Don’t look now, but November 7th is approaching fast. For Democrats it can’t come soon enough; they’ve got the lead and merely want to run out the clock before clinching victory. For Republicans it’s more complicated; they’re behind and need to engineer a dramatic comeback in order to save one or both houses of Congress. How did we get here? Well, barely two years removed from earning a mandate from voters in 2004, the Republican Party has squandered its political capital by overseeing record (and reckless) levels of federal spending, by engaging in—or being associated with—unethical behavior, and by failing to achieve a signature legislative victory, such as overhauling Social Security. This veritable witch’s brew of mishaps and failures got us to the point where, in late October, we’re fighting an uphill battle to maintain Republican majorities.
Earlier this year I tried to sound the alarm on this crisis in my book Getting America Right. Indeed, my co-author Ed Feulner and I urged congressional Republicans to get their act together by adopting a culture of responsibility that properly provided for our security and prosperity. We both gave speeches around the country asking the conservative base to sound the alarm as well—and you all responded with vigor. I’m confident that our criticisms and calls to action will ultimately help Republicans return to their conservative roots.
But the time for intra-party criticism has passed. Now it’s time to close ranks and work hard for the next few weeks to do all that we can to retain control of both houses of Congress. Unfortunately there are many Republican voters who fail to see the merits of such a decision. Instead, they think like a friend of mine—a long time GOP leader who served in the Nixon White House—who says he hopes the Republicans lose both the House and the Senate. Why? “To teach them a lesson,” he says.
Republicans need to learn some lessons—I agree. But let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water. We must set aside our anger and frustration and support Republican candidates across our nation. Why the switch from critic to supporter? Because the alternative is much worse. For example, Nancy Pelosi, the would-be Democrat majority leader, is no friend of the taxpayer. In fact, she has voted 19 times against eliminating the death tax. She also voted against the historic welfare reform bill of 1996; against protecting the right to say “one nation under God,” in the Pledge of Allegiance; against banning partial-birth abortions; and against requiring voter identification at polling stations so that we can ensure that only legal citizens cast votes.
Doug Wilson is the the co-author, with Edwin Feulner, of Getting America Right: The True Conservative Values Our Nation Needs Today.
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