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Four policies that would work for the Republicans

Zyphlin

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Inverse of the Democratic exercise. Take a look at the general platforms and views of the Republican party. To a point, we want to be a bit stereotypical here. However we don't want to over exaggerate those stereotypes to a level where it is a parody of things. A bit of "compromising" of republican principles is allowed but it should stay within a realistic level. With that in mind, here's the question.

Republicans and right leaning individuals, state four generalized policies you'd want to see as the "main focus" of a Republican national campaign. The first key thing to this would be a need to excite and encourage turnout of republicans. Second to that is attracting moderates. Third to that is attracting democrats.

Democrats and left leaning individuals, state four policies that the Republican party could pursue as the focus of a national campaign that could potential give you pause enough to examine their candidates or platform. This is not necessarily saying you'd vote for them, in large part because the Democratic oppositions positions are ambiguous here. It is simply a four policy focus that is in line with Republican philosophy but would be enough to at least make you take the moment to think on a possible vote for the other side.

Moderates/Independents, look at the two questions and pick the one that is closer to your lean even if that lean is slight.
 

Psychoclown

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Let me make sure I understand what you want. Like most libertarians, I identify more with the righ than the left. That said, do want me to post 4 policies I personally want the Republicans to focus on or 4 policies I think would give Republicans the best chance at winning public favor?
 

Zyphlin

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Generally was staying slightly realistic, as the notion of a 3rd party candidate actually managing a major stride on a national level is somewhat slim at the moment. So if you're right leaning but more libertarian then republican, it'd be four policies that fit with the general Republican/Conservative thought process and platform that could be the focus of a campaign that would make you feel comfortable actually voting for a Republican than having to vote third party.
 

Jetboogieman

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Generally was staying slightly realistic, as the notion of a 3rd party candidate actually managing a major stride on a national level is somewhat slim at the moment. So if you're right leaning but more libertarian then republican, it'd be four policies that fit with the general Republican/Conservative thought process and platform that could be the focus of a campaign that would make you feel comfortable actually voting for a Republican than having to vote third party.

Do you feel that might be one of the many reasons the system is broken?

The bolded, yet underlined word... general.

Could the Democrats and Republicans be trying to be too many things to too many people?

I won't go on my usual rant about proportional representation, but if it was implemented, I think it would allow people greater freedom to vote for a candidate who is very specific in his/her beliefs. The Christains could vote for a Christain, faith/family based party. While conservatives who identify more with the Goldwater train of thought would be free to vote for Republicans or a Conservative maybe even Liberterian party candidate who perhaps doesn't have the Christain tinge to them.

Honestly if I lived in the states, you'd find me hard pressed to vote for either party. But the way it stands, I feel that the will of the people is represented by niether party, at least that's the way it has looked from the time I started to pay attention to these things several years ago.
 

Zyphlin

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An interesting thought jet, but one I think may be better for a different thread about proportionality. I do think part of the problem you speak of about being too much to too many people could exist, I also think though its a bit inherent in our system at the moment. This discussion is less about changing said system and more about how to function within it.

For example, to go with what you're saying, a platform that perhaps focuses at a specific demographic and hopes that that demographic is either large enough, or the message can be used to recruit other demographics, could be perhaps a way to go.

I think a discussion on proportional representation would be extremely engaging, but that works outside teh system far more than the point of this thread is meant to explore I think.
 

Psychoclown

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Government Spending. This is my biggest issue with the Republicans. I simply don't trust them when it comes to their talk on spending. I've been burned once by Bush and the Republican congress, I'm very reluctant to take them at their word. Especially when we seem to get only two flavors of talk when it comes to spending. Ones who give us nothing but vague platitudes and ones who give us hugely unrealistic goals like cutting the entire Department of Education tomorrow. I want significant but realistic cuts to be laid out before I vote for you. Give me some meat and potatos so I know you're serious.

Illegal Immigration. How has this issue still be unaddressed? Enact laws that reduce the incentive to come here. Remove access to the social safety net, let local authorities detain illegals they come into contact with, and put some stiff penalties on employers who hire illegals (along with active enforcement to make those penalties a reality). Do this along with reasonable, cost efficient measures to increase border security and we can finally start to get a handle of the flow of illegal immigrants. As I've said before, I'm not opposed to a conditional pathway to citizen for people who are already here if that is what is needed to push through the above measures. Of course that is provided they speak English, have a job, have a clean criminal record, and pay a reasonable fine.

Energy. I posted a lengthy description of my views in the Democrats thread and I think the Republicans are just as capable of seizing this issue as the Democrats.

Foreign Policy. Can the Republicans please abandon the neo-conservative foreign policy and go back to being a party against playing world cop and nation building? Neoconservatism is probably my second biggest issue with the GOP. I'd like to see a healthy mix of realist foreign policy and non-interventionism (which I believe generally serves our realist needs best).
 

Redress

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This one is alot harder for me than the Democratic one was, not surprisingly.

1: To ensure that our troops receive the best material at the best value, we must reform the defense budgeting and acquisition process to control costs and ensure vigorous and fair competition. We will not allow congressional pork to take the place of sound, sustained investment in the nation’s security.

The defense budget is huge and important. Making the procurement system work at it's peak and with as little corruption/politics is important both to control government spending and to create as effective an armed forces as possible.

2: We call for a constitutionally sound presidential line-item veto.

If this can pass congressional muster, it could, potentially, be a tool to reduce spending, and especially wasteful spending. While it would probably be prone to abuse, I think the overall good would exceed the bad.

3: Modern management of the federal government is long overdue. The expected retirement over the next ten years of more than 40 percent of the federal workforce, and 60 percent of its managers, presents a rare opportunity: a chance to gradually shrink the size of government while using technology to increase its effectiveness and reshape the way agencies do business.

Working to reduce bureaucracy while increasing efficiency is key to reducing spending.

4: All workers should have portability in their pension plans and their health insurance, giving them greater job mobility, financial independence, and security.

I was surprised when I read this. It's a great idea and I think should very much be implemented if possible.
 

Psychoclown

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The first three sound great, and especially the third one. I believe we haven't had an attempt to streamline the federal government and cut redunant or outdate positions since the Eisenhower administration. Since Ike! How many of us can even remember the Eisenhower? It boggles the mind.

The fourth one sounds good, but I'd want to see specific details before I could get on board. 401Ks have basically replaced pensions for most workers (the notable exception being government employees and union workers). How would you make actual pensions portable and health insurance?
 

tacomancer

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1. Balanced budgets

I don't think this one needs explanation.

2. Entitlement reform

This is one of the Republican's strengths vs Democrats in my view. I know as a liberal, I sometimes have to catch myself because I tend to go into sympathy mode before looking fully at a downtrodden person's situation. This can be a flaw in my point of view and it is something that I would look to the Republicans to supply a reality check for.

3. Illegal immigration.

I have no real strong one way or another about illegal immigration itself, but I feel strongly that whatever the law is, it should be followed in both spirit and letter. Anyone in this country needs to have a legal status and I am not a fan of criminals. This issue is believe is a strength for the Republican party and it is something I believe they could do good work with.

4. Regulation.

Lots of regulations are good and necessary, but many are just stupid and not needed. Perhaps they cover a case that rarely happens or the compliance costs are stupidly expensive compared to the danger, perhaps even it creates other problems. The pro-business attitude puts the Republicans in a good place to get rid of some of the stupidity here.

Overall, after reading what I wrote, it appears I would like to look to the Republicans to check the excesses of the Democrats. Its probably not something realistic to hope for those as Republicans tend to have an agenda beyond being the other side of the coin to Democrats these days.
 

Psychoclown

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2. Entitlement reform

This is one of the Republican's strengths vs Democrats in my view. I know as a liberal, I sometimes have to catch myself because I tend to go into sympathy mode before looking fully at a downtrodden person's situation. This can be a flaw in my point of view and it is something that I would look to the Republicans to supply a reality check for.

While I agree conservatives are generally more likely to provide the "reality check" you mentioned, I believe meaningful entitlement reform is going to have to come either from the left or at a minimum with some significant Democratic support. Democrats love to smear Republican attempts to check or reduce entitlements as "cold hearted" or being only concerned with the interests of "big business". Any Republican who comes forward with serious reforms (not just minor tinkering) is likely to be tarred and feathered by Democratic opponents.

Republicans do the same to Democrats, I will admit, but given that Democrats created and expanded these programs, I think voters have a little more trust in Democrats to be "humane" while applying needed reforms.
 

samsmart

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So far, I have two.

1) Admit Government Has A Purpose
"The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'" Ronald Reagan said that in defense of his policies, and ever since Republicans have been using them to justify stripping away government agencies and regulations.

But doing so is insulting to those who join the civil service in order to work for their nation. This includes law enforcement, firemen, paramedics, emergency responders, teachers, social workers, regulatory agents, and bureaucrats who have decided to join the civil service in order to ensure a smoother running of our national infrastructure. After all, we live in a modern industrial technological civilization. We need those civil servants to maintain that civilization. And they get educated and trained in their specific areas in order to become professionals at it. Those people should not be insulted for the job they do.

For this, I think we should remember what the root word of "politics" is: polis which is Greek for city. In today's world, "politics" means something else. Generally, it means holding an office and either writing laws, executing laws, or interpreting laws. But that's not politics. That's law.

Rather, politics is about the administration of a city, a state, or other area of civilization. And I believe it is the role of politicians to administer the organs and purviews of a state, and for them to do so in an efficient manner.

Essentially, a politician's job is to administrate the civil servants on behalf of the electorate. That's how I see their job. But too many politicians get into office and aren't qualified for it - rather, they are appointed or supported by major backers as an act of favoritism. This happens for both parties.

So I think the Republicans should stop downplaying the role of government, and therefore lessen the importance of people who work on the government's behalf for the citizens of that government, and instead try to focus on the best way government can administrate the services provided by government agencies. In certain cases, I will admit, the government could do better by not administrating a certain service or instead administer it through a private for-profit entity. However, to state so often that the government should have no role at all is disingenuous to those who want to serve others on behalf of the state.

2) End Corporate Welfare
End corporate welfare. Stop no-bid contracts. Republicans always go on about the need for less government spending. Do so by putting an end or severe limitations to no-bid contracts in order to make more government contracts competitive. I think there's a large amount of corruption with the awarding of government contracts, from Republicans and Democrats both. Republicans should start leading the charge against such practices in order to attain better efficiencies of tax dollars.
 

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1) Federal government begins a retrograde to allow or entice states to deal with the health and welfare of their citizens. The expansion of federal government has always been at the cost of state sovereignity. I am not talking about states being able to secede, or anything extreme, but states should be allowed to determine many laws through their own legislatures. An example of unneccessary government expansion is the push for federal funding for roads, if states adopt a 21 years or older drinking limit. Essentially a carrot of funding is used to nationalize laws that should remain the purview of the states. Healthcare is another issue. States have the power to regulate all insurance activity within their borders. There is simply no need to ask the federal government to take over healthcare regulation that is not related to Medicare. States have the power, and are refusing to take responsibility or make the decisions. Rather than use federal money to create bueracracy and federal oversight, maybe remind states of their duties to their citizens.

2) education reform- Get rid of NCLB, again, allow states to adapt their schools to their populations instead of creating blanket regulations that help some schools in one state but hurt others. With this, and the above point, some of the red states are going to need to raise state taxes to create and maintain these systems, but at least the money made in your state is staying in your state instead of going into a federal fund to be used for policies that again may be beneficial to one state, but harmful to another.

3)With the above two points, you can cut spending at the federal level without a severe disruption in services to the community. States will have to pick up the slack, but it reinforces the importance of local elections, instead of everybody coming out once every 4 years for the Presidential elections. IMO, what made America strong was our roots of small community problem solving and awareness. As our populations have shifted into urban/suburban lifestyles people have become disconnected with each other and apathetic to their neighbors. A return to local/state level awareness is needed.

4)For the roles that the federal government must provide, a measured responsible approach is all that is needed. We don't need to become meek and humble on the international stage, and monitoring(and sometimes intervention) of world affairs can be to our benefit so long as they are executed responsibly. We shouldn't be afraid to use our weight to ensure our own interests are met as a player on the international stage. For ensuring a social safety net, what programs they currently provide(once the genie is out of the bottle, its tough to get back in), again measured responsible approaches to reform are required.
 

Fiddytree

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Alright, I'll just go out and say that there are issues Republicans can try to capitalize on that have been dominated by Democrats for decades. I consider this a challenge for both parties.

One of those issues is Disability Rights. Ever since the abortion issue, there is something that many Republicans just haven't been using to their advantage. We have seen the Bush administration use the Bioethics committee to create many interesting responses to scientific and medical progress. One of those included pockets of things near and dear to people who are concerned about those with special needs. This is why my ears perked when I heard Palin bring up her child many times. This is why my ears perked when John McCain's wife continued to discuss her own experiences in special education. In our area, we are heavily Republican, and our state is very focused on a budget-basis rather than cause and effect of said policies (quite literally). But, there are those who are more interested in evaluating cost and effect of policies. Meanwhile, on the other side of the fence, you have mental health advocates who are all about the effects of their desired policy changes, but have become nearly frozen in their thought, completely and utterly identifying themselves as Diehard Democrats who would not want to be caught dead talking to a Republican. I see this, and I think "why?" Conservatives and Republicans have a lot to contribute to the discussion of mental health needs. I do not think there should be a dichotomy as it exists now (and it is even more solidified throughout the country, as I can personally verify as of last week).

Many people with disabilities may see themselves as needing governmental funds, but they are not really just wanting to suck on the Government tit. To a significant extent, there is a burning desire to be a success, and that success can merely mean to be just like "everyone else" in this country. Can you think of a more sentimental tone to reach conservatives than the ideal of reinvigorating the notion of the Self-Made Man, and the Middle-Class ideal? Granted there is a great deal of liberalism and political correctness involved in the movement as it exists now, but liberals should not own the discussion. Again, if it were not for the dichotomy, what Palin said is normally all anyone would ever *need* to say to get these people onboard with them. I can tell you, whenever you have *anyone* in a room with a bunch of parents and service providers being told that they will make it their mission to fight for them, and that their story is your story-you will be finding it difficult to find a room that turns quiet or unemotional.

Bring different ideas to the table, but you can't merely think of budgets. On the other hand, mental health advocates can't think that they can just get away with not lobbying both parties and ignoring that which conservatives consider important.
 
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