One Bold Move the GOP Can Make to Change the World — and Itself
After weeks of talking about what is wrong with the GOP and how to fix it, the great minds at the think tank have come up with a spending plan. That is pretty good. After all, it is about what you expect from a political group … or government. If there is a problem, throw $10 million at it. That is what political wisdom says, but too often it just won't cut it. The GOP needs something bigger, something bolder. Their solution typifies everything wrong with government and politics, and lacks innovation. What the GOP needs to do is to completely understand their economic message, and live it. They need a private sector solution.
Are you still waiting for the punch line? Well you missed it, it is actually that simple: live their message, understand their message. Many PolicyMic articles have been written about how the GOP has a problem with message control and branding. It is easy to see why when Republican George W. Bush adds billions to the federal budget, when GOP congressmen sponsor starting agencies such as the TSA, and Republicans from every level of government are involved in creating government regulation. Of course, people are confused when this supposed party of "small government" is just as actively involved in big government as their "nemeses." Indeed, there is a fundamental flaw in the entire GOP system, and until the GOP admits and fixes it, the confusion will remain. Furthermore their own politicians will continue to proliferate a message that is inconsistent and full of hypocrisy.
The fundamental flaw of the GOP? The GOP claims to be the party of small government, the party that supports free-market and private solutions as superior to government solutions. But what does the GOP do? They spend millions on campaigns to elect leaders to government, they organize conventions about planning how to get more leaders elected and fixing government; essentially the GOP puts all their time and effort into getting government solutions. It is hypocrisy; it is a lack of cohesion between message and action that has typified the GOP for much of the past century.
Does the GOP have other problems? Sure. The social conservative agenda is what is usually brought up, and I agree this is problematic. Focusing on completely eliminating the federal government from social issues is a simple solution, at least for national GOP members. Simply stating that no bill outlawing or allowing abortion/gay marriage/ drugs should be passed or enforced at the national level, but rather left to the states would solve a lot of problems. But that is minor compared to their economic task.
The GOP needs to make it their mission to show that a society can function better without government intervention, that private solutions are not only possible, but also superior to government ones. Spending $10 million on a minority outreach program is a government solution, it is bureaucracy, it is what is wrong with the both the government and the GOP. Instead, why not a $10 million in prizes for the best NGO that functions completely without government money, or $10 million given to NGOs that work to eradicate poverty by getting people off welfare and other government aid? Why not spend that $10 million on private sector solutions, instead of on changing the government?
The GOP should throw their time, effort, and money to building private infrastructure that eliminates the need for much of what government does. That should be its first mission; getting politicians that support its limited-government ideas elected should be its second.
That would be innovative, that would be something everyone could get behind. If the GOP truly is the party of small-government and private solutions, it is their duty to show the nation what private solutions look like, they need to show by leading by example and not spending millions to change the government, they need to become the embodiment of free-enterprise to change the world.
That would change branding. Instantly, the image of the party that doesn't care would be swept away when the party that doesn't care is spending millions to pull people in a meaningful way out of poverty, to eradicate disease, and involved in hundreds of other worthwhile causes without the aid of government money forced from the hands of taxpayers. That would be message control as the entire organization would be the message.
Indeed that is something millennials would be willing to throw their support into. That will work. And if it does not, at least they did something worthwhile, instead of wasting millions on getting someone not elected.