Politics & Policy

Dear Mr. Trump, This Is My Republican Party

(Randall Hill/Reuters)
Is It Yours?

Dear Mr. Trump,

For the last few weeks, I’ve thought a great deal about the way this primary race has gone and wondered if even you expected this outcome.

At the beginning of this primary, the GOP was both blessed and cursed with 17 candidates. Blessed, because there were so many excellent candidates — and cursed because there were so many of them that none could be heard effectively. You yourself sucked all the air out of the room, and the rest of the candidates, it seems, had no chance to shine.

There were several excellent governors, ex-governors, business leaders, government experts, and senators. Clearly, every one of them felt he or she had the ideals, the convictions, and the heart — and most important — the great love for this magnificent country, America, to lead it back on track to a bright future we imagine, not the troubling one it appears to be approaching.

After seven and a half years on a path that we sense is very wrong — and potentially fatal to the America we love — all of the candidates, including you, strove to explain how they would once again make the United States into a nation that is by and for the people, not a nation ruled by the unelected and elected elite of the federal government, who consider themselves our intellectual superiors and, indeed, our “rulers.”

None of us imagined that the entire primary would be turned into a reality-TV show, featuring an endless parade of vicious attacks by the candidates against one another, with focus on who could capture the mood of the mob, as if the primary were a horse race or household showdown, not a way to determine who is best fit to lead the nation.

None of us imagined that the news media would revel in painting the Republican candidates into the same corner, where the Republican party is defined by infighting and pettiness. Our party, the party founded by Abraham Lincoln, is now defined — at least in the dominant news media — by this sordid spectacle. I would like to offer, with all due respect, a definition I believe gets at the heart of your success with your supporters and that, I hope, is in keeping with your broader themes.

This is my Republican party:

As Republicans, we believe the Constitution is the foundational document of the nation, able to stand the test of time, as clear and as relevant as when it was written. It is not an optional and occasional political tool to be used and referred to only when it serves some personal political ambition.

We believe in legal immigration by people who wish to participate in the American dream — not re-create their homeland on our soil.

We believe in the enumerated powers of the three branches of the government: the legislative, to write the laws (which unelected federal-agency bureaucrats must not write); the executive, to serve as the leader and representative of the nation to the world (not to rule us), who truly upholds and reveres the Constitution as his or her ultimate guide, an unbreakable covenant with the American people; and the judicial, which serves as the ultimate blockade, protecting the Constitution and the Bill of Rights from those who would change it beyond all recognition, in service of their own drive for power. 

We believe in a strong military: first for the defense of our nation; and, second, for the defense of those nations of free people, governed by the rule of law, who stand with us against the dictatorships of the world that, whatever name they assign themselves (we know who they are), would bring us down.

We believe in legal immigration by people who wish to participate in the American dream — not re-create their homeland on our soil. We believe that means learning to speak English — our common language, and let us not pretend otherwise — and it means working hard and respecting our laws and cultural norms, which do not include honor killings or religious laws that trump civil law. We believe that becoming an American entails knowledge of our history and traditions. And, further, we Republicans wholeheartedly believe that while America is not perfect, the American experiment is the best hope for all humanity. We would also support a legal work permit that is not a path to citizenship but that would allow foreign nationals to work here legitimately, pay nominal taxes, and abide by our laws.

We believe governments should be closely controlled by the people. We believe that local city, county, and state governments should uphold the laws of the state or municipality and that the federal government should not concern itself overly much in the details of state and local government.

#share#The federal government should, as is defined in the Constitution, be concerned with the defense and security of the nation, with the maintenance of our common government, and with ensuring we keep these 50 states a proud, free, and unique nation.

We believe in taxation that is fair and equitable, not rife with endless “carve-outs,” cronyism, and unfair burdens on American taxpayers. We believe it is wrong to punish success through taxation, and that all working citizens should share the responsibility for government equally. In short we are for taxation with representation. Simplification is the order of the day. You will find very few Americans who would disagree with a much simplified tax code.

We believe in a clean and well-protected environment — not a politicized and ideologically driven propaganda machine led by people without our best interests at heart. We believe in robust scientific argument, investigation, and discovery. Not carefully “spun,” one-sided, propaganda in support of personal ideology or designed to benefit businesses that have insider influence with one government agency or another. Not the avalanche of regulations turned into law by the multitudes of self-justifying, unelected bureaucrats, in hundreds of government agencies (EPA, DOE, FDA, and so on, ad infinitum). We believe this must stop now or be greatly reduced, and that the majority of regulatory oversight be returned to the states and municipalities.

We believe in freedom of speech. Not incivility, personal slander, and shout-downs of those with whom we disagree. We reserve the right to disagree or simply to not attend speeches if we don’t want to hear someone with whom we disagree, and we expect the same from those in opposition. We do not believe it is wrong to offer our opinions when we disagree and civilly back our arguments with facts.

We understand that “equal protection under the law” means just that. Not equal outcome.

We understand that “equal protection under the law” means just that. Not equal outcome. We believe each individual is unique and special, born with specific traits, character, and abilities. We are not blank slates upon which our parents write. Therefore, expecting equal outcomes from a multitude of individuals is foolish and unrealistic. Furthermore, we believe and respect each person’s uniqueness and also respect each individual’s personal responsibility for his achievements and contributions to his community and nation.

We believe working people should be able to keep most of what they earn, to save or spend as they see fit. Not to have half or more of their earnings confiscated by state and federal governments so their money can be filtered through millions of government employees, finally to be redistributed to those deemed unfit for work, or to crony business interests, or to those considered more deserving of those dollars than the people who earned them. Americans are the most generous and charitable people in the world. Allow us to take care of the people in our communities who need our help. We will always do a better job than a distant federal agency.

To that end, we believe it is time to greatly reduce the massive size and scope of the federal government, to set a specific percent of tax revenues (no more than 20 percent, let’s say) available to apportion among the various federal agencies. It’s time to stop the endless, cancerous spread of self-justifying growth and intrusion of the federal behemoth.

We believe that the legislative, executive, and judicial representatives in the government, as well as all government employees, should be subject to the laws they pass, without exception. No more exemptions for Congress, for the executive (the president), or for the agencies supposedly serving us. This is government by and for the people!

#related#We believe the federal government is in the business of leading; its job is to protect the security and integrity of the nation, not to subsidize specific industries such as agriculture, health care, energy, or education institutions. That is precisely what we revolted against in the American Revolution. Please read the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. These documents are short, concise, and easy to read and understand, unlike most products issuing from today’s government, which may make you die of boredom before you find out what they actually propose as law.

We ask, with all honor and faith, that you promise — and will uphold that promise every day you hold office — to conduct yourself by these principles, in honor of the American Dream, in honor of the American people, and in honor of the land of the free and the home of the brave. 

Most sincerely,

A Republican Stalwart from the Great Midwest

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