Step 1: Social Issues
The GOP, according to the polls, has something like a 26 percent approval rating. This is a big problem. When it comes to social issues and foreign policy, people tend to shy away from the Republican Party. I’m going to argue that adopting a more liberty-oriented platform is what will attract people in the GOP.
Senator Rand Paul got thunderous applause at the CPAC 2013 for promoting liberty. John McCain, at the filibuster, made ridiculous comments about Rand Paul exciting “impressionable libertarian kids in college dorms” and advocating for bigger government offshore. He was, later, made the punch line of every old dinosaur joke on the Internet.
This reaction is nothing new; in fact, it has been going on for a while. I was surprised to see McCain behave so mindlessly. The GOP desperately needs more young people! Bill Maher, though I don’t agree with everything he says or does, said something that does have some truth, “The Republican Party is having the same problem as the Beach Boys, their fans are dying.” McCain should be welcome to the youth not insulting them!
In order to get more votes, the GOP needs to distinguish themselves as fiscally conservative, fiscally responsible, less government in economics, less government abroad, and less government in personal lives. Liberty and libertarianism is incredibly popular among young Americans.
This article will suggest a new platform for the GOP relating only to social issues.
Most Americans find it unnecessary for government to legislate personal decisions. Drugs, gambling, prostitution, religious freedoms, and gay marriage come to mind. Giving authority to the government to control this aspect of life will not only harm individual freedoms, but the Republican Party.
One of the reasons Obama and the Democrats did well in the last election is less about the economics or the foreign policy than it is about the social issues. If you think about it, the Republicans and the Democrats do not have so many differences when it comes to economy or foreign policy.
The GOP should do what the Tea Party has done; remain silent on legislating social issues. Before the 1960s, Republicans were known as the business party, they should go back to that. They would get a lot more support especially from a good majority of economists, the Tea Party, and libertarians.
A lot of conservatives do not like the idea of people engaging in controversial behavior, but it is not something for government to handle. Social conservatism should become social tolerance or social acceptance. People can keep traditional values within their own community. There is no reason for government to legislate any of this. As a social conservative, you do not have anything to lose by letting others engage in activities you do not agree with.
The Drug War, for example, is a downright failure. It has done nothing but promote racism, increase debt, and hatred towards law enforcement. On top of that, it did nothing to get drugs away from people. Instead of legislating and throwing money at this matter, just leave it be.
The government should not enforce progressive or conservative social values on anyone. These decisions remain rightfully with the person not the politician. It seems silly to me that a bunch of people in Congress should be even allowed to have the authority to pass bills relating to what people can do with their own lives when it doesn’t hurt or affect anyone else.
I personally know many people who are fiscally conservative, in favor of less government in the market, and have a less interventionist foreign policy that would have voted Republican had it not been for the social issues.
Given the current circumstances and the events going on at the CPAC 2013, I think more and more Republicans will shift the focus of the party from social conservatism to social tolerance. This will, I think, benefit American values because freedom and liberty has always been our number one value.
Nazzy S. is the author/editor for Puff Critique. Follow on Twitter: @PuffCritique