Republicans have failed to reverse the road to serfdom


In 1997 I was the New Jersey Libertarian Party gubernatorial candidate.  A major goal of my campaign was to raise enough funds to get a match from the state program that provided $2 for every dollar a candidate raised from donors.  All candidates that applied-and were approved–for state matching funds would be required to participate in two debates sponsored by the Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC). 

My campaign raised more than the $210,000 minimum by the September 2 filing deadline.  However, ELEC initially denied our application and requested an administrative law judge to provide guidance on the matter.  After two days of testimony, the judge ruled that ELEC should include me in the matching fund program and on September 19 it approved our application.  Our campaign went into high gear, and for the next seven weeks I crisscrossed the state in between my full-time teaching at Ramapo College.  By Election Day I lost at least 10 pounds.  Campaigning statewide is a sure-fire way to shed excess pounds, not that I needed to lose that much weight.

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Why do I bring this up on the 25th anniversary of my attempt to play with the “big boys” in a political campaign?

Republicans always talk about their support for fiscal discipline, limited government, and deregulation.  This is one of the greatest myths in American politics. Republicans never reduced spending at the federal level or rarely at the state level.  So, when Republicans have been in power federal government spending usually increases sometimes faster than when Democrats have controlled the presidency and the Congress.  And more importantly, Republicans have not rolled back the big government policies of Democrats.  The Republicans have in effect failed to reverse decades welfare state policies.  Why?

The answer is very simple. Republicans talk a good game but have failed to deliver on the promises to reduce the size and scope of government. When I spoke to a political science class at Rutgers University in October 1997 about how Governor Sabrin would reduce the size of the state government one student asked the following question: “Dr. Sabrin, you say you believe in free enterprise, limited government, and personal responsibility, what makes you different than a Republican?”  I answered immediately, “I mean it!”

In other words, Republicans sound like libertarians on the campaign trail but once elected govern like Democrats and true conservatives—preserving the status quo.  In short, Republicans do not believe in limited government because they have rolled back the welfare state and removed thousands of onerous businesses regulations.  And who could forget how Republican Senator John McCain gave thumbs down to ending Obamacare, effectively cementing more government intervention in medical care. 

The GOP needs a reboot.  But in the current political culture, calling for phasing out the welfare state means instant demonization by the Democrats (who should change their names to Socialists) and their media allies.  We need Republicans who are wiling to offer solutions to the unconstitutional, unsustainable, and immoral welfare sate.

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What do you think?

Written by CONK!


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