A New Course for the GOP

A new course for the Republican Party
It has become clear that a large majority of Republicans identify themselves as conservative. But what does that mean? How do we translate that word into a meaningful base to our platform? The progressive Republicans are clearly on the way out. As we forge new alliances we will find a natural fit in most issues between the conservatives and the libertarian wings. There exists a proper a well-lit path towards this destination.
I believe that we must return to the party of Coolidge, Eisenhower and Reagan. The baseline of the GOP must be thrift. Good old fashioned responsibility with not only your own money but even more importantly the money that rightly belongs to the taxpayers.
The Republican Party from the first time 18 year old voter to the senior senator and all in between must return to the days of honesty, thrift, hard work and personal responsibility. This must be coupled with a strong return to the founding principles of liberty and state’s rights. The founders were right to de-centralize power. People in different states have different desires, needs and wants. These should be respected. A one size fits all solution for three-hundred million people is an exercise in futility and a recipe for a badly divided nation. The five principles listed below are a foundation we can all agree on and work towards a big and effective party that serves the best interest of the nation.

Personal Responsibility
There was a time in The United States not that long ago when Democrats and Republicans both realized that giving people money was not always in their best interests. In fact it was seen as a bad thing. I believe this is as true today as it has ever been. Personal responsibility, the innate knowledge that you can support yourself is the first step towards true freedom. When you give a man enough money to eat well, a home that shelters him from the elements, a life-long guarantee of healthcare and just enough money to entertain himself you have deprived that man of the internal desire to not just better himself but to survive and prosper through the fruits of his own mind and muscle. This feeling of accomplishment and self-satisfaction cannot come by walking to a mailbox and retrieving a check. A check that represents the fruits of another man’s labor.

Even if the nation were awash in cash and debt free it would not be honorable or moral to give others just enough to get by, so that they may vote for us. This is what the Democrats have done for years. It is an assault on the individual. It assumes that the man cannot feed himself and it assumes that the man who does somehow gained his bread unethically.
The very act distorts the notion of thrift. One man must be thrifty in his home and with his family so that he may pay a tax to support another man who has been told he need not work. Then the lack of personal responsibility permeates the political class. Congressional representatives, senators and even the president become insulated from the horror of what they are doing to individuals. Thrift becomes an old-fashioned notion. Hard work and industry are seen as the toiling of the fool too stupid to realize he can sit back and let someone else carry the load.

Citizen Legislators
The career politician over time focuses more on his career and less on the voters. Responsibility for the tax payer’s hard earned money isn’t even considered. If we want more votes we hire more people to “guard” the library. We hire more lawyers at the EPA. Do we demand and hire better teachers? No, we hire more administrators.
We as the rank and file must demand an end to the career politician and an immediate return to the citizen legislator. A senator who has served two terms should go home willingly. For this is the type of representative we want and need. The member of the House of Representatives should server three or four terms and as Cincinnatus did, return to the plow.
This will keep the representation close to the people and far from the careerism which plagues are great nation today. The reason we see such vitriolic and inane commentary from Harry Reid is the exact same reason we see the rudderless leadership from the GOP. Things are changing and those who have been in Washington for decades feel threatened. They do not like change. If it is good for the people it will just have to wait, or we are to suffer.

Trade with Friends but Protect America
Since 1932 the politicians of both parties have been gripped with fear over tariffs. The Smoot-Hawley tariff is widely regarded as having made the Great Depression even worse. The numbers tell a different story and the reality is even if true, it wouldn’t have mattered. A nation must protect the industries required to defend itself. To avoid a large standing army it is necessary to have the manufacturing capability and capacity to ramp up in times of war. We shouldn’t have tariffs on clothing or raw materials. But on automobile parts, aircraft parts and electronic components we should. These tariffs not only create jobs they create the manufacturing base that is vital to the long term interests of the nation. The Republican should be the party of free trade, but with basic common sense.
Society faith and culture
The bible should be used to strengthen faith, find wisdom and help you through tough times. It should not be used as a hammer to bludgeon those we disagree with. It has always been interesting to me that it is the Democrats that use the power of the boycott. The middle class in America is largely Republican and conservative. If you want to change the culture of Hollywood it is as simple as telling them you don’t approve with your dollars. When we patronize a movie that is anti-American, anti-Christian or otherwise objectionable we are sanctioning not only the movie, but the point of view.
If we are to be honest Republicans we must stick to the Constitution. Powers not specifically enumerated to the federal government should remain within the domain of the states.
We must also maintain our civility at all costs. This does not mean surrendering a principled position. The vitriol from the Democrats corner over the budget and Affordable Care Act descended into mindless personal attacks designed to elicit an emotional response. This is the time for civility and intelligent discourse. But make no mistake; this is also a critical time to hold to our principles. Government spending and control over the people is simply out of control.
Foreign policy
My position and my hope for the GOP is that we leave the neo-cons behind. The modern motivational poster of being proactive is a terrible idea when it comes to foreign policy. There can be no set foreign policy for the Middle-East because Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria are all wildly different situations. The best foreign policy is to react to events as they unfold. Whether it is balance of power, dollar diplomacy, containment or a red line a structured static foreign policy eventually backs the government into a corner where the only escape is war. There are times when the nation’s vital interests and security will be at risk. This is the time for war. All other situations must be addressed with diplomacy and in some instances nothing more than wishing them well and praying for peace.

Monetary and Economic Policy
Sound money is a hallmark of any successful nation. The GOP has room for monetarist. There is no room of those who wish to print money to pay for debt. This is a huge hidden tax on those on a fixed income and the youth of America. Monetary policy and fiscal policy also must be intricately tied to thrift. This is also dependent on citizen legislators. Can you imagine what the state of California would be if their representatives in Washington D.C. pushed for lower federal tax rates? That would be in the best interest of California. If the top tax rate were lowered to 25% and federal spending were cut business in California would boom. The same is true for Ohio. We are a different state with different needs and different desires. When the career politicians try to create an economic policy that blankets all states we have a policy that will not benefit most. Sound money and low taxation have for 2000 years led to stable and growing economies.
Eric Gurr
Candidate for Congress 8th Congressional District of Ohio
Eric Gurr Primary challenger John Boehner Website Link