In the big lead up to Texas GOP State Convention the common refrain seems to be, “we need to unite for the Republican Party.” This is usually followed by a diatribe reminding everyone how bad the Democrats are and how they will "ruin" our country. Apparently the only thing holding our country together is the ability of the Republican Party to unite. Of course, such a simplistic approach makes for a great speech at Republican gatherings, but is there any truth to this thought?
First, let’s address the claim that the Democrats will ruin the country if they are able to defeat the Republicans. It is certainly accurate to say that the country is currently in a downward tailspin. I think everyone would acknowledge the truthfulness of this claim far beyond the realm of politics. It is no less true in politics than anywhere else. But what is the cause of our current path to ruin? Is it just Democrats doing what Democrats do? You know, just being Democrats. Well...I believe the answer is yes and no. The Democrats are certainly not an innocent party to our current plight. They have largely used every opportunity available to advocate for an increase in the power and authority of civil government on every level. This increased power of the state appears to only feed the monster and make it hunger for even more power and authority. Here is the heart of our ruin when it comes to politics: it is not the Democrats per se: it is statism. While it is true that most Democrats are statists, not all statists are Democrats. This is an important point that seems to be left out of these speeches.
Our battle is against statism, wherever it may be found. Before we can accurately battle against statism we must first define it. According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, statism is:
“concentration of economic controls and planning in the hands of a highly centralized government often extending to government ownership of industry.”
I would actually go much deeper than this definition, but for the purpose of this post we will use it. Can any honest person protest that we don't have statism as a problem today? Can we honestly say that the Democrats are the sole guilty party of increasing "economic controls and planning in the hands of a highly centralized government"?
This leads us to our second point. Will the various factions of the Republican Party uniting together save the Republic? I doubt it. As long as the GOP continues to advocate for their version of more statism, there is nothing around which to unite. Uniting, by definition, means the bringing together of two parties to become one. But I ask, how can statists and non-statists become one? They can't. The statists within the GOP know this. It is a tried and true method that has proved quite effective for several generations. So what is the solution? It does take a uniting, but not the uniting promoted by party leadership, not the uniting by party affiliation. We unite by principle. If the individuals and groups that are opposed to statism whether they are Tea Party, liberty Republicans, constitutional conservatives, or libertarians will unite together. If they will fight at every opportunity no matter the flavor of statism proposed, then maybe... just maybe... this monster can be slayed.
We must fight against Republican statism as hard as we will against Democratic statism. Perhaps by doing so, we may be able to keep it from eating us alive. Until then, all calls for "unity" are nothing more than a polite way of saying, "shut up and get in line for our version of statism is much better than theirs." This is the last thing we need as a party or as a country.