereignty. This, my friends, is more critical to our freedom than any so-called fiscal cliff crisis now facing the well-pensioned statists running the federal government.
Ambitious resolutions? Indeed. But four times in my life (three state bar admissions, one swearing into public office) I swore that I would uphold and support the United States Constitution. If I can do it, you would think the party that professes individual liberty can also. Which leads me to my other resolution: Put the Constitution first. Every issue, every time. No exceptions and no excuses. And always (always!) before political party.
Best wishes for a more free and prosperous 2013 for you and your families.