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The Common Sense Blog: The Success of the Party of "NO!"

by William J. Limón last modified Nov 24, 2020 05:43 PM
The Republican Party stonewalled President Obama's agenda and brought Congress close to a standstill. Now, as the party in power, the Republicans must finally act. Will they help the voters who put them back in power, or will they fall back on their privatize-everything ideology and create more problems?
The Common Sense Blog: The Success of the Party of "NO!"

Party of "NO!"

For the past eight years the Republican Party has been the “Party of NO!” No compromise with congressional Democrats. No working with President Obama even when he proposed programs based on Republican ideas. (For example, Obamacare is modeled after the healthcare program Mitt Romney instituted as a Republican governor of Massachusetts.) Majority leader Sen. Mitch McConnell set the tone with his stated goal to make Obama a one-term president in 2008 and kept it going right through last year when he made sure the senate did not consider Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court. Former House Speaker John Boehner’s ouster came from the inflexible Tea Party wing of the “Party of NO!” which could not countenance any compromise of their Libertarian principles. All the attempts by Republicans to repeal Obamacare came from a place of intractable disagreement without offering either a viable alternative or the willingness to compromise. In the face of such congressional immobility, President Obama was forced to govern by executive order.

Will the self-described billionaire businessman, his business hires in the cabinet, and the Republican Congress really forego feathering their own nests? Or, will this new president really help the common worker who put him in power?

Throughout both terms, President Obama was woefully ineffective in educating the public why the government became so hamstrung by Republicans’ unwillingness to have constructive dialog and find common ground. Consequently, the Congress did little while the country suffered. Effective Wall Street regulations didn’t return, and we entered into a “financial economy” wherein big banks and companies got rich by hoarding money and raising the value of their stock instead of funding startups and financing growth in this country. Good American jobs became scarce. Many people, abandoned by corporate loyalty, had to work at several part-time jobs. The changes in the energy and manufacturing sectors left middle-aged workers behind while large corporations failed to train them for new careers. Job prospects for college graduates faded as tuition bills buried them in debt. The rich got richer. The poor got poorer, and the middle class shrank. A frustrated electorate didn’t see the role of the stonewalling Republican Congress and narrowly elected businessman Donald Trump over the experienced but status-quo symbol Hillary Clinton.

The “Party of NO!” won.

But those who voted for Trump want change. They want Congress to act. Bottom line: We’ll get change all right. Now that Republicans have control of both houses of Congress and the presidency, the “Party of NO!” must finally do something. But the current flap over abolishing Obamacare and the backpedaling by Trump and congressional Republicans reveals their sudden recognition that it’s easier to complain but harder to govern responsibly. President Trump’s inaugural address blasted all politicians, especially those who are all talk and do nothing. That takes direct aim at the Republican “Party of NO!” as much as anyone. But will he now go along with the typical ideology of “Big Business” and privatizing government that is central to the Republican Party agenda? Will the self-described billionaire businessman, his business hires in the cabinet, and the Republican Congress really forego feathering their own nests? Or, will this new president really help the common worker who put him in power? I hope so. Let me be clear, I want what will benefit the most people, and that’s the middle class and those less fortunate. Trump’s threat to put a border tax on American goods made in Mexico to promote jobs in the U.S. may look like a good start, but it could very likely cause Mexicans to increase trade elsewhere and withdraw from buying American goods. It remains to be seen just what will happen.

THE CENTRIST VIEW: Politics is the art of the possible that should be driven by the needs of the people and the welfare of the nation. The public is best served when parties (both individuals and political organizations) come together to face an issue by considering: What is the goal? What is our common ground? What can I do to help resolve this issue? Where can we work together to help the nation as a whole? What is the best solution to the problem at hand? Just saying “NO” doesn’t do this. Just privatizing everything doesn’t do this. Assuming government can fix everything doesn’t do this, either. But both Republicans and Democrats have too much allegiance to their “Big Business” and “Big Government” ideologies. And neither major party shows the political backbone to reform campaign finance laws so that elected officials are truly “public” servants instead of “private” servants to their donors.

A Centrist Party is not bound by either “Big Business” or “Big Government” ideologies. Nor is it beholden to big-money interests. Dedicated to finding the most effective solutions to the nation’s challenges, it can bring about real change. And, it can make clear to the American people which individuals and organizations attempt to block these efforts at progress. It’s time we break from the two-party system so this great country can have the government it needs and deserves.




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zshaklah says:
Apr 14, 2017 06:08 AM

Good thoughts, I would like to point at H1B visa and skilled workers getting hired to replace Americans at low cost, which has huge negative impact on Americans' chances to retain their current jobs or even having a chance to be hired in their own country. This type of immigration status for H1B visa was established initially in 1980s with a promise from the legislative level of keeping Americans protected and not losing their jobs, that did not happen and we can point at the Americans suffer from unfair employment opportunities currently with negative impact as well on economy growth. immigration reform is not isolated from tax or healthcare reform, it's all connected in a way or another. I believe firmly that Centrists can find and establish certain programs to help our great country for more success. Thank you!

William J. Limón
William J. Limón says:
Apr 19, 2017 12:24 AM

Striking the right balance for what is needed is the task. That demands flexibility and persistence. And, you're right, everything is connected which is why we need to get away from the cookie cutter approaches fostered by the two major parties.

zshaklah says:
Apr 15, 2017 06:32 PM

Can I get the email address for William Limon?

William J. Limón
William J. Limón says:
Apr 19, 2017 12:27 AM

I can be reached at [email protected] for short comments and questions. Thank you so much for your interest.

zshaklah says:
Apr 19, 2017 04:33 PM

Thanks, I emailed you!

grayr78504 says:
Jun 16, 2017 04:25 PM

I have grown weary of the two major political parties spending the majority of their energy counting coup on the other party in the news media instead of working to meet the needs of the mainstream citizen. Hopefully we can get enough traction to put enough Centrist members into State and National legislatures to prevent either of the current parties of "NO" from having a majority and forcing them to concentrate on meeting the needs of their constituents.

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