Edition


Vol. 54, No. 6

In this edition

This edition of the Ripon Forum features the results of a post-election survey of the nation’s electorate, which finds that Americans still want their leaders in Washington to work together.

A Patriotic, Pro-Worker Republican Party Is Emerging

November’s historic turnout suggests the political coalitions that constitute our two-party system are once again shifting.

The Ghosts of Budgets Past, Present & Future

Ebenezer Scrooge would have certainly asserted of Congress’ budget process: “it is dead, dead as a door-nail.” In the spirit of the season, it is worth examining why the process now lies with old Marley in the graveyard.

Why Macomb Stayed Red

Trump’s successes in Macomb during the last two cycles may signal a longer-term partisan change in the County.

Why Northampton Turned Blue

Trump’s inability to repeat in Northampton County was undoubtedly affected by intense dissatisfaction with his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

WORK TOGETHER

Voters will be heading into 2021 frustrated about the political environment and wary that either political party or its leaders has all the answers facing the country.

THE NEW GUARD

Meet 10 Members of the GOP Freedom Force Who Knocked Off Incumbent Democrats

The New Guard: Stephanie Bice (OK-5)

“Hopefully we’ll see, now that the election is over, some coming together and trying to actually govern again.”

The New Guard: Michelle Fischbach (MN-7)

“Families across western Minnesota simply want a government that protects our communities and spends taxpayer dollars responsibly.”

The New Guard: Carlos Gimenez (FL-26)

“This country needs to start to work together. We have threats from outside and inside, and for us to keep fighting makes no sense whatsoever.”

The New Guard: Yvette Herrell (NM-2)

“For far too long, we’ve seen division in Washington, and the losers are the people, because our values are not being represented.”

The New Guard: Ashley Hinson (IA-1)

“The partisan rhetoric – the infighting – is unacceptable to me and I know it’s unacceptable to the voters in Iowa’s first district.”

The New Guard: Young Kim (CA-39)

“For the longest time, the Republican Party has been the party of opportunities, and I’m an example of that.”

The New Guard: Nancy Mace (SC-1)

“It is time to stop rebuilding the world and start rebuilding America.”

The New Guard: Burgess Owens (UT-4)

“Now, more than ever, we need leaders that will stand for their principles and won’t compromise their values for political opportunities.”

The New Guard: Maria Elvira Salazar (FL-27)

“I vow that I will represent the spirit that lives in this district – the ultimate melting pot.”

The New Guard: Michelle Steel (CA-48)

“This vote showed that minorities who may look or speak differently than most not only have a place in this Republican Party but can be elected to the United States Congress.”

Why We Need Federal Election Standards

Most advanced democracies, even federal ones, have a national agency that guarantees standard voting registration processes that make it straightforward to vote.

States Should Set Their Own Election Rules to Protect Liberty

Any national federal standard — whether it be voter ID, absentee ballot availability, or even voter qualifications — would be enforced with a decidedly Democratic Party bias.

Ripon Profile of Tom Emmer

Tom Emmer discusses the outcome of this past election, and how Republicans can take back the House in 2022.

A Patriotic, Pro-Worker Republican Party Is Emerging

Political coalitions have proven to be remarkably dynamic over the past twenty years, and November’s historic turnout suggests the political coalitions that constitute our two-party system are once again shifting.

As Republicans, we have many reasons for optimism.

Across Florida, along the Rio Grande Valley, and beyond, American voters affirmed a future based on shared American values. Dignified work that provides stability and fair wages so they can provide for their kids. A safe neighborhood to raise their families. Robust, revitalized communities and local institutions. And the freedom to practice their faith without fear of shame and according to their conscience.

These are Republican values, even if our policies missed the mark at times in the past.

To seize the realignment, we cannot simply fall back on decades-old policy white papers. We must instead embrace a pro-American capitalism – one that promotes the common good, as opposed to one that prioritizes Wall Street and Beijing – and become a patriotic, pro-worker party that fights for dignified work, strong families, and vibrant communities.

November’s historic turnout suggests the political coalitions that constitute our two-party system are once again shifting.

Some of our policy solutions are well-known and extraordinarily successful. A lifeline to small businesses and their workers. School choice. Doubling the child tax credit. Lower taxes. Less regulation. Apprenticeships.

We must also recognize that at times we have considered people as inputs into our market-based system, as opposed to viewing the market as a powerful tool to benefit our citizens.

When the coronavirus struck in March, we rightly prioritized our people as opposed to market efficiency.  The Paycheck Protection Program was an unprecedented and wildly successful forgivable loan program designed to keep small businesses open and employees of those businesses receiving a paycheck.

We must think equally creatively to address the slow-motion economic crisis of the 21st century, which thus far is defined by short-sighted policymaking that sent jobs overseas and  caused communities to crumble as productive jobs disappeared. In their wake, drug use soared, and real relationships have given way to the virtual world.

The personal hardships are real, but the shift in our economy — from production and resiliency to finance and service — create an unacceptable vulnerability for the world’s most powerful nation. When coronavirus struck, we found ourselves dependent on Beijing for medical equipment.

If America does not correct course, we will find ourselves even more dependent on the Chinese Communist Party.

Over the last four years, the Republican Party has taken the lead in attempting to rebuild that capacity, and we cannot afford to let up. America’s future prosperity requires that we recognize when market forces place our nation at a distinct disadvantage with our international competitors. And it will require federal policymakers to step in and create the conditions in which private investment and the vast power of American capitalism flow into critical industries for the good of our entire nation.

To seize the realignment, we cannot simply fall back on decades-old policy white papers. We must instead embrace a pro-American capitalism – one that promotes the common good, as opposed to one that prioritizes Wall Street and Beijing.

This has been on full display in the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed, which is poised to produce the first COVID-19 vaccine and finally start to put an end to the ongoing crisis. While the scale of Warp Speed — the byproduct of a once-in-a-century pandemic — will remain unique, we need to apply that general mindset to other industries vital to our national interest, from rare-earth minerals and advanced batteries to telecommunications and robotics.

These industries are not only integral to America’s national security, but they provide dignified work that allows a mother or father to support their family.

The Republican vision of a pro-worker economy requires a competitive tax code and regulatory environment that is conducive to private investment. But it must also extend more generally to incentivizing investment in America’s workforce, equipment, and land and away from unproductive financial engineering like stock buybacks.

Voters rejected the Democrats vision of America — an irredeemably racist country that can only be saved by a revolution led by radical left-wing activists and funded by wealthy elites in the media, Silicon Valley, and Wall Street — and are looking for a home.

And these voters weren’t just the white-working class Appalachians the media told us would alone shift red. They were my Cuban-American neighbors in my home state of Florida. They were Mexican-Americans in Texas. They were Native Americans in North Carolina and African-Americans all around the nation.

The Democratic Party of 2020 has alienated all of them. Republicans need to compete for every voter it has left behind. Going forward, the GOP must be a multi-ethnic, multi-racial coalition of hard-working Americans who love their country.

Now, Republicans must produce the policy agenda and defense of all that is great about America that we owe these voters. Maintaining and expanding the new coalition will require making clear that we hear their concerns. It will require a pro-worker, pro-family evolution of our movement that is unapologetic in its love for our way of life. And it will require redoubling our own efforts to make sure that way of life remains accessible to many generations of Americans to come.

Marco Rubio is the senior United States Senator from the State of Florida.