What the GOP should stand for: Opportunity

GOP Opportunity

Senator Ted Cruz

By: Senator Ted Cruz

Originally Appeared in:  The Washington Post

Since Election Day, much energy has been spent analyzing why Republicans did so poorly. Many have urged that Republicans must “moderate their views,” by which they mean we should adopt more policies of Democrats.

That advice misdiagnoses the problem. The 2012 election did not reflect popular approval of the Obama policies of out-of-control spending, taxes, deficits and debt. To the contrary, 51 percent of voters on Election Day agreed that “government is doing too many things better left to businesses and individuals.”

Nor did the election reflect satisfaction with the paltry economic growth that President Obama’s abusive regulatory approach has produced. Voters are rightly unhappy with the anemic growth in gross domestic product the past four years; the average, just 1.5 percent, is less than half of our historic average since World War II, but 53 percent of voters believed the economy was George W. Bush’s fault.

Why did voters believe that? Obama repeated it relentlessly, and Republicans never responded.

First you win the argument, then you win the vote, Margaret Thatcher famously admonished. Republicans did neither.

Nothing better illustrates that failure than “47 percent.” Not the comment itself nor the good and decent person who uttered it, but, rather, the overall narrative of Republicans. Voters were convinced that the GOP is the party of “the rich” and that Democrats are the party of everybody else.

That characterization is false, but as long as a majority of Americans believe that Republican policies do not benefit them, Republicans will continue to lose.

And far too many Republicans believe it as well.

So let me suggest an alternative course: opportunity conservatism. Republicans should conceptualize and articulate every domestic policy with a single-minded focus on easing the ascent up the economic ladder.

We should assess policy with a Rawlsian lens, asking how it affects those least well-off among us. We should champion the 47 percent.

That does not mean adopting the wealth-redistribution policies of the left. Among other problems, collectivist approaches to our economy simply do not work. They fail to produce economic prosperity or to improve the material conditions of the populace. And they lead to bankruptcy and economic collapse, as Europe demonstrates daily.

Why do millions of people from all over the world come to the United States? Because no other nation has offered such opportunity. Nowhere else can so many come with nothing and achieve anything.

And yet, as Democrats work to move the United States further toward the failed economic policies of European social democracies, our economic mobility has diminished. Without fail, when government controls the economy, opportunity dries up.

To Continue Reading:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/ted-cruz-gop-needs-message-of-opportunity-conservatism/2013/01/03/c9536c8e-550e-11e2-8b9e-dd8773594efc_story.html

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One Response to What the GOP should stand for: Opportunity

  1. Anonymous on January 9, 2013 at 5:22 am

    There is a missing piece of this puzzle obscured by “as long as a majority of Americans believe that Republican policies do not benefit them, Republicans will continue to lose.” “Benefit”, “what is in it for me”, today this is code for perks, pork and entitlements. This is how the election was won or purchased. Entitlements, “benefits”, the absence of the rule of law, this is the mother’s milk of socialism. It is the difference between selfishness, the entitlements so sacred to this generation, and self-interest, the objectivism of Ayn Rand. What are required are “tough love”, discipline, shared sacrifice, individualism and exceptionalism, not normally found same arena as the current meaning of “benefits”. And few will be re-elected for that but history will record a respect for saving our noble Republic. “Opportunity” is already enshrined in the “Pursuit of Happiness.” And it is an “inalienable right” not a benefit.

    This is not JFK’s Democratic Party. This is not Ronaldo Maximus’s Republican Party. Where have all the good men gone? Rather there is a loftier goal purchased with the life of someone who understood sacrifice (both experienced assignation attempts), “My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”. John F. Kennedy.

    “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.” Ronald Reagan.

    We lack the courage of our convictions, paraphrasing Chris Christy, I was elected to govern not govern to be re-elected. Our politicians are no longer morally conditioned to sustain political defeat, should it require the price of “doing the right thing”. This century requires a rebellion for freedom not moral surrender for the prize of re-election. And if the “People” do not understand this then history will repeat itself. Are we committed to the preservation of a political party or the “Freedom of a Nation”?

    He said it best; “God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. …And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.” Thomas Jefferson.

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