Mar 27

Mandate to Govern

After the 2016 Presidential and Congressional Elections, we often heard comments about “the election representing a mandate from the people” that the respective group would follow. The problem with these statements is that they were applied to groups with widely varying understandings of what that mandate involved.

The Freedom Caucus believes they have a mandate to force the government into very rigid, conservative positions on just about everything from taxes to Health Care.

The followers of Donald Trump (and even Trump himself) believe they have a mandate to implement the messages that Mr. Trump proclaimed throughout the campaign.

The “old Guard” Republicans believe that they should continue to push for the type of government that was envisioned by Reagan in the 1980’s. They keep insisting that this message has not had sufficient time and emphasis to bring about the desired results.

Running through each of the above groups is a sub-group of “War Hawks” who keep insisting that the US needs a stronger military and that we need to develop new weapons and materials to build that stronger military. Of course, these are also pushed by the Military/Industrial Complex Lobbyists who are very powerful. The greed of the owners and executives of this particular element has no limits to what it would propose and cost the American people. Their programs will push for the development and purchase of expensive equipment while continuing to neglect the needs of members of the military, their families, and Veterans. They ignore these latter needs because that will not enrich the coffers of the Military Industrial Complex.

With such divergent opinions guiding its membership, it will be very difficult to unite the members of the Republican Party behind almost any kind of program that will be successful in achieving its goals. The Trump Administration lacks the vision and clarity of purpose that should come from its leadership. Mr. Trump was an excellent campaigner. He knows how to work an audience, to alter the tone of his message so as to convince his listeners that he (and only he) can solve the problems facing our government. He convinced his listeners that he was on THEIR side. But with the campaign being over, he seems to be moving in different directions than he sold while running for office. His switch from “saving social security, medicare and providing health care for all” to the chaos of the American Healthcare Act (Ryancare) allowed many of his former supporters to begin to realize they had been “conned.” That proposal changed from “adequate, affordable healtchare for everyone” to another attempt to provide a MASSIVE tax break to the richest 2% of the country, leaving the poor and middle class with a program that provided insurance that covered nothing.

The Freedom Caucus will continue to to only appeal to a small, extremely conservative, almost religiously fanatical group. It’s rigidity and extremism will only appeal to a certain decreasing portion of the population.

The Old Guard” has been fractioned by the political ambitions of so many of its so-called leaders. People like Cruz, Rubio, McConnell, Ryan, etc, have alienated many members of the Republican Party by setting their own ambitions above any need to develop a true concensus that would appeal to Republicans as a whole.

There is much more that could be said about the problems but little that comes up as an adequate solution. The rigidity of these groups prevents any real attempt at effective compromise yet it is only through such compromise that the best and most effective solutions can be found.