The Problem with the Republican Party
This excerpt by ACRU Senior Legal Analyst Ken Klukowski and ACRU Senior Fellow Ken Blackwell was published June 14, 2011 on The Washington Examiner website.
Second of a series of three excerpts from Resurgent: How Constitutional Conservatism Can Save America, published by Threshold Editions of Simon & Schuster.
Most would expect that a book written by two Republicans discussing the Constitution, history, politics and policy would lambaste the Democratic Party, and especially President Obama as the most liberal president in American history. They’re right; that’s exactly what we do.
But we also take our fellow Republicans to task. We’re loyal Republicans, but we’re compelled to criticize some in our party. We’re deeply concerned about the state of the GOP, and as such feel the need to sound the call that Republicans must return to our core principles.
Some things are more important than politics. We’re both Americans before we’re Republicans. This book is about America; the Constitution, which is the supreme law in America; and what needs to be done to save the American Republic.
And the reality is this: Both Democrats and Republicans have failed America.
This is not to say both parties are equally to blame. Modern Democrats have done far more to damage America than Republicans. Especially under Obama, Democrats have almost ruined the United States, driving us into bankruptcy, moral decline and vulnerability to attack. These policies are not merely bad for America; they are disastrous.
But instead of being the solution, the GOP has too often been part of the problem. We grow an already-too-big government, we just grow it slower than Democrats in the name of being “moderate.”
We spend money we don’t have, driving up the national debt; we just spend ourselves into bankruptcy slower, and embrace such “moderation” as a virtue. We pile debt on the heads of our children; it’s just not the mountain of debt that Democrats pile on our little ones.
We make government more intrusive into people’s lives while designating ourselves “in the middle”; we’re just not micromanaging people’s lives like Democrats.
We go along with a liberal social agenda and call it “moderate”; we just don’t embrace a radical secularist agenda like Democrats. We’ve not paid too much attention to the Constitution; we just don’t ignore it like Democrats.
We even sometimes appoint judges who don’t consider themselves bound by the Constitution; we just don’t appoint judges who feel free to completely rewrite it according to their own beliefs.
These are things to be ashamed of, not celebrate. Too many Republican incumbents deride their opponents in primaries as being “extreme,” while bragging about how they themselves are “moderates” who are “in the middle” where “most Americans are.”
Their “moderate” policies have placed us on the brink of bankruptcy and failed to address the serious and mounting problems facing America. In calling themselves “moderates,” they admit that they’ve failed us all.
We’re currently grappling with the most radical president in history because voters ousted the Republican Party from power. They didn’t embrace the far Left; they just got sick of GOP ineffectiveness.
The Republican Party is capable of embracing conservatism. But will it? There are encouraging signs, but more is needed. America needs Republicans who are constitutional conservatives.