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The Future of Conservatism and the GOP

Photo Credit: Tom Olohan

For the past 7 years, the GOP couldn’t stop complaining about how disastrous Obama’s biggest legislative victory is. In fact, they even voted to repeal it 50 times. But even after taking the House, Senate, Supreme Court, and White House, it seems as though repealing Obamacare may be a lost cause.

In a previous article, I discussed ways in which Republicans can make their healthcare bills more attractive to conservatives, but to no avail. RINOs continued to propose their asinine bills, discouraging their constituents every time. Seeing this continually happen, it has become clear to me that the Republican Party is in drastic need of reform. The GOP has lost touch with its base, and voters across the country are rightfully dissatisfied. By the time 2018 arrives, you can probably expect complete domination by Democrats due to the incompetence of Republicans. But if conservatives can get together and recognize the problems within our own movement, then we just might avoid a massacre.

As conservatives, we must recognize that many House and Senate Republicans do not share our conservative principles. Think about it, there’s only a few Republicans that even believe in small government. Hawks like Lindsay Graham and John McCain constantly beat the war drums and hope for huge spending increases, and governors like John Kasich of Ohio boasts that he increased spending for the expansion of Medicaid. In today’s GOP, we find very few representatives that truly believe in the core principles of conservatism like Ted Cruz or Rand Paul.

To fix this problem, we must primary our own so-called “representatives” in 2018. I believe that the Tea Party movement served as a good model for how we should re-institute integrity into our politicians. This doesn’t mean that conservatives should simply vote against someone, instead, we need to find someone to vote for. In other words, conservatives must enact a litmus test for any candidate wishing to run as a Republican.

But I offer a different kind of litmus test than the current one. As of now, many conservatives wish that candidates would echo Ronald Reagan, which is fine, but let’s be honest, even he raised taxes in response to the 1981 recession, and raised energy taxes in 1984. In addition, Reagan increased spending for the military quite a bit. I say that conservatives finally claim a figure that the Democrats have claimed as their own–Thomas Jefferson. For years, the Democrats would hold the Jefferson-Jackson dinner to honor their party’s founders, despite the fact that Jefferson would be in total opposition to the modern-day Democrat Party platform. Fortunately, Democrats have renamed their annual dinner. Now is the time for conservatives to reclaim Thomas Jefferson for he espoused many views that modern-day conservatives hold as well. Jefferson wanted a strict interpretation of the Constitution, he was for state’s rights, and if it weren’t for him, we wouldn’t even be able to amend the Constitution. Therefore, I believe that candidates should be echoing Jefferson, not Reagan. Candidates should be echoing the man who wrote the Declaration of Independence and played a pivotal role in making liberty a guiding principle of our nation.

If conservatives can come back to our founding principles, then the GOP can finally become a vehicle for conservatism again. Until then, we risk losing all facets of the government to the Democrats, who are becoming increasingly volatile. Needless to say, conservatives need to find a new identity and take back the Republican Party.

Follow the author on Twitter: @lulopez19

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About Luis Lopez (6 Articles)
Luis Lopez is a current student in California.

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