American First, Republican Second

Americans have sent a clear message that must be reflected upon: As Republicans, we are not trusted to lead this country. After the results from eight years of a George Bush Presidency and six years of a Republican Congress, voters decided it was time for change. Who can blame them?

Democrats promised voters they would deliver the essential functions of government, such as a dependable economy and consistent national defense, while acting responsibly and effectively. Their promise of post-partisan politics was appealing as well, considering the growing desire among voters to elect representatives who will work for all Americans, not just a political party.

This remains a center-right nation, ideologically, but the last two election cycles demonstrated that Americans are willing to look past differences on the major issues and take a chance on candidates who have promised to be more productive and competent than their predecessors. This represents a shift in the political landscape, away from ideology and towards pragmatism.

To move this country forward, Republicans and Democrats must work together to develop the best solutions for the serious problems our country faces. Just as Republicans and Democrats allied after the disasters of September 11th, both parties must join together to guarantee America's  problems are resolved. As Americans, we must demand that our elected representatives cooperate to solve the very serious dilemmas in America right now.

Some question the conservative credentials of Republicans willing to work with Democrats, but it should be stated that the goal is never to dilute conservatism via compromise. Republicans must never acquiesce or waver in defense of our core conservative principles: strong national defense, free market capitalism, freedom and liberty for individuals, decreased tax burden for all taxpayers, and limited waste in government. While Republicans will not win each battle, we must always be prepared to defend and promote our principles. If not, both Americans and Republicans will lose.

Delivering on the promise of good bipartisan government requires that liberal and conservative tenets are represented in every discussion. Unfortunately, when Republicans offered conservative additions to a very liberal stimulus plan, they were swiftly rejected by Congressional Democrats and President Barack Obama. We should all support Republican Congressmen in their fight to protect capitalism and lower taxes on middle and low-income workers.

Regrettably, vocal conservatives derided their actions as traitorous, instead of rallying support. This criticism is not only juxtaposed to the economic interests of the country, but also inhibits Republican efforts to rebuild our damaged credibility. As a party, we cannot afford to become marginalized reactionaries who simply oppose for the sake of opposition. The outcome of such mindless opposition would be legislation without input from Republicans, robbing Americans of conservative principles that will help in these difficult times.

With Democrats controlling the executive and legislative branches of government, they will undoubtedly advance a liberal agenda. Because of such control, Republicans have only two clear choices of action—fight Democrats in futility or collaborate to ensure our conservative principles are represented. But be forewarned, trading insults back and forth will not stall overtly liberal plans.

Once both political parties acknowledge the benefit of collaboration, they will be able to provide the most needed improvements for our nation. Republicans will also receive an invaluable opportunity to reassert credibility and narrow the trust gap with the American people. When this is combined with expanded outreach to young and minority voters, Republicans will enjoy a vastly improved electoral outlook.

In the end, it doesn't matter to most Americans if something comes from a Democrat or Republican. Everyone desires a government that works. Americans must demand that both Republicans and Democrats place America ahead of partisanship. It's imperative that we are all Americans first, partisans second.

Lauren is the Head Editor at New Republicans and a Senior at West Coast Baptist College in Los Angeles. Patrick is the Chairman Emeritus of the Texas Federation of College Republicans and a Sophomore at Collin College in Dallas. Both are experienced campaign staffers.

3
Your rating: None Average: 3 (6 votes)

Comments

Available for Repost

You are more than welcome to copy the editorial for reposting on your blog, but please post a link here in the comments and give credit if you do. Thanks!

Is this post a college prank?

It is about to make me Photobucket  big time.

"Americans have sent a clear message that must be reflected upon: As Republicans, we are not trusted to lead this country. After the results from eight years of a George Bush Presidency and six years of a Republican Congress, voters decided it was time for change.

"Who can blame them?"

Well, I can, for one.  Just because the electorate voted to support liberal socialism doesn't mean fiscal conservatism can be or should be blamed. In a true democracy, sometimes voters make mistakes. It is through these mistakes the electorate re-learns the fundamental truths that have kept this nation strong and free.

"This remains a center-right nation, ideologically, but the last two election cycles demonstrated that Americans are willing to look past differences on the major issues and take a chance on candidates who have promised to be more productive and competent than their predecessors. This represents a shift in the political landscape, away from ideology and towards pragmatism."

 Simply promising to be more productive and competent isn't pragmatic, it's pure pa-pa-pa-politics.

 "As a party, we cannot afford to become marginalized reactionaries who simply oppose for the sake of opposition. The outcome of such mindless opposition would be legislation without input from Republicans, robbing Americans of conservative principles that will help in these difficult times."

Since when is defending your party's political ideal "mindless opposition?"

But wait, these two 'students" have saved the best for last:

"With Democrats controlling the executive and legislative branches of government, they will undoubtedly advance a liberal agenda. Because of such control, Republicans have only two clear choices of action—fight Democrats in futility or collaborate to ensure our conservative principles are represented. But be forewarned, trading insults back and forth will not stall overtly liberal plans."

Our political responsibility as fiscal conservatives is to fight, if need be in futility, for our principles if for no other reason than to keep the light of hope lit for those who will later need to see the other path to follow.

 ex animo

Photobucket

davidfarrar

You've GOT to be kidding me.

Is this a joke?

I see the word "collaboration"

I know colleges have different curricula now than in the early 1980's, but perhaps our students could pick up a text about Europe in the 1940's and educate themselves on why this was , hmmm, an unfortunate word choice.

Sorry, but a zillion other people can argue why you're wrong.

There is no such thing as a Republicrat.

The two party system is in place because as Republicans, we don't agree with the Liberal agenda. Both ends of the spectrum are not enough to please someone enough to just believe in everything.

When John McCain talked about how he "reached across the aisle" Republicans didn't care about his bi-partisianship! He was only saying that to sway Democrats. In fact, Most republicans were angered of the policies that were placed when he worked with Democrats, such as Kennedy, and Feingold.

That is proof that democrats working together with republicans, and singing "kumbaya" isn't going to win us elections. The name of the game is to push our agenda, and fight for what we believe in, and get these people with like minded-ness in office.

You say-

"In the end, it doesn't matter to most Americans if something comes from a Democrat or Republican. Everyone desires a government that works. Americans must demand that both Republicans and Democrats place America ahead of partisanship. It's imperative that we are all Americans first, partisans second."

Well I can't argue with the fact that we are American, but why even call yourselves republican, if it doesn't matter...because we all know it does. Supporting Conservatism isn't mindless, because if it was--you wouldn't be writing this article either.

More Placation by Uneducated Students

 Evidently you have not read ATLAS SHRUGGED and have no comprehension of what winner and loser means.  Patrick and Lauren, you are a sham and representative of the ilk coming out of the nations liberal minded schools.   You are not the NEXT RIGHT!!

A great post

I think some of the premises are flawed, but other things are spot on, such as:

1) The GOP lost big because of its lack of trustworthiness.  It was the leadership that failed, not conservative principles.

2) The nation is, in fact, center-right.  As the old saw says, ideologically conservative, but programatically liberal.  Stands to reason that it would be more fruitful to attack the ideology rather than the program.

3) If Republican legislators don't work with the majority to put a conservative thumbprint on upcoming legislation, the result will be out of control liberal programs and liberal spending.  Attack the waste.

I understand this.  I play a very aggressive, fast-paced game of chess.  I'm not afraid to swap queens when the chance comes up, because I know how to play without one.  It clears the board a bit, and frees up other pieces to move more freely.  Some people would never swap queens because they don't know how to play without one.

 

Again, flawed premise.

The result will be out of control liberal programs and liberal spending anyway; the GOP lacks sufficient political power to prevent out of control liberal programs and liberal spending.

Putting a "conservative thumbprint" on upcoming legislation only means that conservatives will share in the blame when the out of control liberal programs and liberal spending inevitably metastasize into disasters.

 

chess is for chumps.

talk to me when you play a real game. ;-)

(still I do take the point that you can talk about chess, and expect folks to know what you're talking about)

Doesn't make sense

A lot of people have misunderstood this article, and I'm, frankly, surprised. When I read through it, and then one more time, I definitely took something completely different away from it.

Despite what many have mentioned, this isn't a call to compromise ("the goal is never to dilute conservatism via compromise"). It is about keeping our place at the bargaining table. You want to see the GOP railroaded into oblivion? Then just keep saying how horrible the MSM is and how Democrats are all wrong. That'll get you real far...

No. The solution, as presented here, is not to just argue because we can, but to argue in a way that promotes collaboration. Face it, Republicans lost ground in EVERY single area. We no longer control the White House. We no longer control ANY house in Congress. We have a slim majority of conservative judges (literal interpreters of the Constitution; and all it takes is someone to die or retire to change THAT around). The questions is, why did we lose ground? Where did we go wrong? Is GWB to blame for all our woes?

Get real! The problem is that we lost focus. We got a little power-hungry and lost the focus on economic and social conservatism for the sake of nearly everything else. Where is America hurting the most right now? Not in national defense or military power. It's the economic crisis and the social pains that cause the most trouble. So who gets elected? Democrats. Why? Because they have a domestic agenda that is unrivaled. It sounds awesome to get tax cuts while those who make more than I do are over-taxed. It sounds "American" to help out US auto companies when they are struggling. Help the underdog and all that...

But you and I both know that an over-reaching government isn't what America needs. We need less government, and a government that works for the people. The only way that happens is if Republican lawmakers get the support they need to fight the fight, without pouting and whining.

Flawed premise.

It is about keeping our place at the bargaining table.

The right doesn't have a place at the bargaining table. We (the GOP coalition, such as it is) have virtually no leverage at the national level: the Democrats control the White House, enjoy a 40-seat majority in the House, and have a for-all-intents-and-purposes filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.

The only thing that Republicans have going for them is that the Democrats know they have a narrow window to convince the public they're capable of competent governance, and are thus absolutely terrified to shoulder sole political responsibility for their policies.  So they'll throw a meaningless scrap or two across the aisle in order to attract enough Republican votes that they can spin the inevitable disasters as "bipartisan" affairs.

Republicans simply shouldn't play this game.  There is nothing to be gained by the kind of "collaboration" that turns a bill -- say, the economic stimulus -- that's 100% awful into a bill that's only 99% awful: Republicans will get no credit for such minor improvements, yet will still get blamed for all the awfulness.  A favorable mention on the New York Times editorial page, and invitations to the Georgetown cocktail party circuit, simply isn't worth the political cost.  Sucking slightly less than the other party is not a path out of the political wilderness.

I am not advocating mindless obstructionism.  But there's a reason that resistance movements have collaborators shot: collaboration undermines the movement's objectives and lets the enemy claim propaganda victories.  If all that Democrats want from Republicans is political cover -- and make no mistake, that is all they want -- then the proper response is a polite, "Thanks, but no thanks," a party-line vote against them... and then, later, when they fail, a very loud and very public crucifiction.

 

Well said

If I were a Republican, I would be espousing the exact same views, and was when liberals would cave to the Republicans every round last Congress. You might as well stand for your beliefs, and firmly.

And no lie that most Democrats certainly ARE spineless. I wish there were civil libertarians if office that were as passionate as some SoCon politicians.

 civil libertarians are most

 civil libertarians are most likely to be Republican, and with as you said the passion of the SoCons.

 

The problem is the SoCons are the Republicans who fight for government intrusion into personal rights and liberties, how do civil libertarian republicans get excited for a party that its top 3 issues are all attempts to get the government into the personal liberties issue. at best each election for them becomes who is the least of two evils. 

 

but obviously as long as the SoCons are the base of the party, its their right to make the party bend to their will. 

Civil Libertarians formed the basis of the Republican party

folks like Feingold stand in their stead, representing those key midwestern values.

Rockefeller Republicans are gone, and they've taken the Northeast with them.

Now you've lost the Midwestern Republican -- Illinois, Indiana, where that improbable journey began.

Sorry, civil libertarians are likely to be democrats, at least for the near future. Gore gave a great speech on the subject, wish I had a link handy.

CNN Commentary on the same thing

Not that much more than liberal fluff comes from CNN commentary, but this one seems like it's alright:

http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/01/27/zelizer.republicans/index.html?iref=mpstoryview

The bargaining table that the GOP is apparently not a part of is actually a place for us to make alternative suggestions, some of which may be included in the final legislation. What I'm seeing proposed is that we just throw our hands up in the air, plop on the floor, cross our legs and arms, and "nope" to everything that comes our way. If we don't do anything, Americans aren't going to hail us as the the party that opposed a failure, they're going to call us the party of inaction and combativeness.

I suppose, in the end, this is just two versions of the word "fight." I say we fight by keeping ourselves in their face and making sure we stay relevent to the cause. Others say we fight by opposing anything and everything. The better solution might be a mix: we stay in their faces and oppose anything that doesn't have conservative ideas in it.

Democrats lack a lot of backbone. They are Americans' bad weather friend -- when times are tough, they elect Dems to fix...when times are good, they elect Republicans to keep it that way and scale back all the regulation. I think Republicans should show that we don't shy away from confrontation AND collaboration just because we don't have a majority.

Please reread my previous response to you.

Then, tell me where I advocated: "that we just throw our hands up in the air, plop on the floor, cross our legs and arms, and 'nope' to everything that comes our way".

Or where I advocated that: "we don't do anything".