What Should the Republican Party Stand For?

What Should the Republican Party Stand For?

E-mail debates of newsworthy topics.
March 15 1999 10:00 PM

What Should the Republican Party Stand For?

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The Republican Party should stand on three philosophical pillars. The first pillar is that the power of the federal government should be strictly limited to the authority granted to it by the Constitution. The republic is built from the citizen up, with responsibility for ordering the affairs of men falling first on the individual, then on private organizations (including churches and charities), then on the local community, then on the state government, and then, only in a few circumstances, on the federal government. The second pillar is that all U.S. laws should be consistent not only with the Constitution's limits on government power but also with Judeo-Christian morality. No government--local, state, or federal--has the authority to encourage what is wrong because all legitimate governing authority ultimately derives from God and God's law. The third pillar is that U.S. foreign policy should at all times be aimed at advancing the interests of the American people as aggressively as possible, using only moral means. How do these core principles play out in a public policy agenda? In domestic policy, Republicans should: 1) Favor dismantling the social-welfare state. That means liberating individual citizens from government dependency by privatizing Social Security and Medicare through means such as private retirement accounts and Medical Savings Accounts. It also means dismantling anti-constitutional federal agencies such as the Department of Education and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. 2) Prevent the federal government from using the tax code to manipulate people, insisting that the only legitimate goal of federal tax policy is to collect the diminished flow of revenue needed for a constitutionally limited government. The long-term Republican aim should be to repeal the 16th Amendment, and with it the income tax (which is by nature confiscatory), and to return to a government funded only by consumption taxes (which are by nature self-limiting). In the meantime, Republicans should reject all "targeted" tax cuts, and seek the largest across-the-board tax cuts possible. They should immediately abolish those taxes, such as long-term capital gains and estate taxes, that attack the individual entrepreneur and property holder while favoring both big business and big government. In social policy, Republicans should: 1) Abolish abortion, once illegal throughout the United States, because it is a stain on the nation's soul more abominable even than slavery. The Supreme Court that legalized abortion by judicial fiat overreached not only its constitutional authority but also its moral authority. No level of government has the right to legalize the killing of innocents. 2) Impose a strict litmus test on federal judges. Any nominee who refuses to explicitly advocate in detail the sort of judicial restraint exhibited by Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas should be opposed. 3) Except where fundamental rights--such as the right to life--are endangered, Republicans should favor letting people decide social-policy questions on the local level; e.g., the people of Wisconsin, not congressmen or federal judges, should decide whether parochial schools should be included in a school choice program in Milwaukee. In foreign policy, Republicans should: 1) Oppose involving the United States in foreign wars--such as the civil war in Serbian Kosovo--where U.S. security is not threatened. 2) Favor bold moves to counter an incipient aggressor, such as Communist China, that threatens U.S. security in the Pacific. That means, for example, suspending most favored nation trading status for China and curtailing trade between U.S. defense contractors and the People's Liberation Army.