In the last two elections, the GOP has struggled to win. I hear so many people talking about 2016 like it is the second coming of Christ. Instead of focusing on who is going to be our savior, the party should take this time to reevaluate their platform. Once we have decided on these values, the candidates will start singing the song that we demand. If the politicians do not sing the song of the people, they will continually lose, just like in 2008 and 2012.

Currently, the Republican Party is a mixture of old timer big government cronies and a small group of libertarian leaning politicians. This party split is hurting the elections and one has to go!

If we are going to win the mid-term and Presidential elections, we need to get our act together. Below I list values that we as a party should be united on and champion.

Respect Privacy

Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) said, “I don’t mind Verizon turning over records to the government”: This, coming from the party that is supposed to represent small government. A value that the Republican Party needs to embrace is the rights of the individual. One of these rights is a right to privacy. No one wants the government listening to our phone calls, reading our emails, and viewing pictures of our children. The notion that this is fighting terrorism is dead, there is no evidence. The NSA has not stopped any terrorist attack and has had little to no effect on stopping “terrorist fundraising”.  What we do know, however, is that government programs that analyze and report on citizens have been used against people for political gain i.e. IRS scandal.

Bring our Troops Home

Most of us have brothers, sisters, children, grandchildren and friends in the military. The wars that we have been fighting have not been in the best interest of the American people. We have been nation building and supporting companies that supply military goods, (Military Industrial Complex) under the guise of fighting terrorism for more than a decade. Al Qaeda and the Taliban are as strong as they have ever been. The Republican Party needs to be the party of peace, let the liberals be the ones that defend violence in the Middle East (as they are doing now). If we are going to represent the people, whom want the troops home, we cannot have presidential candidates who say, “We will be in Iraq for 100 years if that is what it takes!” (Presidential candidate John McCain)

End the War on Marriage

This is probably going to be the biggest battle to fight within our party. People think by being a supporter of “gay marriage”, you sacrifice your religious principles. But the principle of having small government is all people should have the right to religious freedom. Some religions allow for the marriage of homosexuals. If we defend religious freedoms, we must stand up for people that believe something radically different than us. A Christian can believe marriage is only between one man and one woman, and still be okay with other religions defining it differently.

Marriage defined by the state entitles people to certain privileges such as burial arrangements, and tax and health benefits. Jesus told us to love your neighbor as yourself. Many of these people are not able to buy houses in some areas because they are not married. That does not mean that we have to be okay with their sin, but that does mean that we have to be kind to those in need. If we can get past the argument of marriage defined by the state, we can start focusing on Jesus. Isn’t that the point?

I think as social conservatives, we should start focusing on the solution. “Gay marriage” is not part of our problem; the problem seems to be people who have troubled marriages that are focused on “gays” instead of themselves. Instead of casting our stones maybe we should reflect on what we can do to help our marriage and the marriage of our families and the marriages of our friends.

Focus on Minorities

I never said reform within the Republican Party was going to be easy.  We need to have a serious talk about our racial report card. In the 2012 elections Mitt Romney lost 83% of the minority vote.  Is that because 83% of all non-whites are democrats or has the party ignored them? According to the same report, Romney rarely stopped at minority locations because they thought it was a “waste of time”. The idea that different races do not have conservative values of small government is absurd. Freedom appeals to all people of all races in all times!

So how can Republicans fix this? Well, first there is school choice. School choice is simply giving parents the right to choose where they send their children. School choice says that every child is entitled to a good education and should not be forced to go to a failing school just because of the zip code they live in. It is a free market mentality applied to the education system. The good schools will succeed and the bad schools will fail. This benefits the poor inner city children by providing them with quality education by increasing their freedom.

Secondly, the issue on immigration needs attention. This talk about “kicking out all them illegals” has to stop. We sound racist! You realize these people love our country so much that they are willing to break laws to stay here. Do you love this country that much? These people left their country for ours because they were not granted the same liberties they can get here. We preach everyone has the right to liberty: does this not apply to immigrants?

Did you know the Obama administration regulates the number of immigrants that come to the United States? In 2010, his administration said out of 80,000 immigrants granted the opportunity to come, only 5,000 (6%) were allowed to be latino! Republicans can represent the Latinos by creating legislation that deregulates the amount of Latinos that are allowed to immigrate. By supporting school choice and immigration we are promoting our values of small government and freedom while gaining the minority vote.

Legalize Marijuana

Last year the federal government arrested 1.5 million people on drug related charges, 48% of them were Marijuana convictions. This regulation costs the taxpayer$20 billion every year! This is a drug, according to the NIDA, that you cannot even overdose on! This kind of spending is irresponsible and reckless. One would think if the government was spending this amount of money it would reduce the amount of crimes, but this simply, is not the case.

It is common knowledge that cigarettes have more carcinogens (cancer causing products) than marijuana (which as zero). Our society has actually had some success in reducing the amount of people that are smoking cigarettes, not by making it illegal, but by sharing the facts about the drug and providing help to those that want to quit. Appealing to people through logic and reason is always preferable to forcing them to do something, especially in America where we do not like to be told what to do.

Conclusion 

The current Republican Party is a dying brand. It is in need of desperate reform if it is to survive. We need to supply the demands of the American people. Our success relies on our ability to unite on core issues that make sense. When you reflect on these issues, the Republican Party needs to be the party that values the rights of the individual, every individual: gay, straight, latino, black, white, poor, wealthy, troops, veterans, civilians, women, etc. When we can provide America with this platform, not only will our party survive, but the American people will prosper.