Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal may be the U.S. Grant of Republican politics. We can’t spare him. He thinks.
Gov. Jindal delivered a great speech to the Republican Party’s winter meeting Thursday that bears reading in full. Jindal sets up our current politics as a war of two ways of thinking: the American Way and the Government Way. Down the American Way lies prosperity through individual liberty, entrepreneurship, and limited government. Down the Government Way lies more central control over more of our lives coming at Americans from Washington. Republicans should be the party of the American Way, while Democrats are already the party of the Government Way.
We as Republicans have to accept that government number crunching – even conservative number crunching – is not the answer to our nation’s problems.
We also must face one more cold hard fact – Washington is so dysfunctional that any budget proposal based on fiscal sanity will be deemed ‘not-serious’ by the media, it will fail in the Senate, and it won’t even make it to the President’s desk where it would be vetoed anyway.
In fact, any serious proposal to restrain government growth is immediately deemed ‘not-serious’ in Washington. The Balanced Budget is deemed ‘not-serious’ in Washington.
Term Limits are deemed ‘not-serious’ in Washington. Capping federal growth by tying it to private sector economic growth is deemed ‘not-serious’ in Washington.
The truth is nothing serious is deemed serious in Washington.
This is unarguably true. Reporters swoon over Obama the celebrity, tweet “wow” at banalities, and generally run away from serious journalism. Congress doesn’t even bother to read the laws it passes. The outgoing defense secretary drops a sweeping change on the military as his last act, without any public input or discussion at all. Washington has become the Camelot of Monty Python and the Holy Grail: A silly place. But also an amoral, often sinister place as well.
Jindal went on from there to blast Barack Obama’s unseriousness when dealing with our nation’s fiscal issues. Then Jindal essentially called for Republicans to give up on being government’s manager and focus our energy elsewhere.
Instead of worrying about managing government, it’s time for us to address how we can lead America… to a place where she can once again become the land of opportunity, where she can once again become a place of growth and opportunity.
We should put all of our eggs in that basket.
Yes, we certainly do need folks in Washington who will devote themselves to the task of stopping this President from taking America so far off the ledge that we cannot get back.
We must do all we can to stop what is rapidly becoming the bankrupting of our federal government.
But we as conservatives must dedicate our energies and our efforts to growing America, to growing the American economy, to showing the younger generations how America can win the future.
That path does not lie in government. If more government were the answer, our economy would be booming right now. That path has been tried.
That’s a good thought, but an increasingly difficult one to square with the facts. Even the best-managed states, with the freest markets and the healthiest economies, may find themselves robbed and bankrupted by statist policies coming at them from Washington. Texas, for instance, lost 3,900 jobs this week because EPA regulations aborted them. The EPA in the Obama era has become a serial killer of jobs. How does one fight Washington’s reach without being in Washington or keeping tabs on what Washington is doing? Back to Jindal–
The health of America is not about government at all. Balancing government’s books is a nice goal, but that is not our primary objective.
Our objective is to grow the private sector. We need to focus our efforts on ideas to grow the American economy, not the government economy.
If you take nothing else away from what I say today, please understand this – We must not become the party of austerity. We must become the party of growth. Of course we know that government is out of control. The public knows that too. And yet we just lost an election.
Again, we cannot afford to fight on our opponents’ terms. The Republican Party must become the party of growth, the party of a prosperous future that is based in our economic growth and opportunity that is based in every community in this great country and that is not based in Washington, DC.
We have fallen into a trap of believing that the world revolves around Washington, that the economy is based there. If we keep believing that, government will grow so big that it will take us all down with it.
Aren’t we already there?