Republicans must educate their base instead of sniping at each other
Kim Strassel's column in the April 9 Wall Street Journal calls to mind the observation of a Tennessean quoted in The New York Times, after the November 1994 GOP House victory, that the Republicans are "the party of the people now." Ms. Strassel seems to put an exclamation point on that observation of nearly three decades past. In pointing out that big corporate donors fill the coffers of the radical left, Ms. Strassel indeed suggests that the Democrats have changed places with Republicans and now are the party of Big Business.
Since 1994, I have tried to draw attention to the first half of Federalist No. 57, which, in the opening sentence, seems to have anticipated the mindset of today's Democrat party — "that class of citizens which will have least sympathy with the mass of the people, and be most likely to aim at an ambitious sacrifice of the many to the aggrandizement of the few." These efforts have yet to influence Republican leaders.
Hamilton, in the first Federalist Paper, explained the shrewdness of aggrandizing politicians: "a dangerous ambition more often lurks behind the specious mask of zeal for the rights of the people than under the forbidding appearance of zeal for the firmness and efficiency of government." He went on to warn "that of those men who have overturned the liberties of republics, the greatest number have begun their career by paying an obsequious court to the people, commencing demagogues and ending tyrants." I daresay that Madison and Hamilton would recognize Pelosi, Schumer, and their ilk for threat they present to the liberty of this Republic. And the demagoguery of these anti-liberty Democrats is manifest by their false assertions that it was Donald Trump and the Republicans who threatened to undermine American democracy — with the added lie that the Republicans were colluding with the Russians to take down the spirit of liberty in the United States.
But would the radical Democrats, marching under the banner of Alinskyism, have succeeded in becoming a clear and present danger to American liberty but for the Republican tendency to attack...other Republicans?
That Mitch McConnell, among GOP leaders in Congress, denounced Donald Trump is not only unforgivable but hugely puzzling. Arguably, it is political malpractice that Republicans have failed to call the wisdom of Hamilton and Madison to the attention of the American people, in underscoring the clear and present danger that the Democrats pose to the Republic.
The failure of GOP leaders to cite the Framers in responding to radical demagoguery leads one to the sorry conclusion that Republicans lack "zeal for the rights of the people ... under the forbidding appearance of [lassitude, even gross ineptitude]."
Indeed, it is not encouraging that the Framers, some 230 years past, would have better understood Schumer, Pelosi, and their ilk than today's GOP leadership we count on to, in the words of the new Trump PAC, "save America now."
To borrow from the late Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca, it is time for congressional Republicans to lead on the basis of our founding legacy — or get out of the way. And that necessary leadership calls for reliance on the political wisdom apparent if only a Republican office-holder opened the pages of a volume of The Federalist Papers. After all, isn't it the work of the Framers that needs defending against the "woke" culture, so antithetical to the founding vision? Or will Republicans remain passive while the radical Democrats transition from demagoguery to tyranny?
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