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8 Steps to Revive the Right

The Tea Party needs leaders like UKIP's Nigel Farage.

The Tea Party needs leaders like UKIP’s Nigel Farage.

 

8. Play Offense: If the Right wants to win, it must play offense rather than defense. Romantic notions of idyllic times when politicians debated erudite issues instead of “playing politics” are both naïve and uninformed. The Federalists defeated Thomas Jefferson in the presidential election of 1796 in part by casting him as an anti-Christian atheist, and warning that his presidency would mean the seizure of bibles by executive mandate, utter non-sense but highly effective. Playing defense certainly did not serve Romney well; he unwittingly assumed that harping on a bad economy was enough to win the presidency. While Romney was buried under a morass of Bane Capital dross, Obama went unscathed. He should have learned from McCain’s unwillingness to “take the gloves off” and go on the offensive four years earlier.

 

7. Abandon the Warfare State: Patrick Buchanan and Ron Paul have been right about this for years. According to Pew Research, Americans by enormous margins want the United States to stop interfering in the affairs of other states and focus resources at home. Americans also recognize, as Chris Preble and Ben Friedman of the Cato Institute recently penned, that “the United States needn’t run the world to be safe in it.” In fact, trying to manage world affairs has made us weaker not stronger. Along these lines, we can and must cut our ridiculous defense budget, which exceeds the military spending of all other industrial nations put together. Supporting a strong national defense is not synonymous with advocating interventionism overseas, nor is it synonymous with profligate military spending.

 

6. Better Voter-Data Analytics: The success of Organizing for Action is well known, as are the tech foibles of the 2012 Romney campaign. The failure of Project Orca, a smartphone application designed to help turn out voters, is emblematic of the Right’s broader failure to keep technological pace with the Left. Though the importance of social media is probably overstated, especially because the younger voters they target are fickle, data mining is not. The Right needs more data infrastructure to challenge the Left’s dominance. Businesses are revolutionizing customer relationship management (CRM) by employing data rich sources. The analogy is direct, voters are customers. When it comes to canvassing, knowing is half the battle; once we know who and where potential voters are, we can launch directed organized outreach to turn them out.

5. Promote a Plan for Growth: On the Right, there is broad consensus that Washington needs a new tax system and an overhaul of existing regulations. But to capture public attention the Right needs a simple, digestible plan for growth. Here is one: New Enterprise, Energy, and Advanced Manufacturing. New companies trying to launch an IPO or secure funding from Venture Capital firms need less regulation, lower taxes, and a reformed patent system. America is in the embryonic stage of an energy revolution. To nurture its continued growth we need to lift restrictions on exporting oil overseas, greater access to federal lands and coastal areas, and more energy transportation and distribution infrastructure. Among the main reasons for the decline of the middle class is the decline of manufacturing. We need a national vocational system, incentives for manufacturing firms to build in the US, and a federal department oriented specifically to promoting domestic manufacturers. Reforms focused on these sectors will generate millions of jobs and restore growth to the battered US economy.

 

4. Develop a Strategy for Victory. Messaging is everything. The Right needs a new branding, a new image if you will. To do so it must think bigger, find a collective identity and express that identity in simple language. Here is a thought: become the Party of Innovation. The Left represents the past, the entitlement state, big government, and bailouts. The Right should champion innovations in health-care, education, technology, R&D, energy etc. It can do so by embracing public policies that endorses direct primary care, a national vocational system, tech start-ups, R&D funding, and pro-energy shale oil, natural gas, and tight oil exploration and development.

 

3. Fire Establishment GOP Leadership: When organizations fail in business, in warfare, or on the sports field executives are the first to go. Politics is the noticeable exception. The Republican Party is in a state of free fall, fractured by internal divisions, lacking a coherent identity, and absent clear leadership. If the Right wants to change the game, we need a new coaching staff. Off-loading RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is a good start. “Republicans” on Capitol Hill who refuse to take on the exploding national debt, flirt with amnesty for over 12 million illegal immigrants, or cave to Obamacare should be put on notice—all RINOs will be primary-ed.

 

2. No Amnesty: This could be considered number one because granting any form of amnesty will all but eliminate the chance for a return to limited Constitutional government based on rule of law. Those who think that amnesty will secure Latino voters should consider a couple things: first, the last major amnesty (1987) was signed into law by Republican President Ronald Reagan, which did not help secure our borders or curry favor with Hispanic voters; and second, illegal voters are disproportionately government dependents uninterested in the Constitution or in assimilating to basic American culture by speaking English or following the law.

 

1. Find Leaders: The most important step to turning around any failing enterprise is to find people who can lead the turn around. Put differently, if you are going to fire the CEO you need to find a new one. No successful organization, business, party, or movement can be unified or successful without a designated leader or chain of command. Five years in the Tea Party is learning this lesson the hard way. There are many examples from history that immediately come to mind, but here is a more contemporaneous example of the difference leadership can make—Nigel Farage. Nigel Farage (pictured above) is the voice and leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP). Farage’s unique skill set, his ability to rationalize and articulate UKIP’s populist anti-EU message, has transformed the erstwhile fringe party into a major force in British politics. It is noteworthy that Farage is not even an MP in London but a distant Member of European Parliament (MEP) in Brussels. In short, having talented spokesmen wherever they can be found is indispensable. Could Senator Ted Cruz be one of them?

Cameron Macgregor is a US Naval Academy graduate and former naval officer. He is currently a graduate student at George Mason University.

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  1. Zbigniew Mazurak says:

    Shame on you, Macgregor, for lying so blatantly and for advocating the gutting of the US military. I hope you will be pleased with the results you’ll see in a few years. You are a traitor to the United States of America, just like Ron Paul and Pat Buchanan, and like them, you deserve to be executed as such. And you are certainly not a conservative.

  2. Zbigniew Mazurak says:

    “7. Abandon the Warfare State: Patrick Buchanan and Ron Paul have been right about this for years. According to Pew Research, Americans by enormous margins want the United States to stop interfering in the affairs of other states and focus resources at home. Americans also recognize, as Chris Preble and Ben Friedman of the Cato Institute recently penned, that “the United States needn’t run the world to be safe in it.” In fact, trying to manage world affairs has made us weaker not stronger. Along these lines, we can and must cut our ridiculous defense budget, which exceeds the military spending of all other industrial nations put together. Supporting a strong national defense is not synonymous with advocating interventionism overseas, nor is it synonymous with profligate military spending.”

    Those are utter blatant lies.

    Firstly, America’s defense budget is far from “ridiculous.” It amounts to only 3.96% of the nation’s GDP and less than 18% of the entire federal budget. And it has already been cut significantly, having been targeted by the Obama administration since the day it took office. Obama has already cut well over a trillion dollars from defense spending, he’s cutting it further, and the sequester, if allowed, to stand, will cut the defense budget by another $550 billion by FY2022.

    These defense cuts have already significantly weakened the US military and invited aggression and adventurism on the part of US adversaries such as China and Russia – Crimea being just the latest example. If these defense cuts continue, the US will be left with a woefully inadequate navy of just 230 old, rusting, ships, a tiny Air Force with but a handful of bombers and a rapidly shrinking fleet of aging fighters and tankers, and an Army unable to prevail in a single war. Readiness will plummet, the nuclear deterrent will age out without replacement, and the military will completely lose its technological edge while shrinking rapidly.

    Cutting defense spending deeply ALWAYS weakens the US military, and that, in turn, ALWAYS emboldens America’s enemies, encouraging them to commit aggression.

    Also, the US is NOT a “warfare” state. It spends barely 3.96% of GDP and less than 18% of the federal budget on its military. Entitlements and the debt interest consume well over 60%. Some warfare state! More like “welfare state.”

    As for foreign policy and the question of intervening, or not, overseas, Pat Buchanan and Ron Paul have always been DEAD WRONG about this, and they STILL remain dead wrong, even if, as Pew tells us, a slight majority of Americans now agrees with them.

    History teaches that even if the US tries to isolate itself from the rest of the world and ignore overseas threats, these threats will eventually attack the US directly. The crocodile WILL eventually come to eat us. That is an unavoidable fact. Isolationism didn’t work during the supposedly halcyon years of the Founding Fathers, it didn’t work in the 1930s, and it wouldn’t work today either. When dangerous aggressors attack America’s key allies or try to take control over crucial geographic points, transit routes, sealanes, or natural resources, the US MUST intervene – because AMERICA’S own national security depends on that.

    That is not to say that the US should intervene in every country around the world, or make every conflict in the world its own. But it must stand up to powerful, dangerous aggressors such as Russia and China – because if it does not, they will take control over key geographic areas, routes, and natural resources, and eventually attack the US itself. Russia has, since 2012, flown nuclear-armed bombers near or into US airspace, practicing nuclear strikes on the US, several times.

    Last but certainly not least, cutting defense spending and withdrawing America from world affairs would not earn Republicans (or the Tea Party) a single new vote. Not even one. According to a new poll just released by Gallup, only 37% of Americans think the US is spending too much on the military, while the other 63% says US military spending is “about right” or insufficient. In other words, 63% of Americans OPPOSE defense spending cuts.

    America already has one weak defense party. It does need a second one. That market has already been taken.

  3. omega_man says:

    Bravo!

    Whenever I get really down listening to our politicians, I listen to UKIP, Nigel Farage, Daniel Hannon, Godfrey Bloom on Youtube. Only Rubio, Gingrich, and Palin have the adept speaking skills to actually connect with joe lunch bucket….the rest of our pols sound slow-witted.
    Fine article.
    Oh, to be rid of Boehner, McConnell, Priebus, et al. Time and time again we see the Establishment Republicans (the REAL Kamikaze faction) augur win-able elections right into the cornfields. Get them out of the cockpit, my kids are riding in the back of the plane!
    Every point in the article is terrific…but how to implement them….oh, well, back to youtube and Nigel.