Conservatives should learn the balanced budget isn't all that matters

We are the party of the balanced budget, doesn't mean we can't have other issues as well. Photo: Commons by User:Kelly

NEW YORK, April 10, 2013 ― Math seems to be everything Republicans care about in a post-Romney Republican Party. The average pundit keeps telling Republicans to dump any and all social issues and just stick to math. Focusing on issues of the budget, taxes, and jobs is apparently the way back to Bush’s permanent majority. While most Americans agree that the economy is important, it is not everything.

Republicans are desperate to rebrand, rediscover and reorganize themselves before the 2014-midterm elections. Many Republicans are willing to cave on amnesty, gay marriage, and Obamacare. But Republicans who abandon social and moral principles are not going to find new voters anymore than the Episcopal Church found new adherents after they became the American left at prayer. 

SEE RELATED: Do you have to be Republican to be conservative?

Rather than being a party whose political issues revolve around the orthodoxy of talk radio and budget discussions, Republicans would do well to take a note from Senator Rand Paul and explore issues outside the Bush era GOP. Rand, whether through his filibuster or his countless interviews, has moved the party on the issues of foreign policy and civil liberties to the left of Dick Cheney without being as unappealing to the mainstream of the party as Cindy Sheehan.

Don’t misconstrue the praise of Senator Rand Paul as an endorsement of libertarianism. The single-digit results of the Libertarian Party in national politics should remove the desire of the creation of the Libertarian-Republican Party. Rather we should take from Senator Rand Paul his philosophical entrepreneurship, the ability to move from the party of Bush.

And Republican Party should certainly look for that diversity of opinion with open Senate seats in Iowa, Michigan, and New Jersey in the upcoming 2014 US Senate elections. Republicans carried at least two of those three states in every Presidential election from 1968 to 1992 and since has carried just one of those states just once.

Those states are not looking for a Rand Paul 2.0 but someone who may necessarily speak to the character of those states. Numbers, figures, and budgets, as interesting as they may be to some wonks, do not have character. Neither do most neo-cons who never saw a drone they haven’t liked. There is a place for a community values conservative, a worker centered conservative and a candidate who understands a more traditional sense of conservatism. 

SEE RELATED: Anti-libertarian nonsense: Those government roads

There is something to say about the defending the value of community over the value of money. Community is a true conservative principle that at times can be on the opposition of unfettered free market capitalism.  eing an opponent of Wall Street or Chamber of Commerce doesn’t make it less worthy, less conservative, or less valued by voters.

This idea goes back to the founders of the American conservative movement. Russell Kirk, Robert Nisbet, and Richard Weaver all discussed the need for a sustained community able to deal with not only the immediate needs of citizens but also to combat centralized authority. In most early forms of American conservatism, the need for community always took authority over individualism. This is not found anywhere in the current Republican Party, where Gordon Gekko looks humble compared to the tone of many in the party. 

There are untapped voters who have given up on the Republican Party as just a group of accountants. These voters don’t read Mises or Hayek, who understand what they see or how they feel more than what a certain philosophy tells them.  Those people can certainly become the making of the next new majority.  Call them John Mellencamp voters or Bruce Springsteen voters who still care about the hometown they grew up in more than how much better it would be with a new Wal-Mart megastore. They understand that home involves all things that are small and sacred. Republicans who don’t tap into this because they either don’t understand it or think of life in money are going to lose more elections.  

While numbers are safe, there is more to life than math.  


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Ryan James Girdusky

Ryan James Girdusky has had his work published in Human Events,, American Spectator,, The Christian Science Monitor and  He is a political consultant based out of his native New York City. He has been featured on The Dr. Gina Radio Show, The Mark Skoda Show and The Edward Woodson Radio Show.


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