How could the GOP could become the Grand Old Party once again? Their chances in 2010 aren't very good right now, even if the Democrats go hog wild with more pork-barrel spending, and big-government programs. The past eight years of George W. Bush and his administration don't inspire a lot of confidence for most Americans in the Republican party. Now, it's still possible the party could regain relevance in the next few years. It's not an easy process, and will require attributes that a lot of politicians don't have – or if they do, they're in short supply. Such as common sense. Economic and financial literacy. Remembering and governing by the founding principles of the Republican party and the United States.
Vince Lombardi told his Green Bay Packer team back in the 1960s, “Gentlemen, this is a football.” It was his way of stressing the fundamentals to his players. That's exactly what Republicans must remember (and put into governance) if the party wants a chance in hell of staying relevant – or even in existence. It's the Constitutional, limited-goverment principles our country was founded on.
Simple things like cutting (or at least freezing) spending... balancing our budgets... and making sure new programs are necessary before approving them. And utilizing our military for national defense – not international offense into foreign lands, with no clear enemy, goals or exit strategy.
It's definitely not the “neo-conservative” bill of goods that was sold to the GOP and our country. And it's not blindly supporting a leader regardless of how they govern, because they have an “R” behind their name.
That's the reason Republicans lost en masse in 2006 and 2008. Average Americans looked at supporters of the party and the President as loyal Kool-Aid drinkers who acted like Seargeant Schultz from Hogan's Heroes (“I know no-thing... I see no-thing!”), and saw nothing wrong with anything President Bush did. It was “Hallelujah, Hail Bush, Pass the Ammunition.”
Republicans and some “conservatives” who looked at everything President Clinton did with a critical eye, turned a blind eye to the Bush Administration's policies that increased our country's debt, and decreased our liberties – all in the name of the “War on Terror.” Never mind that terror is a tactic, not an enemy – and makes about as much sense as a “War on Frontal Assaults.” The WOT rings hollow when our southern border with Mexico is an absolute sieve, and it's obvious the Administration was never serious about border security, or discouraging illegal immigration.
Americans saw borrowing and spending skyrocket to new all-time highs... and “staying the course” in two military conflicts, because we hadn't “finished the job” yet – whatever the hell it was. Even though back in 2003 the President declared, “Mission Accomplished.” Combine this with the biggest stock market crash since the Dirty 30's, and most folks on Election Day were ready for “change.” They didn't care about the details – as long as it wasn't the policies or party of George W. Bush.
Effective leadership today will require a lot of courage and candor from elected officials to citizens, bordering on brutal honesty. Especially when it comes to financial and economic matters, and how they affect policy decisions across the board.
The starting point for all decisions must be made with this premise: The United States of America is bankrupt, along with at least a dozen states. The state of California is Exhibit A. We can no longer afford to be the world's policeman, or show other countries the American way of life, whether they want it or not. The bailouts and stimulus programs (whether from Bush or Obama) are probably being funded by printed – and not borrowed – money, which is debasing the currency, and will cause high (if not hyper-) inflation in the next year or two.
We're the world's largest debtor nation, owing a good chunk of that debt to foreigners. The Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bailouts last September were done to appease these foreign investors, who could have put in “sell” orders, and really wreaked havoc with our bond and real estate markets. The more important international battles in the short to medium-term will be financial and economic, and not military.
In the coming years, there will major paradigm shifts in the US. There will be a reduction – if not an elimination – of guaranteed pensions from corporations, state and federal governments. Fewer benefits, an increase in retirement age, and means testing will probably all be in place. Wall Street will no longer be a major financial center or sphere of influence, because of the arrogance, corruption and excessive greed of investment bankers – and that includes Hank Paulson.
For you “true believers” who think Paulson is a hero deserving Man of the Year honors, I'll sell you ocean-front property in Wyoming. Paulson made a ton of money shorting the mortgage-backed securities that he helped create – which means when the value of these “assets” went down (and he knew they would, because they were dogs from the get-go), he cleaned up. The $850 billion Banker Bailout Bill he railroaded through Congress was a scam as well. Banks have hoarded the money, and it hasn't gone to buy up troubled assets as Paulson said it would.
Wall Street and the stock market are a huge Ponzi scheme, and 401(k) plans will go down in history as one of the biggest scams ever foisted on American employees/investors. Warren Buffett says it best: “If you're at a poker table for awhile, and you don't see the sucker – you're it.”
Americans are starting to realize they've been played for suckers by Wall Street with the help of Democrats and Republicans, and they're none too happy about it. I've got a hunch that the Madoff scandal is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg, and we'll see more stories like this in the future.
Foreign leaders, central banks and investors are looking at our country and leaders like we've smoked large quantities of crack cocaine. They don't believe in or trust American leadership like they used to – and neither do a growing number of citizens.
I realize that some of you may disagree with what I'm saying, and think none of these events could ever happen in the US. Or you think that I'm not being a loyal Republican. Frankly, I don't care. I call it like I see it, and my predictions in the past have been pretty accurate. I knew that John McCain was a no-hoper back in July, and if you didn't figure it out by Labor Day, you were truly drinking the red-state Kool-Aid. Think about this: If the new-fangled, neo-conservative Republican way was so great, then what caused the electoral a**-kicking the last two elections?
The only way the GOP can regain prominence is to totally reject the foreign and domestic policies of George W. Bush, and get back governing by the limited-government, Constitutional principles that made this country great. And not just giving it lip service – but actually putting it into practice. Voters today are increasingly angry about what's going on; and their patience for nice platitudes, speeches, or general BS is quickly running out.
A lot of Obama supporters engaged in the cult of personality, but too many Republicans did as well. Either the party gets back to the fundamentals of our country's Founders, or it's doomed to irrelevance and a footnote in history.