Tuesday, October 11, 2011

David Frum on Why He's a Republican

David Frum is much more of a big government Republican than I am, and I strongly disagree with his critique of current GOP positions on the economy. But his article gives some good reasons to be a Republican. Here are his main points with my comments.
The Republicans are the party of American nationalism. ... The flag-and-country themes of the GOP can be kitschy. They also are the indispensable basis of any idea of social cohesion across the vast continent.
He could have thrown in unabashed patriotism and belief in American exceptionalism, as opposed to the fuzzy internationalism of many Democrats.
Republican policies of lower taxes, less regulation, and restrained social spending may be poor medicine for the immediate crisis. But they remain the best formula to support the longer-term growth of the economy – way better than the Democratic preference for high taxes and opportunistic economic interventions.
They aren't poor medicine for the current crisis, but otherwise he's correct. If you want higher taxes, more government bureaucracy, an ever-increasing maze of regulations, greater government interference with the economy, and more hand-outs of taxpayer money, vote Democrat. If you want less you vote Republican.
my preferred approach to federal budgeting starts with national defense. Defense and national security are the supreme priority of the state. Only after fully funding defense can you then worry about the appropriate level of spending for everything else, and the appropriate level and form of taxation to pay for that spending.
Exactly. When government cuts are under discussion Democrats look to cut the most important function of government first, while Republicans look to other less vital areas of government.
I intensely oppose any aid or subsidy to particular companies or firms except in cases of the most extreme national necessity, eg TARP. Solyndra is only the latest example of the zeal of Democratic administrations dating back to Jimmy Carter’s to solve America’s energy problems by inserting government into the business of “picking winners.”
Ok, but the GOP has its own issues in this regard. However, as in most cases, the GOP is the lesser of two evils.
he omnipresent system of racial preferences built since the late 1960s in hope of compensating for the effects of slavery and segregation is not only a moral inequity, but also a practical disaster. ... this system is one of the most basic political commitments of the modern Democratic party.
It also requires that the current effects of racism be exaggerated to justify the continuation of such policies, and creates a whole group of racialist agitators.
real progress on the environment almost always comes under Republican presidents.
I'd say rather that the GOP is a bulwark against radical environmental extremism, whereas significant elements of the Democratic party embrace it.
Public sector unions rank as one of the most important obstacles to the improvement of public services from education to transit. And the Democrats are the party of the public-sector unions.
Absolutely. Public sector unions are a blight on the U.S., and inextricably linked with the Democratic party.
Democrats were wrong on crime from the 1970s through the 1990s, and I’m still mad about it.
Republicans tend to be better on addressing crime, as opposed to making excuses for criminals, or blaming inanimate objects such as guns.
I believe that the elected Prime Minister of Israel is a better judge of Israel’s national security than the Assistant Secretary of State for Near East affairs. Democratic administrations typically seem guided by the opposite theory.
Pretty vague reason. I could come up with a much more substantive distinction between the parties on foreign policy.
the GOP is the party more sympathetic to business concerns and challenges.
Understatement of the year there. As I write this, there are already some Democrats embracing the imbeciles of the "Occupy Wall Street" protests, people who out of envy, stupidity and the desire for hand-outs rail against capitalism -- the greatest engine of wealth creation in human history. The GOP has its problems, but they pale in comparison to the fringes of the Democratic party.

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