Reviving Liberal Republicanism in America

Introduction to Political Reform

 
 

 “The Founding Fathers, steeped in classical history and morality, feared that America might fall as the Roman Republic had if it failed to guard against the corrosive forces of corruption, petty interests, and the unrestrained zeal of faction. George Washington called upon his fellow citizens to show ‘mutual forbearance’ and follow ‘a middle course.’”

Kabaservice, Geoffrey, Rule and Ruin[1]

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During the last few decades American politics has changed in very destructive ways. These destructive changes must be reversed for government once again to function at a level that can effectively address the problems that we face as a nation, both domestically and abroad.  Regardless of whether our government implements traditionally conservative policies or traditionally liberal policies, or some of both (as has been the case through most of American history), our government needs to function well.

I don't know anyone who thinks that we have good government in America today. Just as constant infighting weakens families, sports teams, religious congregations and businesses, the constant infighting and gridlock that characterizes our Federal government today weakens America.[2]‎ Whether we have small government or large government, we need good government.

This website maintains that resurrecting a Liberal Republican branch of the Republican Party would be a means to return to consensus-driven, pragmatic politics. And consensus-driven, pragmatic politics is the key to making effective change in Washington D.C. and throughout the nation.

But how do we do this? Three steps that could help us do so are discussed below, along with some background history to support the proposition that taking these steps does not involve creating a movement from scratch. Rather, doing so would be a return to past politics.

Liberal Republicanism can only be revived if three things change in Washington:

First, regardless of its size and specific functions, government has to work fairly and effectively. Today, people's confidence in our government is at approximately an all-time low.[3] Too many people do not think that our government works fairly or effectively.

Second, our politicians must again view their primary function in Washington as public service, not the assurance of their own reelection. ‎

Third, Americans who believe in the values and policies of Liberal Republicanism, especially young people and people who have been involved in Republican politics in the past but have little affinity either with the conservatives or Trumpites who now control the Party, must reengage at the local level with passion and patience. The forbearers of those whose ideologies now control the Republican today did not change the Party quickly.[4] They worked hard to do so.‎ It will likely take a decade of hard work to restore some balance to the Republican Party.