2016: What We Stand For

Patheos Blog






 2016: What We Stand For

Published by Michael Novak at Patheos.com on February 17, 2015


My first three priorities for 2016 are jobs, jobs, jobs. And if you are with me on that, then let me specify that the only way to get new jobs and more employees – is to get more job-creators, entrepreneurs, employers. You can’t get more employees without getting more employers. And most new jobs – about two-thirds – are created by small businesses.

So it is incredible to think that the number of new small businesses started under Democrats (my old party), in the last reporting year, was the lowest since the early 1970s. And it ranked the U.S. – the former world leader for many years – twelfth among all nations.

That’s not the way it was when I was young. Democrats favored new small businesses too. They were loud and clear on job creation. That changed. But then Reagan and Clinton led an expansion that saw nearly 40 million new jobs created. It was an intense bipartisan effort. No longer.

The next president has to make an immense, multiyear effort to get hundreds of thousands of new entrepreneurs starting new businesses, and help small businesses regain a prosperous climate to grow in. He has to tear away the crushing burdens that the Democratic Senate voted for over the past eight years. He has to liberate job-creators.

I would strongly support a president whose goal is to promote the right economic ecology to grow 12 million new jobs in the next eight years. Twelve million new jobs may sound like a lot. But it isn’t as many as Reagan saw bloom under his eight years (16 million) or as Bill Clinton helped bring about (almost 23 million). But it sure would help turn this country around.

Right now, this country desperately needs a course correction. Twelve million new jobs is an indispensable start.

This nation also needs a new foreign policy – and a new arms policy. This policy must be founded on three pillars: (1) human rights; (2) a dynamic, quickly growing economy, which is in itself a great threat to any nation’s foes; and (3) the steady build-up of a military capable of containing seventh-century politico-Islamic barbarism in the Middle East; brutal Russian aggressions in Crimea and Ukraine; and increasingly frequent Chinese military probes in Asia. “Our country is in danger, but not to be despaired of.”

In human rights matters (and that is where U.S. foreign policy best begins), my dear friend Michael Horowitz points out that human trafficking is the slavery issue of our time, and the enslavement of millions of women and girls in the U.S. and around the world raises the same moral imperatives that the mass enslavement of Africans did 150 years ago. Despite this, there has been no commitment to end modern day slavery, even though it is the world’s fastest growing area of crime and a $10 billion per year U.S. “industry.” Most horrific, it is largely based on victimizing girls who are first captured at an average age of 13-14 years.

The Republican Party fought to win the first emancipation of slaves in 1863. It should step up again to lead the way to emancipate the victims of human trafficking.

Second, Republicans must and will get this country moving again. Moving forward. Moving confidently. It must lead the world economically. A strong and exceedingly creative economy is the best foreign policy and defense policy. It made the Soviets lose heart.

Third, build a military adequate to meet today’s grave threats – in some ways graver and larger than in the twentieth century. Politico-Islamism, plus Russian might, plus ambitious and heavily-armed China are not the junior varsity. They have made American leaders look like the JV.

We need brave and free Democrats to join us. But conscience demands that we remind Democrats how many of them agreed to pull out from Iraq that last small but formidable military force of 50,000. That force would have acted as a secure base for a rapid build-up, if necessary, to prevent a hidden group like the mad and bloodthirsty young men of ISIS from even daring to raise their heads.

Recall the ancient maxim: If you want peace, prepare for war. Be so strong that bullies cringe from attacking. Our nation’s leadership has seemed to have forgotten that sturdy principle. Seemed totally at sea and confused, in fact.

But let’s also come down to earth. A lot of ordinary people aren’t much interested in arguments about national policy. They pay as little attention to technical national issues as they can. What they worry about – next to jobs – are the outfits their teenage daughters are wearing, and the coarsening language of all our children.

That is why it is best to speak a language of family and neighborhood. That’s where most people’s hearts live. Reagan’s slogan (does anybody remember it?) was “Family, Work, Neighborhood, Peace, and Freedom.” Most people get that right away. That’s where they are. That’s what they love most, and most care about.

* * *

That’s what I want to come out of 2016. A party committed to family, work, neighborhood . . .

And human rights (especially the abolition of human trafficking) . . .

And military strength . . .

And peace.

Shout out these six battle cries, Republicans!

That way, you’ll have my enthusiasm and my vote. And my gratitude for rescuing our country from its rapid downward spin.