Tuesday, June 5, 2007
Personal Asides: The Next Republican Presidential Campaign Better Re-Tool to Recapture the Fast Fleeing Reagan Democrats.
George Will who likes to begin most political discussions by recalling quotations from Pliny the Younger, is not very strong willed where social policy is concerned. Once a pro-lifer, he now yearns for dialogue that does not begin or end on the issue of abortionsomething like the genial discussions he has with George Stephanopoulos on Sunday mornings. But George has drifted far, far away from the days when he was living in Champaign, Illinois and worked as a speech-writer for Sen. Gordon Allott (R-Colorado). He is extremely sophisticated and yearns for the days when men discussed topics like the ancient Greeks. Accordingly, he has moved away from his once understanding of social movements. His most recent column expresses a sense of gratification that conservatives are getting more sophisticated and are not so hot and bothered about abortion.
Wills weariness with old-tie evangelical and conservative Catholic conservatives (he is neither) is a danger signal for those of us who want to overcome the odds that a Democrat will win the presidency next year. George W. Bush may be excused for moving away from the conservative faith, due to the heat he has been getting from the media over Iraq. While he has remained firm on abortion, Bush looks for all the world like a squishy moderate, reconsidering his once firm stand against global warming, vetoing only two bills in his entire time in the presidency with neither having anything to do with fiscal solvency. Bush is a big government conservative who is, frankly, getting burned out all the while the grassroots are getting burned up. A final outragewhich indicates hes burned outwas his recent statement that those conservatives who oppose his immigration bill are not interested in the well-being of America.
While I respect Bush for his toughness on Iraq and his clear-headed nomination of two great Supreme Court justices (although we inestimably helped him by fighting against Harriet Miers), I must concede that he is far from the model that the party must emulate in the future if it is to rekindle the flame with Reagan Democrats. I think several things have to happen for that coalition to be resurrected. Three things come to mind.
First, the American presidential candidate must definitely adopt a strong position on immigration that sets as its first priority the up-building of border security before consideration of anything else. The candidate must be fore-square on the 14th amendment and its application to the rights of anchor babies. No one with any knowledge of American history can deny that the 14th was added to readjust inequities to African Americans, stating that all persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof are citizens of the United States.
It was adopted so that the states could not deny citizenship to blacks born in the United States. Since there was no serious immigration to the country, the authors saw no need to further elucidate. But the phrase subject to the jurisdiction thereof was intended to exclude from citizenship persons born in America whose allegiance to the nation was not complete i.e. children of diplomatic foreign nationals who were born here. The American presidential candidate must risk alienation from the squeamish liberal media and other publics by saying that by not addressing the abuse, funds that state and local governments must provide to anchor babies is a virtual tax on U.S. citizens to subsidize illegal aliens.
Second, the American presidential candidate must explain the destruction wrought by the VAT tax by foreign governments which simply substitute high rates for high tariff rates, thereby erecting high border barriers against competition from U. S. goods with the result that most foreign countries still have de facto tariffs pitted against us that are as high or higher than the tariffs of 40 years ago.
Third, the American presidential candidate will condemn President Bushs latest concession that allows Mexican trucks for the first time to have full and open access to our highways, roads and bridgesin contradistinction to Bill Clintons program to keep Mexican trucks off our highways but for a 25-mile commercial zone north of the border.
These are only three but they are three initial proposals that can begin to woo the Reagan Democrats back to the fold. I suspect the one who enunciates these things I can imagine that Fred Thompson could do the best job will rebuild a coalition that is essential to election.