As I have written a number of times here on CDN, the GOP is viewed very negatively by the majority of the American public, especially women, youngsters, and minorities – key demographics that the GOP absolutely must win over to remain a viable party, let alone to win future elections.
What is the key to winning their votes? It’s not accepting amnesty for illegal aliens or abortion on demand. Instead, Republicans should focus like a laser on the issue most important to these groups (and to the American electorate at large): the economy.
According to Gallup polling, economic issues (jobs, economic growth, the federal budget, taxes, fair trade) are by far the most important issues for American voters, far more than education, healthcare, or foreign policy. Yet, these days, we seldom hear Washington and the media talk about anything other than Benghazi, Syria, the Obama admin scandals, immigration, and social issues. While these issues are not irrelevant, they pale in importance compared to the economy. It doesn’t matter if the Benghazi scandal is investigated fully if the economy doesn’t recover and unemployed Americans (including college grads) don’t find jobs.
It’s the economy, stupid!
Republicans need to note that and act accordingly. Luckily, there’s a huge opening for Republicans here, because, as stated above, BOTH major parties and the media seldom talk about the economy, despite its importance to American voters (including the key demographics listed above), so Republicans have a chance to distinguish themselves from the Democrats.
From now on, Republicans should devote only a minimum amount of time and hearings to Benghazi, Syria, Obama admin scandals, and social issues, and devote the vast majority of their time and legislation to the economy, while also conducting town hall meetings, listening tours, and media interviews on that subject – and thus, force the media and the Democrats to shift the subject of the national discourse to the economy.
Thus, Republicans would force Obama and the Democrats to fight on grounds favorable to Republicans – grounds where the Democrats cannot win.
But just talking about the economy won’t be enough; one must also propose, and attempt to implement, effective policies. Specifically, Republicans should pass in the House, and introduce in the Senate, bills that would:
- Cut spending seriously along the lines proposed in the Ryan Plan or, even better, the Republican Study Committee’s plan, e.g. the RSC’s Spending Reduction Act.
- Privatize government-owned enterprises such as Amtrak, the Postal Service, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, etc.
- Provide full funding and a permanent authorization for the Export-Import Bank, which supports US industry and exporters without providing any subsidies.
- Institute the Export-Import Certificates for foreign countries proposed by Warren Buffett – thus allowing foreign countries to export to the US only as much as they import from the US, and also institute strict product quality standards on foreign (including Chinese) products.
- Strengthen Buy American laws.
- Utterly reject any form of amnesty for illegal aliens and dramatically cut down the levels of immigration, both legal and illegal, while making it easier for highly-skilled foreign workers and university grads to immigrate to the US and contribute to the US economy.
- Block-grand Medicaid to the states and pass Medicare and SS reform.
- Pass legislation that would legalize fracking throughout the country, open all shale oil and NG reserves, open the ANWR and the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska, authorize the Keystone Pipeline over Obama’s objections, and authorize offshore oil drilling.
- And most importantly, abolish the IRS, the Internal Revenue Code, and the 16th Amendment and replace them with the FairTax (H.R. 25). The IRS is not an agency whose powers have been abused – the IRS and the federal income tax are DESIGNED for abuse. They are DESIGNED to be tools of oppression per se. Making the income tax flat, or eliminating section 501(c)3, or “improving oversight”, or passing a mild reform bill will NOT solve the problem, because it would still leave the IRS (with its awesome audit and status denial powers and its huge bureaucracy) and the income tax (which punishes people for productivity and takes away what they’ve earned) still in place. So a flat income tax would change NOTHING. ONLY the FairTax bill (H.R. 25) would solve the problem by abolishing the IRS and the income tax FOREVER, mandating the destruction of all personal records held by the IRS (except those related to SS, which would be transferred to the SSA), and initating the repeal of the 16th Amendment.
- States should also enact significant economic reform by cutting taxes and spending, implementing tort reform (including the Loser Pays rule), and adopting Right-to-Work laws.
Last but not least, Republicans should explain, in detail, to average Americans how exactly these policies would benefit them directly. This is something that Republicans have so far failed to do.
In trying to win future elections, Republicans will be climbing uphill. But the economy is not an issue of just one special interest group or one demographic. It is an issue which all Americans care about, and the vast majority prioritize above all other issues, yet, the media and Washington seldom talk about it. If Republicans start prioritizing the economy instead of Benghazi and Syria, they’ll show the public they are totally different – they’ll offer a totally different, and a much different, product to a public that is eager to buy it.