The future of American politics
I have written how the GOP has been successful in reaching out to more Hispanics locally; slate.com has also highlighted this Hispanic trend nationally. I would include that younger GOP candidates as a whole and more women will also be successful candidates.
The big question is why the recent leadership shifts of younger candidates, which includes more Hispanics and women, to the Republican Party?
One of the answers is that the GOP has become more engaged on social issues that typically resonate with younger voters, Hispanics and women. Say what you will about President George W. Bush, but the facts reveal that he led an effort to become more engaged within domestic social issues and attempted to put the GOP brand of self-responsibility on these policies.
I will argue that this courageous and consequential leadership approach is the renewed way forward in the Republican Party, and the renewed GOP brand is the future of American politics (Rove, Courage and Consequence).
The party of no ideas vs. the party of the cool uncle
The current and future voting demographics in our country provide no alternative for the GOP to stay politically relevant. So the big question for the GOP is, does the party remain quietly on the domestic social sidelines and allow the Democratic Party to brand us as the “party of no ideas?” It is tough to compete with a Democratic Party that is the equivalent of the family’s “cool uncle” and will bend with the wind to achieve popularity or be well-liked on almost any issue regardless of its feasibility or the best interest in long-term results.
A great example of this type of popular rhetoric was a primary campaign commercial by Brian Colón, Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, in which he stated that he will “work to increase teacher pay and reduce class sizes and as lieutenant governor he will fight to stop the Republicans who are hurting our public schools.” The rhetoric sounds great, and he would probably base his argument on the idea of school vouchers. Someone might want to tap this guy on the shoulder and provide him with an “FYI” on our current budget shortfall.
I would also suggest taking a drive around the state to count the number of classroom trailers currently placed on our school campuses due to a lack of classroom availability. Only a Democrat can work this sort of budget magic and promote an educational policy that currently isn’t financially feasible. Sounds great though.
This is an example of the Democratic “cool uncle” mentality that competes against the GOP when confronting domestic social issues, and we must take a more principled, substantive approach against these empty public policy promises.
Senator Domenici sets the tone
At this year’s annual Pete Domenici Public Policy Conference, Senator Domenici stated that “we need to go on a literal budget diet for 5-10 years on federal expenditures in order to save our country, and innovation ought to make us go.” I agree, and it will have to be the renewed GOP brand leading the way with courageous outside-the-box innovative ideas to solving problems. The renewed Republican must become more innovative and have the courage to put forward long-term domestic social policies with specific, substantive, realistic, attainable and responsible policy ideas.
We must resist the urge to fall in line with the Democratic Party’s determined effort to keep Americans separated, with interest-group pandering politics that result in the status-quo policy failures and, consequently, keep us on a path to public bankruptcy.
The lesson learned from the past 10 years is that the GOP cannot outspend Democrats. We have tried, and the result has led us to the edge of a budget cliff. Spending is a game plan of the Democratic Party.
The days of just throwing money at a problem are long gone, and it will be the responsibility of the renewed GOP brand to fall back onto old-fashioned principled ideas mixed with 21st Century innovative ideas to put forward “Smart solutions.” This effort will take a little more brain power and creativity, but our country is counting on bold leadership; the renewed GOP will lead the way. Courage, substance, innovation and intelligence – this is a Republican game plan that the renewed GOP can execute.
Luévano, a newly registered Republican, is a lifelong New Mexico resident and an Artesia native who currently lives in Tucson, Ariz. He graduated from the University of New Mexico in 2001 with a bachelor’s in political science and economics and from the University of Kansas in 2008 with a master’s in public administration. You can reach Luévano at www.johnnyluevano.com.
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