November 6, 2012 will not go down in history as the end of the presidential race but as the beginning of the Republican reformation. Since President Obama’s victory, Republicans have voiced their concern of the competitiveness of the party, noting the loss of support from minority communities, youth, women, and all but one of the battleground states. While the "chicken little" rendition is respectable for its level of concern, the plan going forward is less drastic and more attainable than most would believe. Republicans will reassert political power through their support of policies reflecting the intersection of limited government, liberty, and opportunity.
Our independence and the following political parties were founded on these principles. However, the past two presidencies have shown negligence to the basic foundations of liberty. We have witnessed our government favoring policies of debt accumulation, discrimination, and an unfavorable economic agenda. By proposing competitive solutions to solve these three areas, the Republican Party will be able to differentiate itself from the competition and win the hearts and minds of the citizenry.
The United States government was not created for the purpose of amassing debt. A $16 trillion dollar outstanding debt is not only unacceptable but culturally pathetic. And yet both Democrats and Republicans do not want to combat the true sources of our debt wars and entitlements.
Even after the failed wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the executive branch seeks to increase the industrial-military complex. President Obama has allowed intervention in the nations of Mali, Syria, and Yemen without any clear goals or benefit to the American people. Besides the war on terror, both parties avoid the facts of the other expensive and failing war: the war on drugs. The punitive measures taken to combat these victimless crimes have not curved drug usage and have led to the highest incarceration rate in the world. It would be wise for Republicans to reconsider their traditional interventionist stance on these issues.
The second area the GOP can separate itself from the Democratic Party lies in social reform. It’s time for the Republican Party to face the music and recognize that government incentives for traditional marriage is a form of discrimination against gay couples. Furthermore, our present system of immigration discriminates against millions of individuals who seek greater opportunities, but are denied access based on ethnicity. In both of these instances, liberty is denied based on subjective government reasoning. By denying reform in marriage incentives and immigration, the GOP will continue to campaign on a platform of hypocrisy. As a result, many groups will continue to feel ostracized from the Party.
The most fundamental strength of the Republican Party has been the health of the economy. Ironically, this area also offers the most room for improvement. In the past decade, government involvement in the market not only contributed to the recession but produced legislation that ultimately stunts economic growth. Rather than simply campaigning against the presidential agenda, the GOP must focus on the broader implications of market distortion.
Specifically, Obamacare, the recent minimum wage proposal, and the Dodd-Frank legislation are all major threats to the economy. Obamacare continues to add to our nation’s debt while indirectly affecting the workforce through slashed employee hours. The recent minimum wage proposal would further escalate unemployment and hinder the health of the economy. Most importantly, the GOP should focus all efforts on the repeal of Dodd-Frank as this piece limits financial investments, prevents entrepreneurial start-up businesses, and hinders job growth.
As Republicans scramble for a future campaign plan, one does not have to look far for a solution. On the contrary, we simply have to focus on our own nation and the principles it was founded upon being life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. With these principles in mind, reform is necessary regarding our nation’s debt, social institutions, and the economy.