It's always heartwarming to see non-conservatives who are so concerned about the current state of the Republican Party that they generously provide advice on how the GOP can be more popular and win more elections. Unfortunately, if those recommendations were actually followed, conservatives would have no political party to call home, and all elected officials would be “progressives.”
One such provider of unsolicited advice is David Frum, a contributing editor at such liberal outlets as The Daily Beast who announced his departure from that outlet with more predictable urgings for the GOP to move leftward on such issues as Obamacare and the environment.
As part of this advice, Frum provided “five essential tasks to commence before conservative reform truly rolls forward.”
First, “There remain too many taboos and shibboleths even among the conservative reformers.”
Conservative reformers need to do a better job of starting with the problem and working forward, not starting with the answer and working backward.
Of course, doing so would probably mean abandoning the core principles most conservatives believe, such as smaller, more efficient government, a strong national defense and individual liberty.
While describing the second task, Frum noted: “Conservative reformers are understandably allergic to arguments about income inequality.
“But one of the lessons I think conservatives should take from the 2012 Romney defeat is that the increasing concentration of wealth in America has dangerous political and intellectual consequences,” he noted.
“The whole immigration debate, for example, is premised on the assumption that the only interests that matter are the interests of the employers of labor.”
Frum is obviously a proponent of “Robin Hood” economics, in which money is taken from the wealthy (whether they earned it or not) and given to the poor. One wonders if Frum is concerned about the unequal distribution of taxes in America as well given how little of the burden is actually shouldered by vast swaths of the population.
As explained by Caroline Baum of Bloomberg.com:
“The rich already pay the lion’s share of taxes in the U.S.” since “the top 20 percent of earners received 50 percent of pretax income and paid almost 70 percent of federal taxes.”
Not surprisingly, Frum's third challenge deals with global warming.
Humanity's impact on the climate -- and how to address that impact -- is our world's largest long-term challenge. If conservatives refuse to acknowledge that challenge, they only guarantee that the challenge will be addressed in ways that ignore conservative insights and values.
As Newsbusters previously reported, Los Angeles Times reporter Stacey Lessca asked research scientist Robin Tanamachi if more tornadoes are happening due to “climate change:”
Well, the statistics don’t bear that assertion out. What we’re finding is that people’s perception is that severe weather has increased.
Fourth, conservative reformers should “make their peace with universal health coverage,” Frum wrote. “It's the law, and it won't be repealed.”
That's not what the Republicans in the House of Representatives think since they recently voted to do just that.
Finally, while “conservative reformers must pay lip-service to shibboleths about Barack Obama being the worst president of all time,” the columnist stated, “the harm that has been done by the politics of total war over the past five years” could “paralyze Congress for the next 18 months at least.”
As it becomes clear that the IRS story is an agency scandal, not a White House scandal, conservative reformers need to be ready to do their part to apply the brakes and turn the steering wheel.
It's not surprising that he didn't discuss the “political war” that took place when Republican George W. Bush was in the White House and Democrats in Congress fought him at every turn.
Frum concludes that there will be “a Republican president again someday, and that president will need American political institutions to work. Republicans also lose as those institutions degenerate.”
A Republican in the White House “someday”? Not if the Grand Old Party follows the columnist's “advice.”