By John F. Di Leo -
It’s time again to do our annual resolutions. You have yours; I have mine…and here are my proposed resolutions for the Republican Party.
1) Return honesty to the primary debates.
There was a time when everyone knew what a debate was, when the public expected them to be done right, and when the public would have been horrified if you announced a debate and then refused to hold one. Today, unfortunately, the messes we call debates are simply…not!
So the party has allowed joint press conferences to be called debates, even though every candidate is asked a different question, rendering it useless as a debate. They have allowed liberal Democrat reporters to moderate and pose the questions, giving these “journalists” the opportunity to ask “gotcha questions” and cover issues that Republican primary voters simply don’t care about. This wastes precious time, as Republicans across the country scream questions at their televisions, the right questions that would be asked if the moderators and interviewers understood their proper role: to support the information needs of the primary voters.
So what should we require in future years? It’s quite simple, really:
• Nobody should be allowed to ask the questions in a Republican primary debate or forum unless he or she is a registered Republican. The time for bipartisan questioning is in the general election, not the primary. For the questioners to serve the viewers’ needs, they should also be using the event to inform their own vote in the spring.
• Hold real debates as soon as practical, when the candidate roster is down to just two or three. Watch old videotapes of Bill Buckley’s “Firing Line” for ideas.
• In the early months when we have five or ten candidates, call them forums instead of debates, allocate the time evenly, and ask them all the same questions. There is a special art to producing a useful Republican primary forum, one we see too rarely today. Most of the 2011 “debates” were an embarrassment.
2) Tell the truth about the issues.
There are certain truths that every Republican knows, but which candidates fear to say out loud when a microphone is nearby.
As a result, we have presidential candidates who, just to avoid confrontation, will say that yes, Social Security receipts are safely invested… and yes, Congressional Budget Office scoring is fair… and yes, the so-called palestinians of Gaza and the West Bank deserve to have their own country someday soon… and yes, we never found any WMDs in Iraq… and yes, tax cuts are expensive frills that have to be “paid for.”
It is perfectly understandable that a politician should want to avoid stating truths that the news media disbelieve, knowing that the media will attack them for it, as if the politician is the one in the wrong for uttering unpleasant truths. It’s understandable, but wrong nevertheless.
In fact, many of our most severe political problems can be laid at the feet of these stubborn misconceptions. Our educational system and newsmedia have utterly failed the country in preparing citizens for the vote; the politician must rise to the occasion and teach.
We need our candidates to educate, especially in these areas where there are common misconceptions, because we cannot convince the nation of the right corrective measures if they must base their decisions on the faulty premises fostered by the left.
Social Security is a Ponzi scheme. And the so-called palestinians are a miserable pawn of the surrounding arab nations, both incapable and undeserving of nationhood… CBO scoring is based on discredited Keynesian economics, etc. We must say so, out loud. As long as we fail to challenge the assumptions of the voter, how can we expect to change their minds on the political solutions?
3) Individuals don’t need any more tax cuts; it’s businesses that do.
There was a time when individuals paid a crippling income tax in the United States, a graduated tax in which the wealthiest paid as much as 90% of their top bracket to the federal government. An outrage, largely resolved during the Reagan years.
Since then, further tax cuts have been an ever-stranger mix of small reductions for the wealthy and actual elimination for the poor and lower middle class. In the Clinton years, so-called tax cuts drove millions of workers off the tax rolls entirely. During the Bush II years, the price of reductions for the more prosperous was “refundable tax cuts” – so-called refund checks to people who had paid no income taxes at all – to the lower brackets.
We now have a nation in which fully half the country pays no federal income taxes (most of these do pay into Social Security, but since the majority believes that Social Security is an actual investment program, this lack of income tax payment warps their political judgment.
The nation now has an effective corporate income tax rate in the mid-to-high thirties; the highest in the industrial world. We desperately need to reduce this, to cut it in half, or better. Rick Santorum has proposed an elimination of the income tax on manufacturing plants, and significant reductions on the rest of the business community. (Good for him!) That’s the direction to move!
Republicans must educate the public of the truth – that a reduction in business tax rates helps every individual much more than a further reduction in our direct personal tax burdens. A two-percent drop in the payroll tax may sound good on its face, for example, but the halving (or better!) of our employers’ business taxes would create such an economic boom that raises and potential for promotions would far outweigh such a miserable personal tax cut as the payroll tax extension debated in December 2011. We need massive job creation and economic growth, and to get that, we need to cut corporate taxes without giving any more away to the groups at the bottom.
Yes, this will take education, and some, at least, of our presidential candidates are up to the job. They mustn’t shrink from it. It’s the only way to shore up our economy, and it will take backbone to resist the Left’s demand for “commensurate” goodies for their non-taxpaying base in exchange for passage.
4) Vote fraud must be fought with every tool at our disposal.
Countless votes are stolen every election, almost entirely by Democrats. It may not always make the difference in a given race, but they add up, enough to make winnable seats look uncontestable, enough to keep the GOP from “wasting” its resources on wards, districts, even whole metro areas or entire states.
The surprising number of successful prosecutions of the past two years have been helpful, and the increased awareness brought by Andrew Breitbart and the ACORN scandals has helped many states take baby steps in the right direction. Kansas, Wisconsin, Georgia, and several others have seen “Real ID” requirements signed into law in 2011.
But the judiciary in general, and the federal Department of Justice under Eric Holder in particular, remain largely on the side of the perpetrators of vote fraud. The tools for committing the crime remain in place today – from elections-by-mail to onsite voter registration, from the late mailing of ballots to disenfranchise military abroad, to the ghastly “National Popular Vote” scheme that would enable stolen presidential ballots in Illinois and California to increase their value and sway the whole country.
There is a severe danger that the GOP will think the Real ID advancements in 2011 will be sufficient on their own to minimize fraud in 2012. They are not. The honest party – and all the elected officials belonging to the honest party – must do everything possible to ensure a clean election in November. The Democratic vote fraud system operates on autopilot; it will take a concerted effort to reduce its power to deny the voters a fair process.
5) Defeat the evils of Multiculturalism through the Advocacy of Assimilation
For the first couple hundred years of North American advancement, immigration was championed as “the melting pot” of America. Immigrants came to the United States and learned English, by the second generation if not the first, and happily adopted American culture. They strove to identify themselves as “Americans” as soon as possible.
Today, “diversity” is championed instead. The pop culture calls on immigrants to stay apart, to retain their old languages, their old ways. Immigrant communities discourage their students from succeeding in school by derisively calling it “acting white.” Society rewards this separatism by allowing foreign language television and radio, by printing government documents, even ballots, in multiple languages… and by championing “multiculturalism” in our schools as the cause of our nation’s success.
Well, it’s not. Our nation’s success was caused by immigrants from all over becoming American, not by immigrants resisting that Americanization!
The Democratic Party has become the principle sponsor of this balkanization of America. Their “interest group politics” drives their policy decisions as well as their campaigning methods. And their regulators and judges turn a blind eye to violations of the law if a perpetrator claims a cultural justification for his crime.
The Republican Party must stand for the America of our Founders – the America in which immigrants leave the errors of their heritage behind when they arrive on our shores. The GOP must overcome the fear of taking on a pop culture that has gone so far astray; our presidential and congressional candidates need to take a firm stand against sharia law, against bilingual education, against the arranged marriages, the firing of guns into the sky, the honor killings, the drugs and teen pregnancies, with which decades of unchecked immigration have flooded our shores.
Our cities are afire; our suburbs are infected, even small towns dot the landscape with tiny “foreign” lands, settlements that take advantage of our tolerance to set up the most intolerant of communities. If the Republican Party is to deserve to lead the nation, its advocates must have the courage to defend our culture from these attacks. We must proudly return to the days of pride in our Judeo-Christian heritage, and ensure that our legal system grants no quarter to islamofascist daughter-killers, to Hispanic child-brides, to the anchor-babies and porous borders that daily dilute our American population with numbers too great to assimilate.
Immigration did make this nation a success, but only immigration with an eye to assimilation. Without assimilation, immigration becomes a blight on society.
Not everything in this battle can or should be done by government. But the bully pulpit of government, particularly the presidency, should again be harnessed in the fight for American culture. President Reagan never missed an opportunity to champion our system, our way of life; we need a president who’ll do so again, without fear of annoying CAIR or La Raza or any of the many other malicious separatist organizations that infest our body politic.
The America of tomorrow can be as great as the America of yesterday. It just takes an appreciation of the things that made America great in the first place: Judeo-Christian values, the great protestant work ethic, capitalism, Constitutionalism, and an understanding of and devotion to the limitless potential of limited government.
Copyright 2011 John F. Di Leo
John F. Di Leo is a Chicago-based Customs broker and international trade lecturer. A former county chairman of the Milwaukee Republican Party, he has now been a recovering politician for over fourteen years.
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