Over the past few years, there’s been a lot of talk about “change.” Most of us agree, change is something this country desperately needs. And we’ve had a good bit of change in just the past 12 months. With all due respect to the president, though, the change we’re seeing now is not the change we need. The truth is, real change has to begin with us. And by us, I mean Republicans. Republicans need to refocus on a concept that built our party in every corner of the nation. That concept is security – economic security and national security.
Economic security means lower and fewer taxes, smaller government, and less spending– an environment for economic prosperity. Republicans in South Carolina have been working toward that end. It’s why we were able to bring in Boeing and the thousands of jobs created throughout the state by the Dreamliner facility.
The attraction of Boeing to our state is a case study in effective economic development. Republicans have worked to keep taxes low, limit regulation, and make sure government stays small and out of the way of business. Washington State, on the other hand, created an inhospitable environment for a major company like Boeing because of the state’s higher taxes and unions. So, instead of expanding in its home base, Boeing came to our part of the country.
National security means a strong military that can protect our homeland against terrorists and our borders against illegal immigrants. The terror incidents over the past few weeks show that, as we were reminded on 9/11, the oceans that protected us for so many years can no longer provide that shield. Terrorists won’t quit, and we cannot drop our vigilance.
Along our southern border, the illegal immigration problem is completely out of hand. If terrorists want to get into our country, sneaking into Texas is easier than trying to get on a transatlantic flight. There is also the tremendous toll illegal immigration takes on government services, causing taxpayers to shell out more and more money to fund those programs. And, it brings with it a culture of crime – that of crossing the border in the first place, along with forged documents, human smuggling, and drugs.
But, we can’t change our nation and shake up Washington until we recommit to these ideals. With the highest unemployment in years and the threat of terrorist attacks, American families feel insecure. And in the grand scheme of things, isn’t the feeling of security what we all really want in the end? Don’t we all just want to know that we’ll have our jobs next week and our family will be safe when we get home tonight?
We were the party of security, but we’ve lost our way. After good ideas and strong leadership earned us 8 years in the White House and majorities in Congress for 12 of the past 14 years, many Republicans in Congress lost their scrapper’s instinct. Bailouts and government growth hasn’t been the sole purview of Democrats lately.
Too many Washington Republicans have lost their way, and it’s time to get our party back to its conservative roots. After all, that’s where the people are. Poll after poll tells us that most Americans are politically conservative. So let’s take the Gipper’s advice: “We are members of a majority. Let’s act and talk like it.”