Townhall was in attendance today at Heritage Action of America’s third-annual Conservative Policy Summit, where House Speaker Paul Ryan, Sens. Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Ben Sasse (R-NE), and Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC),gave compelling arguments on the future of conservatism and the Republican Party.
The primary structure of Wednesday's summit was broken down into four different sub-topics regarding the Republican Party. Leadership, defense, social, and economics were all apart of the discussion on Wednesday.
Ryan spoke of preparing the Republican Party for the future. He said, "it is hard to remove Obamacare with someone named Obama in the White House." He mentioned laying a strong foundation for the revival of the party, and was excited to see what the next chapter brings.
"I am fine if I lose my seat in 2018 after doing the right thing to save America," Ryan said.
Ernst, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, spoke on behalf of the military. She highlighted the issues that the government faces in preparing the military to be its finest. She spoke of her experiences as an officer in the U.S. Army, and shocked the audience when she said that when she and her soldiers arrived in Iraq in 2003, they were provided no maps of the local areas. She criticized the amount of wasteful spending in the military, saying that it is becoming increasingly problematic and that the relationship between generals and privates is growing significantly sparse as well.
One of her main points, however, was on the utility of the A-10 Thunderbolt aircraft. Due to its age, the A-10 has become the subject of great scrutiny on Capitol Hill. Despite this issue, many service members say that the A-10 provides a crucial role of support to ground forces and should be kept around. Ernst counts herself in this group.
"I am an adamant supporter of the A-10s," Ernst said.
Walker gave his opinion on the Republican Party and how the social views as a country have changed over the years. He mentioned the pivotal role that families play in society and how marriage between one man and one woman is something that needs to lead that fight. As a former preacher, Walker said that it was okay for Americans to be angry, and that he often times criticizes other pastors for not being as passionate.
Sasse stole the show with his speech on economics. He laid out the four "bad ideas" that many people in Washington, D.C. tend to follow:
- The idea that government creates jobs rather than the market.
- The inability to discuss what government is, or is not.
- Thinking that politicians can fix everything.
- Not understanding the difference between “limited” and “small” government.
He went on to give his compelling rendition of Alexis de Tocqueville's "Democracy in America."
According to Sasse, Tocqueville came to America to find out how Washington, D.C. had done such a good job in governing the United States. After a short time in America, walking around from town to town and talking to the everyday American in the early 1800s, Tocqueville found that America was not ruled by Washington, but ruled by the people. Sasse concluded with the argument that the people of America need not rely on Washington to fix their problems, but to rely on the common man.