A REPUBLICAN NEW CONTRACT WITH AMERICA IN 2022
Can Republicans move beyond just completing the original, necessary Trump agenda on closing the border, legal-only immigration, deterrence against China, energy production, immunity from optional military engagements in the Middle East, industrial and manufacturing resurgence in the Rust Belt and conservative judicial appointments?
What would such a new Contract with America entail, if it were indeed wise before the midterms to advertise such a confident Newt Gingrich-like strategy for regaining the House? And should a menu be more rather than less detailed? What about the follow-up for a later Republican presidency?
Here are the Ten Commandments worth running on, some new, some old. Not all are official policy positions. Some are recommendations for action even when the federal government is not directly involved.
1) A Safe and Law-Abiding America. Crime prevention and punishment is mostly a local and state affair. But the federal government promises to prosecute fully any criminal who crosses state lines or uses interstate communications to commit arson, public destruction, smash-and-grab looting or general attacks on any federal property within the states.
2) Affordable Energy for an Energy-Independent America. Restoration of gas and oil energy independence; reopening of federal lands for new energy leases; fast-tracking natural gas and oil pipelines; encouragement and incentives to mine rare and precious metals inside the United States needed for batteries and new sources of energy.
3) A Secure Border. Immediate completion of the border wall. Deportation of all those who crossed illegally between 2017 and 2024 and all criminals convicted of felonies or serious misdemeanors; employer sanctions; an end to catch-and-release; all refugee seekers apply outside the United States; a tax on remittances sent south of the border on those here illegally and on public assistance; the end of the primacy of family considerations in fast-tracking immigration requests, replaced by meritocratic considerations of English facility, skill sets and education. All immigration would be predicated on legality, diversity, meritocracy and measured and manageable numbers necessary for assimilation and integration.
4) A Sacrosanct Constitution and Preservation of Long-Held Traditions. On record for no changes to the Constitution; no dismantling of the Electoral College; no federalization of states’ voting laws; no increase in a nine-justice Supreme Court; no statehood for Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico; no end to the Senate filibuster.
5) The Restoration of Election Day. Encouragement to the states to limit mail-in balloting, return to the old notion of absentee balloting as an exception rather than the norm and cut back on extended/early balloting — with the goal that 60 to 70% of ballots cast are done so on Election Day.
6) A “Don’t Tread on Me” Foreign Policy. Strong support for the sanctity of allied nations. Deterrence against Russia, China, Iran, North Korea and other belligerents. A realist foreign policy of “No better friend, no worse enemy.” An end to optional large, on-the-ground military engagements in the Middle East. A return of Pentagon emphasis on battle readiness rather than social justice and woke agendas, with budgets redirected to missile defense and naval and air deterrence.
7) Towards a Balanced Budget. Expenditures must match revenues. An update of the Simpson-Bowles National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform or enactment of its recommendations, with the aim of achieving a balanced budget in four years.
8) Anti-Trust, Anti-Monopoly Legislation. An end to Silicon Valley’s vast monopolies, cartels and immunity from public-utility regulations.
9) Strict Enforcement of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Prohibition of the use of racial bias/advantage/preference in the operations of public local, state and federal agencies. No federal funds allotted for critical-race-theory indoctrination.
10) No Federal Funds for Lawbreakers. An end to federal support of state agencies and private institutions that violate federal statutes and the Bill of Rights, whether sanctuary-city jurisdictions or campuses whose speech and trial codes violate the First, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments. Loss of tax-free status on income from university endowments of more than $10 billion.
Lots more might be included in any such agenda (e.g., moving agencies like the FBI out of Washington), but God limited his commandments to 10, and humble Republicans should keep that consideration in mind.
Then again – what would you add or amend? Let’s see your thoughts on the TTP Forum?
Victor Davis Hanson is an American military historian, author, classics professor emeritus, and scholar of ancient warfare. He is currently the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.