Restoring the GOP and the American Dream

Minutemen 1776Commentary

Dec. 20, 2012

By B. Wayne Hughes Jr.

The Republican Party lost the presidential election of 2012. Here in California, my own state doubled down on big government by adding a novel surcharge to its already high 11.3 percent income tax rate and ignored spending cuts and entitlement reforms needed to modify a deficit-driven state budget.

The California state Legislature now is firmly in the hands of a Democratic supermajority.  Thus, Republicans are practically irrelevant.

As I sit here and listen to the talking heads and the remaining leaders of the failed GOP bid across the country, I find myself skeptical of their analysis and leadership. What may have once worked is now outdated.  Yet, obsolete tactics were only part of the problem.

Fundamentally, the Republican Party lacked a coherent strategy.  More importantly, there was no captivating message to inspire the American electorate to take notice and change its government, despite a target-rich environment from which one could starkly contrast a message of urgency and course correction against our moribund present.

Where are the statesmen in our present age?  Who casts a vision for all the people?  We must not delude ourselves that we are returning to the days of “peace and prosperity,” when in the New Normal we are unlikely to have either.  Ultimately, we are in danger of being entirely unrelated to the world in which we live.

How can we offer to young men and women “membership” and “leadership” in our Republican Party when we offer them no knowledge of where we have been, and no vision of where we are going?

Rule of law

So few young people today understand that the rule of law is the precondition of an ordered society in which free men and women act in liberty.  It is no overstatement to say that, without the rule of law, we cannot have liberty, and that this is a truth, not merely a theory.  In the absence of this truth, all we are left with is power. We see that in the perversion of our judiciary, which increasingly legislates, rather than interprets law; in our legislative branch which, unchecked, pursues remedies far beyond what the framers and the U.S. Constitution would allow; and in our executive branch, where the presidency seems imperial.

Anyone who can look the American public in the eye and say we are passing along a better country to our children than the one that we received is lying.  We should be ashamed of ourselves. The other side speaks of equality of outcome as if it were the endgame.

But government is a referee, not an enforcer of “fairness” as subjectively redefined by each session of Congress.  No one is asking the people to stop and think about who the arbiters of equality are going to be; what standard they’re going to be using; and is that standard to be etched in stone or, as is the case and so far, written on cigarette paper. I find that, when leaders talk about progress, it is only to avoid talking about their policy, in the context of what is good and right.

I hate forensic analysis. I know the Republican Party lost. And in many ways the outcome was deserved. Some of our candidates revealed that they were out of touch with reality. And I wonder if some of them in fact are detached from the real world.

What keeps me committed to the conservative movement are the virtues it has always stood for.  In the classic fusion of libertarian and traditional conservatism, we recognize that men and women cannot be virtuous unless they are free to pursue virtue.

We must fight the temptation to quit or capitulate, to conclude that it’s no use fighting. The magnitude of our peril directly correlates to the years of complacent leadership.  Furthermore, the power of the opposition to course correction is directly related to the size that correction signifies.

California matters, our country matters, life matters. You matter.  Just as each individual is endowed with a purpose, so too can each individual be a part of the movement to recapture the American dream.

There is hope.

B. Wayne Hughes Jr. is a California businessman and philanthropist.

 

28 comments

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  1. Hondo
    Hondo 20 December, 2012, 07:24

    The whole problem is not the message of the Republicans. Its that the democrats are running as Santa Claus. Everybody gets a free toy, a chicken in every pot, a welfare check in every hand. And the message that ‘someone else’ will pay for it is a message the people want to hear. They don’t want to hear that the ‘consumers’ of all this welfare are the ones who will actually being the ones to pay the price of these welfare policies. They don’t want to hear that socialism is misery spread equally. That the welfare state fails when you run out of other peoples money.
    The Republicans can’t become Santa Claus ‘lite’ the win elections. I don’t know the answer except that the repulicans will get back in power when the lights go out. Then how do you govern in the darkness?
    Hondo….

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  2. Hondo
    Hondo 20 December, 2012, 07:29

    Sorry for the clerical errors.
    That’s “The republicans can’t become Santa Claus ‘lite’ to win elections. And of course ‘Republicans’, in the second to last sentence.
    Hondo.

    Reply this comment
  3. BobA
    BobA 20 December, 2012, 09:57

    Hondo:

    The republicans will never get back in power as long as they busy themselves trying to be democrat-lite instead of going back to the core principle of conservatism which is the government that governs the least governs the best.

    Republicans are out of favor because the majority of Americans have bought into the democrats mantra of big government and income redistribution. The democrats seem to have convinced people that you can make a poor man rich by making a rich man poor to which I say, how many poor people are hiring these days?

    Many of today’s republicans no longer believe in conservative principles & values and therefore can not articulate conservative ideals. They talk like democrats and govern like democrats yet call themselves republicans.

    Republicans are lousy at imitating democrats and the low information voters only listen to democrats who promises them the most stuff and tune out the republicans when the don’t.

    Until republicans rediscover their conservative mojo they will be on the outs for years to come.

    Reply this comment
  4. The Modified Ted Steele Methodologies (tm)
    The Modified Ted Steele Methodologies (tm) 20 December, 2012, 10:47

    Fellas— All interesting points. But, the GOP is and will remain moribund until they jetison the tea bag ultra right. Sorry boys. It aint just crazy old Ted telling you– it’s the Nation. We need a middle of he road robust Repub party of statesmen to keep a healthy two party system and a working bicameral wheelhouse.

    I wish I could say it was fun watching them screw the pooch so often, it aint.

    Merry Christmas and Happy Kwanza little fellas!

    Reply this comment
  5. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 20 December, 2012, 10:52

    I believe that those 26,000,000 workers who lost their jobs when those 60,000 factories closed during the Bush years were just as eager as you to do their part in being responsible citizens and not asking for something they do not need. But, I’m sure, its hard not to need and harder not to ask when its cold, and you are hungry–add to that, in many cases, dependent children. We have students going to our local high school who are homeless; they live with parents in cars and motels. If you are one who would sit there and point fingers at people in those straits, while accusing them of “expecting” to be cared for by the government, you are the one who has no soul. You evidently didn’t hear the words of Jesus–didn’t know you are your brother’s keeper, huh?

    Reply this comment
  6. RightCowLeftCoast
    RightCowLeftCoast 20 December, 2012, 11:56

    As long as taxpayer money is being funneled/laundered through the Public Sector Unions almost directly to the kauffers of the Democrat Party and other Liberal causes, and those same workers are indoctrinating the youth it will remain almost impossible to return a GOP majority in the Golden State.
    Perhaps it wil take the Democrat supermajority to make California America’s Greece for the public to finally wake up from their slumber. Or perhaps it will never occur, as us right minded conservatives and right-libertarians would have all already left for Arizona, Texas, and elsewhere.

    Reply this comment
  7. BobA
    BobA 20 December, 2012, 12:54

    Ted:

    I’m a member of the Tea Party. We stand for limited government and strict adherence to the US Constitution that has served this country well since its founding.

    Are suggesting we jettison the US Constitution in part or whole? Are you suggesting that we abolish our Constitutional republic and implement a socialist republic instead? Are you suggestion that the ultra-left’s Marxist ideology is what’s right and proper for America? Do you think our government spends to little and not tax enough? Do you think that no one is born with the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and instead only the government are the granters of those rights? Do you believe that illegal immigrants should have the right to vote? Do you believe that illegal immigrants are entitled to government assistance? Do you believe that America is the cause of all the problems in the world? Do you believe that debt and deficits don’t matter and the solution is for the Feds to print more money? Do you think it’s fair that people who have never payed one dime in taxes should be entitled to other people’s money to support them for the rest of their miserable lives? Do you believe that government know what’s best for the American people? Lastly, what freedoms are you willing to sacrifice in return for life time government security?

    I once swore an oath to defend our Constitution against all enemies both foreign and domestic. There was and is no expiration date on that oath. From my point of view, you are a domestic enemy. There are more who think like me than there are who think like you.

    Reply this comment
  8. BobA
    BobA 20 December, 2012, 13:06

    SeeSaw:

    Those problems would not exist if our government weren’t busy inviting illegal immigrants into the country and onto the welfare rolls. Personally, I believe in helping American citizens and give generously to my local charities. What I don’t believe in is inviting the government into my wallet to pay for the illegal immigrants just because they’re here.

    At the rate we’re going, Central & South America has every reason and incentive to dump all their poor, diseased and criminal elements on American shores. Why should I or anyone else feel guilty for not wanting to foot the bill for that?

    Reply this comment
  9. The Modified Ted Steele Methodologies (tm)
    The Modified Ted Steele Methodologies (tm) 20 December, 2012, 15:15

    BobA— Alot of seething anger in your post little buddy. It’s all going to be ok– try to relax– seriously man.

    It got a bit dull– I didn’t read the whole thing of course. I saw the long line of dualistic rhetorical questions– reminds me of a seventh grade debate.

    The immigrant thing man….you have a real phobia there?

    Exactly what Constitutional rights have you lost?

    YOU are the millstone around the GOP’s neck little buddy. Teabaggism has been revealed over the last few years for what it primarily is; a loose collection of low info/iq voters who, hate, are paranoid, and have a tool box of ultra right ideas. That’s all man. The Nation sees it and you will continue to be out of power until you figure it out.

    I swore the same oath along with a few million other guys, heck, I am pretty sure Lee Harvey Oswald swore that same oath down there at Perris Island or MCRD. And your point is?

    You are a silly extremist little buddy.

    Teddy

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  10. JPS
    JPS 20 December, 2012, 15:57

    Ted- Condescending and belittling aint any more of a correct or valid opinion, than the passionate opinion BobA gave.

    Your “opinion” is yours.

    Labeling Bobs opinion as extremist does not cover the glaring fact yours sounds and looks to me like intolerant hate speech.

    Merry Christmas Happy New Year.

    Reply this comment
  11. BobA
    BobA 20 December, 2012, 16:15

    Teddy:

    You’ve been watching wayyyyy to much TV. What you say just isn’t true about the Tea Party people I know. Maybe you’re mistaking the OWS crowd for the Tea Party. You’re entitled to be wrong.

    By the way, I quit the republican party in GW Bush’s 3rd year of his 1st term. Don’t confuse me with one of them because I assure that I’m not. I’m a principled conservative and there’s nothing conservative about today’s republican party.

    If you took the same oath as I did then you have a duty to protect the Constitution. I wil always faithfully (and so should you) honor that oath.

    Extremist? In the name of the US Constitution and all that it stands for, you can call me that and I won’t apologize for it either. I love my country and I will not sit idly by and watch it ruined.

    Teddy my friend, you’ve been tip-toeing through the tulips in liberal LaLa land for far to long. Time to quit drinking the Kool-Aid and sober up.

    BobA

    BTW: Change the channel on that little buddy bit. Gilligan’s Island was cancelled way back before platform shoes and disco. No jive bro!!

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  12. The Modified Ted Steele Methodologies (tm)
    The Modified Ted Steele Methodologies (tm) 20 December, 2012, 17:29

    LOL— Congrats on quitting the GOP! Good job!

    And so that you re not “sitting idly by”–what exactly and specifically are you doing?

    So—–again…..exactly what specific Constitutional rights have you lost oh defender of the Constitution?

    Reply this comment
  13. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 20 December, 2012, 18:24

    BTW: Change the channel on that little buddy bit. Gilligan’s Island was cancelled way back before platform shoes and disco. No jive bro!!
    ==
    Still still thinks he is Gilligan!

    Reply this comment
  14. BobA
    BobA 20 December, 2012, 19:53

    Old news about quitting the GOP Ted. When are you going to quit calling anyone who dares to disagree with a liberal a racist, homophobic, bigoted right-wing radical?

    I attend conservative forums and events and give generously to conservative causes (e.g., Heritage foundation, Hillsdale college, NRA, etc.) Other than that I spend my time pursuing my interests as a budding writer of science fiction.

    Reply this comment
  15. The Modified Ted Steele Methodologies (tm)
    The Modified Ted Steele Methodologies (tm) 20 December, 2012, 20:16

    I call em as I see em little buddy!

    And for the third time….

    Exactly which Constitutional rights have you lost so far?

    I guess you’re still too upset to tell us……

    Reply this comment
  16. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 20 December, 2012, 20:33

    Bob, I have never in my life been a republican, in fact I was a HARDCORE democrat my entire life, up until about 10-15 years ago when the dems threw EVERYONE under the bus for public employees. Including the poor and middle class.

    GUESS WHAT??? Teddy and his gimmick accounts say the exact same things about me, teabagger, republican, yada yda yada….Teddy, if you watch his comments, for the most part just puts down any comment that is against the public union scam, he never offers any constructive comments, just pt downs. I like to take a position, and once in a while I am wrong, like Prop 30, yet Teddy has never in his life taken a position except that he is a trough feeder and can only bash people whom he disagrees with.

    Ignore the GED wonder 😉

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  17. The Modified Ted Steele Methodologies (tm)
    The Modified Ted Steele Methodologies (tm) 20 December, 2012, 21:01

    Poodle– What other accounts do I post under?

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  18. The Modified Ted Steele Methodologies (tm)
    The Modified Ted Steele Methodologies (tm) 20 December, 2012, 21:04

    and….BobA– please hurry on those lost Constitutional rights! I have to get on with my Xmas shopping spree!

    Reply this comment
  19. JPS
    JPS 20 December, 2012, 21:15

    Ted- on a more serious subject.

    The question you pose (I understand it was not to me specifically) “Exactly which Constitutional right(s) have you lost so far?

    I would like to respond to that. I am a US citizen, I hope that is enough for you. I did not take the oath to defend the Constitution. I grew up in peace time, went to school, started a business and raised a family.

    LIBERTY OF CONTRACT is a VERY big Constitutional right that all Americans have lost. It was taken from us during the NEW DEAL era in our nations history

    I think that if you brush up on how progressive ideals have diminished or removed our Constitution rights instead of engaging in name calling on the comments page of a website, you would not have to ask the question.

    You would know the answer.

    Feliz Navidad

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  20. JPS
    JPS 20 December, 2012, 21:59

    Excuse my typo.

    Freedom of Contract. Libert’e Contractuelle. Libertad de Contrato.

    Any of these would do.

    Feliz Ano Nuevo

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  21. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 20 December, 2012, 22:22

    Poodle– What other accounts do I post under?
    ==
    1- Uhaul
    2- Queeg
    3- Burrito Bros
    4- well… you get the picture……

    Reply this comment
  22. The Modified Ted Steele Methodologies (tm)
    The Modified Ted Steele Methodologies (tm) 20 December, 2012, 22:29

    and I guess you’re the only one who knows this?

    Riddle me this
    Where are they now?
    Does CWD know and allow it?
    or is Ted Steele an internet mastermind?
    Hmmmmm

    0 for 14 ™!

    Hurry– post now!

    Reply this comment
  23. Greg in LA
    Greg in LA 20 December, 2012, 23:14

    BobA,
    I’ve got Ted all figured out. He’s a Jerk, and there is nothing else you need to know.

    Reply this comment
  24. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 20 December, 2012, 23:39

    The Government did not invite the illegals here, Bob. They have been here in burgeoning hordes, since the 1986 Amnesty, and at the behest of the American citizens who would not obey the law which makes it illegal to hire illegals. Try to find an illegal working in the public sector, Bob. You won’t find one, because the public sector has been obeying the law.

    Reply this comment
  25. BobA
    BobA 21 December, 2012, 07:15

    SeeSaw:

    Ok ok ok. I get it!! That’s not the issue but you just want to take a shot at me anyway even after I defended from that dill-weed Teddy. Tis the season to be jolly so please, have a little mercy. I’m not the enemy.

    I have no axe to grind against the rank & file and I can understand your defense of public workers and I applaud you for that but let’s move on.

    There is no disputing the truth of what you say. The illegals wouldn’t come here if the rich hypocrites didn’t hire them. I call them hypocrites because I know many of them and they will lament illegal immigration on the one hand and then hire them in an instant on the other because it’s cheap labor.

    These same people could care less about all the problems that comes with illegal immigration because they’re far and removed from the neighborhoods where the illegals live and it doesn’t bother them in the least bit that the government forces the working people of American to pay for all the consequences of illegal immigration.

    BTW:
    I refuse to categorize Americans into classes. Categorizing people into classes was invented by Karl Marx and introduced into the American lexicon by American proponents of Marxism/Communism. It has stuck every since. In my mind there is only the ruling class and everyone else.

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  26. The Modified Ted Steele Methodologies (tm)
    The Modified Ted Steele Methodologies (tm) 21 December, 2012, 08:57

    Well…they have actually been here since before the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Sorry to bring that up.

    Reply this comment
  27. The Modified Ted Steele Methodologies (tm)
    The Modified Ted Steele Methodologies (tm) 21 December, 2012, 08:59

    BobA– Karl Marx invented categories of people? I guess you forgot about the Romans?

    Reply this comment
  28. Bob
    Bob 21 December, 2012, 10:32

    No I haven’t Ted. But Karl Marx is credited with introducing class distinctions into the modern lexicon. His communist manifesto and book “Das Kapital” were discussed in my college philosophy class and communism vs capitalism came up again in my Poli-Sci and economics class also.

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