The Death of the Republican Party

by Harry Browne

November 4, 1998

After passing the biggest budget in American history, the Republican Congress celebrated with an oversized press conference on October 20. Their statements implied that the party's slogan should now be "We work for smaller government by spending more."

While claiming to leave more money in your hands, they boasted of all the new ways they're going to spend your money . . .

  • There are $12 billion in new federal education programs (from the party that promised to eliminate the Department of Education).
  • There are unspecified billions of new farm subsidies (from the party that recently passed the "Freedom to Farm" act which was supposed to phase out farm subsidies once and for all).
  • There are new programs and money for the War on Drugs, the IMF, and home health care programs.

At the press conference the Republicans boasted of balancing the budget, while renewing their dedication to "saving Social Security." But they neglected to mention that the budget was "balanced" only by stealing almost $200 billion in surplus receipts from Social Security.

They spoke often of "the first tax cut in 15 years," but offered no details probably because the cuts were so puny, and because no one who voted for the budget bill has read any of its 4,000 pages.

Republican politicians continue to believe you're too dumb to notice when "the party of smaller government" brags about making government bigger. Like President Clinton, Republican politicians believe they can get away with anything. But they aren't as slick as Bill Clinton, and so they usually wind up paying for their arrogance.

Ironically, the potential impeachment of Bill Clinton may be the last straw the one leading to the downfall of the Republican Party.

Bill Clinton has committed many crimes against the Constitution. Among them are the wars he waged against Iran, the Sudan, and Afghanistan without a Congressional declaration of war. He trampled on the 1st Amendment by censoring the Internet, the 2nd Amendment by enforcing the Brady Bill, the 4th Amendment with asset forfeitures, the 5th Amendment by incinerating the Branch Davidians, and the 9th and 10th Amendments with programs the Constitution doesn't authorize.

In short, a power-mad President is oppressing the American people. So for what offense are Republicans demanding his impeachment? That he lied about an affair with an intern.

By reacting to only the most petty of his sins, the Republicans have endorsed, validated, and approved of all the other Constitutional crimes Bill Clinton has committed.

And why don't the Republicans hold him to account for his real crimes? Because they have aided and abetted every one of them. They applauded his war-making, and they voted for his Constitution-busting programs.

The Republican Party is losing its reason for existence. Yes, they retained control of Congress in the recent election, but their days are numbered nonetheless.

They won because less than 40% of eligible voters went to the polls. Probably most of the non-voters see no fundamental difference between the two old parties. How will the non-voters react when there's a visible third party making specific proposals to get government out of their lives?

Fortunately, the cavalry is coming in the form of the Libertarians. They are preparing to run a strong, well-financed campaign in 2000, and could be a major party within two to four years. Offering specific, smaller-government solutions on every issue, the Libertarians want to free you completely from the income tax, take your Social Security away from greedy politicians, and make your neighborhood safe by ending the insane War on Drugs. I believe that one day soon the Libertarians will be one of two major parties.

The other will be the Democratic Party. There always will be a market for a party that promises a free lunch. But there won't always be a market for a party whose sales pitch is: "Yes, we spend a lot of your money, but the Democrats would spend even more."