What GOP really lacks is prin­ci­pled lead­er­ship

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - Jef­frey. T Kuh­ner

The long knives are out. Lib­eral and some neo­con­ser­va­tive pun­dits are claim­ing the Repub­li­cans lost the 2012 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion for one ba­sic rea­son: They have be­come the party of yes­ter­day’s Amer­ica. The GOP is sup­pos­edly too old, too white and too male; it al­legedly ap­peals to a shrink­ing frag­ment of the elec­torate. The ar­gu­ment is that, un­less the GOP changes its ap­peal and poli­cies, it is des­tined to shrivel into a re­gional, rump party — strong in the South and the prairies, weak ev­ery­where else. Hence, lib­eral Democrats and es­tab­lish­ment Repub­li­cans are urg­ing the GOP to be more in­clu­sive of sin­gle women, mi­nori­ties, His­pan­ics and ho­mo­sex­u­als.

They want Repub­li­cans to be­come pro-gay, pro-amnesty, pro-en­vi­ron­ment and pro­choice. In short, the con­ven­tional wis­dom can be dis­tilled to one sim­ple point: To win na­tional elec­tions again, the GOP must be trans­formed into a softer, more cen­trist ver­sion of the Democrats. Call it Demo­cratic lite.

One of the key pun­dits lead­ing this charge is neo­con colum­nist David Frum. The former Ge­orge W. Bush speech­writer in his ar­ti­cle, “How the Repub­li­cans got stuck in the past,” in the Novem­ber 19 is­sue of Newsweek, ar­gues that GOP pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee Mitt Rom­ney was de­feated be­cause he em­bod­ied an out-of­date 1980s Amer­ica. Ac­cord­ing to Mr. Frum, the Repub­li­cans de­served to lose; mired in sup­ply-side eco­nom­ics and so­cial con­ser­vatism, the party has be­come dan­ger­ously dis­con­nected from the re­al­i­ties of mod­ern Amer­ica. More­over, Mr. Frum says that the right is too ob­sessed with bash­ing Pres­i­dent Obama. The Newsweek writer be­lieves that too many con­ser­va­tives have de­scended into the fever swamps of hate and lib­eral de­mo­niza­tion. He stresses the re­sult is a party that is an­gry, di­vi­sive and off-putting — one un­able to at­tract enough mi­nor­ity, in­de­pen­dent and swing vot­ers needed to win back the White House. Mr. Frum’s ad­vice to the GOP is adapt to surg­ing lib­eral forces or be swept into the dust­bin of his­tory.

“To be a pa­triot is to love your coun­try as it is,” he writes. “Those who seem to de­spise half of Amer­ica will never be trusted to gov­ern any of it. Those who cher­ish only the coun­try’s past will not be en­trusted with its fu­ture.”

Mr. Frum is not just wrong. He is ped­dling in­side-theBelt­way non­sense. There is noth­ing con­ser­va­tive about his ar­gu­ment. In­stead, it is a white flag of sur­ren­der mas­querad­ing as po­lit­i­cal strat­egy. Ac­cord­ing to his logic, a Rus­sian pa­triot — say, nov­el­ist and dis­si­dent Alek­sandr Solzhen­it­syn — should have “loved” com­mu­nist Rus­sia and em­braced it as it was. Amer­ica’s lib­eral regime is slowly sap­ping our wealth and mo­ral vi­tal­ity. We are in de­cline. Mr. Frum’s an­swer, how­ever, is not re­sis­tance but craven ap­pease­ment.

A true pa­triot — as op­posed to a shal­low op­por­tunist — does more than sim­ply “love” his na­tion, aban­don­ing prin­ci­ples in pur­suit of power; rather, he is ob­li­gated to speak out against and op­pose de­struc­tive poli­cies. More­over, pa­tri­ots — and es­pe­cially, con­ser­va­tives — are duty bound to “cher­ish” the past. What is Amer­ica if not a con­sti­tu­tional repub­lic founded upon Chris­tian and English civ­i­liza­tion? To not honor our past is to deny the very mean­ing of Amer­ica’s found­ing. We were not de­signed to be a sec­u­lar so­cial­ist em­pire. This is his­tor­i­cal fact.

For decades, mod­ern lib­er­al­ism has waged a war against our Judeo-Chris­tian her­itage and free-en­ter­prise sys­tem. The re­sults have been dis­as­trous: over 50 mil­lion un­born ba­bies slaugh­tered through le­gal­ized abor­tions, the break­down of the tra­di­tional fam­ily, sky­rock­et­ing il­le­git­i­macy rates, a per­mis­sive and vul­gar pop­u­lar cul­ture, tril­lion-dol­lar deficits, a run­away $16 tril­lion na­tional debt that threat­ens our very sol­vency, a por­ous south­ern bor­der that has en­abled over 12 mil­lion il­le­gal aliens to in­vade our home­land, and the cre­ation of a government le­viathan our Found­ing Fa­thers would find re­pul­sive and tyran­ni­cal. Yet, when con­ser­va­tives de­mand that Amer­ica’s cul­tural dis­in­te­gra­tion and eco­nomic de­cline be re­versed, ac­cord­ing to the likes of Mr. Frum, it is they — and not the pro­gres­sive left — who are di­vi­sive and po­lar­iz­ing.

Mr. Obama won wag­ing one of the nas­ti­est, mean­est cam­paigns in re­cent me­mory. He ex­horted his fol­low­ers to “ex­act re­venge” upon Repub­li­cans. Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Bi­den vowed that, should Mr. Rom­ney be elected, the GOP would put blacks “back in chains.” The en­tire Demo­cratic strat­egy for the past four years has been to tear the coun­try in half, and grab the larger chunk for it­self. Mr. Obama has forged a nar­row ma­jor­ity coali­tion of blacks, Lati­nos, fem­i­nists, unions, stu­dents and en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists. He has erected a nanny state ded­i­cated to plun­der­ing the pro­duc­tive mid­dle class, re­dis­tribut­ing their wealth to re­ward and bribe his con­stituents. The so­cial­ist for­mula has worked — for now.

The job of Repub­li­cans is not to mimic the Obama Democrats. When it comes to pro­mot­ing sex­ual li­cense, crass iden­tity pol­i­tics and big government spend­ing, the GOP can — and will — never outdo the Democrats. Vot­ers will al­ways pre­fer the real thing. In­stead, con­ser­va­tives should act as the adults; lib­er­als are the ado­les­cents. When the Ponzi scheme, known as wel­fare lib­er­al­ism, comes crash­ing down — and it is now only a mat­ter of time — the right needs to be there to clean up the mess.

The Obama econ­omy is des­tined to crash upon the rocks of fis­cal re­al­ity. Small-government con­ser­vatism will be back. It is the only road to eco­nomic re­cov­ery and cul­tural re­newal. Sell-outs, such as Mr. Frum, are a dime a dozen.

Now is the time for prin­ci­pled lead­er­ship, not pa­thetic hand­wring­ing. Jef­frey T. Kuh­ner is a colum­nist at The Washington Times and host of “The Kuh­ner Report” on AM-680 WRKO (www.wrko.com).

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