In the face of the statist Obama onslaught, there is a seemingly unending drumbeat of disheartening Republican me-too-ism. Senator Judd Gregg, for example, proposed a healthcare overhaul plan that amounts to socialism light.
“To be effective, health care reform must include insurance coverage for everyone…
“CPR—Coverage, Prevention, Reform—is a plan I have proposed that sets up a system where every American will be required to purchase meaningful health insurance to ensure each family will be protected against bankruptcy if a family member becomes seriously ill or injured. No family should lose their home or life-savings because of illness or injury. For those who may not be able to afford this plan, you will have assistance getting coverage.”
Gregg and most of the current Republican leadership shares with the democrats the basic premise that it is government’s job to guarantee healthcare to every American. Once that collectivist/statist premise is accepted, government-run healthcare--with all of the devastating consequences that that implies—is only a matter of time. Gregg’s plan, and others like it such as Mitt Romney's, amounts to an admission (in voters’ minds) that the democrats are right and the GOP is irrelevant or hippocritical.
As the momentous debate that will determine the future of 20% of the U.S. economy and a healthy piece of our freedom heats up, the opposition Republicans quibble that “we are moving too fast” or that “we haven’t figured out how to pay for it”, etc. Newt Gingrich tells Sean Hannity that a more “centrist” approach is needed.
In other words, there is no principled opposition; which means, no opposition at all.
Against this backdrop comes a refreshing dose of good news…and fresh air.
With the GOP floundering and searching for new ideas, some republicans may be waking up to the fact that fundamental change – real fundamental change -- is needed.
Yaron Brook, executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute, delivered the keynote address to the 2009 Virginia Republican convention. Mr. Brook gave a rousing presentation advocating a radical new direction for the Republican Party; a direction based upon an uncompromising stand for individual rights. Mr. Brook pulled no punches, declaring that the primary guilt for the statist trend of the past century lies not with the openly socialist democrats, but with the allegedly pro-capitalist republicans. He gave the reasons why, and laid out the path the GOP must take; a vision for the future based upon America’s founding principles.
What is so encouraging about this event is the fact that his speech was the keynote of the convention. This is an indication that at least some in the GOP understand what is at stake for America and that America desperately needs a voice for true Americanism. But beyond that, the speech was enthusiastically received. Mr. Brook was repeatedly interrupted by applause, and his address ended with a standing ovation.
Yes, this is just one small GOP gathering in just one state. But the emergence of an effective republican counter-force to Obama statism has to build from the ground up. The party’s top tier is worse than useless, offering no essential alternative and thus paving the way for the more consistent democrats.
As I have been arguing, the Republican Party must become “the party of the individual". This address to a Republican state convention by the head of the premier Washington, D.C. voice for the ideas of Ayn Rand is potentially a very good long-term sign. Virginia’s off-year gubernatorial race between Democrat Creigh Deeds and Republican Bob McConnell bears watching.