Howard Rich

The modern GOP emerged from the realigned South – which emphasized religion, morality and tradition – and from Westerners who have always valued our founding ideals of independence and privacy. This “South-West Axis” formed a potent electoral alliance that began producing consistent Republican wins beginning in 1968. In fact prior to the two most recent election cycles, this axis was only really derailed once – by Watergate.

The “South-West Axis” also swept the GOP to a landslide Congressional victory in 1994, despite generic ballot polling that showed Democrats with a slim majority over Republicans just days before the election. Yet every time America has handed Republicans the car keys, GOP politicians have crashed and burned – even when the handwriting was clearly on the wall.

“As the Republican Party embraces the big government it once fought against, and increasingly stakes its political fortunes on cultural hot-buttons such as gay marriage and flag burning, libertarian-minded voters are up for grabs,” one political analyst wrote during the summer of 2006. And indeed they were. As a result of the GOP’s failure to adhere to its founding principles, Republicans lost thirty House seats and six Senate seats in 2006. Two years later the party lost another twenty-one House seats, eight Senate seats and the presidency.

In both of these elections, Democrats capitalized on Republicans’ fiscal excesses. For example, prior to the 2006 election sixty-five percent of voters agreed that “Republicans used to be the party of economic growth, fiscal discipline, and limited government, but in recent years, too many Republicans in Washington have become just like the big spenders that they used to oppose.” Two years later, that number had climbed to eighty percent.

Meanwhile, 2008 polling in swing states like Colorado, Florida, Ohio and Virginia (all of which were carried by Barack Obama) showed that voters trusted Democrats more than Republicans to keep federal spending in check – turning conventional political wisdom on its ear.

The truth is that both parties have demonstrated a contempt for American freedom and free markets that has pushed our nation into its current economic malaise.

The only good news? With unconstitutional individual mandates, massive tax hikes and crushing debt payments looming, it won’t be long before the rest of the country realizes just what a threat to their liberties their own government has become.


Howard Rich

Howard Rich is the Chairman of Americans for Limited Government.