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New Republican Party: The Red, Purple and Parchment Troika

In my column New Democrat Party: The Red-Green-Rainbow Troika we took a look at the Democratic Party and how President Obama has fundamentally changed it by forming political alliances, creating a Troika. The members of the Red-Green-Rainbow Troika are certainly strange bedfellows but politics makes for strange bedfellows.

Now let’s look at the Republican Party.

Who has fundamentally changed it, why and is it for the better or worse? Who are members of the New Republican Party Troika (NRPT)? These are questions that may help voters understand what happened during the presidential primary of 2016 and what will happen in the lead up to November 8th.

Just like the Democratic Party, the GOP is make up of a Troika. The Republican Troika consists of three major factions:

  1. Conservative Republicans (a.k.a. the reds). These are the Grand Old Party elite (GOPe). They joined the party after the Goldwater years and have gained in power and prestige due to their unwavering party loyalty. They normally vote the Republican ticket.
  2. Republicans In Name Only (a.k.a. the purples or RINOs). These are individuals who joined the Republican party solely to win a political seat or appointment. A perfect example is former Florida Governor, former Republican and now Democrat Charlie Crist. The purples do not hold conservative values, rather they change as does the weather in the Sunshine State. The RINOs will not necessarily vote for the Republican ticket. Some have joined movements to undermine Republican nominees for president dating back to the days of Barry Goldwater.
  3. Constitutional Conservatives (a.k.a. the TEA Party). They embrace the parchment upon which the Constitution and Bill of Rights are written and signed by the Founding Fathers. This group includes Libertarians.

What differentiates these three factions is their commitment to “conservative values”, which are defined differently by each faction.

Arizona Republican Senator Barry Goldwater and presidential candidate in his book “The Conscience of a Conservative” wrote:

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 statement, to many Republicans, defines Conservative values at every level of government. The idea of limited government as envisioned by the Founders and enshrined in the Constitution. States rights are paramount and trump efforts to impose government laws and regulations upon the population.

But not all members of the Troika embrace Goldwater’s statement. For you see there has been no true Conservative leader of the Republican Party since Ronald Reagan. How do we know? The American Enterprise Institute’s  in a column titled A reality check about Republican presidents measured the growth of government (i.e. regulations) over the past fifty years. Murray writes:

…I think it’s useful to remind everyone of the ways in which having a Republican president hasn’t made all that much difference for the last fifty years, with Ronald Reagan as the one exception.

First, here’s the history of the most commonly used measure of growth in the regulatory state, the number of pages in the Federal Code of Regulations.

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We can fairly blame LBJ’s Democratic administration for the initial spike in regulations, and Jimmy Carter’s years saw another steep rise. But using number of pages as the measure understates what happened during the Nixon years, when we got the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, plus much of the legislation that gave regulators the latitude to define terms such as “clean” or “safe” as they saw fit.

After the Carter years, the slope of the trendline was shallowest in the Reagan and Clinton administrations (with the Clinton result concentrated in his second term, when a Republican House imposed a moratorium on some new regulations). The increase during the Obama years remained on the same slope as the one during George W. Bush’s years. And if you’re thinking about the Democrats’ most egregious regulatory excess, Dodd-Frank in 2010, recall that Sarbanes-Oxley passed in 2002, when Republicans controlled both the House and the Senate.

I should add that presidents don’t bear a lot of blame for failing to reduce regulation — their power to restrain the activities of the regulatory agencies is limited — but neither has electing a Republican president done any good, with Reagan as a partial exception.

Read more.

With the GOP nominee process ending and Donald Trump as the nominee, what has changed? Who is now the leader of the GOP?

Many would say Trump, as the nominee, will be driving the policy and politics of the Republican Party. However, their are those who write and speculate that their remains an internal discord within the party between one of the three factions. The most likely faction to cause this discord are the purples/RINOs. The other two factions have begun uniting behind Trump.

Ayn Rand wrote, “The uncontested absurdities of today are the accepted slogans of tomorrow. They come to be accepted by degrees, by dint of constant pressure on one side and constant retreat on the other – until one day when they are suddenly declared to be the country’s official ideology.”

What are the uncontested absurdities of the Republican Party elite? Here’s a short list:

  1. Fear. Republican elites fear being called out by Democrats, the media and at times by fellow Republicans. The fear is palpable.
  2. Political correctness. Republicans succumb to the pressures of being politically correct (see #1 above).
  3. Compromise. Republicans are prone to compromise their values when it is unnecessary or by dint of constant pressure from the Democrat Troika. Compromise is the art of losing slowly. Something the GOPe is accustomed to.
  4. Elitism. The Republican elite (GOPe) has consistently ignored the voices of primary voters in 2008, 20012 and in 2016.
  5. Old guard career politicians. The old guard is not focused on retaining the core values of the party of Abraham Lincoln, rather it is focused on winning re-election.
  6. Lack of leadership. The GOP has controlled Congress for the past 4 years yet has failed to stop the agenda of the Democrat Troika. The leadership of McConnell/Boehner and now McConnell/Ryan have failed to make headway.
  7. Politics by press release. Republicans have become the party of the press release. They send out press statements that sound good on the surface but seldom become political reality, law or have an impact on public policy or Main Street Americans.
  8. Ignoring the base. The GOPe believe they can win presidential elections with old guard, politically correct, compromising, career politicians.
  9. Going along to get along. The best way to win re-election is to go along with the GOPe and Democrats. Shutting down the government to keep from increasing the national debt or reducing the size of government spending goes against the grain of the GOPe.
  10. The GOPe eats its own. The GOPe in the name of items #1-#9 will attack candidates and elected Republicans. Moderate means purple.

So what’s the solution to all of these Republican absurdities? As Newt Gingrich wrote in an article in The Washington Times on January 8, 2016 titled “Donald Trump”:

You’re sick of politicians, sick of the Democratic Party, Republican Party, and sick of illegal’s. You just want this thing fixed. Trump may not be a saint, but doesn’t have any lobbyist money influencing him, he doesn’t have political correctness restraining him, all you know is that he has been very successful, a good negotiator, he has built a lot of things, and he’s also not a politician, so he’s not a cowardly politician. And he says he’ll fix it. You don’t care if the guy has bad hair. You just want those raccoon’s [rabid, messy, mean politicians] gone. Out of your house!

Donald J. Trump has changed the political paradigm. Will the purples follow or become the thorn in the side of Trump. That is the question.

lincoln quote

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Huckabee Hucksterism on Common Core?

Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee surprised many conservatives by sending a mailing asking them to “Endorse Mike’s Pledge to Kill Common Core.”  It reads, “I, Mike Huckabee, pledge allegiance to God, the Constitution, and the citizens of the United States: As President I will fight to kill Common Core and restore common sense.  Education is a family function—not a federal function.”

Huckabee then came out with another mailing in which he vowed not only to kill Common Core, but to abolish the Department of Education.

Huckabee declared his candidacy in May. Reporters and commentators questioned the motivations for his shift on Common Core. At the Daily Caller, Blake Neff called Huckabee’s “strong, total condemnation” a “relatively new trait” and questioned the governor’s explanation: “the unexpected involvement of the Obama administration.”  In January, at National Review Andrew Johnson noted that Huckabee had publicly praised Common Core standards that he claimed were developed by governors and state education officials.  A blog called “The Truth about Mike Huckabee” basically repeats these claims but in a heightened, defensive style, stating, “It is important to note that The National Governor’s Association Common Core IS NOT the same as the Common Core associated with the Department of Education Grants.  If you take the time to research this topic you will see that one of many differences is that the federal government requires those who administer the grant project meet certain diversity guidelines, which is completely foreign to the work done by the National Governor’s Association.  These are two completely different programs, begun by different organizations, with different implementation and operational objectives.”

Huckabee’s defense does not stand up to scrutiny.  Neff pointed to Huckabee’s 2011 book A Simple Government, in which Huckabee endorsed the role of the federal government, writing, “I fully endorse the new federal program Race to the Top, which has states compete for additional education funds, allowing them to decide what reforms to enact, rather than having specific reforms imposed on them from above.”  This was two years after the Race to the Top program required that states agree to adopt the federal Common Core guidelines as part of the application process.

As he contemplated his presidential run, Huckabee knew that his “complicated history with Common Core” could be the reason he’d lose a significant portion of the evangelical base that supported him in 2008, according to Johnson.  Conservatives already had a problem with Huckabee’s record as governor that included increases in taxes and pardons for criminals.

Furthermore, Huckabee’s efforts continued in 2013 and included sending a letter to Oklahoma lawmakers ahead of a vote to dump Common Core in that state; he encouraged them “to resist any attempt to delay implementation.”  That year, Huckabee also told the Council of Chief State School Officers to “rebrand” Common Core, and not “retreat.”

The authors of Common Core Report: Grading the 2016 GOP Candidates (by American Principles in Action and Cornerstone Policy Research Action) write that Huckabee’s “rebrand advice to the owners and supporters gut-stabbed the national grassroots movement right when it was gaining traction.” Rebranding, or renaming, the Common Core standards, while making superficial changes, has been a favorite strategy of politicians and bureaucrats trying to fool voters and legislators who really are trying to kill Common Core in their states.

Huckabee claimed his comments were “misconstrued.” By December of 2013, Huckabee was using his Fox News show to outline his concerns about “what Common Core has become” – a divisive issue.  He encouraged “activists on both sides of the issue to move past Common Core,” and “argued for a renewed, broader effort to improve education,” according to Johnson.

What is the federal government’s role, and specifically a president’s role, in improving education?  On his campaign site page Huckabee pledges to abolish the Department of Education, while insisting, “We must demand results, accountability and success for every child in every classroom.  I oppose watering down our education standards or automatically promoting every student.”

The rationale behind federal education programs, including the No Child Left Behind initiative of the George W. Bush administration, is precisely the demand for “accountability.”  NCLB was built on the false notion that every child can achieve “success” and that it is the federal government’s role to see to it. Indeed, the current education reauthorization spending bill is called the “Every Child Achieves Act” (ECAA).  Common Core was hustled through on such pretexts of accountability and standards.

The Common Core Report: Grading the 2016 GOP Candidates gives Huckabee a “C,” in spite of his “checkered past.”  (Grades range from “A-” for Ted Cruz and Rand Paul to “F” for Jeb Bush.)

Raising his grade is Huckabee’s “forceful general argument” of late about the problem of special interests currying the favor of the federal executive branch, which then puts mandates on the states.  State departments of education, state boards of education, and governors then become “supplicants” to the U.S. Department of Education.

Real Clear Politics puts Huckabee in ninth position in a field of 15 candidates.  Four major polls show him garnering four percent of the support.  It appears that Huckabee will not be the candidate who ends the system of “supplication” to the Department of Education.  Let’s hope we get one, nevertheless.

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EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on the Selous Foundation for Public Policy Research.

VIDEO: Donald Trump ‘Is The Country’s Collective Middle Finger To Washington’

Here is my recap of the top headlines and breaking news stories. The lead story is titled, “Donald Trump is the Middle Finger of the Republican Base’.”

Here is what is hot and what is not:

RELATED ARTICLE: Donald Trump’s Soaring Popularity “Is The Country’s Collective Middle Finger To Washington”

The Importance of Right Thinking

For fifty years liberals, progressives, socialists, those of the left or whatever they call themselves have been chipping away at every vestige of morality, right thinking, correct actions they could target.  So it is pretty darn pathetic and humorous when one of the opponents of personal responsibility suddenly decry destructive behavior.

Unless you have been in a coma, are deaf, blind or just dead, odds are you are acutely aware of the Ferguson disaster.  You are also familiar with how legions of thugs went to nutsville and tried to burn Baltimore to a crisp after their fallen thug brother Michael Brown assumed atmospheric temperature because he forgot that it is not nice to try and grab a police officer’s gun, after whacking him a few times.

I will probably never forget how Baltimore Mayor, Rawlings-Blake was at first OK with allowing the criminal rioters to wreak havoc, to let off a little steam.  Since that gruesome time of riotous woe followed by Baltimore government policies which have enormously inhibited the ability of Baltimore’s finest to effectively fight crime, things have gone more awry than usual.

So it was almost humorous to read in a CNS News report that Baltimore Mayor Rawlings-Blake stated that “the level of violence in Baltimore is unacceptable.”  Here we are a little over a year after the lunacy in Ferguson and Baltimore.  In recent months, Baltimore and other cities like Chicago have experienced record numbers of black on black murders.  One of the major reasons, amongst others is a refusal to teach individuals about right and wrong as well as personal responsibility.

Even the Mayor herself was obviously not taught about personal responsibility and property rights.  Remember her famous “they need to give the protesters room to destroy statement?  That verbiage alone opened the floodgates of destruction upon that historic city.  Unfortunately, Baltimore and increasingly throughout America society is reaping the intellectual garbage that has been sewn for decades.  When hate and blacks are victims are both taught and endorsed through the racism of low expectations what we have witnessed in Baltimore has become the fashion of the day in certain circles.

The racism of low expectations and victimization has not only damaged those who have been brainwashed by such hoopla, but the republic as a whole is negatively affected.  The burdensome cost of mad-uncivilized and enraged so-called victims is costing billions of dollars in property damage and medical costs.  More importantly, the needless loss of life at the hands of dummied downed so-called victims is costing fa

milies throughout the republic, the needless heartache of losing family members who became the real victims of so-called victims.

The black lives matter crowd is often a collection of either criminals or losers who should be considered criminals when conducting criminal acts.  If they die in the process of being criminals, then sovereign citizens should be smart enough to recognize it.  You cannot raise generations of American hating “victims” and then expect them to behave like rational human beings. It’s just not going to happen. Sorry!

If black lives matter activists and anyone else for that matter want a better life for people, they must first be willing to learn what entails a better life.

One cannot build a business, get a job or properly educate themselves if they are not first correctly instructed on the reality and importance of striving to be morally good.  Without the concept of common decency, Americans will continue to degenerate into vicious balkanized society of disunited countrymen out to hurt their fellow citizens and their property, just because they believe they can get away with it, like they did in Baltimore and Ferguson.

The time has come or some real concrete decisions to be made.  One of them is not to allow the continuation of the racist low expectation directives to poison the minds of young black Americans.  In addition, the evil choice of countless liberal educators and others to convince black Americans that they are nothing more than victims must be stopped NOW!

America was and can be great again, if “We the People” first choose to be great, victorious and through God’s grace, morally good.

United Kingdom Election 2015: And Now For the Hard Part

Last night was an extraordinary night in British politics. Of the three main parties, two have now lost their leaders – Labour and the Liberal Democrats. Among the minority parties, UKIP has also lost its leader. Other major figures have lost their seats in Parliament, including Jim Murphy, Ed Balls and four fifths of the Parliamentary Liberal Democrat party. The Scottish Nationalists won a sweep across Scotland. And at the most disreputable end of modern politics, the great apologist for most dictators, George Galloway, has lost his seat to his old party. But it may be easy in the picking over of all this debris to miss the two huge questions which now confront British politics.

The first is the issue of Britain’s relationship with the EU. The Conservative party’s leader has promised an In/Out referendum on the EU in 2017. The party has now achieved victory which means they will have to put this promise into action. This means that for at least the next two years this crucial lingering question of British politics will not just remain, but grow. The next two years are going to have to involve a serious debate ready to confront this issue.

The second major issue of course is the United Kingdom itself. The Scottish Nationalists lost their referendum last year – and by a good enough margin to mean that another vote (a ‘neverendum’) would have been hard to argue for for some years. But they immediately rebuilt themselves, channelled the disappointments of the campaign and last night built themselves an undeniable power-base.

Their victory in Scotland changes British politics. It means that the majority representation in the UK Parliament for the first time comes from a party which wants to separate from the UK. This is going to have huge and unsettling results for the next five years and beyond.

These two questions – Britain’s role in Europe and Britain’s make-up and integrity as a country – are vast – vaster by far than any of the issues which came up in this campaign. Britain has decided what government it wants. Now it must begin to address its role in the world.


mendozahjs

FROM THE DIRECTOR’S DESK 

And so, the nation has spoken. And how. After weeks of speculation, and seemingly in the face of all odds, the Conservative Party has been restored to government without even needing the figleaf of shared rule in a coalition. This is quite a stunning achievement in anyone’s book, particularly when you consider it is the first time since 1983 a ruling party has increased its seat tally.

No less extraordinary is the Scottish situation, where the Scottish National Party sits completely dominant over the entire landscape. Labour heartland after Labour heartland has been put to the sword in a development unparalleled in British constitutional history since the rise of the Irish nationalists when that country was part of the Union.

So what does all this mean for The Henry Jackson Society? As a cross-party organisation, we make no comment about the result other than noting its exceptionalism. We have friends in all parties, and we will continue to do so, even if some of our old ones have now left the House of Commons, to be replaced by others. There will be no change in our commitment to our values or our focus in seeing them applied in UK political decision-making.

However, it is probably the first election when a think tank featured prominently in two electoral situations in the country. George Galloway – now resoundingly defeated in his seat of Bradford West – frequently took to the airwaves attacking our organisation. And Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy was hounded by far leftist twitter trolls questioning his support for us.

As ever, we wear our critics’ admonitions as a badge of pride given who they are. We will work with all those in the new Parliament who seek to advance the causes of liberty, democracy and real human rights, as well as continuing our vigilant watch on the security challenges facing the Western world. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

P.S. For those interested in my own result, although I did not win, I did nearly double the Conservative vote in Brent Central and achieved the 5th largest percentage increase in share of the vote of any Conservative candidate in the country (out of 650).

Dr. Alan Mendoza is Executive Director of The Henry Jackson Society

Follow Alan on Twitter: @AlanMendoza.

RELATED ARTICLE: UK Election Results: A Conservative Surge and a Defeat for Socialism

Ronald Reagan was the TEA Party!

Newly re-elected Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ) on CNN’s Jake Tapper show stated, “I’m a conservative. I’ve governed as a conservative in this state, and I think that’s led to some people disagreeing with me in our state, because it’s generally a left-of-center, blue state.”

But is Christie truly a conservative?

Republicans, like Christie, often quote Ronald Reagan when speaking about conservatism. In September 2011 Christie spoke at the Reagan Library, his topic was “Real American Exceptionalism“. Christie focused on Ronald Reagan’s stand against striking air traffic controllers in 1981. Christie said, “The air traffic controllers, in violation of their contracts, went on strike.  President Reagan ordered them back to work, making clear that those who refused would be fired. In the end, thousands refused, and thousands were fired. I cite this incident not as a parable of labor relations but as a parable of principle. Ronald Reagan was a man who said what he meant and meant what he said. Those who thought he was bluffing were sadly mistaken.  Reagan’s demand was not an empty political play; it was leadership, pure and simple.”

“We tend to still understand foreign policy as something designed by officials in the State Department and carried out by ambassadors and others overseas. And to some extent it is. But one of the most powerful forms of foreign policy is the example we set. This is where it is instructive to harken back to Ronald Reagan and the PATCO affair. President Reagan’s willingness to articulate a determined stand and then carry it out at home sent the signal that the occupant of the Oval Office was someone who could be predicted to stand by his friends and stand up to his adversaries. If President Reagan would do that at home, leaders around the world realized that he would do it abroad as well.  Principle would not stop at the water’s edge,” noted Christie.

Reagan’s policies were based upon in what has become known as his “three legged stool”. Some call them the “Three Pillars of 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.”

Reagan was a man of principle, true conservatives are as well. Compromise on matters of principle is foreign to conservatives. Conservatives intuitively know that compromise on principles is the art of losing slowly.

J. Matt Barber from Christian News Today in his column “The Complete Conservative” writes, “I recently attended the Ronald Reagan Centennial Celebration hosted by the Republican Party of Virginia. It was co-sponsored by, among others, the Ronald Reagan Institute for Conservative Leadership. Michael Reagan, the oldest child of the man widely considered our greatest modern president, was the keynote speaker. Mr. Reagan said something that I think concisely sums up the core values shared by the ragtag millions who comprise the Tea Party movement. ‘People often ask me if Ronald Reagan would have supported the Tea Party,” he said. ‘Ronald Reagan was the Tea Party’.”

Speculation about who is the frontrunner for in the 2016 presidential Republican primaries has begun. The media always frames the Republican selection process as a need to run as a conservative in order to win the primary but run as a moderate in order to win the White House. That strategy was unsuccessful for both John McCain and Mitt Romney.

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.”

Price concludes, “The reality is the ‘three legged stool’ tripled the reasons why one would vote Republican. If the GOP provides the only means to protect traditional families, Christian conservatives will support it, regardless of the other legs of the stool. I think the same can be [said] of the other parts of a coalition that made the Republican Party very successful. If the stool is dead, the fortunes of the party may be also.”

Has the GOP adopted a “pogo stick” as the only path for political success? If so, losses as far as the eye can see may occur, as they did in Virginia, a state that could have elected the conservative Ken Cuccinelli.

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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