Ronald Reagan would likely believe that the Republican Party is leaving him just as the Democratic Party once did. A new Pew poll shows a majority of Republicans now believe the country needs to spend MORE on government programs.
HotAir’s Allahpundit points out the depth and speed of this change:
In 2013, just 28 percent of GOPers supported increased spending on roads and infrastructure versus 21 percent who wanted less spending on those things. Today the share of Republicans who support increased spending has nearly doubled to 55 percent, just six points behind Democrats. Leadership matters.
As Ben Shapiro noted on DailyWire, there’s been only one big change that could prompt GOP sentiment to veer so far to the left:
This doesn’t mean that Trump’s to blame, as Shapiro later notes. Voters haven’t been blindsided by brand new plans to increase infrastructure spending or engorge the government in other ways. They knew going in that he has been and always will be a left-leaning big government spend-heavy politician who has bought into the idea that the GOP has to spend big in DC to win votes. He’s sold that idea to Republican leadership who have felt the same way since Reagan, but didn’t have a champion to sell it to the voters the way they do now.
Trump, despite his promises to cut regulations and fight waste, fraud, and abuse, campaigned as a big government anti-immigration protectionist. He vowed to increase spending in every area but foreign aid and environmental protection. His most ardent followers knew that he was promising them the help of big government, and they embraced it. Trump spent the campaign guaranteeing that he wouldn’t touch the great drivers of America’s debt, entitlement programs – in fact, he said he wanted to expand them.
There’s an important silver lining to all this. We’ve known for a while that opinions are fickle in modern society. We saw this with President Obama as he quickly shifted sentiment on gay marriage; polls showed around 65/35 against before he took office and reversed by the middle of his second term. Now, we’re seeing it with President Trump on spending and big government.
This tells us that we have our work cut out for us, but it also tells us there’s hope. As we expand our reach and educate the people on the huge consequences of big government and big spending, we can initiate and sustain real change. Today’s technology allows us to get that message out quickly. As we grow as a party, we will be reaching out directly to the people with conferences, media expansion, and sponsoring public speakers who can help guide the nation back to the small-government mentality the founders envisioned. It’s the same “new Federalism” that Reagan championed.
The people need to be reminded that government is not the solution but the root of the majority of our problems as a nation. Government can’t fix things by doing more. It’s the people who can fix things when government gets out of the way. This is arguably the biggest reason for our existence. If the GOP won’t shrink the government and other third parties won’t do what it takes to win, it’s necessary for the Federalist Party to continue to rise.
Image credit: Gage Skidmore