Marc Yacht: Republicans must change their policies

The Republican Party must return to its roots and embrace the quality of Jeffersonian ideals. It must rid itself of religious extremists, cold-blooded conservatism, and their abandonment of critical human services.

Republicans circa 1800 were a party of the people — no more.

The Koch brothers – David and Charles — and their ilk must be must be exiled or Republicans will go the way of the Federalists. Astronomical national debt lies at the feet of the Republican Party.  Middle East wars have broken the bank and are predominantly Republican-driven quagmires.

Republican voices promote the distrust of government, protect the elite at the expense of the average citizen, force Christianity into the body politic, and push tax dollars into the hands of “Friends of the Party.”

The Party is ideologically isolated, racist, disingenuous and corrupt.

The Democrats must also learn the same lesson. The misinformation must stop, the focus must be on American quality of life, education and health. The challenges are many and require bipartisan cooperation to solve.

Republicans today promote vast increases to military spending. Federalist John Adams, the second president, lost his re-election, because he supported the established of the Navy. He ordered resources to build six frigates to assist in protecting merchant shipping. Thomas Jefferson and the Democratic-Republicans based their campaign on minimizing federal spending, a similar message today.

The national debt was $82 million when Jefferson took office. The U.S. practiced a policy of neutrality and promoted commerce with every nation. Jefferson, the third president, reduced the debt to zero. However, in spite of his assurances that the Navy would be mothballed, piracy of American merchant shipping influenced him to protect the Navy and grow it.

Revenue to the federal government in 1800 came mainly from import tariffs. There was no personal income tax. Merchant shipping reaped great profits for the fledgling nation. The debt was caused by borrowing to fight the Revolutionary War, Tripoli, Canada, and later the War of 1812.

After 1840 the debt rose and continued to escalate. There are three primary reasons for the national debt: War, war, and more war.

The Republican agenda today implies identification with the “Founding Fathers” and Jeffersonian ideals. Unfortunately, the party’s war on taxes is selective, and their efforts to curtail spending are a myth. After the Civil War, the Republican Party aligned with the Robber Barons and fought every effort to break their grip on the nation’s wealth.

Today the Republican Party represents racism, evangelistic white citizens, anti immigration, anti-gay, anti-union, pro-corporate and slashing government services. GOP leaders undermine health care, President Barack Obama’s agenda, thwarting a boost in the minimum wage, deregulation, misinformation, and counting on a very uneducated voter base. Those voters are loyal to Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and other conservative pundits who fill the airways with claptrap.

The misinformed voter inundates Facebook and other social media to rally support for their candidates. The RNC realizes there are not enough of them to win a presidential election. It is clear that a Democratic Party candidate will have the advantage in November’s presidential election.

What’s a Republican to do to change the perception? The popular view of the party has cost them two presidential elections. They continue to make efforts to become a more inclusive party but simply fall short. The Flint, Mich. water debacle will have serious consequences for the party.

The party can salvage its future if it promotes a sensible immigration policy, works with Obamacare, shows more racial tolerance and tries to close the country’s growing gap between the rich and the rest of us. They’re out of time.

Many of the same issues apply to the Democrats. They must clarify their agenda. They have yet to do that.

***

Dr. Marc J. Yacht, MD, MPH is a retired physician living in Hudson, Florida. Column courtesy of Contest Florida.

Marc Yacht



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