The Project: How the Republican Party is Abandoning Ronald Reagan

The Republican party has decided it can’t win national elections. Finally, they get it but … do they? There is a “new” strategy out called the “Growth and Opportunity Project“.

The Project states:

At our core, Republicans have comfortably remained the Party of Reagan without figuring out what comes next. Ronald Reagan is a Republican hero and role model who was first elected 33 years ago— meaning no one under the age of 51 today was old enough to vote for Reagan when he first ran for President. Our Party knows how to appeal to older voters, but we have lost our way with younger ones. We sound increasingly out of touch. As Mike Gerson and Pete Wehner wrote recently, “It is no wonder that Republican policies can seem stale; they are very nearly identical to those offered up by the Party more than 30 years ago.For Republicans to design an agenda that applies to the conditions of 1980 is as is Ronald Reagan designed his agenda for conditions that existed in the Truman years.”

The Republican Party needs to stop talking to itself. We have become expert in how to provide ideological reinforcement to like-minded people, but devastatingly we have lost the ability to be persuasive with, or welcoming to, those who do not agree with us on every issue.Instead of driving around in circles on an ideological cul-de-sac, we need a Party whose brand of conservatism invites and inspires new people to visit us. We need to remain America’s conservative alternative to big-government, redistribution-to-extremes liberalism, while building a route into our Party that a non-traditional Republican will want to travel. Our standard should not be universal purity; it should be a more welcoming conservatism.

Kevin Price from Renew America writes, “If you know of Ronald Reagan, you are likely to be aware of his ‘three legged stool.’ Reagan developed a success formula to build winning coalitions that was as simple as it was brilliant. A sample of that simplicity and one of the hallmarks of Reagan’s policies was his ‘three legged stool.’ Reagan’s policies were built on three ideas; free enterprise, strong defense, and pro-family social policies. He chose these three because they, of course, reflected his own values, but he also realized that each of these ideas have enormous appeal on their own.”

So what is “a more welcoming conservatism”?

Is this George W. Bush’s compassionate conservatism rebranded? It appears so. What did that get the Republican party? The party of smaller government expanded Medicare with the prescription drug program. The Prescription Drug Liability is over $22 trillion. The national debt went up, not down, under Bush 43. Don’t forget G.W. Bush’s famous or infamous statement, “I’ve abandoned free market principles to save the free market system.” This brought on the first stimulus and bailout of major Wall Street corporations. Is this what The Project is talking about?

G.W. Bush in his second term abandoned all free market principles. He also abandoned his “Axis of Evil” national security policy. He took down Iraq but left North Korea and Iran standing. Both are stronger now than ever.

The Project is a “pogo stick” strategy.

Price wrote, “Today, the common cry from economic conservatives is that they are the only ones with a message that matters to the voting public. After 40 years of Roe vs. Wade, we have two generations who only know a country with abortion on demand, they argue. Secondly, many conservatives have grown suspicious of ‘the military’ leg. They believe that just as the government has gotten suspicious in its domestic spending, it has also lost its bearings when it comes to defense and has found itself being internationalists with muscle. Essentially, ‘the three legged stool’ is being replaced by a pogo stick. A single area of interest and concern — the economy, being the springboard for political success.”

Here is what The Project states, “One of the contributors to this problem is that while Democrats tend to talk about people, Republicans tend to talk about policy. Our ideas can sound distant and removed from people’s lives. Instead of connecting with voters’ concerns, we too often sound like bookkeepers. We need to do a better job connecting people to our policies.We are the Party of private-sector economic growth because that is the best way to create jobs and opportunity. That is the best way to help people earn an income, achieve success and take care of their families.” Republicans need to talk about principles not policy.

Ada Fisher, the Republican National Committeewoman from North Carolina, told The Project, “There are some people who need the government.”

Taking care of families, some people need government? Is that a conservative or progressive position?

Barry Goldwater wrote, “I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!”

It not the economy stupid, its the three legged stool!

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