Realizing their party is in disarray and searching desperately for a way to offer value to voters, some members of the GOP are attempting to institute what pundits are calling a “purity test”. Hopeful Republican candidates will have to pass this purity test in order to receive support from the GOP. Were I a Republican, I would support this type of measure. The DNC certainly has its principles defined and is fighting hard for them. Granted, those principles are abhorrent as they stem from a collectivist ideology, but they are defined principles nonetheless (though, like all collectivists, Democrats rarely expound on the specifics of those principles). Unfortunately for Republicans, the GOP has not defined any principles whatsoever. The purity test is barely more than a cheap PR stunt. In addition to falling short of an improvement in the GOP’s strength, the purity test actually represents a step backwards. Let’s examine it further.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Republican National Committee identifies ten (10) key public policy positions for the 2010 election cycle, which the Republican National Committee expects its public officials and candidates to support:
(1) We support smaller government, smaller national debt, lower deficits and lower taxes by opposing bills like Obama’s “stimulus” bill;
Supporting “smaller government” and “lower taxes” makes no principled statement. “Smaller” and “lower” are merely relative measurements. “Smaller government” compared to the Soviet Union? We already have that (though, quite possibly, not for long). “Lower taxes” compared to Europe? Hardly an accomplishment. A statement of principles would have been “We support the smallest government and lowest taxes possible to provide for the protection of individual rights.” To make matters worse, the GOP mentions a specific politician (President Obama) and specific legislation (the stimulus bill). If someone asked me my name, I would not answer with “I am not Fred”. What does it matter what I am not? A person or idea is never defined as a negative, as a negative cannot be proved. To base one’s identity on a negative is intellectual suicide.
(2) We support market-based health care reform and oppose Obama-style government run healthcare;
This statement faces the same problems as the statement above. The GOP is defining itself through a negative and failing to define any core principles. “Market-based” is not enough. The market must be held completely sacrosanct and freedom must be the rule, not the exception.
(3) We support market-based energy reforms by opposing cap and trade legislation;
Again, legislation is attacked rather than principles defended. This test will be outdated in a matter of months.
(4) We support workers’ right to secret ballot by opposing card check;
Much of the same, attacking specific issues rather than defining principles. This, however, falls far shorter of what is right than the second and third resolutions. The GOP should take a firm stance against unions and any other deadly obstacles to business. Why must corporations fear subjective anti-trust law while workers enjoy government-protected collusion in order to artificially raise labor prices, thereby destroying entire firms (GM and Chrysler being the primary examples)?
(5) We support legal immigration and assimilation into American society by opposing amnesty for illegal immigrants;
While I certainly support a liberal immigration policy and oppose amnesty for those who have broken our laws, Republicans frequently portray a high degree of ignorance in regards to this issue. Immigration policy should be liberalized, coupled with the dismantling of our welfare state. Furthermore, it should be recognized that immigration policy and border security are distinct issues.
(6) We support victory in Iraq and Afghanistan by supporting military-recommended troop surges;
(7) We support containment of Iran and North Korea, particularly effective action to eliminate their nuclear weapons threat;
As noted above, it is a mistake to focus on specific issues. A coherent policy on national defense should be defined. Preferably, this policy would be non-interventionist in nature, while obligating the U.S. government to counter any threat to American citizens with extreme prejudice. It should also be made clear that U.S. soldiers are also U.S. citizens and are to be valued over civilians of other countries.
(8) We support retention of the Defense of Marriage Act;
Not only is this wildly inconsistent with the first resolution, it is so out of line with the our founding principles that I consider it criminal. There is absolutely nothing within the bounds of reason that provide for government authority to decide who a person can marry. That this is even an issue in the United States is something to be ashamed of.
(9) We support protecting the lives of vulnerable persons by opposing health care rationing and denial of health care and government funding of abortion; and
Health care rationing would not be a problem in a completely private health care system. I would assume that “denial of health care” is referring to a host of “right to die” issues which are far too nuanced for this post. A private health care system would make the issue of government-funded abortions irrelevant.
(10) We support the right to keep and bear arms by opposing government restrictions on gun ownership;
This is fairly simple and I can’t find much fault with it. But I would note that no reason is given as to why the 2nd Amendment is to be so fiercely protected. True, it’s part of the U.S. Constitution – but so was the 3/5ths Compromise, and I don’t see anyone fighting to bring that back. The right to keep and bear arms is a natural consequence of an individual’s right to his/her life. The right to your life naturally includes the right to defend your life. As governments have historically been the most serious threat to human life, and governments keep and bear arms, it follows that individuals should keep and bear arms as well
The absence of principles in this purity test is a symptom of the intellectual void in the GOP. Until Republican candidates can offer voters a value, instead of simply being non-Democrat or anti-Obama, they will continue their slow descent into nothingness. I only hope that a third party will gain enough support to challenge the rampant collectivist ideology in today’s politics.