As I write in my book "What Works: Common Sense Solutions for a Stronger America," we didn't just crawl out of a cave; we don't have to discover fire or invent the wheel. We have a history of problems that were solved, challenges met and innovation encouraged and rewarded. Why do we continue to conduct political discourse that sounds like stale sitcom dialog and lob the same rehearsed and focus-grouped sound bites at each other to no effect? Why not try something old that worked?
Given their party's deplorable state of disunion and the country's fixation on self, a Republican "revivalist" will have to sell his or her platform based on self-interest, featuring men and women who have overcome by making right choices, if we can still define "right" in a country that increasingly considers all choices equal.
Republicans should promise that if voters allow them to regain control of all three branches of government, an outside auditor will be named to go through the federal government, recommending to Congress which agencies can be reduced in size or even eliminated. Congress would require itself to accept the auditor's findings, as with the Defense Base Realignment and Closing Commission, which has been charged with increasing the Defense Department's efficiency by the realignment and closure of unnecessary U.S. military installations.
This will be a challenge for Republicans. We'll soon know if they can meet it and, more importantly, whether voters will respond to such a message. The time may be right for someone with real convictions and the courage to state them, regardless of what polls say.
Meanwhile, God save us from popular opinion and from politicians whose only convictions come in a courtroom.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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