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First things . . . Richard Falknor on 20 Dec 2013 08:17 am

New Year’s 2014 Imperative: Turn GOP In An American Direction

“Candidate Smith, whether for President of the United States or dog catcher, must be able to say: ‘I am the only candidate who represents those Americans who want smaller government, who want to safeguard human life, who defend the free exercise of religion, the right to keep and bear arms, and who oppose the government’s intrusion into our lives, and I am so certified by the following organizations….  My opponent is supported by the Republican Establishment. What do you think that represents? It represents the UniParty!’” – Angelo Codevilla — Breaking The UniParty

This is a call-to-arms post for the conservative grass-roots, for the advocacy organizations they belong to, for the Tea Partiers, and — not least — for those patient conservative Republican stalwarts who have reluctantly bought into the GOP Establishment’s candidates in the post-Bush years, but can no longer tolerate their ineffectiveness, and worse, their duplicity.

In our view, the operative difference between conservatives and the GOP Establishment is not merely an occasional argument over tactics, but one of profoundly contrasting visions for America. 

Last Monday John Fonte in National Review on Line posted here an important guide for America’s political orphans whom we call conservatives: “Re-Branding the GOP: From the party of big business to the party of the little guy.”

Most troubling are Fonte’s revelations about American corporate leaders morphing into “economic transnationals”–

  • “I have been using the term ‘corporate America,’ but this moniker is something of a misnomer in an age when executives are increasingly ‘post-American’ and major businesses almost always identify themselves as global ventures. Not untypical are comments from the vice president of Coca-Cola, who said in a speech in 2005, “We are not an American company,” and from a top Colgate-Palmolive executive, who in 1989 said, ‘There is no mindset [at Colgate] that puts this country [the United States] first.’ Speaking to Atlantic reporter Chrystia Freeland in 2011, a U.S.-based CEO of one of the world’s largest hedge funds described an internal debate at his company. One of his senior colleagues had suggested that the ‘hollowing out of the American middle class didn’t really matter,’ the CEO told Freeland, adding: ‘His point was that if the transformation of the world economy lifts four people in China and India out of poverty and into the middle class, and [that] meanwhile means one American drops out of the middle class, that’s not such a bad trade.’ Almost a decade ago, Samuel Huntington identified this trend as the ‘de-nationalization’ of American corporate elites. The new ‘economic transnationals,’ he said, are the ‘nucleus of an emerging global superclass.'”

We can’t do justice to Fonte’s entire piece in a summary; you must read it yourself. 

But we can point to what we see as some of author Fonte’s central points (Highlighting Forum’s throughout)–

  • “Business leaders and conservatives often join forces for pragmatic gain on significant issues such as Obamacare, taxes, trade policy, cap-and-trade proposals, and other environmental and government regulations. This issue-by-issue alliance is tactically useful to both groups and no doubt will (and should) continue. Republicans as a party, however, and conservatives specifically, should not be subservient to corporate interests on core issues. The American electorate must come to view Republicans as the party of the middle class rather than the courtiers of big business. The GOP ‘brand’ must change.”
  • “In July 2013, House Republicans voted to remove some federal mandates in the No Child Left Behind Act and empower the states to formulate their own accountability systems and curricular standards. Strong opposition to this federalism-affirming legislation came from every Democrat in the House, the Obama administration, an array of leftist groups (including the ACLU, the Children’s Defense Fund, the National Education Association, the Center for American Progress Action Fund, and the Southern Poverty Law Center) and also from business interests led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Business Roundtable. Former Reagan education official Chester Finn Jr. rebuked the two business groups for their stance: ‘Both . . . joined the left . . . in savaging the Kline [House Republican] bill and demanding more federal regulation and control of education. . . . I suppose this is yet another sad example of corporate America succumbing to big-government-itis.’”
  • “Social conservatives advocating life, pro-family policy, and religious freedom; national-security conservatives defending American sovereignty, arguing for a strong military, and working to meet the challenges of China and radical Islam; national-cohesion conservatives aiming to curb racial, ethnic, and gender preferences and the pernicious ideology of multiculturalism; and free-market conservatives fighting statist measures – all these find that business leaders are often either indifferent to their concerns or lined up on the other side of the barricades, alongside the forces of the leftist establishment.”  
Opposing “Coercive Diversity”
  • “A major weapon in the Left’s continuing campaign to ‘fundamentally transform America,’ as Candidate Obama so memorably promised to do, is what I call the coercive diversity project. This is the ongoing effort to use federal power to impose proportional representation along race, gender, and ethnic lines in all aspects of American life. . . . Corporate America was present at the creation of the coercive diversity project. Business executives provided funds and political support and collaborated with activists in promoting ‘diversity.Most significantly, they helped blunt opposition from principled conservatives.”
Adopting “a Humble and Honest Populism”
  • “Immigration politics is at the heart of the divide between conservative populist groups, on one side, and corporate elites within the GOP on the other. Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama wrote a memo in July to his fellow Republican lawmakers, calling on them to ‘flip the immigration debate on its head.’ At National Review Online, Sessions urged the GOP to ‘adopt a humble and honest populism’ and distance itself from ‘the corporate titans who believe the immigration policy for our entire country should be modeled to pad their bottom line.’ The GOP lost the 2012 election, Sessions said, ‘because it hemorrhaged support from middle and low-income Americans of all backgrounds,’ and the party must now mount an ‘unapologetic defense of working Americans.’ He noted that Americans oppose by a two-to-one margin increasing low-skilled immigration and also strongly oppose any legalization of illegal immigrants before border security is in place. Sessions made the key political point that Republicans have a golden opportunity to appeal once again to Reagan Democrats, who are, as John O’Sullivan put it in a statement lauding Sessions, an ‘electoral bloc that dwarfs any other in numerical terms.’”

The warning about corporate voices does not just come from Fonte. Once more we cite Daniel Horowitz’ parallel caution about Chamber of Commerce opposition to many conservatives goals.

Analyst Horowitz points out

  • “. . . [T]he Chamber of Commerce is not conservative, pro-free-market, or even necessarily pro-growth.  They support the special interests of big business.  Period.  When those interests intersect or overlap with free-market, pro-growth policies, such as advocacy for tax cuts and lower regulations, they will side with conservatives.  But when those interests require the stewardship of big government intervention, they will side with the forces of statism.  Hence, they are not paragons of free-market commerce; they support government-run commerce, albeit with tendentious policies towards their interests. Their special interests support illegal immigration, corporate welfare, increased gas taxes, and an internet sales tax.  It’s not surprising that Chamber money pours into K Street coffers to lobby for those goals.

Conservatives need to expose the ‘global’ objectives of these ‘post-American’ corporate voices and their influence over the current Republican leadership.

We need to do this before next year’s primaries – – and before a surrounded-by-crafty-staff Speaker precipitately brings an amnesty-based immigration bill before the whole House where it will pass with the support of all Democrats and a rump of Republicans.

For there will be no undoing of any amnesty-based legislation once enacted.

How conservatives in Maryland and Virginia should organize on the statewide level (here and here) are topics for another time, but soon.

The GOP Establishment is likely expecting the rank and file to be wholly absorbed in the competition among — and gossip about — local political personalities, not in checking the voting records and Leadership PAC reports of their GOP politicians and having a heart-to-heart with them about a new American direction.

Maryland and Virginia conservatives need to prove them wrong.

* * * * * * * * * *

Readers may wish to revisit our related July 31, 2013 post – -

Giant Amnesty: Will GOP Embrace Or Discard Blue Collar America?


 

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