It’s been a month since the Presidential election of 2012, and life is returning to normal for most of us. The political ranting on Facebook has dwindled to only the most obnoxious few (I still love you anyway.), and most of us have gone back to watching The Big Bang Theory instead of Bill O’Reilly or MSNBC. If you’ve followed my political postings, you probably realize that things didn’t turn out quite how I wanted them to, but that’s how it goes sometimes. I don’t think the sky’s falling or anything. It might be sagging a little, but I think it’ll hang in up there for four more years…at least I hope so.
As Republicans go, I think I’m on the more moderate end. That’s a dangerous place to be…although probably not much more dangerous than being a moderate Democrat. As dangerous as it may be to admit that, I’m still going to say so because I'm sick to death of so much polarization. Not that my saying I’m more moderate is going to change anything. This country has been super-polarized a number of times in its history, but it has always come clawing back to some normalcy eventually. I suppose one day the whole thing will just blow apart, but I doubt it will happen tomorrow.
As a student of history to some degree, one thing I’ve noticed is that the Democrats have stolen some issues from the Republicans. For example, who do you think would have had the African American vote in 1860, if it had been allowed? Yep, hands down…the Republicans. The Democrats in 1860 were largely pro-slavery and the Republicans were working for freedom. Just a reminder that good ole Abe Lincoln was a Republican. Strange how the Democratic Party has swiped that demographic right out from under the Republicans. I will let that stand as my example because I think it is the best one of the bunch.
Now, I think the Republicans need to turn that back around and swipe a couple of issues out from under the Democrats, and I can think of two that are primed for just such a theft: Illegal Immigration and Global Warming.
There may be more, but let's start with these two.
What can be more in line with conservative principles than a group of largely industrious and hard-working people trying to take their lives into their own hands to make things better for themselves and their families? Just like most all of our ancestors, they are fleeing situations and conditions that are often horrible beyond what we can imagine and perhaps even quite dangerous, seeking a chance to WORK to provide for their families. Surely Republicans can respect that.
Sure, they have come here by cheating the system. But, wouldn’t you if you were in a desperate situation?
The Republicans seem to get so caught up in the “Rule of Law” that they are missing a chance at showing some compassion. Further, they are so dogmatic for the rules that they are frankly unrealistic. I don’t know the current estimates of the number of illegals in the US from Mexico, but I know it is over 12 million people. You are just NEVER going to track all those folks down, move them back home, and make them start the process properly. It ain’t happening. The task is impossible even if you didn’t have the complicating factor of children born in the US to illegal parents making the children legal and the responsible parents illegal. We are being stupid by being so opposed to creating a path to citizenship for those people. Yes, I said “stupid.” We are wasting time and resources, and missing a prime opportunity.
Why not steal the issue?
The vast majority of the illegals in the US are hard-working and generally honest people who came here for a better future. So, give them one…and help out the national deficit/debt at the same time…or, enhance our border security…or, help offset the cost of healthcare.
Here’s what I’m thinking:
The crime of entering the US illegally is on a legal level with misdemeanors. So, treat it as such. Allow the illegals to come clean, pay a fine, and receive proper documentation and a path to citizenship. Let’s say the fine is $1000 per person, and they get a reasonable timeframe to pay it off…not necessarily all at once. 12 million people x $1000 = $12,000,000,000. Yep…that’s 12 billion dollars. That would pay for a lot of fencing….or a lot of border guards…or a lot of flu shots.
Plus, we settle another of the divisive issues of our time, and give some good folks a chance at a better life!
Another issue to steal is Global Warming.
We can argue back and forth for the rest of our lives about whether the warming of the earth is due to a natural cycle or due to pollution, and we’ll never get anywhere. But, in reality my fellow Republicans, does it really matter whether pollution is causing global warming? I don’t need the threat of global warming to make me realize that dumping crazy toxins and pollutants into our atmosphere, water ways, and oceans is bad for us. I don’t need the proof of the dangers of carbon emissions to realize that if I cut down all of the oxygen-producing trees in North America and the rainforests of Brazil, I will be causing a negative effect on the future health of the world....not to mention myself.
So, let’s steal it.
Why aren’t Conservatives driving the “conservation” of our natural resources?
Just this week, the Republican mayor of Indianapolis announced that going forward the city would be mandating that only fuel-efficient electric hybrid vehicles would be purchased for non-emergency use. I applaud that! What if that were repeated across the country? The incredible increase in demand would drive up production, which would lead to lower costs for production, and to lower sticker prices to the consumer.
What if the Republicans called for solar panels and wind turbines to be included in the design and construction of any new government buildings or facilities? Perhaps, the increased demand for those smaller scale generation units would drive down the costs and make them more affordable for the general public and businesses in the private sector. Hmmm.
Why are the Republicans allowing the tree-huggers to swipe a conservative issue from them? Conserving resources is a conservative principle.
Swipe it back!
Republicans should be the drivers in the development of “Green” technology! After all, they are the business entrepreneurs. They are the guys who build the great engines of our capitalist society. So, swipe the issue back, create the great “Green” boom, and steal that issue back from the Democrats. America needs something new to drive our engine! Why not make it a conservative green technological boom?
So, drop all the posturing over dogmatic but unrealistic or irrelevant issues…at least on these two, and let’s get pragmatic and entrepreneuristic.
Let’s steal these issues away from the Democrats and build a new path forward for the Republican Party.
It's just an idea.