Grand New Party? 25

Can capitalism and individual freedom be preserved in a post-national world? Because the Republican Party stood for both, we supported it. We tolerated its deplorable weaknesses – chiefly its habit of being far too nice to the Left, and its incessant god-bothering.

The Constitutional Republic has now been so corrupted it cannot be purified. But it is still the best ever political idea. Its principles need to be re-established in a changed world.  

So let’s imagine it possible to remake the Republican Party better to suit the times; to turn the GOP into a GNP – a Grand New Party. What would it look like? About half of GOP membership at present is made up of Evangelical and “born again” Christians. In our ideal reconstitution, they are cut out. In their stead we would bring in a host of Libertarians. They would need to be Libertarians prepared to adopt for as long as necessary a sensible foreign policy and accept a strong defense. (Is this make-believe already becoming too farfetched?)

Certain issues would be left out of the Party platform: abortion and gay marriage, as prime instances. The law has to come in somewhere in the matter of abortion, but the issue has been confused by religious dogma and is best omitted from the agenda of the Great Abstract Gathering (GAG) called to rebuild the Republican Party.

Assuming that there will be national borders for a while yet, a new immigration policy would be given much thought. It would have to be realistic, enforceable, but humane; true to the melting-pot idea as engraved on the Statue of Liberty. The new Libertarian membership would be invited to contribute massively and energetically to this debate in particular.

To cement the alliance between secular conservatives and the new large Libertarian element, an instant consensus would be sought on free market principles, tending towards an extremist position on the rejection of “regulation” – the old Republican Party’s euphemism for government meddling with the market.

Comment and suggestions for the agenda of the GAG, outlines of desirable policies, opinions as to whether the Republican Party could be revived and returned to power, are invited.

Meanwhile here is an old prophecy that deplorably came true (hat-tip, our reader and commenter Frank):

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  • Andrew M

    I’ll go ahead to lighten up the mood here a bit. Take a nice drag and relax, we’ll get through this mess. :)

    Freedom won two major victories in Colorado and Washington. There is no reason we should cast dreary faces and give up the fight now.

    Jillian, if you could remove my improperly formatted comment I would be much appreciative.

    • Jillian Becker

      Done, Andrew.

  • Andrew M

    I’ll go ahead to lighten up the mood here a bit. Take a nice drag and relax, we’ll get through this mess. :)

    Freedom won two major victories in <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/08/us/politics/marijuana-laws-eased-in-colorado-and-washington.html"Colorado and Washington. There is no reason we should cast dreary faces and give up the fight now.

  • Andrew M

    I’ve been reading the articles and comments here with great zeal and regret that I have not had the time to weigh in on them.

    Lower-case libertarians are absolutely the heirs of the Republican party’s remnants. Among the youth, it is only becoming more fashionable to vilify the Republicans as old rich white Christian men. Even those who do lean to the right understand how tarnished the Republican brand is in the eyes of the youth, and especially, the nation as a whole.

    As you mentioned in an earlier article, my generation is also showing an alarming trend of supporting socialist policies, so I am not entirely on board with the idea that they are “unwittingly” supporting these agendas (but don’t you dare call Obama a socialist or highlight his connection with Frank Marshall Davis!)

    Identity politics is ruling the day. Young people for Obama! Blacks for Obama! Latinos for Obama! Women for Obama! While they did not make a huge mention of it, Jews and Asians also broke for Obama as well. Of course this is going to force the narrative that only old, white men vote Republican. Many Republicans focus on the issues as opposed to appealing to certain demographics, so even though they certainly do boast many minorities among their ranks (Govs. Bobby Jindal, Nikki Haley, and Susan Martinez; Sen. Marco Rubio; former Sec. of State Condoleeza Rice to mention just a few), they somehow cannot manage to shake off that tired argument that their policies are “waaacist!“.

    This shouldn’t be half as hard as it has been. A party which ostensibly wants to spreads the gifts of freedom and limited government to the world is deliberately (and artificially) shutting out many of its most likely supporters by placing a façade of parochial Christian bigotry (I mince my words not) over its most alluring ideas. Apparently, my willingness to allow a loving gay couple adopt a child from a straight, hatefully fundamentalist Muslim family, my support for legalizing the production of cannabis, and my belief that abortion should not be made illegal under all circumstances makes me unfit to be a true Republican.

    While I find the results of the election deeply disturbing, I do not consider it to be the doomsday that many on the right suggest. Just because the head issues a command does not mean the body has to obey. I firmly believe that once this new America realizes how much it reduced its freedoms with its decision to support the Democrats, they will be looking for a way out of this mess – but only if the Republicans adapt to the 21st century and focus on fiscal and foreign policy issues while embracing those social issues which fit into a framework of freedom.

    Last, but not least: Barry Goldwater is my hero.

    • http://www.facebook.com/steve.m.cardon Steve M Cardon

      Well said Andrew. I think I am pretty much done with the Republican Party. Young people such as yourself should be scrambling to loft new parties and promote them over all the social media. i am happy to put forward ideas, and write copy, but I’m not sure your peers really want to see my old geezer face on YouTube promoting anything. I’m convinced you could find a way to make your ideas the “new edgey”… especially if scandal manages consume the Democratic party.

      The truth is, if you look at congress, the Democrats are old pasty white guys too (with a few exceptions)… and they all take money from billionaires. The identity politics is a facade. It is all power games, they just paint different narratives.

    • liz

      The problem is, those are some big IFs.
      IF America realizes how much it reduced it’s freedoms – if it didn’t in the last four years, is it likely in the next four?
      IF the Republicans adapt to the 21st century – as long as the Christians have enough influence, they won’t. Christians are determined to remain somewhere in the 16th century, casting out devils and denouncing “lies from the pit of hell”, like evolution.
      Meanwhile the agendas of the greenies, the UN, the Muslims, and all the rest will be steadily gaining ground under Obama’s auspices.
      I could go on, but I guess that’s enough rain on the parade for now!

      • http://www.facebook.com/steve.m.cardon Steve M Cardon

        Yeah, quit being such a wet blanket Liz!! Important to keep living and enjoying life no matter what.;-)

        • liz

          Yeah, you’re right, I’m trying.
          I think I’m developing a case of “Tourettes”, though, triggered every time a see a picture of Obama.

          • http://www.facebook.com/steve.m.cardon Steve M Cardon

            I was completely out of control leading up to the election, its taken days to try and wind down, so you are in good company Liz;-)
            PS: stay tuned for the scandal that dwarfs watergate. Republicans smell blood, congressional democrats don’t particularly like Obama and will throw him to the wolves if they fear being tainted themselves. IMPORTANT: Senate democrats are now set for 6 years.
            They will start turning on Obama too because when he is gone it will still be a democrat (not Obama) in the White House. Biden will resign over BS reason (that big mouth wasn’t told anything), and Obama will choose a new vice president who will be approved. Then when Obama resigns he moves up to President and pardons Obama… Deja Vu all over again…. if I am accidentally right DON’T FORGET I CALLED IT!!

            Oh, I almost forgot.. Obama will finally give Israel tacit approval with our support to strike Iran, Syria,… whoever. Israel will go to war, we will back them, and Obama will get a much needed distraction from the growing scandal.

      • Andrew M

        I must agree with Steve here. While I should be sympathetic to it, I must say I am quite disgusted with the pathetic reaction throughout the right-wing blogosphere to Mitt Romney’s loss, as though his victory would actually cause meaningful change to reverberate across America.

        Guess what? We don’t need him. Freedom lovers are not going away except on their own accord. Much as he would like to be a tyrant lording over the nation at whim, the balance of powers still keep President Obama’s scarier legislation at bay, because he is only the head of the executive branch. States still have the ability to reclaim their rights from the federal government at any time – and many of the more defiant have vast oil reserves.

        And, most importantly, the siren of liberty only grows louder as our citizens become cornered. Leave your tears at the door, don’t forget your Declaration of Independence, and win the bright future.

        • http://www.facebook.com/steve.m.cardon Steve M Cardon

          … and don’t discount the random crazy disgruntled vengeful
          ex-navy seal(S)… lol;-)

        • liz

          Well, you could be right, and I hope you are. Maybe the next generation will usher in a revival of Constitutionalism and liberty.
          If it happened in 1776, it could happen again.

  • http://www.facebook.com/steve.m.cardon Steve M Cardon

    What would you think about, as an excersize (or maybe more) raiding the platforms of other parties including Green, Libertarian, Constitution, Obectivist etc.. Cobble together a convincing platform. We could kick around various “Planks” here, and see what emerges.

    • Jillian Becker

      Please not the Greens, Steve. Green has been the new (collectivist, commie) red for decades now.

      We on the conservative right do not need to pinch ideas from others. Our core principles are rock-solid and good: individual freedom, a free market economy, small government, low taxes, strong defense. We are Constitutionalists. Our understanding of capitalism as the natural order of liberty makes us allies of true libertarians, though we are not with the Libertarians in America who tend to favor an absurd pacifist isolationism.

      The problem is that a growing number of voters want a big paternalistic government that is inimical to our principles. The ideology of the elite whom they have – uncomprehendingly I think – voted into power is collectivist and redistributionist, and aims at creating collectivist and redistributionist world-government. The nation-state in their ideology is obsolete. Majorities in all Western countries are now supporting – again, uncomprehendingly – this horrifying idea. How can we persuade them that only the nation-state governed by a people who are individually free can guarantee the survival of our civilization? No one has the answer to that. No political party has fully grasped what has happened, what new world we are living in. If we canot pull this country back from the brink, it could take not years, not decades, but centuries for humankind to rediscover liberty and try, perhaps, to found (again) a nation on it as an ideal. And my fear is that in this election America went over the brink.

      • http://www.facebook.com/steve.m.cardon Steve M Cardon

        Ha Ha, Okay no greens Jillian, I promise! I was merely putting forward the idea of working on a new party platform rather than bemoaning the fact that the Republican party has a seemingly unremovable religious millstone around its neck.

        I will say that the objectivist party is veryinteresting, but it has been hard to find out exactly what their platform is. On their website they state generalized values, which I like very much. As you can imagine, however, I am most interested on their more specific views vis a vis the military. they do say they are in favor of a strong defence, which is not necessarily a statement of how far they feel that defence extends.

        My intended point about raiding other parties platforms is that it gives a point of reference in which to debate on a corresponding position issue by issue that models more closely the views of most who regularly comment here. Eventually something concrete might emerge.

        There are broad ideas in the Democratic Platform that are not necessarily bad, its just that their ideas of how to implement them are politically myopic and impractical… and they have no real intention of accomplishing many of them anyways… its all empty populist rhetoric.

        The objectivists are all Rand nuts. I like Ayn Rand, I didn’t think the movie was particularly well done. I would be curious about your views on the Objectivist ideas.

        http://www.objectivistparty.us/

        • Jack

          Objectivism is really in its early stages of cultural influence. And Rand laid down very broad poli-sci principles that need to be fleshed out in practice. One example is immigration. Too many Objectivists are for open borders and they are ignorant of what the Left is doing with non-white immigrants.

          But Objectivism’s main principles are IMO solid. Abolish the welfare state, abolish the preventative law agencies (ie regulatory agencies), abolish the Federal Reserve and institute a free market in private currencies, abolish all public schools and end government involvement in the universities (ie no subsidies or loan programs) – this alone may be enough to save the culture because a free market in education would result in an educated self-reliant citizenry within 2 generations, abolish all the victimless crime laws (there goes your violent underclass), and a non-sacrificial hawkish foreign policy that does not orient around trying to win the hearts and minds of Muslims.

          Really, I think that’s as good as your going to get. Yes, you need to work out a sound immigration policy and exactly how to phase out social security, medicare/medicaid, workers comp, the Federal Reserve, all health care intervention, and you need to figure out a rational taxing structure at least until you can get to a 2 or 3 % flat tax somewhere down the road. Economist George Reisman has a plan I believe and he is influenced by both Rand and Von Mises.

          But many on the Right will be opposed to Rand because of her atheism and the mistaken view that her view of individualism means the destruction of family and society which is nonsense.

          • http://www.facebook.com/steve.m.cardon Steve M Cardon

            Thanks again, you are defintely ahead on the wave for this. I really like most of what your are describing above. I do also agree with you about open borders. Canada is much more reliable a partner from a security standpoint than is Mexico, and with the cartels we need more patrols not less. Also controlling the border would then allow for “genuine immigration” reform.

            Giving the vote to a rapidly swelling population of hispanics who have not done due dilligence in understanding our constitution, and founding principles where others immigrating legally have, is a recipe for importing attitudes that the Liberals will continue to exploit.

            It appeared at first glance that objectivists in each state form their own individual platforms, and perhaps those objectivists who live in border states can better inform their compatriots in other states. I very much agree with moving more responsibility to the state, rather than having the fed receiving, then arbitrarily doling out, money to states who are willing to play ball. If the fed is unwilling to enforce immigration laws already on the books, they need to step aside and not tie the hands of the states who are on the hook for the consequences.

            I also could honestly care less who wants to get married, as long as they are responsible and committed. Personally I think the government should get out of the marriage business altogether. Issue “civil Union” licenses with all the attendant privileges and responsibilities. This would leave the “marriage” business to the discression of various religions to give or withold approval as they wish. No more political football with gay, trans.,. who cares “what” they are… marriage. If I ever get married, there will not be any religion allowed anywhere near the ceremony.

            I hold other fairly liberal social views, except where it affects my pocketbook… then I want to see accountability, efficiency, and rehabilitation. I guess I am very close to libertarian, I love Penn Gillette though I disagree with him on just a few things.

            …oh, and “Secular Pro-Liberty” sounds like a great party name. SPL, it could work;-)

          • Jillian Becker

            We like all these suggestions of yours, Jack. We are very libertarian conservatives. And we think Ayn Rand was what von Mises said she was: “The best man in America.”

            • http://www.facebook.com/steve.m.cardon Steve M Cardon

              Agreed!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/steve.m.cardon Steve M Cardon

    I have been of this same opinion for awhile, but we have to completely ditch the “grand” No remnant of that name must continue, let the right wing religious nutjobs inherit whats left of it.

    The Military remains the biggest problem with bringing Libertarians on board. They just don’t believe we need to keep them abroad to defend our “National Interests”. Again, it seems to be a lack of understanding of how our economy is tied into trade and energy from abroad… and that not projecting power means that that short term dependance on oil leaves us economically vulnerable to other power players in the area.

  • Jack

    Libertarians are a mixed bunch though. Many of them are as bad as leftists. I would like to see the “Right” become a Randian Right. Rand’s philosophy actually rescues both Classical Liberalism and libertarianism. But the problem is that the Christian Conservatives won’t let that happen.

    If you read the post election analysis, Randians and the better libertarians argue that Romney lost because he was too Conservative but the Conservatives argue that he lost because he was too libertarian.

    In the end its the Conservative – libertarian/Classical Liberal divide which is actually doing more damage to liberty than the Left in and of itself. The Right is a house divided. This gives the Left a massive advantage. Plus Christian ethics is on the side of wealth redistribution and thus the Left. Yet the Conservatives still respond with “that’s a misinterpretation of Christianity”. OK. 120 years since the rise of the Progressive movement (which was ushered in by Christians not secularists) and the Conservatives have been unable to so much as slow them down. But Christianity is not the problem they tell us. OK.

    • http://www.facebook.com/steve.m.cardon Steve M Cardon

      Great observations. It just keeps leading back to what we all know. The inconsitencies inherent in Christianity continue to cloud issues, and divide those who otherwise have common ground. It is time for a party whose platform, among other things, says “leave your religion at the door, or don’t come in”. No more pandering to religion. Only then will some on the left begin to take a closer look at secular conservative ideas on their merit. We will get much more credibility when Michelle Bachman and Rick Santorum declare us to be “of the Devil”.

      • Jack

        Excellent comment. I enjoy your comments Steve. You sound like a wise man. Yes, I think the better modern “liberals” would give a secular conservatism or what I would call a secular pro-liberty movement a chance. What needs to happen is that the “Right” needs to stop being dominated by social and religious Conservatives; ie Christians. I think that it is Christian influence that is holding back a genuine challenge to the Left.

        I really like what this blog represents even though I would identify myself as a Rand-influenced Classical Liberal rather than a Conservative.

  • liz

    I wish Goldwater had won then, and was still around now. Christians just cannot understand the need to separate church and state, or church and politics, period. If they could, we could easily combine them in a viable party. Of course this won’t happen, and Goldwaters observation is as relevant today as ever.

  • Frank

    I although I like your overall plan I just don’t see the bibleborg giving up their control. As was clearly demonstrated in this last election they would rather destroy the party than stop pushing their delusional beliefs.