November 06, 2008

Recovering from the Election and Preparing the Republican Party for the Future

By Julian Dunraven, J.D., M.P.A.

Honorable friends,

This year, as I handed out candy to trick-or-treaters for Samhain/Halloween, I received a terrible cold in exchange. I spent the last few days sniffling and moaning in bed. At some point, I recall watching a somewhat blurry talking head announce that Barack Obama had just won the election. That set off a wave of coughing I thought might kill me. Cursing cold medication induced hallucinations, I promptly poured myself more cough syrup and tried to return to sleep.

The next day, the irritating headlines refused to disappear, even when I refused any medication at all. The morbidly depressed phone calls that began to pour in confirmed that I was not hallucinating, however much I may have wanted to. Stupidity had finally achieved a majority of votes.

I have also heard from the other side, and I am astounded at what they are saying. Consider this email that invaded my inbox this morning:

“As you read the lovely quote below, which speaks volumes, listen to the ‘Yes We Can’ song one more time. Our future is looking brighter everyday and history has been made.
‘It is said that Rosa [Parks] sat so that Martin [Luther King Jr.] could walk. And Martin walked so that Obama could run. And Obama ran so that we could fly. It’s time to take wing.’”

Now, maybe it is because I am ill, but my breakfast was the only thing threatening to take wing after I read that. One had only to see the enraptured expressions of adulation on the faces of the crowd at Obama’s victory speech to know that this woman is not alone in her sentiment, though. They haven’t simply elected a president; a new messiah has risen to save the nation and the world. I, however, will not be among the worshipers of our new god-president.

As a devotee of the Old Religion of Ireland and a student of history, I know of countless examples where a man has claimed power along with semi-divine status. In each case, the new divinity ended up looking just like old-fashioned tyranny. Only once has the title of messiah ever stuck. But in that case, the man who claimed it never seized power or commanded armies. Rather, he presented a simple message of love that rose to preeminence through persuasion—not state power. To my knowledge, many Christians are still pretty happy with him, though it appears that some have found a replacement.

That replacement had best be up to the task. As the storm clouds gather, the silver lining for Republicans is that, with Democrats in control of both houses of Congress and the White House, they will not be able to blame us for anything anymore. Whatever happens from here will be up to them. I have no doubt whatsoever that if they implement even half of the economic plans they have proposed, they will make things much worse. What will happen when their god-president fails?

Republicans need to be taking advantage of this time to regroup. First, though, we must acknowledge that, by abandoning the fiscal responsibility that had been a fundamental principle of the party for decades, the party set itself up for the rise of this false messiah of socialism. The people have every right to doubt Republican commitment to free markets and spending cuts after the hideous displays they have witnessed during the Bush administration.

Expecting the party to reform on its own, however, seems ridiculous. If Republican leaders failed to uphold their principles, we the people also failed to hold them accountable. If we want to take back the Republican Party, reform it, and hope to have any chance of success, we all have to increase our involvement with the party, as well as make our demands very clear. Congress and our Party leaders have shown that they are utterly unprepared for and confused by the massive economic issues that broadsided the campaigns this year. If you find yourself to be just as clueless and confused by these issues as Congress is, though, you cannot hope to help set them on the correct path. So start by educating yourself.

The issues we will be facing are indeed immense. For most people, it has been many years since they last sat in an economics classroom, if they ever did at all. Fortunately, one of my honorable friends managed to find a site that provides a very simple but comprehensive summary of all the issues we face. I invite you to check out Chris Martenson’s free Crash Course in the Economy. His short lessons will leave you in a much better position to understand exactly how we got here and what we are facing. It will also give you a very good idea of what to demand from the Republican candidates we will soon have to send out to clean up the disasters Obama and the Democrats will inevitably wreak in our society.

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