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December 13th, 2017

Insight

Republicans Must Unify on Major Issues

David Limbaugh

By David Limbaugh

Published Jan. 20, 2015

    Republicans Must Unify on Major Issues

If we can't have a wholly unified Republican Party, can the GOP at least agree on some major issues that are essential to the Republican brand and, more importantly, help to get this country back on the right track?

If we can't come together on some of the basic issues that have always defined us, how do we effectively oppose President Obama's ongoing destructive agenda? How do we sell ourselves in 2016 as not just a plausible but an imperative alternative?

Part of our problem, especially in presidential races, is that too many among us are fearful that if they advocate truly conservative solutions, we'll be scorned by the media, the PC culture, the finger-wagging Democratic Party and the liberal establishment and lose elections. They simply don't believe in the power of our ideas anymore.

As President Obama is set to deliver his latest demagogic State of the Union address, which will launch the next year's worth of partisan warfare, we need to make a decision. Are we going to oppose him — really oppose his lawlessness and his anti-growth and anti-defense policies? Can't we all agree that Obamacare must be repealed? Are we going to put forth our positive ideas as if we really mean them?

Obama's perverse vision for fundamentally transforming America extends to all policy and cultural platforms — from foreign policy to domestic policy, including social issues, on which he works with community-organizing groups in the private sector, as well as issuing unconstitutional edicts from his public perch, to advance his "progressive" social vision for America.

Elsewhere on the domestic side, his plot for transformation is also multifaceted and complex. Though he has sometimes paid disingenuous lip service to believing in the free market, his actions betray his words. He offers nothing that evinces any belief in the power of the people to produce absent government superintendence or in rudimentary economic truths such as the fact that people respond positively to incentives and negatively to disincentives.

He views the economy as a fixed pie, with the only variable being how its pieces are distributed. The more he can gouge the "rich" and "upper middle class" and siphon off their wealth to "the middle class" and poor the better he has performed. When he says he wants to improve the lot of the middle class, he doesn't mean that he wants to implement policies that will lead to growth whereby the middle class will thrive; he wants to transfer payments from the wealthier, which he mistakenly claims would improve the relative lot of the less wealthy.

He is imposing his redistribution mania across the board, from his misnamed stimulus bill to health care to extending unemployment benefits and paid pregnancy leave to removing the work requirement from welfare reform to moving more and more people onto government programs, including food stamps. Some of his "innocuous" ideas are completely under the radar, such as his program for the government to subsidize students' after-school snacks and evening dinner, which reportedly feeds some 1 million children now. Where does this money come from?

In the meantime, he is planning ostensibly free community college for all Americans and, in his State of the Union speech, is going to propose another grandiose scheme to hike taxes on the "wealthy," to the tune of $320 billion, by increasing yet again their capital gains tax rates and closing their so-called tax loopholes. With Obama, you get this unmistakable sense that he is not just transferring resources in a misguided sense of compassion for the transferees but relishing in punishing the involuntary transferors.

What's tragically ironic about all this is that despite all Obama's professed concern about the middle class, most of his programs are killing the middle class, and his planned programs would make things even worse. Just this past weekend, Reuters published a sobering piece lamenting that "Obama enters the final two years of his presidency with a blemish on his legacy that looks impossible to erase: the decline of the middle class he has promised to rescue." Though Obama and his fellow liberals supposedly have good intentions, their policies often produce the exact opposite effect of what they promise. How can he possibly think he is enabling economic growth when he is demonizing the work ethic and glorifying idleness?

Obama simply can't escape from his zero-sum mindset to understand that we have a dynamic economy and that a lowering tide — caused by a war against the rich, productive, business, entrepreneurship and industry — sinks more boats and a rising tide lifts all boats.

Republicans, in unison, need to press for a full repeal of Obamacare and otherwise recapture and communicate their belief in the power of an unleashed free market to produce robust economic growth rather than compete with liberals in the phony-compassion department, which is futile. They need to make their compelling case for defending America. And above all, they need to graduate from their apparent fear that articulating conservative ideas would hurt them in the 2016 elections.

We can have vigorous internal debates over the other very important issues, as well, including immigration, but let's prove to the American people we represent a stark contrast from the status quo — that we are bullish on America and firmly believe that the American people have the resilience and readiness to resurrect themselves from this nightmare.

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David Limbaugh is a columnist, author and attorney practicing in Cape Girardeau, Mo.

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