The Problem With Bobby Jindal’s Big Speech To The RNC
The bottom line message of Bobby Jinal’s speech to the RNC is the path to victory for GOP is to stop focusing on the federal government and instead focus on American prosperity.
Government does not order greatness. Government cannot command outcomes that exceed those in other nations.
But free individuals…taking risks…building businesses…inventing things from thin air…and passing immutable values from one generation to the next…that is the root of America’s greatness.
And that is our mission as we build a new Republican Party.
We must shift the eye line and the ambition of our conservative movement away from managing government and toward the mission of growth.
It falls to us to show the younger generations the wisdom and the great benefit of the American path.
It falls to us to unleash a new dawning of the American Dream – the dream my parents came to America for – a dream of growth, prosperity, and equal opportunity.
I agree with the sentiment behind Jindal’s speech, I don’t think his diagnosis of what Americans want is correct.
When Democrats lose they always blame the messenger not the message. We usually laugh at that.
I fear that’s what conservatives are now doing. Society has been moving ever left for over 80 years now. There have been no conservative reversals of this trend, just some temporary slow downs followed by big leaps to the left. This isn’t an accident. It isn’t because liberals and leftists have tricked Americans for decades, it’s because people keep electing politicians who give them what they want.
Jindal is saying stop focusing on “root canal” politics (Jack Kemp’s term) and focus on offering a vision sweeping ideas of individual empowerment and opportunity to oppose the left’s statist worldview. Well, we tried that from Reagan onward and the result is people wanted…both. Big government benefits and relatively low levels of taxation.
How’s that working out for the country?
The problem with this approach is if we don’t focus on shrinking the federal government, it will simply continue to grow at a rate greater than the increase in national prosperity and consume whatever gains have been made. Starving the beast doesn’t work because the beast discovered the joys of borrowing. Either we slay the beast once and for all or it will devour us.
I’m not saying that pre-New Deal America was some sort of libertarian utopia but I simply don’t see any evidence that what people are really yearning for is some sort of diminished collectivism and a rise of a Burekian ideal. People will continue to vote for “Both” until they can’t.
I think what people want is comfort. Whatever seems to maximize that will win out.