You won! Now, what are you going to do with your opportunity to lead? The GOP has a few days to celebrate, then it needs to formulate a proactive, unapologetic, conservative agenda that will act as a blueprint for taking back the White House from the leftist children whose double-kegger has left America and the world hungover.
Here is how the GOP finds its soul:
First, elect conservative leadership. The GOP’s propensity to promote by seniority instead of merit is an obstacle to leadership. Mitch McConnell is not the future of the conservative movement. He is ineffectual, uninspiring, and frankly not prepared to lead this party to a win in 2016. If you make him majority leader, he will soon be the minority leader again.
Second, inspire this country with an agenda of growth, lower taxes, and less regulation. Advance bills that cut the corporate tax. Lure international business here with targeted federal tax amnesty. Incentivize our foreign-based companies to come home and repatriate profits. Repeal Obamacare and replace it with free market initiatives and deregulation. Why can we buy car insurance across state lines, but not health insurance? Make Mr. Obama use his pen for the only job to which it is tasked, either signing bills or vetoing them.
Third, take on this immigration debacle in which your party is complicit. The rules on immigration are easy. Immigration policy is for the benefit of Americans, not for immigrants. This is our house, and like our home, we decide who is invited, how long they stay, and who is to be made part of the family. We must secure the border first through eliminating all incentives to come here illegally. End the anchor baby loophole. End K-12 free public education for illegal aliens. Strengthen and streamline legal immigration. If you do that, you won’t need a fence. Then, systematically deal with those here illegally. Yes, some can and should stay, after paying an appropriate penalty and fine. Others must go — and they must go quickly, publicly, and loudly.
Fourth, you must dismantle the administrative state. That leviathan is dominating and strangling American life. Send the President a bill that limits administrative rulemaking and discretion to deviate and interpret laws passed by Congress. Require that all rules passed or priorities of any agency receive legislative approval. Stop allowing Presidents to circumvent your laws and stop permitting your legislative function to be supplanted by administrative action and rulemaking. Reclaim your government and do your job. Administrators are not lawmakers, lawmakers are lawmakers.
Fifth, descend upon this nation to every corner and rally a divided, balkanized country around principles of liberty and freedom. Make Americans aspire to succeed, rather than to merely survive. Attack the purveyors of class warfare, racism, sexism, and statism. Use the power of optimism and the results of freedom. We can drag a donkey to the steam of liberty, but we cannot make it drink from that stream, nor should we try. Likewise, we can set that donkey free and let it decide to drink for itself. If it does not, however, we have no obligation to chase it with a bucket of water. For if we do, only we are the jackasses.
The problem in this country is not “either” the Democrats or the Republicans. The problem has long been “both” the Democrats and the Republicans. Yes, the Democratic Party has lurched dangerously to the left. Yes, it cannot be trusted to lead, and its ideas are charitably at odds with liberty. But the GOP has fallen into the place of a big government, special interest, anti-liberty party whose primary goal has been to simply be a slightly better version of the Democratic Party. On that record, we cannot build a party, win an election, or lead free peoples. When we play in the field of regulation and big government, we defile our principles and lend credibility to those who view government as our keeper, rather than our servant. Parties and monarchs govern; a Conservative inspires and leads. Who is the GOP going to be?
Richard Kelsey is currently an Assistant Dean at George Mason University School of Law, a former law clerk for the Circuit Court Judges of Arlington County, a former commercial litigator, and former CEO of a Cyber technology company. Follow Dean Kelsey on twitter @richkelsey.