The New Frontier

You know what type of Republican I am? I’m a common sense Republican. I’m a Republican in the way Eisenhower was and I also hold views outside my party. But more important than my views is my common sense. What ever happened to that? And this scarcity of common sense isn’t prone to the GOP alone. When I talk about common sense I speak of simple fundamental tools needed in order for a country like ours to function in an orderly manner. For all this talk of being the world’s leading advanced and modernized nation we sure lack the most simple thing: Common sense. I cannot say the word enough, we need so much of it right now.

My party has gone the way of the corporate crowd. Reaganism led the way, free markets, and less government, low taxes, those ideas seem to elevate the very sector that has ruined the economy today; I speak of the Wall Street types who rode the wave of Reaganomics during the 1980s. What had become apparent was the disconnect between the working middle class and the GOP. The “Country Club” label stuck like glue. What we’re missing in our party is a real down to earth, independent, Teddy Roosevelt type of Republican who could rally the folks behind a populist message without alienating people. Populism, like it or not is the type of song Americans want sung to them. Down in the mud Americans who aren’t so easily swayed by the low tax, national security argument. I don’t know it just seems so out dated to argue lower taxes and restraint spending in such a general term. It sounds like the run of the mill generic Republican mantle. Many Conservatives want to go back to that generic platform. But every era has its theme. The 80s was the era of Ronald Reagan, his conservative economic ideas and his battle with expansive government. The 90s was the era of Clinton, who showed us that Democrats aren’t always falling under the same style of McGovern, Mondale, and Jimmy Carter. Clinton brought a small “c” governing style to a party built on nanny state government and “economic justice” There’s no doubt Bill Clinton stonewalled the Progressive movement for a good 15 years when he was in office.

Then came the 2000s and the era of George W. Bush. His “Compassionate conservative” platform argued for change, for a more conciliatory approach to foreign policy and economics. Bush argued that we need to change the Clinton model of foreign policy so that our allies could embrace us again. Instead what we got was moderate socialism and preemptive foreign policy built on unilateralism and obliviousness to our allies, especially in Europe.

Despite the different eras and their successes, each of them lacked the most important element, common sense. Whether it was Reagan’s inability to gather more of the middle class under his Reaganomics umbrella, Clinton failing to address the rapid growth of Wall Street and the deregulation of Fannie and Freddie, or George W. Bush and his irresponsible trade practices resulting in a large deficit, and domestic job loss.We need to start off fresh and we need to have common sense in mind whenever we deal with the issues. It cannot be all about us anymore because Republicans have been tagged with the label of “Selfish, evil old white men” fairly or unfairly. We’ve lost our populist voice because in the eighties we were told it wasn’t conservative to rail against the institutions that had done wrong. If we rail against Wall Street and call for intelligent regulation we’re big government socialists, if we talk about smart trade with actual labor laws and strict guidelines for the FDA then we’re protectionists, if we’re in favor of diplomacy and oppose preemptive actions then we’re weak isolationists. For the past 20 years we were always asked: “What would Reagan do?” But that type of mindset no longer stands strong in today’s world because contrary to popular belief, I’m sure Reagan would call upon us to chart a course all our own, instead of trying to resurrect and replicate his. We have to get away from this “My way or the highway” mentality because the jury read the verdict and all of the Republican cliches were tossed out on their asses. It’s time for a new approach. But more importantly it’s time for some common sense to rule above anything else. Conservative or no conservative no one here can deny the lack of common sense within our party and in our platforms. If you do then well, maybe you’re one of the ones who caused this mess in the first place. Or you could just be in denial. And that’s just as sad.