Rik Schneider Online

Monday, January 6, 2014

National Affairs: Opinion: Henry Olsen: Conservativsm For The People

National Affairs: Opinion: Henry Olsen: Conservatism For The People

This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

“Conservatism For The People”, with all due respect what the hell does that mean? I mean if that is the 2014 Republican campaign slogan, you might as well run on American guns and Jesus and see how well you do outside of the Bible Belt. For conservatism to have meaning for American voters than Conservatives need an agenda with some slogan. That makes it clear what that conservative agenda is about and what Conservative Republicans are trying to accomplish. You don’t even need a slogan, but certainly an agenda about “this is what conservatism is and what we are trying to accomplish as Conservative Republicans.”

The changing demographics right now are a political nightmare waiting to happen for the Republican Party at least at the national level. And if they do not change course, they will get wiped out by them as a governing or even as a strong opposition party. Meaning controlling at least one chamber of Congress. Generation X, my generation and Generation Y are pretty liberal and even libertarian on social issues. And we are not crazy about big government either as it relates to economic policy.

Which is an opening for Republicans if they move away from their big government social agenda that is about forcing Americans to live the way they want them to and pretend it is still 1955 or something. By the way if you were born in 1955, you’ll be fifty-nine years old at some point this year. And probably have a kid or kids in the X or Y generations. This is a long time ago, but you wouldn’t know that if you follow the religious and neo-right of the Republican Party.

I’ve blogged about this before, but the path back to power for the Republican Party is back to the future. Not just speak highly of Barry Goldwater and Ron Reagan, but embrace their politics. Embrace Ron Paul as well and this doesn’t mean you have to embrace his foreign policy and what he wants to do with the Fed and gold and silver and so-forth. But tell him “we are with you on economic and fiscal policy for the most part and we should work together.”

Time for Republicans to move past the religious-right and their big government social agenda and bring the Rand Paul supporters with them. Doesn’t mean they have to go libertarian on social policy. But stop trying to nationalize social issues and making your campaigns about Jesus, Gays and guns. Meaning trying to put Jesus in every Americans life and trying to kick Gays out of the country. And just running on guns when it comes to personal freedom, but saying “we believe in economic freedom and we aren’t interested in running people’s personal lives, at least at the federal level either.”

Maybe the Republican campaign slogan should be Back to the Future. Or its Morning in America again in the Republican Party. Meaning the GOP has woken up from their twenty-year dream or nightmare for a lot of other Americans. And they are embracing the 21st Century and are going to now adapt it. And they are still that fiscally and economically conservative party, that a lot of Americans use to love. Who perhaps grew up supporting Barry Goldwater or Ron Reagan, but now they are also that socially conservative party, but in a classical sense. That doesn’t embrace all social change, but is also not afraid of it. And won’t try to stop Americans from living their own lives.