It has been a year since Mitt Romney lost the election to President Obama. Like many Americans, I was heartbroken by the loss because America desperately needed a new President. As a member of the Republican Party, I jumped into the political trenches and fought for a Romney victory. Yet, to be honest, although Romney believed he was going to win until late into the evening on Election Day, I knew Romney’s loss was certain even before the GOP establishment orchestrated Romney’s victory in the primary.
My foresight (and that of others like me) was not based on some expectation that the GOP would fail to get its base out to vote or that the GOP would experience technical difficulties. Instead it was based on a deeper problem within the GOP that continues to be ignored. Recent events at both the national and Ohio level demonstrate that the GOP has no understanding of its deeper problems. As a result, additional devastating losses are certain in the future for the GOP and America.
In order to understand why the GOP lost in 2012, it must first be understood who Obama is. Obama is obviously a believer in the need for a big government to cure the alleged failures of capitalism. However, Obama is more than just an ignorant individual that made it to the White House. Obama is a symbol of an anti-liberty, statist mentality that has been allowed to develop in America for over a century. And the GOP, despite being formed on principles of limited government and individual liberty, shares a great amount of the responsibility for allowing that destructive mentality to be fostered.
The GOP has been guided by a short-sighted approach of recognizing that a party cannot legislate unless it wins elections while simultaneously believing that the GOP’s base will always come out to vote. The consequence is that the GOP, for the last century, has always tried to reach out to moderates and independents at the expense of squashing the fallacies of statism. Obama is merely the result of a century of the GOP’s failure to stop America’s gradual acceptance of the need for an expanding government to cure the alleged shortcomings of capitalism.
The GOP’s failure began approximately with two Republicans that had ties to Ohio, President Benjamin Harrison and Senator John Sherman. Together they led the way to the federal government’s first annual expenditure of a billion dollars. Moreover, they started a series of antitrust laws to defeat fictional monopolies. Consequently, they gave birth to the myth that government intervention was necessary to save the economy from the free market. Teddy Roosevelt, another Republican, expanded this myth with his trust-busting crusades, regulation of the railroad industry, and creation of the Department of Commerce and Labor. The GOP did nothing to counter the myths that provided the basis for these expansions of government.
Subsequently, President Woodrow Wilson took advantage of this new era of government intervention. He created the very means to expand the size of government: the income tax and the Federal Reserve. From now on, the government would be able to endlessly grow in size and to blame the consequences on the free market. Not finished, Wilson established the Federal Reserve’s ability to buy government bonds. Thus, Wilson ensured the government’s limitless opportunities to increase its debt for future generations to bear. Again, the GOP did nothing.
During the 1920s, President Calvin Coolidge, a Republican, demanded low interest rates and stacked the Federal Reserve with economists who would comply. The Federal Reserve, thereafter, pumped cheap money into the economy creating an illusion of an economic roar. In response, the GOP did nothing. After the inevitable financial crash resulted in 1929, President Herbert Hoover, another Republican, intervened like no President before and gave additional credence to the myth that a larger government was necessary to save the economy from the alleged free market. The GOP did nothing, and a depression ensued. While President Franklin Roosevelt turned the depression into a Great Depression by doubling down on Hoover’s intervention, the GOP did nothing. As FDR defrauded the American people into believing that a secure retirement could come only as a result of the government stealing from younger generations, the GOP did nothing. When FDR lied to the American people in claiming that the dollar could be saved only if the government seized citizens’ gold, the GOP did nothing.
In the 1960s, President Lyndon Johnson proposed a great society fostered by even more government intervention. Johnson expanded the government’s programs of generational theft as supposedly necessary to ensure quality health care. Again, the GOP did nothing. When President Richard Nixon, another Republican, finally destroyed what was left of the gold standard and implemented price controls in response to the inevitable price inflation, the GOP did nothing. While our supposed great Republican hero, President Ronald Reagan, doubled the size of the federal government, the GOP did nothing. Next, President George H. Bush, another Republican, raised taxes after the infamous lie that came from his lips of no new taxes. The GOP did nothing.
Throughout the 1990s, the Federal Reserve once again pumped cheap money into the economy and created another false economic boom. The GOP did nothing, and President Bill Clinton’s tax increase received credit for the appearance of a growing economy. After the stock bubble inevitably collapsed and the Federal Reserve pumped more cheap money into the economy, the GOP did nothing. While President George W. Bush, another Republican, pushed for a home ownership society, massively increased spending and regulations, and destroyed personal liberties through a so-called Patriot Act, the GOP did nothing. Once the economy inevitably collapsed in 2008 from the Federal Reserve’s cheap money policy, Bush proceeded to bail out everything to save the alleged free market. The GOP did nothing.
Despite the GOP’s founding platform of limited government and liberty, the GOP did nothing for the last century to stand up for that platform. And as a result, Romney was also a symbol. He was a symbol of a GOP that has done nothing. Romney also believed in the existence of a large government to cure the alleged failures of our fictional capitalist economy. Throughout the election process, Romney continually tried to move beyond the political center. During the presidential debates, it was clear that Romney and Obama disagreed only on where to place the deck chairs on the Titanic.
Supposedly the GOP’s wisdom for choosing Romney was that he could pull moderates and independents in the GOP’s favor. Such wise decision makers never asked the simple question: after a century of permitting statism to develop in America, why would the people want a Republican big-government, anti-capitalist when there was already one in the White House who was bigger and better at it? Obama and his resounding promises of curing America from the purported consequences of capitalism did not need to be replaced. The Obama presidency was the required cure according to generations of Americans who have been taught that more government was the solution to our problems.
But Romney was a businessman; he supposedly believed in capitalism. Hogwash! There is a big difference between someone who knows how to run a business and someone who knows how to run an economy. Romney did not believe in capitalism. Romney made his wealth off of the very corrupt fiat monetary system that is at the center of our economic problems. Furthermore, Romney was utterly clueless as to how to fix our economic problems. He believed in the same fallacious economic philosophy of government stimulus programs as Bush and Obama. Back in the 2008 GOP primary, Romney dismissed John McCain’s proposal of spending cuts in response to the 2008 crisis as “not stimulative.”
The GOP needs to get away from the myth that a businessman is the key to fixing our economic problems. Adam Smith disposed of that myth back in his 1776 seminal work, The Wealth of Nations, where he had nothing positive to say about businessmen being involved in politics. Of course, that is not a slam against businessmen, but a request that the GOP stop looking to a particular profession to solve our economic problems. Instead, the GOP must focus on recruiting candidates from all sorts of professions who unapologetically and intelligently fight for free-market capitalism as the economically and morally superior system to statism. That is the key to winning back our nation.
Yet, it is plainly evident that the GOP does not recognize this solution. Rather, the GOP continues to build the myth that a larger government is necessary to solve our problems. At the national level, the Republican-controlled House has proposed its own larger federal budgets. In Ohio, the GOP has increased the size of government through business tax credit programs, growing budgets, and the expansion of Medicaid. The GOP continues to expand the size of government on its own initiatives.
Will the recruitment of candidates who unapologetically advocate for a limited government result in the GOP losing more elections in the short term? Absolutely. That is the inevitable consequence from a century of appeasing statism. But winning elections can no longer be about the short term. America is not going broke: it is broke. Thanks to a century of the GOP doing nothing while the government does far too much, our economy is on the verge of a real economic collapse [read OCR’s 5-part Series: “Our Coming Economic Collapse”]. The only thing temporarily propping our economy up is all the new money being pumped into the financial industry by the Federal Reserve. That collapse is unavoidable, regardless of whether Romney had won last year.
The GOP must start being candid about the coming collapse and the difficult spending cuts that must come now. When the collapse finally comes, the GOP must be ready to rebuild the pieces: this time by doing something. I have not abandoned the GOP, because I believe in its founding principles of limited government and liberty. To save our nation, all that needs to happen is for the GOP to start believing in its principles too.
John Langenderfer is a practicing attorney with a focus in consumer and commercial law. He can also be reached on his Facebook page.
All opinions expressed belong solely to their authors and may not be construed as the opinions of other writers or of OCR staff.
READ ALL OCR articles by John Langenderfer here.
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