Scott Tibbs

Right wing liberals are still liberals

By Scott Tibbs, May 10, 2023

A common theme of the "New Right" is that Republicans need to "use their power" when they get into office to implement a conservative agenda. The theme is that the principles of pluralism and limited government have failed: Democrats always use their power to push their agenda and Republicans need to do the same.

Here is the problem with that argument: Less government, lower taxes, less regulation and more personal freedom is the conservative agenda. This conservative agenda can be traced from Barry Goldwater and a brilliant speech by Ronald Reagan in 1964 to the 1994 Republican wave election that allowed Republicans to take control of the House of Representatives for the first time since the 1950s. That agenda continued through the Tea Party wave against Barack Obama's reckless spending in 2010 and 2014. These are the principles that made me a Republican in the first place.

The reason that the Left is able to cram down its agenda on the American people is that the government - especially at the federal level - has too much power. A government that has the power to implement a "conservative" agenda also has the power to implement a liberal agenda. Every single time Republicans want to pass a law to give government more power, they need to ask themselves if they would be comfortable with Democrats exercising that same power the next time Democrats win an election.

The key to preserving conservative values is not to implement more big government solutions. The key to preserving conservative values is empowering families and communities to make decisions for themselves, devolving federal power to the states, and reducing the tax and regulatory burdens on our economy. This is not a call for anarchy, as government must still do basic things, but those basic things are far less intrusive than what we have now. Let's not abandon the vision of Ronald Reagan and Newt Gingrich for the power schemes of the New Right.

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