Evidenced-based policymaking is the perfect Washington contradiction. Using facts and data isn’t what politicians who make policy do. Their real talent is creating, distorting, or outright ignoring the truth to get what they want. Both sides do it and they aren’t very good at hiding it, whether the goal is creating a hate crime trend or rationalizing spending more money with the hope that we can tax our way to prosperity later.
Is conservatism dying? Is it already dead? The Republican Party is still the most viable option for pushing a national conservative agenda. It is also the biggest liability American conservatives face.
The left pushes a platform that seldom waivers, backed by Democrats well-versed in machine party politics. Meanwhile, Republicans have fragmented into a loose collection of conservatives with nowhere to go. Democrats play together as a team. Republican Party leaders seem more intent on undermining each other than worrying about the kind of cohesive vision that keeps Democrats elected and happily ensconced in the White House.
The love-hate relationship between the mainstream GOP and more conservative Tea Party hasn’t done conservatism any favors. The Republican failure to seize the right wing of the party is perplexing, given that the Tea Party was in large part responsible for the GOP retaking the House in 2010. Democrats are terrified of the potential of the far right and taunt the House with accusations of pandering to their more conservative elements whenever liberal legislative plans go south. Why doesn’t the GOP elite take notice?
The farthest right hasn’t helped conservatism, either. Religion and politics are an ugly mix. The failure of the White House to fix long term damage from the recession and its eagerness to add to it with anti-business policies should be all conservatives need to push their message. Instead, the effort to rid the country of the Affordable Care Act segued to arguments over religious discrimination and a Supreme Court case over contraception that played well in the fight against Obamacare but, in the long run, will paint conservatives into a corner.
Does conservatism have a future in this country? The rise of Donald Trump and Ben Carson shows that people rally when they hear what they want to hear. It is also true that conservative voters can be their own worst enemies, distracted by divisive issues like gun control and abortion that never go anywhere while sacrificing the big picture. The left doesn’t have that problem. With Hillary Clinton still managing to duck flak from her servergate scandal and Bernie Sanders nipping at her heels, are we seeing anyone emerging from the ranks of the GOP that stands a chance? At the moment it looks like Trump, the conservative solution to having a Democrat in the White House for another eight long years.
President Trump’s newly-announced plan to ban immigrants from receiving welfare for five years was an easy promise to make. Newly-arrived noncitizens don’t qualify for most federal benefits and they aren’t the ones who cause us the most grief when it comes to being dependent on the government. Dependence is an issue for Americans who don’t work, so why are we telling them that a welfare work requirement is cruel and unreasonable?
The RNC Make America Great Again survey showed up in my mailbox one day after the Republican Party repealed its self-proclaimed mission to replace Obamacare. The appeal to greatness was printed in big, bold letters. The survey asked about optimism. It talked about being proud. The RNC asked for a donation to help get the job done.
Stop complaining. Surviving Trump and the Republicans isn’t hard. If you read this post you will get some valuable tips to get you through the next eight years. You were hoping it would only be four? Then you really need to take these survival tips to heart.