Terry Paulson

Once again, political pundits are saying that the California Republican Party is dead and never to rise again unless it begins to embrace more moderate candidates. And just where has trying to be Democrat-lite ever gotten the Republican Party but in trouble? You can’t out-promise or out-spend liberal Democrats!

Politics is about real choices. In these challenging times, Republicans must teach, motivate, inspire, and, ultimately, draw a stark contrast between itself and the progressive politicians. Do citizens want more freedom or big government control, Constitutional rule or activist judges, individual rights or group advocacy, low taxes or wealth redistribution?

Yes, California is the exception to the hard-fought Republican gains across the country. While others have had enough of big-government politicians, Californians seem to have no trouble hoping that the Democrats can force the Fairy God Mother to magically fund our state’s largesse. Fortunately, she’s been locked up in the basement of the House of Representatives and no early release is expected. CA dug its own hole; don’t expect other states to send any gold to bail out the “golden” state.

While pundits prematurely shovel dirt on the GOP’s grave, it’s the Democrats who face an uncertain future. The Democrats not only control CA’s legislative and executive branches, they now own the problem of how to get the state out of the red after years of approving exorbitant state employee contracts and pensions and providing unfunded program promises they no longer can afford. They’re about to be as popular as a parent taking away a spoiled teenager’s credit card.

To his credit, Governor Brown has identified the problem, called for austerity, but now hopes to sell voters on extending more “temporary taxes” in June. As Californians watch gas, energy, food and water prices soar, the chances of approving more taxes to fund over-priced salaries and pensions or an ineffective educational system seem remote.

Why will conservative Republicans rebound? Because progressive policies don’t work! You can see the results in the streets of Greece and the EU. In the US, states that are failing are run by Democrats and states that are rebounding and attracting businesses and jobs are run by Republicans. People are tired of talk; they want jobs and results.

As we come closer to celebrating what would have been Ronald Reagan’s 100th birthday, we should follow his advice: “I appealed to their best hopes, not their worst fears. To their confidence, not their doubts.” Republicans shouldn’t race to the center; they should stand strong for the rock-solid conservative principles that guided Ronald Reagan into political victory as governor and as president. He believed in the American people—its workers, entrepreneurs and citizens. He wanted empowered individuals, not bigger government.

Democrats keep asking what Republicans will do to fix the economy. They don’t plan on passing more programs, regulations or stimulus plans. They plan on getting out of the way to let people DO what they DO Best—innovate, work hard, spend their money where they want it spent, create businesses to provide a product or service someone will actually pay for, and re-energize the private sector that has been over-controlled and over-taxed.

Want to revitalize the Republican Party, then stop talking about Republican politicians and start promoting the real answer—real citizens, entrepreneurs and hard-working Americans who are busy making the American Dream work. Let them fund ads that catch Americans working and let their success inspire others to do the same. Politicians aren’t the stars of the GOP—the people are!

As Reagan said from the White House, “I’m not taking your time this evening to ask you to trust me. Instead, I ask you to trust yourself. That is what America is all about… It’s the power of millions of people like you who will determine what will make America great again.”

Reagan wouldn’t want us to wait for another election. We’ve had enough of eloquent politicians who think they have all the answers. We need a party that believes in us and proves it by cutting taxes, cutting spending and minimizing big government dependence. Get out of the way and give “We the People” freedom again—freedom to fail and to succeed!


Terry Paulson

Terry Paulson, PhD is a psychologist, award-winning professional speaker, author of The Optimism Advantage: 50 Simple Truths to Transform Your Attitudes and Actions into Results, and long-time columnist for the Ventura County Star.

 
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