Favorite

Party of Yes? 

The Republican Party is in a precarious situation both locally and nationally. It faces chief executives in President Barack Obama and Gov. Mike Beebe who both have “favorable” impressions among the general public and unmatched bully pulpits. In addition, the 2008 election showed that the general public craves solutions to the problems families discuss daily at their kitchen tables.

The Republican Party must be the loyal opposition, but it cannot be branded as the party of “no.” It should not sacrifice certain bedrock conservative principles or imitate the Democratic Party. It should articulate conservatism in a manner that appeals beyond rigid ideological spectrums.

For example, labor unions are working feverishly to pass the Employee Free Choice Act, an undemocratic power grab that eliminates the secret ballot vote in union organizations and brings government bureaucrats into the workplace to set labor contracts. Special-interest legislation that threatens democracy and expands government intrusion warrants Republican opposition and should even garner “no” votes from Democrats.

The recent debate in the Arkansas legislature highlights the precarious situation of the local Republican Party. Beebe supported a much needed statewide trauma system. However, the funding source came, primarily, from an increase in the cigarette tax. Based on “anti-tax” principle, most Republicans did not support this legislation.

Governor Beebe and Democrats responded by saying something like: “Republicans are opposed to improving access to healthcare for all Arkansans.” We all know this argument is not true. However, perception is reality, and Beebe controls the bully pulpit.

The people want solutions. Ideas that will affect average Arkansans' pocketbook and daily life will rule the day in the next two election cycles. The issue matrix of a decade ago is no longer realistic. Republicans must continue to adapt.

Republicans must show they have common-sense ideas. Whether it is being for lowering income tax rates or reducing capital gains tax rates, these are proposals that resonate at the kitchen table. What taxpayer would not like to keep more of their hard-earned money.

There are also ideas to save Arkansas millions of dollars on health care costs and improve lives. Universal newborn screening should be expanded to test for rare and undetected diseases. This may require initial spending, or investing, by the state to upgrade laboratories. Some may see this as increased “spending” but it would save millions over time.

These practical ideas must be communicated to the people. Bold, practical ideas are futile if people do not know about them. Republicans must quickly embrace new social media (Facebook, Twitter). These virtual communities are where like-minded people communicate. More people are getting their news from Internet sources than ever before. Facebook grew by more than 5 million new users per week in January alone. Republicans must embrace tools such as these and speak directly to the people about the positive, practical things they are doing.

Republicans must again show the general electorate that they are a compassionate, non-rigid party that possesses refreshing ideas to move our state and country forward. Those ideas must be relevant, bold, and new. Count me in.

 

In the spirit of bipartisanship, Max Brantley gives the floor this week to Clint Reed, former Southeast Regional Political Director for the Republican National Committee and now a partner at Impact Management Group, a public affairs firm in Little Rock.

Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Guest

  • Climate action good for Arkansas

    Thirty-five Senate Republicans and three Democrats, including U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln, support Senate Resolution 26 to block the federal Environmental Protection Agency from reducing greenhouse gas emissions from large emitters like coal power plants.
    • Feb 11, 2010
  • No country for old country

    Jeff Bridges plays it broke-down in ‘Crazy Heart.’
    • Feb 4, 2010
  • Needed: Strong Estate Tax

    On New Year’s Day the estate tax, an essential part of the U.S. tax system for nearly 100 years, disappeared because Congress failed to act in December. Congressional leaders now are pledging to act in early 2010 to reinstate the federal estate tax retroactive to Jan. 1. In the meantime, rhetoric over the estate tax will heat up.
    • Feb 4, 2010
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Must address racial inequities

    We mourn for the families of the dead at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. As we grieve it's time to rekindle a conversation about race in America and press for the changes that the Emanuel congregation championed for centuries — changes that also made it a target.
    • Jun 25, 2015
  • Racism is systemic

    In a speech on Sunday at Bethel A.M.E. Church, Gov. Asa Hutchinson played directly into the narrative of respectability politics, where white people tell people of color how they should respond to a situation and condemn responses from others in the community experiencing anger, rage and other expressions of grief.
    • Jun 25, 2015
  • Why a change of leadership at the LRSD now?

    Johnny Key's abrupt, unilateral decision to not renew Baker Kurrus' contract as superintendent strikes us as shortsighted, misguided and detrimental to the education of our children and the health of our community.
    • Apr 21, 2016

Most Shared

Latest in Guest Writer

  • A better now

    The Boys and Men Opportunity Success Team (BMOST), an initiative led by a coalition of local stakeholders that includes the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, city of Little Rock, Arkansas Baptist College, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Pulaski Technical College and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arkansas, is determined to show you that what you see and hear about black and brown boys and men isn't the whole story.
    • Jan 12, 2017
  • Intro to ANNN

    The Arkansas Nonprofit News Network is an independent, nonpartisan news project dedicated to producing journalism that matters to Arkansans.
    • Dec 22, 2016
  • Help all veterans

    Veteran-specific bills often miss the mark on helping the most sympathetic military families by focusing on retirement income.
    • Dec 22, 2016
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

1.73-carat diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park

1.73-carat diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park

Jack Pearadin and Doug Nelsen found a 1.73-carat diamond after nearly a year of searching the park's field.

Event Calendar

« »

January

S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31  

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Putin and Trump

    • And yet, while the nabobs of the press worry about the hilariously fake Trump Dossier,…

    • on January 24, 2017
  • Re: Putin and Trump

    • "Lyons doesn't have an ex-wife, silly." Oh my heavens, Mr. G. I think he must…

    • on January 24, 2017
  • Re: Putin and Trump

    • That's one way of putting it, Al. Another would be to say that Gene is…

    • on January 24, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation