The election cycles of 2006 and 2008 saw the rise of candidates for both chambers of the U.S. Congress, incumbents and new faces alike on the political center-right, who spoke of the urgent need to address several issues.
Among those issues most often cited were reforming illegal immigration, stopping the out-of-control federal spending that has exploded our national debt and the need for tax reform that involves a simpler, fairer method to avoid taxing work and productivity.
In 2010, the election cycle of the GOP included these items, which had not been formally addressed, and added the demand for the repeal of Obamacare, which had passed and was signed into law in March of that year without any Republican input or votes.
Now, 10 years later, those who have run as Republicans hold the majority in the U.S. House, the U.S. Senate and the White House. Let's make this really simple: After the working class uprising in the 2016 election, with public distrust of Washington, D.C., politicians and the media at an all-time high, the clock has started and folks are keeping score.
Last Tuesday, the 115th Congress convened after the oath of office was administered to members of the upper and lower chambers at noon. Hours before, votes taken in the House Republican caucus to dissolve the House Office of Congressional Ethics were nothing short of stupid.
After a decade of promising to get significant reforms passed with excuses each cycle that "the math doesn't add up" in failing to make good on those pledges, the first thing you do is eliminate a body that permits average Americans to file ethics complaints against those entrusted to serve! Really?
After a quick about-face following a social media post by President-elect Donald Trump challenging, "With all that Congress has to work on, do they really have to make the weakening of the independent ethics watchdog ," the House decided there were bigger issues on the agenda.
Here, for the GOP majority, is a quick reference guide that itemizes the promises of 2016 and the past:
- Obamacare repeal to end the explosive insurance premium costs and out-of-pocket expenses for patients who dare to use their insurance. It's time for those "free market solutions."
- Legal immigration enforcement with the immediate removal of criminal aliens. The selective enforcement of our laws has created the problem. Enforce those laws on the books or change them.
- Whether it's a flat tax, a fair tax or whatever you call it, the idiocy of taxing productivity means you get less of it. The laboratories of the states prove that individuals and companies move to states with level and fair tax structures.
- Entitlement reform that protects the authentic safety net that is a necessity for temporary assistance but eliminates the generational dependency on a government as a keeper, especially for able-bodied adults.
- Prioritize American interests through national security, immigration law, economic policy and authentically fair trade deals versus the interests of globalists — or more simply, multi-national financiers and companies.
- Identify America's enemies and allies and stand fiercely against the one or firmly with the other for the singular purpose of victory for liberty and freedom.
As one who has worked in a few campaigns, I can say unequivocally that the palpable disgust of the voting public is not a mirage and must be confronted. The 2016 election was a watershed event for politics. Now, there's a demand for results, a fatigue with those who live a separate existence from the consequences of failed policy and selective enforcement of law, and a paradigm shift from the assumption that marketing transcends good policy.
GOP, let's govern.
Robin Smith, a former chairwoman of the Tennessee Republican Party, owns Rivers Edge Alliance.