Yesterday, State Representative Paul Froehlich wrote a Chicago Tribune op-ed piece titled Map to the future of the Illinois GOP. My comments below are in response to some of the points Rep. Froehlich raises in his Tribune editorial.
Let Rep. Froehlich show us the demographic math he uses to support his arguments that Illinois has changed demographically. I'm not buying into the notion that demographics are to blame for the recent failures of the GOP brand in Illinois. It seems far more likely that voters saw little difference between the two major political parties and opted for 'none of the above' by voting for third-party candidates or staying home. When Democrat-lite fails for Republicans, the answer is not to become even more liberal.
One must wonder if Rep. Froehlich has ever bothered to seriously read the Illinois Republican Platform. Could he point out where it fails at "pursuing justice and providing equal opportunity"? Is he suggesting that Republicans should support further removal of financial incentives for personal excellence by helping Democrats turn Illinois into a worse socialist nanny-state than it already is? Republicans support personal and fiscal responsibility as well as educational reform, which offer a clear path to greater opportunity for all Illinois citizens. The biggest "artificial weight" on Illinois shoulders is an overgrown government that crushes entrepreneurial opportunity in Illinois by driving people and jobs to other states.
Rep. Froehlich mentions the Republican legacy of civil rights support. Unfortunately, the GOP rarely gets credit for its long history of support for constitutional civil rights because we allow liberals to define this issue. Meanwhile, the 14th Amendment is being misused to allow illegal aliens to have anchor babies that set off destructive chain immigration. Illinois with its 'sanctuary' city, Chicago, thumbing its nose at the rule of law has become one of the biggest illegal alien destinations in America. It is hypocritical for the Chicago Democrat machine to support wholesale lawlessness on the one hand and simultaneously trample civil liberties with police-state law enforcement tactics on the other. The Democrats have taken minority votes for granted for decades, neglect the GOP rarely points out to voters.
The well-worn term "Social Justice" is a left-wing euphemism used to promote a plethora of socialist nanny-state programs and anti-family legislation that threaten the economic and cultural viability of America. Raising this issue only serves to reinforce the bogus appeals to emotion of the far-left opposition, NOT to genuinely support traditional values dear to most Americans.
The "perception of Republican hostility to minorities" that rep. Froehlich mentions results from liberal name-calling propaganda, not from reality. Pandering to leftist demagoguery merely damages our brand and helps the opposition cause. It's high time the IL GOP developed a consistent issues-based message and communicated it more effectively to all voters.
Southern Democrat movement to the Republican Party, the party that by Rep Froehlich's own admission has championed civil rights issues, is a good sign that they have come around to our way of thinking, not the reverse.
The Marxist-inspired foreign national demonstrators who filled the streets of America last Spring waving foreign flags and burning Old Glory often shouted the racist epithet, "por la raza todos, y por los otros, nada!" ("For THE RACE, everything, for the others, nothing!") Who are the real racists in this battle?
The patriotic Americans of all political stripes who oppose the illegal alien invasion simply want America's Rule of Law and national sovereignty respected. That is real justice. Why pander to the foreign forces of Reconquista at the expense of the Republican base, Reagan Democrats, legal immigrant citizens, and the loyal Mexican and African American citizens whose economic status are most directly affected by the illegal alien invasion? Left-wing socialism and multiculturalism have deeply hurt European societies and threaten America with a similar fate. We must learn from these grave European policy mistakes if our unique American culture is to survive.
With regard to affirmative action, I fail to see how a race-based policy that affords one racial group advantage over others is not itself racist.
The death penalty problems Rep. Froehlich claims stem from bad law enforcement and prosecution, not the death penalty itself. Removing the death penalty capital crime deterrent will not solve these serious law enforcement problems.
With regard to GOP support for minorities, I must point out that the Illinois GOP leadership’s effort to ignore the Protect Marriage Illinois ballot initiative, which was heavily supported by African American Christian congregations and Latino Roman Catholic congregations, did nothing to energize likely Republican minority family-values voters. Nor did promoting a top-ticket candidate whose liberal positions on values issues are inimical to the positions of these traditional family-values voter groups.
Americans of all ethnicities recognize that since 9/11 the pursuit of politically correct profiling restrictions has led to potentially suicidal failures in anti-terrorism law enforcement. The left's efforts to smear justifiable law enforcement reliance on valid perpetrator profiles must be opposed for rational reasons, and there can be no acquiescence to hysterical cries of racism.
Rep Froehlich's statement, "closing the nation's biggest disparity in public education funding." is code-speak for supporting Ralph Martire's HB750 suburban Tax Rip-off disingenuously masqueraded as a so-called "tax-swap". This bill is nothing more than a cynical attempt by the BIG EDucation monopoly to grab more money from overtaxed suburbs and dump it in the bloated bureaucracy of the corrupt, patronage-filled Chicago Board of Education. As study after study show, real educational reform, not more money, will address the problems that plague failing schools.
Any suburban lawmaker who supports this scheme to rob Illinois taxpayers should be unceremoniously thrown out of office at the earliest election opportunity. Fiscally responsible voters of all political persuasions understand that squandering more money on failed schools and further eroding the Illinois job climate is not the answer. Let's not destroy their support by embracing the failed policies of our tax-eater opponents.
I agree with Rep. Froehlich’s statement that "Appeals to racial resentment and fears regarding either issue [illegal immigration or affirmative action] should be verboten." Unfortunately, it is the Left and the so-called "immigration rights" movement that practice this propaganda smear tactic.
Pandering to left-wing class-envy by listing socialist Democrat talking points is not a solution to these problems. It rarely works for Democrats and it won't work for Republicans either. Poor job-growth and flight of high-paying jobs result from the anti-business climate in Illinois, ranked among the worst in America. Like it or not, Illinois is part of a global market for labor, goods, and services. Markets should and do punish unsustainable high-cost producers (Illinois) and reward more efficient, lower-cost producers (most other states). The tax, legal, labor and regulatory environments in Illinois all matter for business success, job growth, and personal income growth. Our markets need strong incentives to reward talent, hard work, and accomplishment, not inefficiency, bloated government make-work bureaucracy, and waste.
The Declaration of Independence clearly states that our "unalienable Rights" come from God, not from government. Justice demands that society enforce all of our laws fairly. There is no constitutional imperative for entitlement programs that destroy families and remove the natural incentives of the marketplace. There is no constitutional imperative for the left-wing attack on religion or free speech.
Group identity politics, which sees every group as victims, is best left to Democrats and the liberal Left. It would be more genuine and caring for Republicans to clearly state their center-right majority positions on issues using reason and logic, restoring our rightful place as the party of ideas and real-world solutions to challenging problems. Let Republicans appeal to issues that matter to all voters and let the voters examine our positions on their merits, not by raising false issues as our liberal opponents do. Voters will respond affirmatively when Republicans appeal to their sense of reason, their sense of morality, and their sense of patriotism.
The GOP is the party of personal empowerment, individual responsibility, protection of constitutional freedoms, and smaller, more efficient government. While I agree with Rep. Froehlich that Republicans must defend their intellectual province from liberal attacks, unlike him I believe that our Republican Platform already clearly defines beliefs and principles many Americans can embrace. We cannot let the Left disingenuously define our positions for us. As Ronald Reagan said, " A political party cannot be all things to all people. It must represent certain fundamental beliefs, which must not be compromised to political expediency, or simply to swell numbers..."