I’d like to introduce you to the Republican agenda for America. This isn’t speculation, or wild hyperbole – this is directly from a friend of mine, a would-be congressman (“would-be” as in his victory was sufficiently expected that he had lunches with then-Speaker John Boehner in preparation for his ascendancy to the halls of Congress).
When you understand this one simple fact, the rest of what goes on within the party will make perfect sense to you.
Are you ready? Here is the seven word agenda of those who would represent the traditional American in Washington.
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Get it through to the next guy.
I’m not making this up. Honestly, even with a writer’s brain I don’t think I could make this up.
The Republican strategy for governing America is kick the can down the road.
Privately, my friend confided to me that the reasoning was simple; our system of day-to-day governance is so screwed up that failure is unavoidable. The country is financially destitute, governing bodies are warped and directionless but by design can seemingly never be altered, and far too many Americans are so dependent on the government dole that nothing can ever be done to correct the first two problems. This leaves even the most earnest reform-minded representative with only one option; keep the system alive until the next one comes along. If the country is still standing by the time you’re voted out of office, you’ve done your job.
How’s that for a frank reality check? “Keep the corpse upright”. That’s the Republican governing strategy.
Do a few things make better sense to you now? Do you understand why so-called “Republicans” so often save, and even prop up, agendas championed by the Democrats? Is the “fight on TV but agree to ‘legislation’ in the back room” approach easier to grasp knowing what they’re out to accomplish?
Do you understand why, in the absence of a true “FIX IT” guy like Donald Trump, the Republican party is seemingly satisfied to languish throughout the momentary times they have all the power?
Get it through to the next guy. It’s not an agenda – it’s a way to avoid the blame, avoid tough decisions and even tougher scrutiny. It’s the ultimate coward’s way out, and it has become a way of life for the party that is supposed to represent American ingenuity, craftsmanship, stick-to-it-iveness, and the hard-working values of a free, self-determining people.
Is it any wonder we’re barely free and the furthest thing from self-determining at this point? Is it any wonder that the current generation has turned the entire country into participation trophy utopia? When the bulwark of American exceptionalism has so thoroughly sold out to feckless idleness, is it any wonder we can no longer functionally compete as a nation and we’re so near to the brink of second-class status?
Let me assure you that the reason for those meetings with the Speaker of the House – and Kevin McCarthy is no less of a sellout weenie than John Boehner – is to make sure that incoming Congressmen are on board with the program. The message over lobster bisque is that you’d better get those can-kicking shoes on, or you’ll be out of here as quickly as you arrived.
This is why people like Marjorie Taylor Greene present such a problem to the establishment. It isn’t her brash demeanor or larger-than-life persona; it’s her appeal to the masses, which comes to her via the idea, at least, that she might actually make something happen. Unlike most of the weasels on the Hill, she’ll at least pay lip service to the theory that to change things, you’ve actually got to change things. Now so far, that hasn’t amounted to much more than a lot of loud talk and pointless spectacle – but she’s still surrounded by old-school can-kicking nincompoops. With a reasonable collection of America-first Representatives around her, what might actually be changed (and therefore accomplished)?
That has yet to be seen, and so far we’re miles away from where it could realistically happen. As long as America keeps electing people like Mitch McConnell and elevating the Kevin McCarthys of the world into positions of power, we’re not ever going to see a difference in policy and practice. We’re in a firestorm of Democrat hate right now, and that’s going to translate into significant numbers for the Republican party in the next several election cycles, but as long as the agenda is nothing more than “get it through to the next guy”, all the numbers in the world won’t mean bupkis.
How many Republicans does it take to screw in a lightbulb? I don’t know – ask me after the next election. Or the one after that. In the meantime, the Republicans we have in Washington will make it look like they’re busy at the fixture, yet we never see anything resembling illumination.
So what’s the answer?
I believe that’s three-fold. First, we have to re-elect the man who actually made real changes to the nation, and for the better. Donald Trump was the first politician in my lifetime to actually step in and shake things up, and literally everything improved as a result. We’re going to need that leadership at the top if we’re going to get anywhere.
But in order to make it permanent, rather than something that can be erased by executive order when the next President comes along, we’re going to have to provide him with both a House and Senate absolutely brimming with America-first, damn-the-Establishment, let’s-get-real-change-done Republicans. The entire incumbent class prior to the Trump years has got to be dumped, with one notable exception; I believe Rand Paul has at least been trying. He’s been thumping his head against the brick wall just as his father did, and getting nowhere doing it, but at least he’s stayed the course.
Beyond Paul and the class that came in both with Trump and as a result of his ascendancy (here’s where Marjorie Taylor Greene comes in) virtually every other sad-sack would-be Republican has been bludgeoned by the can-kicking system and can no longer be counted on to do anything of meaning. “Drain the Swamp” applies to everyone, regardless of the letter that follows their name.
The third part – and this is crucial – is that we, the American people, must remember that we’re in charge. These fools work for US. They do what WE tell them to do. If we fail to provide that guidance, they’re going to work for whoever fills their campaign coffer or flies them out to Epstein Island. We bitch because our politicians are so corrupt, but we do nothing to prevent the vacuum that makes corruption possible. We, the American people, must collectively decide on a real American agenda that we will present to the people we hire to implement it, and then we must hold their feet to the fire until it’s actually accomplished.
The first part of that agenda must be to abandon the “kick the can” mentality, and the second part must be to adopt a proper “damn the torpedoes” approach. Any politician who is afraid of Don Lemon, Brian Stelter, Jake Tapper, or Joy Reid must be assigned to a new job. I don’t care if they flip burgers for the rest of their lives; they damned sure don’t belong in the halls of Congress. And they’ve got to do more than talk a good game. We need people of action and follow-through. Less spectacle, more git-r-done. This is where I have a problem with MTG; lots of bloviating and chicanery (a Biden “impeachment” that goes nowhere and serves no purpose, for example) but little substance. I’m willing to give her a chance, once we get some people around her who can actually effectuate change – but at that point the circus act must end and the hard work must begin.
The next part of the real, proper agenda, directly from the American people, has to be decided by us and enforced by us. This is going to require a legitimate strategy, healthy debate, and careful implementation. It has to be done within the confines of the Republican party (trying to go third-party has not worked, and will not work, ever) and it has to reflect a big-tent philosophy with a traditional American bent. This will be the least easy part of the whole plan, but it’s the most crucial. We are at a point in American history where the entire middle of the political spectrum has shifted dramatically to the Right (or rather, where the entire leadership of the Left part of the spectrum has abandoned the middle, placing the middle in a de facto Right position).
To maintain the immense majority this advantage conveys, we’ll have to offer enough to support the margins while fiercely, unerringly defending the traditional American way. It is possible now, for instance, to stand side-by-side with striking UMWA workers while maintaining a healthy disrespect for what unions have done and in many ways continue to do to America. This seemingly incongruous task, properly achieved, could herald a decades-long rule (and that’s what will be required to put America back to right).
One thing for damned sure – we don’t want the can-kickers ruling over that period, because we know with certainty that nothing will change.
I’ll talk more in future essays about what I think a legitimate American agenda could, and should entail.
In the meantime, start preparing yourself for the work ahead. We have a couple hundred America-first candidates to find and get elected, and the real American President to restore to the Oval Office.
By Jackson P. Chamberlain
Jackson P. Chamberlain is a right-leaning, liberty-loving husband and father whose American heritage dates back nearly four hundred years. He writes from his home at the base of the Appalachian Mountains. He can be found on GETTR @jpchamberlain, or on MeWe as Jackson Chamberlain. He does not do Facebook or Twitter.
Photo by NACDSmedia at Flickr.