When many talk about the need of the Republican party to evolve, they mean the Republican party should become indistinguishable from the Democrat party. John McCain and many like him have been trying to act like Democrats for years, and all you have to do is look at 2008 to see the failure of this tactic. Senator Rand Paul on the other hand understands what voters are demanding, and sees how the GOP can supply those voters. All the GOP has to do is follow Rand Paul’s libertarian guidance, and they may not only survive, but grow. Here’s the thing, people are sick of worldwide wars, of 20 year sentences for smoking weed, and legislating morality. To truly make a worthwhile evolution, the GOP needs to stick true to the principles they once supported like limited constitutional government, while abandoning their contradictions, like nation building, cronyism, and the war on drugs. Here’s a quote from a recent article by Senator Paul on the subject.
Republicans will have to prove that the only thing worse than big government is when the big government gets together with big business to squeeze out the little guy. Many current federal regulations on business are actually supported by large corporations because they can afford them—while the small businesses cannot, and thus, big business uses the force of government to eliminate their competition.
Why is Rand Paul the only Republican who seems able to articulate this very basic economic point? Probably because most Republicans (as well as Democrats) are in bed with the corporations who push the government to make rules that put their competitors out of business. It is hard to keep the campaign cash flowing in exchange for tax funded corporate welfare, while publicly decrying crony capitalism. In the end Republicans “soften their tone” and agree that “some regulation” is needed, or that the bailouts and subsidies are needed to “maintain jobs”. What Republicans should be doing is, first of all not playing the crony capitalism game, but secondly articulating why bailouts and subsidies and regulations are economically damaging. We save one job at the expense of another. We support one line of work, while refusing others the chance to grow. We let the big guy run a bad business, and the little guy you never heard of shuts his doors. Lots of voters are conditioned to look at one particular industry that tax money benefited, and it should be the GOP explaining that the only way to give one company an advantage with tax dollars is to put some other company at a disadvantage. It is easy to point to the “jobs saved” by bailing out a company, the GOP needs to be pointing to the jobs lost or never created in countless other industries spread throughout the country.
Term limits should be supported by Republicans to show they are serious about ending the insider atmosphere in Washington, and to prove that running for office is not simply a career move. Education is another area where Republicans could make real gains by offering a real solution to a real problem; true education in this country is on life-support and libertarian ideas introduce more choice for parents, and a way out of failing inner city schools. And where Republicans can make possibly the biggest impact is by not only supporting the Constitution, but taking the case to voters for why the Constitution should be supported, why it is still relevent hundreds of years later, and why particular things were written into the Constitution to avoid specific outcomes. (Bolding was added).
Republicans should begin to take the Constitution and Bill of Rights more seriously—by taking all of it seriously, not just the parts conservatives usually like. I am a strong defender of the Second Amendment, but also the First, Fourth and Fifth Amendments, and as government continues to encroach on Americans’ privacy and civil liberties in so many ways, this will become increasingly important.
Something great about America is that accused criminals have rights. It has not historically been enough in this country for the government to label someone as a criminal. A real testament to advanced civilization is that officials are not above the law, that there is a due process for investigating potential criminals, that there is a fair method for trying suspects in courts where their peers, not just “elites” decide the outcome. The rights of the accused in this country are seriously eroding, and protecting those rights– the Fourth through Eighth amendments in the Bill of Rights–are in the interest of everyone, especially innocent Americans. In the age of the internet the government thinks it can get around the rights of the people to be secure in their houses, persons, papers, and effects–for the GOP to take up the fight in upholding these rights, advocating internet freedom, and protecting civil liberties is to expand its appeal far beyond the typical red states.
So yes, the Republican party must evolve, but it needs to look at its roots, and be the protector of the American way of life, the protector of the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Rand Paul’s wide appeal should open some Republicans’ eyes to why the soft, Democrat lite versions of GOP politicians (like McCain and Romney) are terrible at articulating the GOP’s mission, because they have completely lost sight of what Republicans should stand for. Allowing Rand Paul to lead the charge of the future GOP will not only save the party, it will put America on the track to real positive change that will improve the economy, protect people’s rights, and raise the worldwide standard of living to truly unprecedented levels.