When I declare that there is something seriously wrong with our government and our legislative process there are few who would disagree. Left and right, Democrat and Republican, more and more of us are convinced that our government is broken and that it no longer serves the needs or the interests of the people. We may disagree on the source of the problem and we certainly disagree on the solutions, but there’s clearly something wrong.
Some of us are trying to find a way to put our government back on track — to once again make government the servant rather than the master of the people. We’re demanding integrity and accountability and a new commitment from our leaders to restore our Republic to its founding values as expressed in the Constitution. This is the mission of the Republican Liberty Caucus and we have a strategy to achieve it.
After a decade which has seen our rights legislated away by the PATRIOT Act, big business bailouts, needless foreign wars and costly occupations, some have abandoned any hope of putting the government back on track. We’re now paying the price for a long series of misguided policies from two administrations. They have wrecked our economy, usurped our rights and sold us out to special interests, but it’s still not too late to save the republic if we can take our government back in the next two elections.
The Democrats are a lost cause. They are drunk on power and are using the government to plunder the people and enrich their allies. They have become the party of government excess. But we can still salvage the integrity of the Republican party and it can become the vehicle through which we change Congress and restore the republic, if we can rededicate it to its traditional values of individual liberty, free enterprise and limited government.
This seems like a monumental challenge, especially if you assume that you need to take over the whole party and replace the leadership to before real change can happen, but it may be more realistic than it seems.
You don’t need to actually take control of the party or its leadership to change its priorities. You just need to elect a nucleus of principled leaders who will influence those around them to make the party what it ought to be.
The reality is that in Congress, as in any organization, most of the members are naturally inclined to be followers. There is powerful pressure to go along with the prevailing attitudes in your party. To bring about change you don’t need to replace everyone in Congress, you just need to change who they look to for leadership and the principles which they find advantageous to follow.
If our representatives in Congress see that the prevailing attitude is shifting, their natural inclination will be to follow whatever appears to be the new dominant trend. If a particular stance seems to be wining popular support and getting new members elected, everyone but the most corrupt will follow that trend.
You can’t do this by introducing an alien ideology. You can’t do it with ideas which members of the party don’t already respect. But if the ideas are those which created the party, the ideas of Thomas Jefferson and Robert Taft and Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan and you can demonstrate that you have made them popular again by electing candidates based on them, then the advantage of jumping on the bandwagon will be obvious.
This is the strategy which has given other minority groups influence out of proportion to their numbers. It worked for the religious right. It worked for the neocons. It will work even better for Liberty Republicans, because the ideas they are promoting have a natural appeal to all republicans.
The specific plan of the Republican Liberty Caucus is to replace 20 percent of the Republicans in the House and Senate with principled, pro-liberty legislators by 2012. That means at least 10 Senators and at least 45 Rrepresentatives, on the assumption that the overall number of elected Republicans grow during the next three years.
With the efforts of the tea parties and other groups and the general anti-incumbent sentiment in the country a lot of Republicans will be elected n 2010 and more in 2012. They may not all be Liberty Republicans, but by the time that Republicans return to the majority there will be enough liberty Republicans among them that they will take a position of ideological leadership, which will change the basic character of our government.
This goal may already be in sight. It seems likely that at least 5 Liberty Republicans will be in the senate by the end of this year, with new Senators like Utah’s Mike Lee and Kentucky’s Rand Paul joining returning incumbents Jim Demint and Tom Coburn. Liberty Republicans will also be heading for the House of Representatives, with at least 30 of them joining representatives like Ron Paul and Jeff Flake after November. Similar numbers in the next two year cycle will make the RLC’s goal a reality and lay the groundwork for real change.
With that core group of principled Liberty Republicans in a position of influence we will begin to see real change very quickly. RLC candidates are united in their dedication to reducing the size and the burden of government. They will eliminate unnecessary government departments, programs and spending. They will roll back government intrusions on our liberties as individuals and on the sovereignty of our states. They will work towards tax reform and reduction and sensible alternatives to Obamacare and Social Security. Ultimately they will reasses the war on terror, homeland security and the war on drugs and effect a realignment of government priorities. Foreign policy will focus on free trade and the military will once again be dedicated to national defense.
It may sound like a utopian vision, and certainly the whole agenda will not be implemented overnight, but it starts with electing enough Liberty Republicans to form a voting block in both houses which will change the direction of the Ccngress.
If you want to be part of that change, you can help by spreading the word about the Liberty Candidates endorsed by the Republican Liberty Caucus and demanding reform and accountability from your other elected officials. Every Liberty Republican who is elected brings us one step closer to reclaiming our nation for liberty.