First of all,…
Whoever wrote this, does not know the difference between “principles” and “planks” and “issues.”
Whoever wrote this, does not know the Constitution and has not bothered to attend Hillsdale College’s free on-line courses or read the Constitution and the Federalist and Anti-federalist Papers.
There are not eleven “principles.”
Number 1 Constitution and 9 Values have to do with founding principles.
Number 2 Economy, 3 Budget, 4 Healthcare, 8 Poverty, 10 Energy have to do with the economy.
Number 5 Veterans, 6 Security, 11 Immigration have to do with national defense, but 11 Immigration is tied back to the economy.
Number 7 Education has to do with everything; I’d lump it in with the Constitution and Values because you have to learn about them first.
So at best I count 3, not 11. And I find it quite disturbing that a Party that claims allegiance to a foundation on Judeo-Christian values would still have the insensitivity to “do one better” than God or Moses; they made do with only Ten… (Wilson needed 14 Points, and FDR invented 4 Freedoms, whatever that says about the Democrats.)
Thirdly, back to the Constitution and our founding principles and national values…
1. Constitution — the key sentence in the speech (https://www.gop.com/principles-for-american-renewal-speech/) is
[it] “guides our thinking on every issue.”
If only it were so. But alas,…
2. Economy — The Constitution gives the government very limited power to interfere in the economy. It most certainly does NOT assign to the government the responsibility to “start growing the economy.” THAT is the job of the private sector.
3. Budget / Debt — Yes,
- We are enchanted by the siren song of the Balanced Budget Amendment. But,
- We are also charmed out of remembering that the devil is in the details — The “balanced budget amendment” idea hinges on the fluid definitions of “balanced,” “budget,” “deficit,” “debt,” and all other related terms. And so,
- Some day some court will inevitably find a way to gut the intention behind the amendment just as they have twisted the meaning of “due process,” equal protection, “speech,” “interstate commerce,” etc. etc. etc. to whatever political consideration was important at the moment.
What we DON’T see in the speech is the call for
- Tax reform, Fair Tax, or consumption tax;
- Severely reducing the size, scope and power of the IRS;
- Privatizing pensions, Social Security and all forms of welfare; and
- Returning to the gold standard, so that the government could no longer engage in “quantitative easing,” a.k.a. printing money out of nothing.
4. Health care — NOTHING in the Constitution authorizes the government to be in the health insurance, health care or health anything business…, no matter what you call it — a fee, a tax, a premium, regulatory oversight, or whatever else.
5. Veterans — Setting aside the semantics that this is not a “principle,” the real problem with the VA is that the GOVERNMENT is administering a CIVILIAN program to provide HEALTH CARE. Sure, there is a need for combat medics and field hospitals — in a shooting war. After the necessary emergency treatment, long term and retirement care can be provided in the private sector, just like for everybody else. The “government” can pay for veterans just like for seniors on Medicare. There is nothing in the Constitution that would allow the government to run the VA.
6. Security — along with law enforcement (NOT mentioned anywhere in the speech) national security is the NUMBER ONE job of the government. And that job is limited to the military — and does NOT include “growing the economy,” or “energy independence.” Those are jobs for the private sector.
7. Education — Nothing in the Constitution allows the government to guide, shape, define, support and spend anything on education. It may be a good idea that everyone be educated, it may be a matter of compassion that some people may need help paying for the education of their kids. But the problem is NOT that parents are FORCED to send their kids to FAILING schools. KIds can always go to a Catholic, charter, private or home school; parents can always move to a better public school district.
The problem is that public schools are failing because of government interference, and government prevents parents from taking the money they pay in school taxes to a school of their choice (EVERYBODY pays school taxes — renters and owners, parents and people without kids, parents with kids in public or private school). You can’t solve a problem if you don’t even define what the problem is and what caused it…!!!
8. Poverty — Again, NOTHING in the Constitution allows the government to run a welfare state. It is NOT the government’s job to find work for people. That’s a job for the private sector, and specifically the job of every individual to provide for himself and his family.
Moreover, who says people need a “job”? What about teaching and encouraging self-reliance, entrepreneurship, self-employment? You should be looking for a customer or client, not a job. Isn’t THAT the quintessentially American trait?
9. Values — At this point I refer you to the extensive “hard work” and thorough examination of the nature and importance of philosophy and values that Ayn Rand has explained to us in her various novels and non-fiction publications. I can provide the references if you need them.
As to “hard work,” I remember being explicitly told in college that as human beings gifted with a brain we should be trying to work SMARTER, not “harder,” and that our job is to THINK and let machines do the “hard” work. Yes, for most of us, thinking is the hardest work of all.
10. Energy — Again, NOTHING in the Constitution allows the government to have an “energy policy,” to “encourage investment,” to “lower prices,” and “create jobs at home.” ALL of that is a function of the private sector. It is the free market run by a free people, engaging in voluntary, uncoerced transactions that decide what form of energy is the most economical, where and how you produce it and distribute it, at what price, who and how many will be engaged in bringing the product to market, etc.
11. Immigration — Strictly speaking, an immigration system does NOT “secure the borders” (the military, “homeland security” or the border patrol does that), it does NOT “uphold the law” (law enforcement agencies do that) and it does NOT “boost the ECONOMY.” Of course, the way we choose to run our immigration system has an effect on all that and more (education, public health, etc.), and what we decide to be our immigration policy depends on our most deeply held values. THAT is where debate on immigration should be focused:
- What does it mean to be “American”?
- What kind of nation do we want to be?
- Will we even remain a cohesive people if our current policies continue?
The least of these concerns is whether off-shoring jobs or importing massive numbers of uneducated, unskilled foreign labor is “good for the economy” — “good” for whom? Those are just the bad side effects of a bad tax policy and a bad immigration policy.
Fourth, the missing issues:
In addition to those already noted in the context of the “11 GOP principles,” there are more that are not mentioned at all.
NONE of these “11 GOP principles” addresses foreign policy, with respect to the re-emergence of a more aggressive Russia, the rise of China as an increasingly more assertive military power, a nuclear Iran, ISIS, etc.
NONE of these “11 GOP principles” addresses jihadist terrorism and the endless war with militant islam (1400 years so far) intent on destroying western civilization.
NONE of these “11 GOP principles” addresses war powers, and whether the prospect of years and decades of a “war on terror” requires a formal declaration of war as the Constitution requires.
NONE of these “11 GOP principles” addresses the loss of national sovereignty to the unelected bureaucrats in the United Nations, that is, the increasing local, state and federal subservience to edicts from the UN, such as Agenda 21, Security Council resolutions, or “limited war” “police actions.”
NONE of these “11 GOP principles” addresses underlying causes for our problems, such as the blatant class warfare, war on women, war on conservatives, war on private enterprise, war on income and wealth, war on our military, war on white men, war on our culture, war on our traditions, war on our values, etc., that are the fundamental principles of the Democrats in general and most blatantly the current administration in particular.
NONE of these “11 GOP principles” counters the deep seated marxism, racism, sexism, anti-individualism, etc., of the Democrats in general and the current administration in particular.
I think the reason is that ever since the start of the “progressive era,” well over a hundred years ago, the increasingly more openly socialist Democrats and the “establishment” or “moderate” Republicans had substantially agreed on the principles of big, unlimited government, codifying and regulating ALL possible forms of human behavior. In the face of “creeping socialism,” the “establishment” or “moderate” Republicans have responded, and are still responding, “Me Too But Slower.” Actually, nowadays it’s faster and faster.
Until we come to see the Constitution as the blue print for freedom, free enterprise and a government of, by and for FREE individuals, NOT as a “living” document, we will only make our problems worse, and, as they stand, these “11 GOP principles” are NOT going to help our cause. I am sincerely baffled and incredulous that the RNC actually thinks, without offering proof, that these “11 GOP principles” will actually help us get votes.
Humbly submitted in disappointment, desperation and disgust, by one who has been chairman of my county central committee’s platform committee.