The Republican opportunity: Focus on fiscal issues


In the 2014 elections Republicans won back the Senate and retained the House much to the surprise of many Democrats. Republicans now have a golden opportunity to show that they are the party that can put America back on the right path. Americans have seen that the Democrats have not been able to fulfill all the elaborate promises they have made over the past few years. For Republicans to capitalize on this opportunity, however, they must learn from their past mistakes.

Republicans must realize that fighting against topics like gay marriage actually hinders them more than it rallies their bases. They cannot argue for smaller government that does not interfere with every aspect of citizen’s life, while simultaneously supporting government regulation of marriage.

While I believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman I do not support the government enforcing this idea. The argument that government can legislate cultural change is completely fallacious.

I also see that the Democrats use the Republican stance on gay marriage to limit the debate. Instead of making the decision about who can help the create jobs, further education, or cut Federal deficits Republicans have allowed Democrats to use topics like gay marriage to rally voters to their cause.

The biggest issue with the Republicans at the moment is the inability to unite as a party. Long-time Republicans like John McCain and Karl Rove do not understand that Republicans must re-organize their priorities in order to survive. They view the new Republicans, such as Rand Paul, as a hindrance instead of a much-needed breath of fresh air. The ideas of these newcomers have actually pushed younger voters, as well as some Democrats, to reconsider their views of the Republican Party.

There is enormous potential for the Republicans to capitalize on the attitudes of Americans towards the federal government. In the past five years Americans have realized that the government spies on all forms of their communications, uses the IRS politically, and hides an enormous amount of information from them. They have seen that politicians do not hold up to their campaign promises, and that money permeates Washington in almost every aspect of its operations.

This is where the party of fiscal responsibility and small government steps in. The Republicans must hold true to their campaign promises, focus on big government and economic issues, and do not get bogged down in fights over social issues. Many of these social issues will be lost even if Republicans fight them tooth and nail. Balancing the budget and fixing the American economy far outweighs the debate over gay marriage and medicinal marijuana.

They should propose an illegal immigration reform bill that first fully secures the border, then propose a plan on how to decide which illegal immigrants can become American citizens and which cannot. They should do this in a rational way that does not isolate the Hispanic community from the Republican Party. If someone has been here for twenty years and has not committed a serious crime lets make them a citizen, then they can pay taxes like everyone else. The argument that Democrats only want to use amnesty to obtain more voters may have some truth to it, however, when an illegal immigrant has children in America they become a citizen. This person will not vote for a party that will deport their parents. Fighting against any immigration reform will actually rally more people to the Democrat voting base. It is time for Republicans to step up and solve the issue of illegal immigration. Unless they do so border security will not improve and they will lose a key demographic in future elections.

If Republicans can reshape their image over the next year they will have a much higher probability of re-taking the White House. They must not make the mistake of making someone like Jeb Bush the party nominee. Instead of compromising on issues such as gay marriage he has chosen to compromise on education with his support of the Common Core Curriculum. Republicans should make a stand on education, balancing the budget, economic policy in general, and reducing the size of federal government. If Republicans can become the party of the people they can restore civil liberties as well as save the American economy.

Josh Rigsby
Fayetteville, Ga.

[Rigsby is a student at Clayton State University.]