In the wake of another election loss in Virginia, Republicans are looking for ways to “save” their party. To some, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie seems like the answer. Can a party save itself from its own ideas?
No, not if its ideas are wrong, irrational or contradictory.
The problem with the Republican Party, in a nutshell? They accept the basic idea of the Democratic Party, and attempt to run with it as something different. It’s dishonest, unprincipled and downright silly. This is why Republicans usually look so silly, even when they win. The Republican Party is the “Stupid Party” for a reason. It’s trying to put the proverbial lipstick on a pig, and then pretend it’s not a pig.
The only political issue that matters boils down to: The individual versus the state. Or, put another way, individual rights versus group coercion. The Democratic Party is unequivocal in this respect. It stands for sacrifice of the individual to the state. No questions and no apologies. Whether the subject is ObamaCare, regulation of business or government ownership of all energy sources, the theme is always: Forget individualism, forget private property, forget self-interest, and put the will of the collective, the state, the democratic majority (so long as it’s voting Democrat) above all.
The Republican Party likewise rails against self-interest. It claims that the best way to achieve selflessness is through capitalism. Capitalism as a way to advance self-sacrifice? It’s absurd.
The Democrats are actually right, in that they’re internally consistent. If you accept their premise that the collective or group has rights more important than the individual, then of course socialism (or something close to socialism) is surely the way to go.
Republicans are unwilling to defend the right of the individual against the state in unequivocal terms. If you doubt me, consider the words of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie: “Our people are hurting. Now is the time when we all must resist the traditional, selfish call to protect your own turf at the cost of our state. It is time to leave the corner, join the sacrifice, come to the center of the room and be part of the solution.”
If self-sacrifice is Christie’s goal, then he should support Obama’s policies. Obama and the Democrats are opposed to self-interest and private property. They undermine these things every chance they get. The answer to our declining growth and our out-of-control deficit and debt is to sacrifice? Governor Christie, that’s exactly what Obama says every day. And he means it.
It seems to me that the answer to our national crisis is just the opposite of sacrifice. The answer is for the government to stop sacrificing. Government redistribution of wealth is sacrifice, for political purposes, of some for the sake of others. Trillions of dollars in debt is sacrifice of future generations for the sake of (some) citizens today. The problem isn’t that government has been failing to ask citizens to sacrifice. The problem is that government has been sacrificing citizens at all. Government should not be sacrificing anyone. The only thing government should do is protect private property and individual rights. The only rights an individual has? To be free from force or fraud. That’s it, but that’s everything.
Chris Christie will lose against Hillary Clinton in 2016, if she runs. Or if he does win, it will not matter. Why? Because Hillary Clinton will continue to call for selflessness and self-sacrifice. Barack Obama’s policies embody that ideology, and her own policies will continue them. Chris Christie, on the other hand, will claim that government should be smaller and leaner. He will make this claim in the name of selfless self-sacrifice. Because his underlying premise is self-sacrifice, government welfare and entitlements will continue to grow, just as they have under all Republican presidents before him.
So there you have it. Two parties that call for sacrifice of the individual to some allegedly higher end. They both end up with the same policies, because on the most important issue they agree. You want change? Demand a party that stands for something no party has advocated in a very long time: the individual.
Michael J Hurd
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