Emphatically stating that well respected Republican leaders of the past like Senator Barry Goldwater and President Ronald Reagan could not get elected in the current climate of the GOP, conservative consultant Vic Gold says that neither would even try.
“I have little interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size. I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom. My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution, or that have failed their purpose, or that impose on the people an unwarranted financial burden. I will not attempt to discover whether legislation is “needed” before I have first determined whether it is constitutionally permissible. And if I should later be attacked for neglecting my constituents’ “interests,” I shall reply that I was informed that their main interest is liberty and that in that cause I am doing the very best I can.”
This Constitutionally based ideal is lost on those who call themselves the Republican establishment.
Gold — who served as a press secretary to Barry Goldwater in 1964 and has a long, distinguished history in conservative political circles — discussed the current state of the party and how things have gotten to the point they are at now in a Focus Washington interview (see the video below) with Chuck Conconi.
“The breakdown of the republican party starts with Newt Gingrich and the 104th Congress in 1994.” The party’s polarization started when Gingrich and Republican members of Congress spent their time focused on government shut downs and impeaching Bill Clinton. According to Gold that injected a venom into the party that has snowballed into vicious partisan politics.
Venom, polarization and partisan politics are code words for political correctness, something the American people are tired of.
Gold has lived through 24 elections, however it is questionable that he knows a classical liberal (e.g. conservative) stands for. In referencing the current candidates he says, “[T]hese people are not conservatives… they are practically anarchists.” Gold is correct in that there is a political insurgency sweeping across America. And that the insurgency is being led by the Republican Donald Trump. An insurgency that is focused on stopping an out of control federal government.
The Founding Fathers created a Constitutional Republic, which is just to the left of anarchy. The Constitution of the United States was designed to protect the people against a democratic form of government. This is because democracy inextricably leads to mob rule and tyranny.
Gold labels the current crop of Republicans as largely “anti-liberals” who have have little in common with traditional conservatives. Gold has it wrong as many Republicans are in fact “classical liberals” following the ideas of notable individuals whose ideas have contributed to classical liberalism including John Locke, Jean-Baptiste Say, Thomas Malthus, and David Ricardo. Classical liberalism drew on the economics of Adam Smith and on a belief in natural law, utilitarianism, and progress..
This is where the establishment in both political parties have lost their way.
Gold questions how the Democratic party could only come up with Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, as candidates. He laments, “Where are the Democratic leaders today?”
Moreover, Gold asserts that each party has contributed to the rise of Donald Trump and his domination of the GOP. The political system used to let politicians enter the presidential race despite financial status and now democrats such as Joe Biden don’t enter because he “doesn’t have the money”. He points to Bernie Sanders’candidacy as an ideal scenario for elections, “He doesn’t have the money but he [runs] anyway—we used to have that.”
It appears that Gold favors are return to the time when money was not the driving factor in elections. We agree, that is why Donald Trump is self-funding his campaign and people love him for it.
The political atmosphere is like non the American people have witnessed since the candidacy of Barry Goldwater. It was then that the GOP establishment helped defeated Goldwater giving the election to Lyndon B. Johnson. Will history repeat itself? That is the question.
Watch the full interview:
EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of United States Senator Barry Goldwater (left) meeting with then Governor Ronald Reagan during the 1972 Republican National Convention in Miami, Florida. Photo: White House via CNP/Newscom.