The Republicans' Pledge to America

Just words. That’s the criticism I hear already about yesterday’s unveiling of the Republican plan if they can retake Congress. Well, all good things begin with words, which lay out the rationale for action. Let’s see what some of those words are.

The document starts off with a statement of principles. I’m always attuned to that; I want to know what is guiding the specifics that follow.

It mirrors the Declaration of Independence, agreeing that our Creator gave us unalienable rights, and that whenever any government becomes destructive of those rights, the people can “institute a new governing agenda and set a different course.”

It highlights “an unchecked executive, a compliant legislature, and an overreaching judiciary,” adding that “an arrogant and out-of-touch government of self-appointed elites” is making decisions for all of us.

So far, so good.

The American people, it says, are “demanding that we realign our country’s compass with its founding principles.” The authors of the document are pledging to dedicate themselves to “the permanent truths of our founding” and “to honor the Constitution as constructed by its framers and honor the original intent of those precepts that have been consistently ignored—particularly the Tenth Amendment, which grants that all powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.”

It goes on to say “We pledge to honor families, traditional marriage, life, and the private and faith-based organizations that form the core of our American values.” The inclusion of this particular sentence is significant since it deals with abortion, same-sex marriage, and the vitality of religious belief as the cornerstone of the nation’s value system.

There is also a Biblical admonition near the end of the statement of principles that recognizes “that to whom much is given, much is expected.”

If this statement of principles truly reflects the beliefs of the majority of Republicans, I rejoice. Being a realist as well as an idealist, I know that some just go along to get along. However, the Pledge does indicate that the Republican party is not content with being simply a party of opposition. Rather, it seeks to be proactive.

The rest of the document, which you can read for yourself here, offers some specifics on how to get the economy working again, how to reduce government spending, the method for repealing Obamacare and what should replace it, new rules for passing legislation in Congress, and plans for securing the nation against threats both internal and external.

Some complain that it’s not specific enough. Personally, I will be satisfied if a Republican majority can accomplish what this Pledge says it wishes to do. It’s not meant to be a comprehensive document on all matters of legislation, but it’s a good start.

Now it’s true that all fine words must be backed up with action. If Republicans do gain the majority after November, the responsibility of citizens is to hold them to the Pledge. Vigilance is neverending. Yet I am encouraged by the attempt to outline a strategy, and to have that strategy based upon solid principles.

Nancy Pelosi, like someone whistling while passing a graveyard, said this week that she is optimistic, and that the Democrats have the momentum. Apparently, she is living in the identical fantasy world where President Obama resides. If there is any momentum for Democrats at all, it’s of a different nature:

May they remain oblivious to the real state of affairs—for the sake of the republic.