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Henry Olsen on what conservatives should do next

The Obama campaign often campaigned against Mitt Romney as if he were some caricature libertarian. The most egregious example was the attack on the Romney-Ryan premium support plan as a voucher plan that would have eliminated Medicare rather than modernizing it. Indeed, Ryan’s Path to Prosperity budget for 2013 would have still spent some $6.4 trillion on Medicare through 2022.

Conservatives surely must do a better job explaining their vision of what government should do rather than just what government shouldn’t do.

In that vein, AEI’s Henry Olson offers some succinct but powerful advice to conservatives and Republicans:

Conservatives can come back from this. Our values and principles are in line with the values and aspirations these voters share. But we must admit that behind a successful caricature is a kernel of truth.

The Republican Party was founded in opposition to slavery, but it was also founded in support of the idea that government can give average people a hand up to achieve the American Dream. The Homestead Act gave farmers settling the territories free federal land if they put it to good use — a subsidy. The Morrill Land Grant College Act gave states federal land to establish a university to study agricultural research — a subsidy for the tens of millions of farmers who dominated mid-19th century America.

Americans of all shades and sexes still want that vision. They don’t want a government that is “hands on” in their lives, regulating, taxing and commanding their every move.

When they need help, they don’t want handouts, and they don’t think others should get them either, whether titans of Wall Street or moms on welfare. And they don’t want government to be simply “hands off.”

How do conservatives and Republicans appeal to them? Endorse the DREAM Act. Replace the ritual invocation of “Judeo-Christian values” as a shorthand for “shared moral culture” with inclusive language that recognizes that Americans who do not worship a Western God (most Asians) or who pray to no God (a fifth of voters under 25, a tenth of all voters) are part of our moral culture, too.

Talk less about how much we will cut and more about what we will do with the programs we support. Don’t divide America into makers and takers.

Americans want what conservatives have always said they want to give them, a hand up. A conservative movement and Republican Party that recalls itself to the better angels of its nature will find an eager populace, and electoral success.

 

 

12 thoughts on “Henry Olsen on what conservatives should do next

  1. Most people do not want handouts but they do want a job.

    When, as a party, you demonize people as “wanting handouts” do you really think you’d win them over?

    People on Medicare don’t want free health care but they do want to pay for it a little at a time in their payroll deductions.

    Fiscal Conservatives want a party that is not racist and does not tolerate racists within it’s ranks.

    People with conservative family values and a strong work ethic do not like to be called “illegals”.

    there are a few more… but that’s a start.

  2. When, as a party, you demonize people as “wanting handouts” do you really think you’d win them over?“…

    Listen to MSNBC much?

  3. Olsen says: “Democrats ran an equally brutal and succinct campaign against Romney and the Republicans: They aren’t running for you.

    That message resonated with what the Democrats call the Rising American Electorate: Hispanics, young voters, single women and Asians. They voted for Obama and Democrats in record proportions. It also resonated with blue-collar whites“…

    Hmmm, asking the abysmally ignorant and clincally stupid how to get their vote tantamount to throwing open the Treasury vaults to one and all…

    “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the people discover they can vote themselves largess out of the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the canidate promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that democracy always collapses over a loose fiscal policy–to be followed by a dictatorship.”
    ― Alexander Fraser Tytler

    • More Tytler, this time on Athenian democracy: “They were perpetually divided into factions, which servilely ranked themselves under the banners of the contending demagogues; and these maintained their influence over their partisans by the most shameful corruption and bribery, of which the means were supplied alone by the plunder of the public money.”

      Cato Institute on the $100 billion in corporate welfare baked into the federal budget by our friends on K St. http://www.cato.org/publications/policy-analysis/corporate-welfare-federal-budget?gclid=CMG3xafAxLMCFUfNOgodMyYA8g

      Tell you what. If yu can drive the moneychangers from the temple, I can convince the unwashed masses that the Rs are their friends.

      • todd says: “If yu can drive the moneychangers from the temple, I can convince the unwashed masses that the Rs are their friends“….

        First & foremost thanks for that link… Good stuff!

        Second the ‘unwashed masses‘ are by & large pretty clueless about crony capitalists and other rent seekers…

        They’re completely uninformed

  4. Where have you been, Juandos? TANF (welfare) costs $20 billion/yr; food stamps, $750 million. Medicaid is a huge number ($400 billion) but two-thirds of it keeps granny in the nursing home, and most of remainder supports the disabled. The cronies are much better at sucking the federal teat than welfare moms.

    And the Rs are complicit. The Kochs tried a palace coup at Cato because they thought the corporate welfare stuff was confusing the issue. And remember when Tom DeLay said that trade groups giving money to Ds wouldn’t find a place at the trough?

    • Where have you been, Juandos? TANF (welfare) costs $20 billion/yr; food stamps, $750 million. Medicaid is a huge number ($400 billion) but two-thirds of it keeps granny in the nursing home, and….“…

      Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

      You’re a little late to that party todd

      The Kochs tried a palace coup at Cato because they thought the corporate welfare stuff was confusing the issue“…

      Now is not the time to go all ‘kostardtodd

      And remember when Tom DeLay said that trade groups giving money to Ds wouldn’t find a place at the trough?“…

      Well DeLay proved time and again that he was dullest butter knife in the drawer, so what?

      Here’s something you throw into your quiver of trick todd, the overreach cost and graps of a voracious government: 5,932 new rules over the last 90 days

      • Hear what the Rs in Georgia did? Required health professionals to prove their citizenship to smoke out those dastardly illegal aliens. Cut the licensing staff by 40 percent. Sent 41,000 notices. Couldn’t even answer the phones. So far, 1,300 docs unable to practice and counting. Licensing people say they are comparing copies of documents to approved list but have no way of knowing if docs are the real thing.

        • Required health professionals to prove their citizenship to smoke out those dastardly illegal aliens“…

          So todd apparently you don’t the laws should be obeyed?

          So far, 1,300 docs unable to practice and counting“…

          Hmmm, does that mean that people are willing to see doctors that aren’t smart enough to use the e-verfy system?

          Sounds pretty dumb to me…

          I wonder how many of these doctors the government pursued in court for hiring illegals?

          Licensing people say they are comparing (copying or complaining?) copies of documents to approved list but have no way of knowing if docs (doctors or documents?) are the real thing“…

          Makes me wonder if what is supposedly happening in Alabama is due to due federal administration policy or just shabby & unprofessional work habits by the Border Patrol & Customs…

          • todd says: “Me say stupid Ga Rs pass unneeded law. Screw up medicine in state. You sabe now?“…

            I’m sorry todd, were the simple questions and observations I made about the conditions you alledge are taking place in Georgia a little to complex for you?

            Damn! I wish this WordPress blog had an edit capability…

  5. American Conservatism is being betrayed.
    Republicans and Democrats have become ONE!
    SOLD TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER…
    If the following (on who voted for Obama) does not really make you worry then you are probably in one of those groups.
    FYI:
    In approximate numbers who voted for BHO
    95% of blacks
    85% of muslims
    75% of hispanics
    73% of asians
    70% of jews
    The demographic electorates are forever changing against the ones whose European ancestors founded this nation.
    The rest is ALL bs!

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