The Republican Party is the only major political party in the United States that represents the principles our nation was founded upon. It is the party of limited government, free market capitalism, and individual liberty. The Republican Party is responsible for some of the most prosperous times in American history, and without it America would be a much more fragile nation than it is today.
Unlike the Democratic Party, where diversity of thought has boiled down to three factions of semi-socialist, completely socialist, and Joe Manchin, the Republican Party consists of people with many different beliefs and backgrounds. We are a party of traditional conservatives, libertarians, moderates, neo-conservatives, evangelical conservatives, etc., which all come in anti-Trump/pro-Trump versions, as explained by Ben Shapiro. Although these groups might clash on some policy specifics, each group has something to contribute to the conservative movement, thus contributing to the overall success of the Republican Party. But if the Republican Party remains as divided as it is today, it will in turn hurt our nation because we will not be able to keep our promise to the American people and pass a conservative agenda that promotes the principles listed above.
These factions within the Republican Party were highlighted during the battle over the American Health Care Act, and all parties involved had some fault in this bill not passing. Paul Ryan introduced a bill that had one of the worst rollouts in recent years, President Trump rushed the entire process and didn’t understand the specifics in the bill, the Freedom Caucus refused to compromise with the White House, and the Tuesday Group is currently refusing to meet with the Freedom Caucus to discuss healthcare. A nation where two factions of the party in power will not even meet together to iron out a few policy disagreements is a nation weakened. The elected representatives are not working together to solve problems facing the American people, and that is a serious problem.
Everyone, including myself, was quick to blame the different groups that they thought were responsible for the failed Obamacare replacement, but the last thing Republicans should do blame each other. It only further divides the party during a time in which Republicans have control of the House, Congress, presidency, and after April 7th, the Supreme Court. The American people have presented the Republican Party with a unique opportunity and they must take advantage of it to pass legislation that adheres to conservative values.
Conservative commentators such as Sean Hannity, Lou Dobbs, and Jeanine Pirro are not doing the Republican Party any favors by casting blame solely on Paul Ryan and demanding his resignation. Paul Ryan is one of the most articulate messengers of conservative principles, and without him, the movement is weakened. President Trump is also not helping the cause by needlessly blaming the Freedom Caucus and suggesting that we must “fight them” along with Democrats in 2018. Suggesting that we need to fight back against the most conservative voting block in the House of Representatives is dangerous and compromises the rest of his agenda because it leaves him short of the 216 votes needed to get a bill passed. The Freedom Caucus is an important piece of the conservative movement and plays a critical role in promoting limited government from the House.
So how does the party unite, and where do we go from here?
The factions within the Republican Party must realize that every bill they vote for is not going to be perfect, nor meet every one of their expectations. You can not reject every bill that isn’t perfect just because “you stand on principle.” Our Founding Father’s also “stood on principle,” but the Constitutional Convention was a period of give and take in which everyone in the room debated until compromises were made. Ultimately, they decided that the Constitution was the best possible outcome for everyone and in return created the single greatest political document in the history of mankind. That’s the power of compromise.
Republicans need to head back to the drawing board on the Obamacare replacement, this time with compromise in mind. To get everyone on board, moderates need to realize that phasing out Medicaid expansions is something that is needed to gain the support of the Freedom Caucus, and the Freedom Caucus needs to realize that refundable tax credits are necessary to get support from the Tuesday Group. Republicans need to understand that compromising with one another will leave them with a better, more conservative bill than if President Trump turns to Democrats. The Republicans must unite and find common ground in the fight to replace Obamacare, because if Trump does in fact turn to the Democrats it puts America down a slippery slope to single-payer healthcare.
Republicans have been telling voters for 8 years, “If you send us to Washington then we will repeal and replace Obamacare.” Well, it may be now or never, because if the party doesn’t unite and pass a bill soon then the House of Representatives could likely find itself in Democrat control in 2018, killing any hopes of a replacement. So, for the sake of our country, and our party, the Republican factions must compromise with one another and unite behind conservative principles.
Go bold GOP. We’re all counting on you.
Follow the author on Twitter: @jakemoore52