Whether you read the Republican agenda, or Byron York’s latest about the GOP’s cluelessness on the way forward, or even Robert Costa and Andrew Stiles’ reporting from the Republican retreat, there is a sense that the Republican way forward is unclear. They are unsure. They do not know where to go. They do not know on which ground they should fight.As I’ve written before, I think the GOP’s way forward is with a family agenda.
- Simplify the tax code
- Give preferential treatment to parents
- Focus on policies that encourage two-parent families
- Oppose corporate entanglements with Washington and cronyism
- Break up banks
- Level the playing field between entrepreneurs and corporations
- Expand school choice options
- Continue strident opposition to Obamacare
You can read my thoughts on that here and you should absolutely check out this from the Dallas Fed on “too big to fail.”An important component of all of this is the age we are in. It is a nostalgic age. I’ve written about this before and, interestingly enough, why the GOP would have a difficult time in 2012.In short, we live in a complicated age when people are craving simplicity. They are craving a return to what they perceive as a simpler time. Much of the craft craze on Pinterest and Etsy, the current letterpress fad, locavores, etc. are all people tapping in to the past in various ways. Even more so, they tap into a sense of belonging that much of the country, particularly in urban and high income areas, has lost with a drift apart from churches, front porch neighborhoods, etc.As I’ve noted before
At this time, as so many perceive a decline in the country, there is a profound sense of nostalgia for a past era. Successful technologies from Apple or this Goba program or others are those technologies that actually help us realize, in some way, some part of that past. From getting a card in the mail to meeting friends on a front porch in the evening for a drink, Americans want to turn back to a simpler time or at least a time that they perceive to be simpler.
Add to this the dread over our national economic state, the rise of the federal debt, the insecurity about future programs like social security and medicare, and the GOP should be able to find its way forward.That way forward is pretty straightforward — focus on strengthening families who will be there for each other tomorrow even if social security is not, focus on opposing corporatist policies that are out to strengthen big business at the expend of small businesses and individuals, and focus on the debt burden that makes parents fearful of the lives their children will live.President Obama’s policies have benefited the biggest businesses. He has allied with businesses like Walmart to hurt small businesses. He has allied with big banks to hurt small banks. He has allied with unions to hurt business. And he has allied himself with the rise of singles, which makes children in families slaves to a social safety net their future income must necessarily support.People want a renewed sense of community. The GOP should tap into that nostalgia, which directly connects with a time of strong families and main street businesses. Though the President’s rhetoric matches the age, the GOP is the only party whose policies truly can match the age.