How To Be A Smarter Party

We must stop being the stupid party.” It is true that when Gov. Bobby Jindal said this he was referring to Republicans like Todd Akin, whose ignorant ideas on abortion probably cost him an election last year, but antiquated and ignorant stances are not our only enemy – priorities are, too. I will now use this article attempt to adumbrate the priorities of conservatives living in America.

Our first priority should be to fix America’s $16 trillion deficit. The government is bloated and there are many cuts that can be made and even a few departments that could be abolished, namely the Department of Education and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Republicans should not be afraid to tell the Pentagon to suck it up and make some cuts, either. Getting our spending in order is a top priority.

Ensuring that taxes are fair and not harmful to the economy is just as important as cutting down on spending, though. Exhibit A is France, hands down. Actor Gerard Depardieu, who has given the French government nearly $200 million in his lifetime, recently renounced his French citizenship and moved to Belgium after France’s socialist regime imposed a 75 percent tax on the wealthy. Depardieu justified his actions even further by explaining that he felt the socialist government in France acted as if “success, creation, talent — difference, in fact — must be punished.” After France’s socialist Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault called his flight unpatriotic, Depardieu responded that “he rejected the notion that patriotism would require him to submit to whatever fiscal regime the government might cook up.” California would do well to learn from France’s mistake.

Ever since Gov. Jerry Brown’s Proposition 30, a tax increase, was voted into law last November, businesses have been fleeing California. ResMed and Fallbrook Technologies, San Diego companies that employ hundreds of employees are now leaving for Texas, which has lighter taxes on businesses and a zero percent income tax; California has a 13.3 percent income tax.

It is evident that we shouldn’t be focusing on anything else, whether it be immigration, abortion, or gay marriage, until the economy is back on track. After all, what good is it if abortion and gay marriage are prohibited if our economy looks like Greece’s economy?

Nearly as important as stabilizing the economy is ensuring our right to self-defense. Enacting Stand Your Ground laws in more states and protecting our right to bear arms are both more important than quibbling over amnesty for illegal immigrants.

Furthermore, Republicans need to do their best to craft legislation that keeps society safe from criminal elements. Liberal lawmakers want to release criminals early, possibly thinking that they can rehabilitate them, but oftentimes that doesn’t work. Republicans need to make sure that criminals stay locked up behind bars and that the vilest offenders are executed.

War on Women Abortion is always a hot topic, and for good reason – terminating a life is, with a few exceptions, wrong. However, restricting or banning abortion should not be a top priority; I would say it is more mid-range. How Republicans go about it is also important, though. We, as a party, can certainly do without stupid statements concerning rape, but we can also start laying the blame where it should be. Yes, women oftentimes act irresponsibly and get abortions to fix their mistakes, but if my mother had aborted me, I feel that my dad would’ve been more to blame. Why, because he abandoned her and evaded authorities to avoid paying child support. Instead of banning abortions, maybe the government should crack down on people like my father, so that women don’t feel the need to abort their children. Also, in order to show we actually do care about women and to lower abortion rates, Republican legislators may want to enact laws in the 31 states that currently lack laws that bar rapists from seeking the custody of their children. If women are going to be stuck interacting with their rapists for the next 18 years, they may be more likely to get an abortion. To make it simple, Republicans should try to appear less “outdated and insensitive” when it comes to issues concerning women.

When it comes to immigration reform, Republicans have to be smart enough to use President Obama’s shortcomings against him. During his first term, the United States deported more illegal immigrants than ever before. We need to show immigrant populations, especially Hispanic populations, that we value their contributions and understand their plight. This means that we have to avoid using stupid phrases like “anchor babies” and “Send them all back,” as those will offend potential supporters.

Signing the newest immigration bill, which would legalize most of the country’s 11 million illegal immigrants, would be both a strategic decision and the right thing to do for Republican lawmakers. Marco Rubio has told Obama that we have to secure our borders before Republicans agree to any other immigration reforms, but that if agrees to that, offering illegal immigrants to citizenship is not a problem. Rubio seems like a smart leader, which is what we need.

Gay marriage should be the least of our concerns. Are states that allow gay marriage any worse off because of it? No. Are gays hurting you? No. Are gays hurting the economy? No. If allowing gay marriage isn’t going to hurt anyone, then I don’t understand why we focus so heavily on it. If gays are willing to contribute something of value to society, pay taxes, and follow the laws of the land, then I say we let them do as they please, as long as they leave us alone. In other words, we give the Democrats their victory in return for cooperating with us on more important issues.

The way I see it, government has two jobs – to protect us from assailants, both foreign and abroad, and to do its best to not interfere with the economy. Yes, immigration and abortion and other issues must also be addressed, but they are not nearly as important right now, for the government has detoured from its proper course and is pretty much lost. Until we fix the economy and ensure that we are protected, other issues need to wait. We have to be a smart party and prioritize, or, as I like to say, pick our battles.

Adam Ondo | University of Rochester | @JoplinMaverick

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6 Responses

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  1. Matthew
    Feb 01, 2013 - 01:39 AM

    Okay, Adam:

    You have stated herein that 1) you believe people who broke the law by coming into this country illegally should not only be rewarded for doing so, but given an advantage over those who are playing by the rules.

    2) You support same-sex marriage, something even Stevie Wonder can see is a scam and a joke, as it suits no purpose whatsoever other than to undermine traditional families.

    It must be pointed out neither of these positions are held by traditional conservatives.

    • Adam Ondo
      Feb 01, 2013 - 03:08 AM

      Well, I wouldn’t say I support it, I said that we have bigger fish to fry. Just because I am spending tonight cleaning up the kitchen, doesn’t mean that I never want to clean my bedroom, it’s just that the kitchen was messier so I cleaned it first. That’s why gay marriage and illegal immigration are still listed as issues to contend with, they’re just at the bottom of the list. Hope that clears things up.

  2. Fred
    Feb 01, 2013 - 12:05 AM

    Well we could follow Clinton and combine responsible tax increases with targeted spending cuts, or we could follow the Reagan and Bush’s deficit-busting tradition of slashing taxes/revenue, increasing defense spending, and still spending more on social programs.

    Actually addressing our deficit involves raising revenue, and that can be from a VAT, raising gas taxes, capping deductions, or Buffett’s tax, or any other idea. It doesn’t have to be France’s 75% tax on the wealthy. But it should involve some revenue if you actually care about the deficit.

  3. Christopher Rushlau
    Jan 31, 2013 - 04:45 PM

    Let us not overlook the great triumph of bi-partisanship in Washington concerning Israel, the Jewish state in Palestine. If we can come together on this, the most important issue facing the country, we sholdn’t have any trouble with health care, global warming or the flagging economy (negative GDP growth last quarter–“negative growth” is what we call it when the economy shrinks–or, as economists put it, “grows backwards”).
    We need to keep the price of oil high by threatening wars here and there, in order to keep the Persian Gulf emirates on board so as to ensure Israel’s security and legitimacy. Here again, there is broad consensus in Washington. High oil prices affect the global economy positively by letting each nation quantify its devotion to Israel and thus to God, right, and reason. Survival of the most devout.
    Now as the Arab Spring closes its tentacles around Israel and Christians in Lebanon are being called on to give up their guaranteed share of half of Parliamentary seats, which could lead to the Shiite majority gaining real political power (the Sunnis are sitting on the fence, bought off by Saudi Arabia), we acknowledge the fundamental truth of the founding principle of the US experiment in democracy: breeding tells. If God had intended for the dark races to receive decent treatment and respect from God’s chosen race, God would not have given us all these guns and this insane hatred of the earth and its children.
    If it should become necessary for us, the chosen race of God, to leave the earth in order to form a newer, even more perfect union on some distant planet, the resources of the US, spiritual, technological, economical, and most of all intellectual, will have to be mustered and dress-right-dressed in order to facilitate a timely departure. Before everything really goes to hell.
    This idea that you can reason with a stranger is the root of our present dilemma. The internet itself is the devil’s handmaiden in letting total strangers comment on our dearest and best-worked-out delusions.
    The crisis the US is in right now is greater than that of the US Civil War. That war was fought over the typographical error, as it were, of authorizing slavery in the US Constitution. The war corrected the text, but it did not expel the racism. We are now engaged in a great global war, part two of the Vietnam War, to see if we can live without racism. We are on the side of the racists, so it will be necessary for us to lose this war for right and reason to win. We are engaged in that defeat. The challenge to politics will be to accept this defeat and build a new nation on the ruins of the old, where racism and all its cartoonish theorizing becomes just that: Saturday morning cartoon entertainment.

  4. Matt
    Jan 31, 2013 - 04:01 PM

    “Signing the newest immigration bill, which would legalize most of the country’s 11 million illegal immigrants, would be both a strategic decision and the right thing to do for Republican lawmakers.”

    It would also mean that Republicans will never win the presidency again. And why they should they if they cave on immigration? We need to make it easier for people to immigrate here legally and tougher to immigrate/stay here illegally. Pandering to illegals hasn’t worked for Republicans before, why would it work now?

    “Are states that allow gay marriage any worse off because of it? No. Are gays hurting you? No. Are gays hurting the economy? No.”

    Yes, yes, and yes. Those against homosexuality in states and countries were gay marriage is law are being silenced, and in many cases prosecuted. Children in schools are being taught that homosexuality is normal, regardless of what their parents think. As a parent, I should have the right to opt my child out if I disagree. In countries were gay marriage has been law for over a decade, marriage rates have plummeted. And why wouldn’t they? If there’s no incentive to get married, why not just stay single? Finally, because gays generally have a lot more partners than straight people, they (shockingly) have higher rates of STDs and other illnesses. For example, in 2006 the Centers for Disease Control reported that 60% of all HIV cases were the result of homosexual contact. Who pays for the increases in healthcare? Everyone. If you research the topic instead of going for the popular/emotional response to gay marriage, you’ll find that the government has no reason endorse homosexuality and every reason to continue to endorse traditional marriage.

    I agree though that the debt should be our top priority.

    • Jim Prokop
      Jan 31, 2013 - 05:32 PM

      Matt: Adam made some really good points; in short, a pretty rational post. You don’t see many of those here. However, he needs to be corrected on one issue…the states DO go after absentee fathers.Currently, it is a FEDERAL requirement that all new hires complete a special form which must be sent to the State Capitol for support orders. If it exists a deduction must be made from the employees paycheck or the employer can be prosecuted.

      Now, as far as you are concerned…your comments on illegals are ignorant at best. The Republican party has NO choice but to court this vote or continue to loose elections. Those are the facts. I live at ground 0 for illegal aliens and they aren’t going anywhere as long as Rich Republicans continue to employee them for cheap wages. They (the legal) ones will continue to vote Democratic until hell freezes over. As their numbers grow (and trust me THEY do)this trend will continue. The idiot Right Wingers can’t just will it away. White middle aged people are on the decline. The Republicans either make an accommodation with the illegals/legals or be overrun. Pretty simple.Nice to see SOME Republicans are getting the message.
      As far as the gays are concerned…you seem to be obsessed. It seems Adam made a small point about gays and YOU used half your post to spew pure foolishness.Traditional marriage is declining……. because gays are getting married? Where did you pull this jewel from? How does gay marriage reduce my incentive to get married? I either want to or I don’t. Gays NEVER occurred to me (one way or the other) when I got married. I grew up in an era when hardly ANYONE got married…they just “shacked-up” ..now MORE folks do get married as they should if they are going to produce children. Just so ya know, I happen to be OPPOSED to gay marriage and voted AGAINST it my state…but I lost and will wait and see what the FACTS show as time goes on.

      The part about getting our financial house in order spot on. Too bad more of both posts weren’t devoted to it. At least Adam seems to be transcending ideology and looking at facts and forming rational pragmatic opinions. Thanks, Adam.


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