The November election revealed a populist upsurge of repugnance against Washington. In the current two-party system, this upsurge could only take the form of support for the Republicans.
If the Republicans are interested in real reform, they will act as statesmen and not politicians. A statesman is one who understands and pursues the long-range best interests of his people—not one whose range of vision is limited by the next TV interview, poll results, or a brown bag of unmarked bills. If the Republicans were statesmen, the following is what they would do.
Cut taxes. As Edmund Burke said, the revenue is the state. It is all well and good to talk about welfare reform and cutting the paltry millions of the NEA. But nothing will be done about reforming the bloated federal government until its funds are squeezed off. They should also follow the lead of the best Republican leader. Representative Dick Armey, who is pushing for a middleclass tax cut.
Return to federalism. It may well be that the protest in many states against unfunded federal mandates is the most constructive development on the scene today, and let us hope it portends a real constitutional revolution. But the states should not only be resisting unfunded federal mandates—they should be resisting all federal mandates. That is what self-government is all about. True federalism is not when the federal government allows the states to do things. True federalism—as spelled out in the Constitution—is when the states forbid the federal government from doing things.
Curb illegal immigration and rethink legal immigration. It is the responsibility of Congress to look after the wellbeing of the American people and our posterity—not to provide jobs for the world’s surplus population of Mexicans, Chinese, and Hindus. What is the point of preserving an economy and government if they are not ours? Republicans often act as if they thought the purpose of government was to keep the shopping malls full of warm bodies.
Eliminate the power of the federal courts to thwart majority will. As things now stand, any moral or mental cretin appointed to the federal bench 30 years ago by Lyndon Johnson can, by the stroke of a pen, overturn the democratic will and invalidate the results of any election. Until the national leadership undertakes serious, fundamental constitutional reform of the enormity of judicial usurpation, it is useless to talk of any other reforms. In fact, willingness to curtail the courts should be our measure of the seriousness of the Republican agenda during the next two years, since the black-robed deities will undoubtedly impose their will to thwart any genuine reform.
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