Thursday, May 15, 2008

November on my mind

Since Governor Huckabee challenged bloggers to post their thoughts on what is needed to rebrand the Republican party, I had to state my case. Of course, I got most of it done and had a problem which lost my post. Aiyeeee!!!! So what follows is not as good as the original, but includes much of what I wanted to say.

  1. The War - we need to stop arguing about how we got into Iraq and focus on how we will help the Iraqi government build strength. How we got there is irrelevant at this point and we should not let Democrats get away with taking the high moral ground on this issue. We must maintain a stable Middle East and a precipitous withdrawal from Iraq is not the way to do that. We need clearly stated goals and sufficient troops and equipment to meet those goals.

  2. Border security - Secure the borders. Promote a fair immigration policy. Deal with those currently in the US in a compassionate manner while enforcing our laws.

  3. Social Security - formulate and promote a plan for how we will handle funding for SS without exorbitant contribution rates for our children. This is important to keep the system viable and is crucial to the ever increasing percentage of people age 65 and up.

  4. Health care - Our system needs reform, but not government mandated insurance. We need to find a way to work with providers and insurance companies to make good coverage affordable. Some insurance companies offer incentives for things like health club memberships if one goes regularly. Perhaps a good insurance program should offer incentives or rebates for healthy habits and staying healthy. Goes to MH's comments on how our system is structured.

  5. The Economy - here again, we need a plan. We must build new jobs. We need penalties against companies that export jobs and manufacturing. We need incentives for companies to retool and retrain their workforce. We need to rebuild the "Made in America" Brand. We need the modern equivalent of the WPA to put people to work and meet the needs of the nation.

  6. Tax Reform - the tax code needs to be overhauled and simplified. We need to be open to any system that would help achieve that, whether it be a flat tax, fair tax or some combination of those. We do need to bring those who currently pay no tax into the system.

How do we win elections? First, by changing our tactics. Instead of negative ads filled with half truths, we need to require honest answers from Democrats. This is the third or fourth election cycle where they have promised "change". We should be requiring them to define that and tell us how they plan to effect it. Barack Obama is running on a theme of change and hope. He is big on lofty rhetoric and short on specific. We should be requiring him to get specific.

We need to key into specific voter blocks and make sure our message is heard. And we need to get the support of voters likely to actually cast a ballot in November. We need our best speakers our on college campuses working with local groups to get new voters registered and excited about our message.

We should be working with unions across the nation. The things we want are the things they want ... jobs, a sound economy, secure borders, a fair immigration policy. We've ceded these groups to the Democrats for too long.

Restore confidence in government by letting people know their opinions matter. John McCain made effective us of town hall meetings early in the primaries. We need surrogates to fan our across the nation, holding town hall meetings and taking the pulse of the voters. And then we need to follow up on that by reporting back to them so they know their concerns are being reviewed and how our candidates propose to address them.
  • Be Positive
  • Be Proactive
  • Be Responsive

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